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Three best fence paints for a smooth & even finish

Last updated on 26/05/2023

Recently put up a new fence in your garden or notice your existing one has succumbed to the elements? Perhaps you want to add a bit of colour to your garden while you enjoy the long weekend afternoons? You are going to need a paint that is tried and tested. One that will not only bring out the grain of every panel but bring life to your garden too. One that you can paint knowing that after two coats the job is done.

There are three paints that come to mind, and they all offer something a little different. Firstly, there is Cuprinol Ducksback 5 Year, followed by two offerings from Ronseal. The FenceLife Plus 5 Year and the FenceLife One Coat. Let’s explore what makes these fence paints stand out from the rest.

FenceLife Plus +
Ronseal FenceLife Plus +

Cuprinol Ducksback

Cuprinol Ducksback has an advanced non-drip formulation due to its wax enriched properties. As a result, it both colours and weatherproofs sheds and fences for up to 5 years. The wax enriched paint makes it water repellent and showerproof after one hour. If you are an inexperienced or messy fence painter, then Ducksback is perfect for you due to its thicker viscosity and non-drip formula.

Ducksback is not a deep penetrating paint as it relies on the texture of the timber for adhesion. Therefore, it is not suitable for smooth wood. Any surface that has been weathered and lost its texture will not be suitable as adhesion to the surface will be significantly reduced. Only use it on rough, sawn wood such as your typical 6”x1” fence panels. You can see our range of square and round fence boards here.

Forest Oak // Silver Copse
Forest Oak // Silver Copse

FenceLife Plus

Ronseal’s FenceLife Plus is a versatile and durable option for a variety of fence boards, no matter the weather. Its strength comes in its toughness. FenceLife Plus protects again rain, snow, frost, and UV damage.

It can be applied to damp wood so is ideal for our unpredictable weather. You will not have to wait for a spell of good weather or for your wood to dry out before applying your first coat. Ronseal provide a vast array of finishes and colours. If you are undecided on a colour, then you can have a look at our range of FenceLife Plus paint here.

Unlike the Cuprinol Ducksback, FenceLIfe Plus can be used on both rough sawn and smooth, planed wood. Rough sawn wood will require two coats, smooth planed wood needs three and if you’re wood is weathered, you may need to apply an extra coat. However, it cannot be used on decking or garden furniture.

FenceLife Plus is renowned for its toughness and versatility. If you are looking for a paint that can do the job well no matter the weather, then look no further.

Midnight Blue // Tudor Black Oak
Midnight Blue // Charcoal Grey

One Coat

Ronseal FenceLife One Coat does exactly what it says on the tin. Just one coat will protect your shed or fence from rain and prevent it greying in the sun.

With great coverage it makes for a cheaper alternative to its counterpart, FenceLife Plus. It is showerproof in one hour and acts as a protective layer against natural greying which occurs from prolonged UV exposure. Be sure to keep some spare, as unlike the other two paints mentioned above, it only keeps its colour for two years.

One Coat can only be applied to rough, sawn wood so ensure that your fence panels are cut from sawn and not smooth wood. It is also best to use this paint on a warm day. Anything above 10 degrees Celsius is recommended as cold weather stops the stain from drying and rain could wash away any progress you have made.

Additionally, if you are painting over an existing colour that is different to the one you intend to use, then multiple coats may be necessary depending on how bright and strong the contrasting colour is. As a result, this paint is best for use on previously unpainted fencing.

For a cheaper and hassle-free alternative to both the FenceLife Plus and Ducksback, the One Coat is the benchmark.

Red Cedar // Forest Green
Red Cedar // Forest Green

Choosing the right fence paint requires more consideration than most people think. You need to consider the type of wood, the colour you would like to adopt and how much exposure to direct sunlight your fence will see. Fortunately, we have a multitude of different wood and fence paints in store and online. Check out our collection of interior and exterior paints here.

For a look at our catalogue of fence paint, with brands such as Ronseal, Sadolin and Cuprinol, click this link.

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