How Much Does Fence Painting Cost in 2024?

Fence painting costs range between $500 and $3,000, with an average price of $1,850.

The national average cost for fence painting is $1,850. Though the typical cost range is $500 to $3,000, prices can go as low as $300 for simple, small projects and as high as $6,000 for large or complex projects. 

Painting isn’t always necessary, but it will improve your home’s curb appeal and fence’s lifespan. Length, height, type of paint, material, and style affect the cost of painting a fence. You’ll need to consider each factor to get the most accurate estimate possible.

In this pricing guide, we’ll cover:

Average Fence Painting Costs

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

These costs are based on national averages and represent various fence project sizes and complexities. The low-end cost represents simple paint jobs for small fences or a single side. The upper end represents large fences and complex paint jobs. For example, intricate metal or woodwork requires more time to paint, as do murals and other decorative painting projects.

Fence Painting Cost Estimator by Size

To give an estimate, fence contractors need to know the length of your fence. The average cost per linear foot for fence painting is $9. However, it can range between $3 and $15 per linear foot, depending on the type of fence and paint. Most people paint both sides of their fence, so you’ll usually need to double the cost estimate. 

Here’s how much it would cost to paint fences of various lengths based on the average price and the range:

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

Some painters may charge by the square foot rather than the linear foot to account for fence height. The cost ranges between $0.65 and $1.95 per square foot for material and labor, with an average price of $1.30 per square foot

To calculate your total cost, you’d need to multiply your fence’s length by its height to get its surface area. For example, a 4-foot fence that is 150 feet long would have a surface area of 600 square feet. Double the cost if you need to paint both sides of the fence. Here’s how much painting would cost 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

Want to estimate your fence’s cost based on height? Here are the costs per linear foot for various standard fence heights:

Fence Height in FeetAverage Cost Per Linear Foot

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Photo Credit: Comstock Images / Canva Pro / License

While you could calculate your cost based on size alone, you’ll get a more accurate estimate if you consider the type of paint, primer, fencing material, style, and prep work needed. The labor costs also will sway pricing.

Painting One or Both Sides

The linear or square foot may account for both sides of the fence, but it may not. In that case, you will need to double the linear or square foot cost to get a realistic total estimate. Make sure to ask the painters whether their rate applies to both sides or each side separately. Your fence will be best protected from the elements with both sides painted, but it may not matter to you for aesthetic purposes. 

If you have a shared fence, you may need to ask your neighbor’s permission to access the opposite side. Consider asking them to split the cost so you can both enjoy the benefits and aesthetic appeal boost. 

Type of Paint

The average cost per gallon of paint is $50, but not all fence paints are the same. You can choose from different bases or finishes to best suit your project. If you’ve previously painted or stained your fence, it’s best to stick with the same product to make preparations easier.

Fence paints are either water-based, oil-based, or acrylic-based. You can use water-based and oil-based paints on most fences. However, many states banned oil-based paints because of pollution and dangerous health effects. You’ll need to use acrylic-based paint if you have a vinyl fence. Here are the average costs per gallon for each type of paint:

Paint prices also vary by the finish. You’ll need to consider aesthetics and practicality when choosing paint finishes. Matte and flat paints are the hardest to clean because of their rough texture. The more sheen, the easier it is to clean. However, glossy paints can be costly and chip more easily. Eggshell and satin paints are an excellent middle ground for cleaning, durability, and price.

Here are the standard paint finish options and their prices:

You may also need special paints to deal with environmental factors. For example, homeowners living on the waterfront or in high-humidity areas should select moisture-resistant paint, which costs $60 per gallon on average. 

Not sure how many gallons of paint you’ll need? One gallon covers around 30 linear feet, or 200 square feet. 

Type of Primer

Before you choose your paint, you should check whether it contains primer. Primer preps the surface of your fence so the paint will adhere properly and look its best. Primers cost an average of $45 per gallon

Primers come in a few varieties: latex, shellac, oil, and adhesive. Most of the time, fence material determines the type of primer needed. Here are the costs of each type of primer and what they’re used for:

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 so they don’t show through the paint
Oil-Based$50Wood or metal fences with oil-based paint
Adhesive-Based$50Vinyl and corrugated galvanized metal fences

If you’re painting a metal fence, consider an anti-rust primer for extra protection. Rust-proof primer application for wrought iron fencing will add $1,250 to the overall cost.

Painting Complexity

Most homeowners opt for simple paint jobs with a single color. But what if you want your fence to make a statement? You could paint the post caps a different color than the posts or alternate picket colors. Fences with multiple colors or designs will cost more. 

If you want a mural on your fence, consider hiring an artist for $20 to $40 per square foot. While that price is high, you can paint most of your fence a solid color and have the artist decorate a small portion to draw attention to a particular area.

Type of Fence Material

Your fence material will affect how much you pay for painting. Not only do certain materials need specialized paints, but they also need specialized prep. Here are the costs per linear foot of some common fencing materials:

Fence MaterialAverage Cost Per Linear Foot
Wrought iron$9
Corrugated galvanized metal$8.50

Fence Style

Fence design can significantly impact painting costs. The surface area increases the amount of paint needed, and the complexity increases the time to paint. For example, a shadowbox fence costs more than a privacy fence because the painter must carefully paint between the boards. Here’s the average cost of some 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

Prep Work

You can’t just slap paint on your fence and assume it will look good. Without preparation, the paint could look bumpy or come off altogether. You’ll need to remove dirt, mold, mildew, rust, and old paint to create a smooth, blank canvas. 

If your fence is in good condition, it may only need a simple wash to remove dirt. Washing a fence will add about $100 to the total cost, or $0.47 per linear foot. Some contractors may include this in the fence-painting cost.

