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[Updated 2024] How Much Does Fence Painting Cost?

The national average cost for painting a fence is approximately $1,850. However, typical pricing varies within a range of $500 to $3,000. For simpler and smaller projects, costs may start as low as $300, while larger or more complex undertakings can command prices as high as $6,000.

While painting may not always be deemed necessary, it serves to enhance both the curb appeal of your home and the longevity of the fence. Factors such as the length, height, type of paint, material, and style all contribute to determining the fence painting cost. Considering each of these variables is essential for obtaining the most accurate estimate possible.

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How Much Does Fence Painting Cost

Average Cost of Fence Painting

National Average Cost$1,850
Typical Price Range$500 – $3,000
Extreme Low-End Cost$300
Extreme High-End Cost$6,000

These cost estimates are derived from national averages and encompass a range of fence project sizes and complexities. The lower end of the cost spectrum reflects straightforward paint applications for small fences or individual sides. Conversely, the upper end encompasses larger fences and intricate painting projects. For instance, painting intricate metal or woodwork, as well as creating murals or engaging in other decorative painting endeavors, requires additional time and expertise.

Estimating Fence Painting Costs Based on Size

To provide an estimate, fencing contractors typically require knowledge of the length of your fence. The average cost per linear foot for fence painting is approximately $9, but this figure can vary between $3 and $15 per linear foot, contingent upon factors such as fence type and paint quality. As most individuals opt to paint both sides of their fence, it’s common practice to double the cost estimate.

Below is a breakdown illustrating the projected costs for painting fences of different lengths, considering both the average price and the price range:

Fence Length in Linear FeetAverage Cost for One SideAverage Cost for Two SidesCost Range for One SideCost Range for Two Sides

Certain painters may opt to charge by the square foot instead of the linear foot to accommodate for fence height. The cost typically ranges from $0.65 to $1.95 per square foot for both material and labor, with an average rate of $1.30 per square foot.

To ascertain your total expenditure, multiply your fence’s length by its height to determine its surface area. For instance, a 4-foot fence spanning 150 feet would encompass a surface area of 600 square feet. Double the cost of painting both sides of the fence is necessary. Here’s a breakdown of painting costs based on surface area:

Fence Area in Square FeetAverage Cost for One SideAverage Cost for Two SidesCost Range for One SideCost Range for Two Sides

For those interested in estimating fence costs based on height, the following table outlines the average costs per linear foot for various standard fence heights:

Fence Height in FeetAverage Cost Per Linear Foot

Other Factors Influencing Fence Painting Costs

Understanding Aluminium Slat Fence

While size is a significant determinant, considering additional factors such as the type of paint, primer, fencing material, style, and necessary prep work ensures a more accurate cost estimate. Labor expenses also play a pivotal role in pricing.

Painting One or Both Sides While linear or square foot calculations may include both sides of the fence, this isn’t always the case. In such instances, doubling the linear or square foot cost provides a realistic total estimate. It’s crucial to inquire whether the painter’s rate applies to both sides or each side individually. While painting both sides ensures optimal protection from the elements, aesthetic preferences may vary.

For shared fences, securing permission from neighbors to access the opposite side may be necessary. Consider proposing a cost-sharing arrangement to mutually enjoy the benefits and aesthetic enhancements.

Type of Paint

The average cost per gallon of paint is $50, yet not all fence paints are created equal. Various bases or finishes cater to different project needs. Consistency with previous paint or stain products simplifies preparation.

Fence paints typically fall into water-based, oil-based, or acrylic-based categories. While water-based and oil-based paints are suitable for most fences, some states prohibit oil-based paints due to environmental and health concerns. Vinyl fences necessitate acrylic-based paint. Average costs per gallon for each type of paint are as follows:

Paint Costs by Type


Paint prices also fluctuate based on finish. Aesthetic preferences and practical considerations guide finish selection. While matte and flat paints pose challenges in cleaning due to their rough texture, increased sheen facilitates easier cleaning. However, glossy paints may incur higher costs and are more prone to chipping. Eggshell and satin paints strike a balance between cleaning ease, durability, and price. Standard paint finish options and their prices include:

Paint Costs by Finish

Matte or Flat$35

Environmental factors may necessitate special paints. Homeowners residing in waterfront areas or regions with high humidity levels should opt for moisture-resistant paint, averaging $60 per gallon.

