How to Hand Roll Fence:
We get calls and walk in customers every day that have small amounts of fence or specialty jobs that do not lend well to the spray method of applying our products. While rolling and brushing fence may sound easy it can be intimidating and overwhelming to get started. This blog should help you with deciding if rolling will work for your planned project. I will also share some tips and tricks we have learned over 32 years of rolling and brushing fence.
Don’t’ get us wrong, sprayers are great and can be an awesome way to paint fence. However, most people don’t know all that goes into setting up a spray rig, and how messy it can end up being. Did you know if you have 1000 feet of 4 board fence you can roll it in the same time it takes to setup a spray rig? Our rule of thumb is one man can roll 1000 feet of fence, both sides, in one day. That day however, would be a very hard day of work for a hard working person.
Rolling may be advantageous for those that have fence in close proximity to landscaping or outbuildings or other objects that would make spraying difficult due to overspray. Some customers are willing to roll and brush just to keep paint off of their grass.
The way we have learned to roll fence in our 32 years of business is to first select that right equipment setup.
For fence we recommend a 7” roller with no extension pole. The best roller covers to use are 1” or more thick nap. A wire mesh roller screen in your bucket will help conserve paint. These are way better than typical roller pans. This size roller and cover allows you to get in most cracks and crevices on fence. This size nap and roller also allows for easy rolling of posts. Thick naps allow the roller more curvature to cover more of a post in one pass. Paint posts with a vertical motion then turn your roller horizontally to get in behind where boards meet posts, I promise they will fit in that crack. When rolling fence or painting it with equipment it is important to remember not to paint the bottom of the horizontal boards. Wood naturally absorbs moisture and leaving board bottoms unpainted satisfies their need to breathe to release this moisture. Paint the tops of boards and posts when going down both sides of the fence. This gives the posts and board tops essentially 2 coats. This is important for board and post life because they take the majority of weathering.
There are some instances that make this application method challenging. A couple examples are new unpainted fence with baton boards and woven wire fence with wire that prohibits rolling the wood surfaces. It is hard to get a brush or roller behind baton boards on new fence. You don’t have to worry about this as much on recoats because this area takes almost no weather and paint will last behind baton boards longer than on horizontal boards.
While any fence painting job may seem challenging or daunting, once you get going it will go faster than you think. One of the largest horse farms in central Kentucky maintains over 100 miles of 4 board horse fence with rollers. This is their personal preference, probably not the most economical choice for them. Do not hesitate to call us, we are more that happy to share our knowledge and experience in any way we can to meet your project goals and make it a success.