Is it time for a fence refresh? 6 ways that paint can elevate your home’s fencing and exterior 

Is it time for a fence refresh? 6 ways that paint can elevate your home’s fencing and exterior  

 First impressions count. Refreshing a fence with Resene paints or wood stains gives the whole house and garden a lift. Best of all, the work can be done over a weekend for most fences and usually without any scaffolding.  If you’re new to DIY, a fence is a great place to start to practice those painting skills before tackling other projects.  Involve the whole family in the painting and staining to make finishing even faster. 

Fencing basics 

 Before even touching a paintbrush, it’s essential to prep the fence and general fence area. Mow the lawn, pull out any weeds and tie up any loose plants or vegetation that might brush against the surface. Cover any plants with a drop sheet or tarp to protect them from paint drips.  

 First, clean off areas of moss and mould using Resene Moss & Mould Killer. If left unchecked mould will shorten the life of the paint film and eventually penetrate and discolour the paint. To apply the Resene Moss & Mould Killer, put on rubber gloves and dilute the concentrate with water following the instructions on the bottle. Scrub the solution with a wire brush into the fence with a stiff-bristled brush. Follow up by scrubbing with Resene Timber and Deck Wash using a wire brush before hosing down. When repainting a fence that is already painted, make sure to sand off any loose paint. 

 Fences help define a home. A crisp border around the edge of the front and backyard not only creates privacy, and keeps pets in bounds, but gives a property a sense of space. Don’t feel fenced in by the colour choice; here are six creative ways to add colour to your fence. 

 The art of a dark fence 

The fence in Hannah and Tim’s Wellington 120-year-old villa is painted in Resene Black. The dark colour contrasts with the front door, painted in Resene Poppy and exterior painted in Resene Triple Rakaia with joinery in Resene Alabaster. Image Hannah Kang. 
Read more about this home here

Make your home and garden pop by painting or staining an exterior fence dark brown or a statement black. A black fence will contrast nicely with home exteriors painted in white or pale hues. Before painting, consider the height of the fence, a tall structure painted in black can appear menacing. 

This Resene Woodsman Crowshead fence in a project by Ardmore Architects enhances the lush look of the subtropical plants in this Auckland garden, including bangalow and kentia palms, canna lilies, bromeliads and the groundcover philodendron xanadu. Image Sally Tagg.


 A fence painted in a dark shade will also make a new garden appear more established. Garry Cullen of Ardmore Architects, used Resene Woodsman Crowshead to make the garden of this Auckland home appear lusher. “It’s a great colour to offset the foliage and to create the illusion of more space. It works as a ‘shadow’ to make the planted area appear deeper.” 


Top tip If you like the look of a dark fence or deck, but you’re worried about it being scorching hot in summer, opt for a Resene CoolColour paint or wood stain. The unique pigment technology means the dark colours still appears the same as regular paint but will reflect more of the heat, making the surface cooler to touch. It will also last longer. 




Just the picket 

A white picket fence is the ultimate symbol of suburban bliss. There are ways to shake up the traditional picket fence without losing the heritage look. For a touch of flair, try painting the fence posts in a contrasting shade to the pickets. 

Homeowners Gareth and Kay of Victoria, Australia painted the fenceposts of their Victorian villa in the silver grey shade Resene Surrender to match the house exterior. The trims and pickets are painted in the near white Resene Alabaster. By painting the fence posts in a different shade to the pickets, it creates character and complements the magenta front door painted in Resene Disco. Image Gareth Aplin. 

Another idea is to take an unconventional picket shape and paint it a traditional white shade. The unusual shape will create interest but a white shade such as Resene Half Pearl Lusta won't clash with neighbouring properties. 


This quirky picket is painted in Resene Half Pearl Lusta while the house is Resene Bluegrass with a Resene Copper Rust fascia. Image Frances Oliver. 





Go natural  

Take a cue from nature choosing a wood stain in a colour that's close to shades of naked timber. The wooden look will soften a space and create a relaxed atmosphere. A warm shade such as Resene Woodsman Nutmegis a good choice for a shady backyard.  

Resene Woodsman Crowshead timber stain is used for the lower deck of this Auckland home coloured by Kellie Gallie. The side fence, deck surround and balustrade are stained in Resene Woodsman Nutmeg and the cladding is in Resene Tana. Image John Mailley. 

Read more about this home here 


 Call it a match 

Often a fence is painted in a contrasting or complementing shade to the main colour of a house exterior; however, there can be some benefits to matching the fence and the main house. Two matching colours can draw the eye to another part of the garden. This fence is painted in Resene Moonbeam, the same shade as the masonry house, to draw the eye to the creative pathway design. 



The side fence of Sara Noble’s home is painted in Resene Moonbeam to match the main exterior colour, acting as a frame for the quirky pathway design. Image Sally Tagg. 

Metal effect 
For an industrial modern home, recreate the look of rusted steel using Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. This can be applied to non-metal surfaces including primed timber, solid plaster, blockwork, concrete, fibre cement or GRC panels to create the weathered metal look which would ordinarily take years to achieve on regular metal and for a fraction of the cost. 
Once the coating is applied, it looks like rust and will continue to develop as the coating ages.  

This garden border was created by Nathan Dick from the Resene Construction Systems team using Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. For the base boards, Nathan used Hardiflex to mimic the natural corrosion and dimpling of corten steel. The process was very simple, Nathan brushed the product randomly in two coats. He then applied the Resene FX Faux Rust Effect Activator to create runs that trickled down the wall. This product is suitable for non-contact surfaces. Image Nathan Dick. 

Read more about this project here 

 Get creative 

Think of a bare fence as a large blank canvas. Create cheer with a mural design or carry on a theme from the interior of your house using a stencil. A fence design can also liven up a long driveway. 


Homeowner Tina Stephens used various Resene testpots to create the pohutukawa mural on the fence which carried on from a pohutukawa motif in the home’s interior. Image Tina Stephens. 



Homeowners Scott and Angela Malden used eaves from garden were used as stencils to create this lively tropical design on the fence using Resene Black. The small bird of paradise detail, painted in Resene California and Resene Daisy Bush, has the surprise and delight factor. Photo Scott and Angela Malden. 
Read more on this home here 


Published: 26 Nov 2020

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