The Dirt Doctors

Paint and Preserve: Metal Fence Panel Painting and Maintenance Tips

Having metal fences is an excellent way to provide a level of security and privacy, and also make your home’s perimeter less empty and open. Metal fence panels are often okay on their own; they don’t require as much upkeep as wood which rots or warps if paint or sealant aren’t applied.

However, painting over metal fence does provide an extra layer of protection to make it last longer, as well as making them look less bland and even match with your home’s theme or aesthetic. Although metal fence panels require little maintenance, you’re still encouraged to do some maintenance work once in a while to ensure that they last as long as (or even longer than) intended.

So here are things that you should be wary about when painting and maintaining your metal fences:


Always Remove Dirt

Whether it’s newly-installed or old, you have to make sure that your metal fence panels are free of dirt, hard water, oil, grime, and/or rust. If you’re painting an old metal fence, you’d have to pay attention to rusted parts and make sure to scrub them off with steel wool. The bottom line is to make the metal surface as smooth and even as possible for painting.

Wash and Dry

After removing the grime and rust, you have to wash the surface with soap and water and clean thoroughly. This makes sure that your primer and paint adheres to the metal surface, not dust, oil, or any remaining dirt from your first cleaning.

Prime and Paint

Start by applying a metal primer; this ensures that you have a durable and long-lasting paint job. A Metal primer allows your paint to have something to stick on and prevents the common issue of paint peeling off. After your primer dries, which could take at least 24 hours, use an oil-based latex metal paint to coat the entire metal fence and make sure to cover it evenly. You’d want to watch out for missed spots, paint pooling, and streaking. You can apply a second coat if needed after it dries.


After painting, you can apply a sealant to protect your fence and its paint job from the elements. Sealants can also come in spray form which makes them easy to apply. Always make sure to wear a mask to avoid inhaling fumes from paint and sealants. If you’re unsure of what type or brand to use, consult a hardware store associate on the best type of paint and sealant for your metal fence.


fence maintenance


As mentioned earlier, metal fences don’t require maintenance as often as wood. However, you still have to watch out for specific issues on your fence once in a while. Even just a quick inspection every month or two should be performed to watch out for any rust, paint damage, structural damage (such as bending or twisting).


You should make it a habit to clean your metal fences regularly. Using a hose then having a quick wipe down should be enough. This isn’t only to keep your fence aesthetically pleasing, but it also helps you discover any damages in the paint or structure, as well as rust.

Fix Paint Damages

Upon inspection and cleaning, if you notice any peeling, bubbling, or cracking of the paint, you’ll need to fix it as soon as possible to avoid it from spreading. Brush off any loose paint (as well as any rest you encounter), apply primer, and repaint.

Remove Rusts

Rusts can destroy your fences if left untreated, so always make sure scrub off and repaint rusted parts of your fence.

Structural Damage Repair

When it comes to bending, twisting, and other structural damage, you can often use a hammer to fix steel and iron fences into shape. However, for aluminum fence, you might need special tools or even replace the section.


Painting and maintaining one’s fence are essential to keeping them aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. So the next time you have a fence installed, or even if you have an old one installed already, make sure to have them painted and well-maintained. Take care of your metal fence panels; they’re there to beautify and safeguard your house after all.

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