Unsure about the required paint quantity? Approximately one gallon covers 30 linear feet or 200 square feet.

Type of Primer

Before selecting your paint, it’s essential to assess whether it includes primer. Primer serves to prepare the surface of your fence, ensuring proper adhesion and optimal appearance of the paint. On average, primers cost $45 per gallon.

Primers are available in several types: latex, shellac, oil, and adhesive. The choice of primer often hinges on the type of fence material. Below are the costs of each primer type and their respective applications:

Type of PrimerAverage Cost Per Gallon (Materials Only)Suitable For
Latex or Water-Based$40Wood fences with water-based paint
Shellac-Based$40Spot-treating stains to prevent them from showing
Oil-Based$50Wood or metal fences with oil-based paint
Adhesive-Based$50Vinyl and corrugated galvanized metal fences

For metal fences, considering an anti-rust primer can provide additional protection. Applying rust-proof primer to wrought iron fencing will increase the overall fence painting cost by $1,250.

Painting Complexity

While most homeowners opt for straightforward paint jobs featuring a single color, some may desire a fence that makes a statement. This could involve painting post caps a different color from the posts or alternating picket colors. Fences with multiple colors or intricate designs entail higher costs.

For those seeking a mural on their fence, hiring an artist at $20 to $40 per square foot is an option. While the price may seem steep, homeowners can opt to paint most of the fence a solid color and have the artist decorate a small portion to draw attention to a specific area.

Fence Material

The material of your fence significantly influences fence painting costs. Not only do certain materials require specialized paints, but they also necessitate specific preparation. Here are the costs per linear foot for some common fencing materials:

Fence MaterialAverage Cost Per Linear Foot
Wrought Iron$9
Corrugated Galvanized Metal$8.50

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Style of Fence

The style of your fence can significantly impact the painting expenses. Not only does the surface area affect the required amount of paint, but the complexity of the design also extends the painting duration. For instance, a shadowbox fence demands more attention compared to a privacy fence, as the painter must meticulously navigate between the boards. Below, you’ll find the average fence painting costs associated with various common fence styles:

Fence StyleAverage Cost Per Linear Foot
Privacy fence$7
Picket fence$3.40
Shadowbox fence$9
Pipe fence$7.25
Split rail fence$2.90
Post and rail fence$2.90
Chain-link fence$5.50
Lattice fence$5.50
Palisade fence$7.50

Preparation Work

Simply applying paint to your fence won’t yield satisfactory results. Without adequate preparation, the paint may appear uneven or peel off prematurely. Essential preparatory steps include removing dirt, mold, mildew, rust, and old paint to achieve a smooth, pristine surface.

If your fence is in relatively good condition, a basic wash to eliminate dirt may suffice, adding approximately $100 to the overall cost, or roughly $0.47 per linear foot. Some contractors might incorporate this step into the overall fence painting expense.

However, if your fence requires more extensive attention due to rust, mold, mildew, or old paint, additional measures become necessary. Pressure washing, for instance, carries an average cost of $180. It’s important to note that pressure washing isn’t suitable for wooden fences as it could cause damage. Alternatively, professionals can opt for sanding to remove paint, typically costing around $2.50 per square foot for wooden fences and $6 per square foot for rust removal on metal fences.

If your fence predates 1978, there’s a possibility it contains lead paint, particularly in materials with longer lifespans like iron. Informing painters about this beforehand allows them to take appropriate safety precautions, although lead paint removal typically incurs higher costs compared to other types of paint removal.

Labor Expenses

The bulk of your expenses will stem from labor costs, with materials accounting for only $0.15 to $0.40 per square foot. Expect to pay between $30 and $80 per hour for labor, which professionals may factor into their linear or square-foot estimates. While most professionals offer free quotes, some companies may charge approximately $50 for a detailed assessment and cost breakdown.

Related Fencing Services

While arranging for your fence to be painted, you may realize that additional work is necessary. Here are some services you might require in conjunction with or instead of fence painting.

