Can You Paint a Fence With Gloss?

What is gloss enamel and can you paint your fence with it? Depending on your fence, you may or may not want to use this type of paint.

You can paint a fence with gloss if it is specifically an exterior gloss. Gloss enamel highlights imperfections, so while it would look great on a metal fence, it may not be the best idea to use it on old wood or masonry.

What Is Gloss Enamel?

Gloss Enamel is a thick, durable paint that has a bright sheen after it has dried, giving it a glass-like appearance. It is very common and comes in loads of different colors. This paint comes in a few different finishes that can be used on exteriors.


This finish has the brightest sheen of the three and is the most durable. However, because of how shiny it is, there is a chance your homeowner’s association won’t let you use it on exteriors. Make sure you check with yours (if applicable) before you paint your fence with this finish.


This finish has a medium sheen, which means it’s less shiny than gloss but more shiny than matte. It may not be as durable as a gloss finish, but it may be a better option for your fence.


The name of this finish may seem contradictory, but this finish still has some sheen. Because this finish is the least reflective, it may be the best option for your fence.

The Pros Of Using Gloss Enamel

Using gloss enamel on a fence can be a great idea! This paint is strong and resistant to mildew and moisture, which can help protect your fence from weather damage. Gloss enamel is also very easy to clean, making the upkeep very easy. Also, this paint can be used on any surface and comes in tons of different options and colors.

The Cons Of Using Gloss Enamel

There are some disadvantages to using gloss enamel paint that you should be aware of before using it on a fence. Gloss paint is super reflective and because of this, it can cause imperfection in the fence to stick out like a sore thumb. This makes it a bad paint for masonry or imperfect wood. It can be great on metal and vinyl, as long as there are no noticeable imperfections.

Also, because of its reflectiveness, gloss paint can make it so the color of your fence isn’t portrayed accurately in the sunlight. Also, this paint can be difficult to apply. Because of the paint’s sheen, paint strokes are hard to hide and any repainting can be easily noticed.

Great Brands For Gloss Paint

Gloss paint comes in loads of different options and it can be overwhelming trying to look through it all and choose the one that will be perfect for your fence. Maybe you don’t even know where to start looking. Below I have listed some brands that are reputable and have great exterior gloss paints.








These are just a few options to give you some ideas of where to start looking. Really, the options are limitless. However, if you are really struggling to decide which paint to choose, it may be helpful to visit your local home improvement store and talk to an associate there. Chances are they will know which paint is best for your specific fence.

Steps For Using Gloss Enamel

So you’ve decided to use gloss paint on your fence. Here are the steps to help you get that done.

Clear surrounding area

You may have to mow the lawn, move objects, cover shrubs, and place a tarp under where you’ll be painting.

Clean the fence

No matter what type of fence it is, you’ll need to clean it of dirt, mildew, rust, or moss. If it is a wooden fence this will include sanding the fence down.

Remove any old paint

Removing old paint is important because leaving it on the fence will make certain that the new paint won’t apply as well and won’t look as great once it has dried.

Prime the fence

Priming is also a really important step to ensuring that the fence looks nice once it is all done. What type of primer you use will depend on the material of the fence. Each material has its own type of primer. The primer should dry completely before you start painting.

Paint the fence

To start, make sure that it is a sunny day with no rain in the future forecast. Before you paint the whole fence, you might want to paint just a small section of the fence and let it dry, to see if the color looks how you wanted. If it looks great after this patch test, you can start painting your fence.

You’ll want your strokes to follow the direction of the panels of the fence. When using gloss paint you want to make sure your coat is thick and that you don’t miss anything before moving on. Try to not repaint over what has already been painted. If the color doesn’t look bright enough you may want to add a second coat.

Of course, if you are willing to splurge, a paint sprayer can speed up the process by a lot. You can get one at most local home improvement stores.

If you really doubt your ability to paint your own fence, then hiring professional help might be a better idea for you. However, this will add a substantial cost to the project.

Upkeep Of Gloss Enamel

You should be consistently cleaning your fence. Consistently check the fence for dirt, mildew, and mold. Once or twice a year you may want to pressure wash the fence. This can make a fence look brand new. If the paint of the fence is starting to look thin or there are cracks, then it may be time to repaint. To repaint the fence, just go through the steps above again.

With consistent upkeep, the gloss enamel paint on your fence will keep your fence looking great for years.

Fence Frenzy

We at Fence Frenzy absolutely love taking on the challenge of building, or even restoring, a fence. Especially elaborate and exotic fence designs that really make us scratch our heads! We're happy to share everything we've learned with you.

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