Spray on


The beguiling words on the remarkably-expensive-fence-sprayer box promised that it would only take 4 minutes to spray each fence panel. And the container of fence panel coating promised that it would cover 30 to 60 square metres of fence (in small letters “depending on the porosity of the material”…ha!).

They were lying. Or perhaps I have an ultra-porous fence with panels three times larger than normal.

Whatever. I spent a nice autumn day inhaling “Harvest Gold” fence preservative and laboriously using a paintbrush to smooth out the patches where the sprayer had deposited puddles. It took hours.

Regular readers will know that the fence was half painted already. In “Light Oak”. I chose this colour originally because I could get two big buckets of the stuff at half price about two years ago. Not because I like the colour.

I chose “Harvest Gold” because it was less than half the price of all the other colours in the shop yesterday. When I started spraying it could only be described as “Peach”. I planned how I would explain to Mrs R that all the panels would weather to the same colour, eventually. But astonishingly it turns out that “Harvest Gold” dries to almost exactly the same colour as “Light Oak”. Who would have thought it from the name? I would have called them both “Orangey Yellow”, but then I’m no Marketing expert.

So here are my top tips if you are planning on doing some fence painting this weekend.

1. Buy the cheapest paint because you will need twice as much as you expect.

2. Buy a brush as well as a sprayer. Or just a brush.

3. Remember that both sides don’t need to be the same colour.

4. If you are spraying, wear a hat…

5. …But don’t wear glasses, unless you like your world to look Harvest Golden.

6. Try to keep your mouth shut while you work.

8 Responses to “Spray on”

  1. 1 adam

    Hi Alex

    I remain struck by the similarities of your paint spraying endeavours and my own…Harvest Gold looked a shocking bright tan orange on first application to me as well!…but fortunately on the fence it does dry to a rather more unoffensive (pun intended) colour. Leaves, accidentally coated though, retain a shocking brightness for years thereafter.

    It snowed in Prague today. Postponing a bout of fence spraying here would have been easy! The Czechs are mired in Presidential politics regarding the Lisbon Treaty and the Romanian government has just collapsed….and I remain in this weather affected spray free corner of europe for a wee while yet…

    All the best


    • 2 alexoutside

      Snowy Prague and Romanian politics seem a distant memory now. I’m jealous.
      I bet lots of people haven’t got their snow tyres on yet… Was it chaotic?

  2. 3 JGodard

    Remember I warned you about the hazards and general pointlessness of paint sprayers three months ago?

  3. 6 John

    I lift my fence panels out of the concrete posts, lay them on a plastic sheet on the ground and then use one of those small cheap rollers to apply the equally cheap “Paint” – works a treat and it’s soooooooooo much quicker than using a brush.

    • 7 alexoutside

      John – You are a genius. I wish I had thought of that.
      I hope that I can remember it in 10 years time when I next decide to paint the fence. 🙂

  4. 8 Sarah

    Last time a fence got painted in our garden (Summer 2000) my husband was bitten by an insect on his ankle and ended up having surgery to remove what they thought was the flesh eating bug.

    I think he now has an excuse for life as to why we have greying fences!

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