How to Paint a Fence with a Roller

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: September 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Repainting your fence with an attractive color that suits the vibe of your home can make a huge difference. Sometimes, sprucing up the look of your home will only require paint and a roller brush. Since wood can deteriorate and rot in the long run, it’s a good idea to repaint your exterior, especially your fence, once in a while. When you need your property to look more alive and vibrant, a fresh coat of paint can do the trick.

Learning how to paint your fence with a roller involves prepping with a primer, painting, and waiting to dry. Doing this is not a complicated process and will only require a few tools. If you want to know more about painting a fence with a roller, read on.

Can I Paint My Fence With a Roller?

You can definitely paint your wooden fence with a roller. If you’re a DIYer, use a roller to paint the flat surfaces of the planks, and use a smaller brush to cover the tiny bits and edges. The size of your roller should depend on the size of your fence as well.

It is recommended to use a nine-inch roller for broader areas of the fence. Then use a four-inch roller or smaller for corners and edges. This will ensure that you cover everything that needs to be covered.

Tools For Painting a Fence With a Roller

While beginners may have the misconception that one only needs a roller and a paintbrush to paint a fence, other tools are necessary to make the fence and new paint smoother. Some of these tools include:

Paint and Primer

Purchase a specialist wood primer along with the wood paint. Priming wooden surfaces is crucial to getting a good finish. Also, choose a wood type that is specially designed for the outdoors. You can ask a professional about the most long-lasting brand of paint and ensure that it has superb weather protection.


You’ll need more than two rollers to make the job easier for you. As mentioned, you’ll need a bigger and smaller roller to cover various parts of the fence. You’ll have to consider the naps of the rollers too. For instance, rough wooden surfaces require bigger or deeper naps.

You can consult a professional at the shop to find the perfect size for your project.

Paint Brush

Like rollers, you’ll need various sizes of paint brushes as well. This is to ensure that all the crevices of the fence are covered. You can purchase one-inch paint brushes to reach tighter corners.


Sandpaper is used to prep the wood you’re about to paint. This is to smooth out the wood and make the paint and finish look flawless afterward.

Paint Tray

Whether you’re using one color or multiple colors for your fence paint, you’ll need a paint tray for easy dipping. Otherwise, your work area may become messy. Moreover, dipping rollers into the bucket can be challenging.

Wood Preservatives

If you’re planning to stain your fence, you’ll need wood preservatives to make the wood more long-lasting and to protect it from harsh weather elements.

Protective Gear

You’ll need to protect yourself from the chemicals involved in your DIY project. Some of the protective gear you’ll need are masks, safety goggles, a protective suit, and painting gloves.

Steps for Painting a Fence With a Roller

Once you have all the tools, you can now start with your project. Here are the necessary steps for getting a picture-perfect fence:

1. Put on Protective Gear

Before starting, you need to protect yourself. Wear all the gear mentioned above to avoid getting paint on your skin, eyes, and mouth. You have to prioritize your safety before anything else.

2. Prepare Everything

Preparing your fence for paint involves a variety of tasks. For instance, you have to remove any obstructions like stray nails on the ground. You also have to check your fence for dirt and cobwebs. Failure to remove these may result in a rough paint job.

Also, if you have plants in the surroundings, cover or remove them in the meantime to prevent from splashing paint onto them. You may also use protective sheets or newspapers to protect your plants.

3. Prime Your Fence

Apply a layer of primer all over your fence for a smooth finish. However, remember you have to wait for a while for the primer to dry before painting the fence. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how long you should wait before you can start painting.

4. Paint Your Fence

Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for — it’s time to paint your fence! With your roller, paint from the top to the bottom of your fence panel. This is to catch drips for a smoother surface. Examine the wood grain’s direction and paint in the same direction. Otherwise, your paint job will look unstructured.

You have to look for the nook and crannies as well, so you can cover them using a small paintbrush. Look under the fence post caps and in between the slats.

You may apply a second coat of paint, but if you’ve purchased high-quality paint, you may not need another coat.

5. Clean Up

Unfortunately, paint jobs can be messy. This is why you have to clean up immediately afterward.

Remove the covers from your plants, but ensure the paint has completely dried before doing this. Otherwise, the paint may drip onto them, and the chemicals may slowly kill them. Clean your painting materials since you may need them for future use. 

Recommended Tools For Painting With a Roller

If you’re looking for the best tools for painting your fence, look no more. The following products may spark your interest:

These are some protective gear you’ll need for the job:

Paint Your Fence Away

Now that you know how to paint a fence with a roller, you can now mark your calendar and schedule your long-awaited repaint job. You may do this project alone or ask for a friend’s assistance. What matters at the end of the day is you have fun while completing your DIY project.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself while painting your fence. Avoid inhaling the paint by wearing the protective mask and goggles mentioned above. A protective suit will also come in handy in avoiding spilled paint from sticking on your skin.