A well stained, or painted a garden fence is a great advertisement for your work and could bring enquiries from your customer's neighbours. So here's how to get excellent results when you tackle a fence.
Check the weather first, because you're going to need up to a couple of fine days - one to prepare the fence, then another to apply the paint or stain. It's always worth brushing down the surface, and you may need to do a more thorough clean. Be sure to remove mildew, lichen, mould and dirt. If the fence is a favourite with perching birds or adjoins a busy road, you may need to jet wash it, to get a surface that will allow the finish to adhere. You'll need to let the fence dry, so it's best to plan on cleaning it in advance.
Choose The Right Tools
Next, choose the best tool for the job. Paint sprayers can be quicker where you have a large area to cover. However, you get a better effect, and a more natural look, using the Hamilton Performance Timber Care brush. These brushes will minimise drips and are wide enough to get the job done quickly.
Use Two Coats Where Needed
Now select the right colour and product. The homeowner may know what they want or may look to you for advice. If they want you to choose, ensure that the colour is in keeping with the rest of the property, and matches any other stained or painted surfaces in the area. You may have to use a colour chart to find the closest match. If the fence was previously stained a different colour, it may take two coats to get the full-colour effect of the new stain.
The same is true if the fence hasn't been treated for some time, and has a patchy finish with bare areas, perhaps bleached by the sun. In addition, some semi-transparent wood stains always need two coats. Timbercare products vary widely and give much better results if used according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
Guard Against Splashes and Runs
Wood stain is often thinner than paint, and you don't want to splash surrounding stonework, brick, plants or garden furniture. So cover up surfaces below the fence. Once you start applying the finish, always work from the top to the bottom of the fence, so that you can catch any runs or drips.
For the same reason, do one board at a time, to minimise the likelihood of runs. Also, if it's a very hot day, a stain can dry so rapidly, that if you partly paint a number of boards, you can end up with a horizontal line, where the stain has dried before you returned to complete that section. Work the first coat in well, and you'll find the second one goes on much more easily, giving a great finish. Check the instructions, to find out the drying times between coats.
Follow these tips, and you should have a smart looking fence, that your customer will love.
© Copyright Hamilton Acorn Limited 2012