Fence Staining

For wooden fences, staining offers an alternative method of protection. A layer of stain shields the wood from environmental elements while maintaining its natural appearance. Stains come in a variety of options that either preserve, enhance, or alter the wood’s existing color.

To determine the most suitable option for your fence, consider the following comparisons between wood stains and paints:

AspectWood StainPaint
Cost$20-$50 per gallon$20-$80 per gallon
CoverageApprox. 25 linear feet or 160 sq. ft. per gallonApprox. 30 linear feet or 200 sq. ft. per gallon
Color OptionsNatural huesWide array of colors
Grain VisibilityShows wood grainHides wood grain
LongevityLasts 1 to 8 years before fadingLasts 5 to 10 years before chipping
Prep RequirementRequires less prep work before applicationRequires more prep work before application

Pressure Washing

While pressure washing may precede fence painting, it might be all your fence needs to rejuvenate its appearance. Pressure washing effectively removes mold, mildew, and grime, revealing the fence’s original color. Professional pressure washing typically costs around $180. Alternatively, you can rent a pressure washer for approximately $70 per day or opt for manual scrubbing with a brush to save expenses.

Fence Repair

Attempting to conceal a damaged fence with paint is not advisable. It’s prudent to address any necessary repairs before proceeding with painting to avoid premature rework. The average cost of fence repair stands at $495, although expenses can range from as low as $50 to as high as $1,600. Neglecting repairs risks compromising the integrity of the new paint job, potentially necessitating additional touch-ups and expenditures.

Fence Installation

In cases where painting or repairs aren’t viable options, installing a new fence may be necessary. The average cost of new fence installation amounts to $3,440, with a typical range spanning from $1,330 to $5,550. If the prospect of fence painting proves unappealing, consider installing a vinyl or composite fence, eliminating the need for paint to maintain its color.

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Professional Cost vs. DIY Cost

How Much Does Fence Painting Cost DIY

Undertaking fence painting as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project offers potential cost savings. With thorough research, basic supplies, and dedication over several weekends, homeowners can significantly reduce project expenses. However, the investment of time is substantial, as most homeowners can only dedicate weekends to the task, extending the project duration up to a month.

Furthermore, navigating the myriad of paint and primer options can be daunting for DIY novices. In contrast, hiring a professional painting crew ensures efficient completion of the task, along with expert guidance on selecting the most suitable primers and paints. Professionals are also less likely to overlook critical preparation steps, ensuring a high-quality finish.

Fence Painting Cost by Location

While this guide provides a national perspective on costs, regional variations may impact the final expenditure. Coastal areas, for instance, may necessitate pricier paint options to safeguard against moisture and salinity. Conversely, rural areas generally feature lower prices compared to metropolitan counterparts due to differences in the cost of living. For the most accurate assessment of prices in your locale, consider reaching out to local professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fence Painting

Is painting a fence worth it?

In most cases, yes. Painting provides crucial protection for fencing materials against the elements, significantly extending their lifespan. However, materials like vinyl and composite typically don’t require paint, and wood might benefit more from staining. Using the wrong type of paint can also result in a poor investment, as it may not last long or offer optimal aesthetics.

Is it better to spray or roll paint on a fence?

Spraying paint onto a fence is generally easier and faster compared to using rollers or brushes, thereby reducing labor costs. However, there’s a higher risk of accidentally spraying adjacent surfaces and potentially using more paint. Brushes and rollers are also more accessible options. If you plan to undertake the painting yourself, you’ll need to rent or purchase an airless sprayer. A professional painter will assess your specific fence type and project requirements to determine the most suitable application method.

Does a fence need two coats of paint?

Applying two coats of paint to your fence offers significant advantages. It enhances the color’s appearance, prolongs its longevity, and provides better protection for the fence. It’s essential to ensure that the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat. However, some paints are formulated to require only a single coat, depending on the product and manufacturer.

Should I DIY or Hire a Pro to Paint My Fence?

The decision to paint the fence yourself or hire a professional largely depends on your preferences, budget, and the complexity of the project. Hiring a professional typically for fence painting costs around $1,850, but prices can vary depending on factors such as the fence type and specific requirements, ranging from $300 to $6,000. If you’re considering professional assistance, reach out to local fence painting experts to obtain quotes tailored to your project.

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