Can You Paint a Chain Link Fence?

Chain link fences last an incredibly long time; it is one of their primary appealing factors and why they are used in so many applications. Schools, businesses, and outdoor facilities all find a great deal of utility from chain link fences.

However, when it comes to decor, a chain link fence is about as stock-standard as they come. Whether you’re sprucing up your property or looking for ways to change the color of your chain link fence for other purposes, the question often comes up:

“Can you paint a chain link fence?”

Painting a Chainlink Fence

Ostensibly, the answer is yes. You can paint a chain link fence. Chain link fences are typically made of steel and can be painted as can any other metal item. However, actually getting paint onto the grid of woven steel wires is more complex than you may have initially realized. If you’ve ever tried to take a paintbrush to a chain link fence, you will have quickly discovered that it works, but not well. Painting a chain link fence can be challenging and fraught with splattered or wasted paint unless you know the trick.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

The best place to start is by learning from the mistakes of those who came before. 

– Paintbrush on Chain Link

Taking a paintbrush to a chainlink fence is a comedy of errors. The bristles bounce back too quickly and too enthusiastically to be much good, but you will wind up with a wide range of paint splatters around your fence and a few sections of wire that have changed color on one side. Paintbrushes are not helpful in painting a chain link fence.

– Spraypaint on Chain Link

Spraypaint can be a very tempting option and will apply the paint more evenly in the path of the spray. However, you’ll notice your spraypaint can emptying very quickly due to the amount that simply sprays through the holes in the fence. Although, this is a good way to get a nice chain link poster print by holding a blank poster behind the fence while you spray.

How to Paint a Chain Link Fence

The correct way to paint your chainlink fence is quite specific, and not what you might expect. As it turns out, the tool you need is not a brush or spray, but a roller. 

– Rollers on the Links

Most people think of paint rollers as applying paint to a wide swath of blank wall so it would never occur to you to use one on a mostly-open chain link fence. However, unlike the spray and the brush, a roller only applies paint to what it touches and has no need to bounce back while applying a reasonable amount of pressure to leave paint behind.

A roller also produces enough paint when filled for the paint to fall on either side of the chain link fence, giving you ahead-start on doing both sides evenly. By applying the paint roller, you can create a solid swath of painted links without the waste of spraypaint or the mess and hassle of a brush.

– Paintbrush on the Posts

For the posts, however, you’ll want to break out a smaller brush. Naturally, rollers will not be a great tool for the narrow metal fence posts that hold up your chain link. But a small to medium-sized brush will do just the trick to recolor your entire chain link fence. In fact, because you need two separate tools for the links and the posts, you might even consider a fun contrast in color.

Repainting a chain link fence is something that anyone can do with the right tools. However, if you’re considering repainting because your chain link fence has begun to rot and discolor, this isn’t something paint can solve. 

Contact us today to find out more about chain link fence installation in a color of your choice or replacing an old fence that is discolored from rust and age.