How to paint a chain link fence

So a lot of people paint their chain link fence, and most people do it wrong. I feel like this is because most people don’t understand the process behind painting a chain link fence. So in this article, I will try my best to explain the proper way to paint one!

How to paint a chain link fence, Zazzy Home

First, you need some supplies:

Painter’s tape (if you’re going for pattern) Some sort of brush (paint roller recommended) Bucket Paint Sponge(s) A drop cloth In order to make the job as easy as possible, you also need a ladder or a way to reach high places!

The first step is to decide what type of pattern you want. The best patterns are checkered and staggered, but basically, any pattern will do

Next, tape off your design onto the fence. 

Once your design is taped off, paint it out with some dark color (I used black). Be sure not to get any on the ground or anything else! If you miss spots or mess up anywhere, it’s okay. Just remember that this is just a base coat, so no one can see it anyways! I messed up a lot…

Okay, so now that we have our base coat done, it’s time to add in some detail. I wanted my pattern to go from dark to light, so this is how I did it:

First, add in the darkest color you want (I used navy blue) and paint along the lines of where your tape was. When you get an area near a corner or tight place, use your sponge and just dab at it. Don’t do much, or else you’ll move the tape! That will take more painting than necessary, and people will see that something is up when they’re looking closely.

Once you’ve done one coat for all of the darker colors, take your lighter color (this time I used white) and repeat what we did for the dark colors, only with less paint! The goal here is to use as little paint as possible so that our fence doesn’t become an eyesore. Be sure to dab at the corners and tight spaces again!

When you’re done with all of your lighter colors, go back and add some more dark colors just along the lines of your tape. This makes it look like there is actual space in between each link and not just a flat color line. People will be able to tell how good your fence looks when they see this detail.

How to paint a chain link fence, Zazzy Home

Now we’re done with all of our base coats! Now we get to do the fun stuff…taping off sections for different colors!!! I decided I wanted my lightest color (this time, I used yellow) on each post, but then any other color would be a darker version of that color. So I taped off the posts in blue, green, and purple.

Once your tape is on, it’s time for another base coat! Take some paint and paint directly over the tape using your brush. Be sure to use quick strokes, so you don’t mess up your pattern! Cover each section completely with just one layer of paint. This will also prevent any bleeding from occurring when we add our next colors over the top!

Then comes the fun part!!! Painting all of those pretty colors onto your fence!! Just take your sponge or brush and dab away at it until you get a nice solid color going through each gap in the tape!

Remember to be patient with this process if you want a higher chance of success! If you mess up, don’t worry. Just take your paint and touch up the spot until it looks good enough to be left alone. You can always go back and do this part again if you feel like it needs a better color on certain sections!

After all of your base coats are done, look at your fence and see if there are any spots you want to touch up or redo. Be sure that no one will notice what you’re fixing before you start touching stuff up! If something has some sort of weird pattern going on (like my green parts), then just leave it as is. It’s too much of a hassle to fix such quick work with such small brushes.

Once we’ve finished touching up, it’s time for another base coat. Just add in the same color you used in your touch-up session, only leaving off some of the paint so that most of the fence stays a bit darker than usual. It doesn’t have to be perfect or exact; just try to mimic what you did previously.

Now we’re onto the fun part again!!! Dabbing on all of our pretty colors! Just casually dab away at each section with whatever brush or sponge you’ve been using from the very start! Do this until all your spaces are filled in and look beautiful! Be sure to use quick strokes on each section so if there is any bleeding between posts, it won’t show when we move on to adding more coats.

How to paint a chain link fence, Zazzy Home

We’re nearly done! All that’s left is to add in one final base coat with the same color we usually use. Mix in a little bit less paint than usual, so most of the fence stays dark. A good way to do this is by taking little bits at a time until you have just enough for what you need.

Now, take each post and go back over it again with the lighter color so that there are no harsh lines between them! Be sure to touch up any places where your new colors aren’t as bright or even as they should be! You can see some parts on my green posts got messed up when I was adding all my colors on top; that’s why I had to fix them.

Last but not least!!! Apply your final seal to your fence and wait for it to dry! Don’t apply it when there’s still wet paint; you’re going to end up with a mess if you do that. Be patient and wait for everything to fully dry before touching it or doing anything else.

And there you have it! A beautifully painted chain link fence. Now go out into the world and conquer whatever comes your way! Just make sure not to be too hard on yourself if something doesn’t work out in the end, things don’t always turn out perfect the first time around 🙂


Meet Jeff. For the last 10 years, he's been repairing and fixing problem homes - from leaky roofs to faulty wiring. He started blogging about his experiences as a way to help others who might be struggling with home repairs, and he's become something of an expert in the field. Jeff is always up for a challenge, and he loves sharing his tips and advice with others. When it comes to home repairs, Jeff knows what he's talking about. So if you're looking for some help and guidance, be sure to check out his latest guide!

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