How to Paint a Metal Fence Fit for Vancouver Weather

If you want to paint a metal fence, prepare for a lot of work. If you’re a determined Do-It-Yourselfer, we have some advice to ensure you get a good, long lasting paint job.

1) Remove Rust Deposits

Before you apply a lick of paint, you need to make sure the fence is ready to accept the primer. Metal fences in Vancouver are usually subject to the elements, leaving them rusty, grimy, and dinged. Inspect the surface for rust deposits and clean out any you find. Then put on your gloves, glasses, and mask, and get to work! Use a wire brush for the bulk of the job and work your way down to steel wool, smoothing out what’s left.

Next, dampen a rag with mineral spirits and remove any remaining rust. Replace the rag when it becomes too dirty. It may not be able to remove all of the rust. Your goal is simply to get the metal surface as smooth and level as possible for painting.

2) Wash the Surface

The mineral spirits used earlier can inhibit certain metal paints, so you have to wash the fence prior to applying primer and paint. Use a bucket of hot water and soap, soak a rag or a scrubbing brush, and thoroughly scrub all the nooks and crannies of the fence. Rinse the soap off and dry with a rag—or allow it to dry overnight.

3) Paint the Metal Fence

Start with a metal primer if you really want a long lasting finish. It gives the top coat something to stick to, and will keep the paint from peeling off later. If you find your primer is too thick, add small amounts of mineral spirits and stir. Keep doing this until it’s the right consistency.

When applying, work quickly and use even strokes to prevent the primer from pooling. Watch out for streaks, bubbles, and any other imperfections. Use a smaller paintbrush in tight areas, and dab until the entire surface is covered.

Once it’s had a chance to dry—at least one day—you can apply the top coat. Use the same method as when you applied the primer, looking out for missed spots, streaking, and pooling paint. Dab hard to reach areas with a smaller brush. Wait for it to dry and apply a second coat if needed.

4) Apply Sealant

This is a must in Vancouver. Finish the job with a sealant to keep your paint job looking great. Look for one that is designed to adhere specifically to painted metal. You’ll find this information under the product’s performance properties, but any store associate should be able to help if you’re still not sure.

Be sure to check the directions before you begin. Many sealants come in spray form, so they’re very easy to apply. Hold the nozzle at least six inches away from the fence as you spray, and move along the surface in slow, even passes for the best finish.

While fence repair and painting is a lot of work, the determined do-it-yourselfer can get it done. For everyone else, we specialize in metal fence repair and restoration at QS Fencing. If you’d like a free quote, call us at (604) 345 5145.