Helpful Tips To Paint Your Vinyl Fence

If you have purchased a vinyl fence for your home within the last few years, then you may be happy to know that the fence is likely to last 20 to 30 years before it needs to be replaced. If you find that the fence no longer matches the aesthetic of your property, then the fencing material can actually be painted. This is also a good idea if you notice that the vinyl has lost its sheen due to sun damage. If you do decide to paint the fence, then follow the tips below to help you with the job.

Choose The Right Kind Of Paint

Most vinyl fences are made out of a material called polyvinyl chloride or PVC. This is the same type of material that is used to install drainage and water pipes in the home. The PVC is durable, long-lasting, and resistant to damage. The PVC is also a solid and non-porous material. While this is ideal when it comes to the longevity of your fence, this also means that paint will not be able to absorb into the vinyl. Acrylic and latex paints cannot be used to change the color of the fence. These paints will scratch and flake off the vinyl fairly easily.

If you want to paint the vinyl fence successfully, then you will need to purchase a paint that bonds to the PVC. Epoxy based paints are the best choice. These paints are typically used to create a strong and hard protective barrier over steel, concrete, and other surfaces. The paint will create the same type of coating across your vinyl fence.

Epoxy paints are packaged with two separate materials that need to be mixed together. The colored resin epoxy will make up the bulk of the paint. A hardening agent will be included with the epoxy. This hardening material chemically interacts with the resin to help it bond and create the coating over the fence. The hardening agent will start to react with the resin once it is mixed with it, so make sure not to mix the two paint materials together until you are prepared to start painting.

Prepare The Fence

Epoxy paints require a clean and oil-free surface to adhere properly, much like other kinds of paints. This means that you will need to spend some time preparing and cleaning the fence before you paint it. Use warm water and dish soap to complete the initial cleaning. Afterwards, you will need to use a cleaner to degrease the surface. While materials like muriatic acid and tri-sodium phosphate are typically used to degrease surfaces that need to be painted, strong substances like these can etch the surface of the vinyl. This is especially true when it comes to strong acids, since PVC has poor resistance to many acidic materials. 

You can safely use a mild acid like vinegar to degrease the fence. To make sure the vinegar is not too strong, mix about one cup of the vinegar with one cup of water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Inspect the exterior of the vinyl fence to see if there is any debris stuck to it after the initial soap cleaning was completed. If so, mix about one cup of baking soda with one-half cup of water to create a paste. Use a clean cloth to gently spread the paste on the vinyl and lightly scrub it. Spray the fence with the water and vinegar solution afterwards. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 10 minutes and spray the fence clean with a garden hose. 

Once the fence is dry, you can get your supplies ready to add your epoxy paint. Make sure that you clean the fence and apply the paint when the forecast calls for warm and sunny weather. Even though the epoxy contains a hardening agent, it will still take several days for the paint to cure fully.