What if your fence needs more attention? Rust, mold, mildew, and old paint are harder to remove. Pressure washing a fence costs an average of $180 in total. However, you can’t pressure wash paint off wooden fences because the pressure needed would damage the fence. A professional can sand off paint for around $2.50 per square foot on wooden fences and rust for $6 per square foot on metal fences

If your fence has paint on it from before 1978, it could contain lead. This is less likely with wooden fences or other materials with short lifespans, but iron and other long-lasting materials could still have traces of old paint. Let the painters know beforehand so they can take the proper safety precautions. It will likely cost more to remove lead paint than other paints.

Labor Costs

Most of what you’ll pay for is labor costs. Material costs are only around $0.15 to $0.40 per square foot, but you’ll pay between $30 to $80 per hour for the worker’s time and effort. Most pros will include labor costs in their linear and square-foot estimate, but they may give you an hourly rate (including materials) instead.

If pros charge for their time, do they charge for estimates? Quotes are almost always free. However, some companies may charge around $50 for an in-depth assessment and cost breakdown. 

Permits and HOA Requirements

Most cities don’t require permits unless you make structural changes to the fence. However, if you need them, the paperwork and inspection will cost around $75. Check with the company you hire to see if you need permits and whether they’re included in the cost.

The only other rules you need to worry about are from your homeowner’s association (if you have one). HOAs may dictate your fence color. You could be fined and have to pay to have your fence repainted if you don’t follow their guidelines.

Related Services 

While you’re getting your fence painted, you may realize your fence needs more work done. Here are some services you may need in addition to (or instead of) fence painting.

Fence Staining

If you have a wooden fence, you have another option to protect your fence: staining. A coat of stain will protect the wood from the elements while preserving a natural appearance. You can choose from stains that maintain, enhance, or shift the wood’s current color. 

How can you know which option is suitable for your fence? Here are some comparisons between wood stains and paints to help you decide:

Wood StainPaint
Costs $20-$50 per gallonCosts $20-$80 per gallon
One gallon covers around 25 linear feet, or 160 square feetOne gallon covers around 30 linear feet, or 200 square feet
Comes in natural colorsComes in all colors
Shows the wood grainHides the wood grain
Lasts for 1 to 8 years before fadingLasts for 5 to 10 years before chipping
Requires less prep before applicationRequires more prep before application

Pressure Washing

Yes, you might pressure wash your fence before you paint it, but what if a good cleaning is all it needs to look new? You can blast away mold, mildew, and other grime to reveal your fence’s true color. Professional pressure washing costs around $180. You can rent a pressure washer for $70 a day or scrub your fence with a brush to save money.

Fence Repair

Paint can’t hide a broken fence. It’s better to check any repairs off your list before painting your fence, so you don’t have to redo it sooner than necessary. Replacement parts would ruin your new paint job, and you’d have to pay more for touch-ups. Fence repair costs an average of $495, though it can be as low as $50 or as high as $1,600

Fence Installation

Sometimes, a fence can’t be saved by paint or repairs. New fence installation costs an average of $3,440, with a typical range of $1,330 to $5,550. If you hate the fence-painting process, consider installing a vinyl or composite fence that doesn’t need paint to maintain its color.

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

Can you paint a fence yourself? Sure! You can cut project costs significantly with research, basic supplies, and several weekends. Here’s how much various painting supplies cost so you can estimate your budget:

Supplies or MaterialsAverage Cost
Gallon of paint$50
Soft-bristled brush$7
Power sander$26
Gallon of primer$45
Paint roller$11
Buying a paint sprayer$450
Renting a paint sprayer$100

Depending on your chosen paint and painting method, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 

However, you’ll need to sacrifice a fair amount of time to get things done. Most homeowners can only spare their weekends, meaning the project could take up to a month. You’ll also need to research the best paints and primers for your specific fence, which may be overwhelming if you’re new to DIY. 

A painting crew can get the job done quicker and recommend the best primers and paints. They’re also less likely to miss crucial preparation steps.

Cost of Fence Painting by Location

This cost guide covers national costs, but various local factors could affect your final cost. For example, coastal areas might require more expensive paint to protect your fence from moisture and salinity. Rural areas also tend to have lower prices than metropolitan areas due to the cost of living. The best way to gauge prices in your area is to contact local professionals.

FAQ About Fence Painting

Is painting a fence worth it?

Usually, yes. Paint protects fencing materials from the elements, drastically increasing their lifespan. However, materials like vinyl and composite don’t usually need paint, and wood might fare better with stain. Applying the wrong paint also can be a bad investment since it won’t last long or look as good.

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

Spraying is easier and faster than paint rollers or brushes, lowering labor costs. However, there’s more risk of spraying something else accidentally and using more paint. Brushes and rollers are also more accessible. You’ll need to rent or buy an airless sprayer if you plan to DIY. 

A professional will weigh the pros and cons based on your specific fence type to choose the most effective tool.

Does a fence need two coats of paint?

Your fence will significantly benefit from a double coat. The color will look better, last longer, and protect your fence more effectively. Make sure your first coat is dry before applying the second. However, some paints are formulated only to need a single coat.

DIY or Hire a Pro to Paint Your Fence?

If you decide not to paint the fence yourself, it will cost you around $1,850. Depending on your fence type and needs, you may get prices as low as $300 or as high as $6,000. If you’re ready to start, contact local fence painting pros for quotes.

Note: Fence Gnome may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Image Credit: Saklakova / Canva Pro / License

Lauren Bryant

Lauren Bryant is a freelance writer currently based in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys long walks and baking in her free time. She understands how essential fences are for privacy and safety and is most interested in long-lasting solutions.