How Much Does It Cost to Paint or Stain a Fence in 2024?

The average cost of painting a fence ranges from $2 to $13 per linear foot

Painting your fence can increase its lifespan and enhance the curb appeal of your property. The national average cost to paint a fence is $2,183, but the typical range is between $683 and $3,683, depending on the size of the fence and the paint you choose. 

In this pricing guide:

Average Fence Painting Cost

National Average Cost$2,183
Typical Price Range$683 – $3,683
Low-End Cost$307
High-End Cost$5,200
Person's hand holding a paintbrush against wooden fence
Photo Credit: Pexels

The average cost of painting a 200 linear foot fence is $2,183, but prices can range from $683 to $3,683, depending on various factors, such as:

  • Fence length and height
  • Whether you want to paint one or two sides
  • Fence material 
  • Fence style
  • Paint type

Painting a small fence or a single side will cost around $300. If you want to paint the entire fence, expect to pay more than $2,000. The cost can increase even further if your fence has intricate metal or woodwork because these elements require more time and effort to paint.

Cost by Size

Length significantly impacts the cost of painting or staining a fence. Painting a 200 linear foot fence will cost you $683 to $3,683. Painters charge by the linear foot, so expect to pay between $2 and $13 per linear foot

Some painters, however, charge by the square foot, which translates to $0.60 to $2 per square foot.

Here’s how much it’ll cost you to paint fences of various lengths. 

Fence Length (Linear Feet)Average Cost of Painting
50$546
100$1,092
150$1,637
200$2,183
250$2,735
300$3,275
350$3,826

The cost of painting a fence increases with height as more paint and labor are required. 

Fence Height (Feet)Average Cost Per Linear Foot
$4
6$5
8$7
10$8
12$10

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Besides size, here are other factors that affect the cost of painting a fence:

Painting One or Both Sides

Painting one side of your fence costs less, but it looks odd and doesn’t completely protect it from the elements. 

If you share your fence with your neighbor, consult with them to get access to paint the other side. Sometimes, they may be willing to split the cost. 

Here’s how much it’ll cost to paint one or two sides of different fence lengths. 

Fence Length (Linear Feet)Average Cost for One SideAverage Cost for Two SidesCost Range for One SideCost Range for Two Sides
100$546$1,092$171 – $921$342 – $1,842
150$819$1,637$256 – $1,381$512 – $2,762
200$1,092 $2,183$342 – $1842$683 – $3,683
250$1,368$2,735$427 – $2,302$854 – $4,604
300$1,638$3,275$513 – $2,763$1,025 – $5,525 
350$1,913$3,826$598 – $3,223$1,195 – $6,445

Fence Material 

The fence material also affects the painting cost. Metal requires extra prep work, while vinyl needs special paint for proper coverage, which adds to the overall cost. 

Fence MaterialAverage Cost Per Linear Foot
Wood $2 – $10
Vinyl $3 – $10
Composite$2 – $10
Aluminum $4 – $10
Wrought iron$5 – $11
Steel$6 – $9

Wood 

Painting a wood fence costs between $2 and $10 per linear foot, depending on the condition of the wood and fence style. A wood picket fence is easy to paint and costs less, while a privacy fence costs more. 

If you have an old wooden fence, you should sand, clean, and prime it for the paint to adhere properly and to get the finish you expect, which increases the cost.

Vinyl

Vinyl fences cost $3 to $10 per linear foot to paint. They come painted from the factory, so you don’t need to paint them until they fade. Apply an adhesive-based primer and use acrylic-latex paint to help the paint adhere to the vinyl. 

Composite

Composite fences combine wood and plastic materials. Painting them costs between $2 and $10 per linear foot

Composite fences are painted by the manufacturer. However, if you’re bored of the color or the paint starts to fade, you can give it a fresh coat. Like vinyl, you should use an adhesive-based primer and acrylic-latex paint to help the paint adhere to the composite. 

Metal (Aluminum, Wrought Iron, and Steel)

Painting aluminum fences cost $4 to $10 per linear foot. Priming is necessary to prevent aluminum from corroding. 

The cost to paint wrought iron fences ranges between $5 and $11 per linear foot. Wrought iron fences usually have a complex design, so they cost more to paint. 

Painting steel fences costs between $6 and $9 per linear foot. Most steel fences come galvanized and powder-coated by the manufacturer to prevent rusting. Priming can give them additional protection against moisture and other elements.

Fence Style

The cost of painting a fence varies significantly depending on its style. Privacy fences cost more to paint because it’s taller and has a larger surface area. Lattice, chain-link, pipe, and palisade fences have a complex design, which increases their painting cost. 

Fence StyleAverage Cost Per Linear Foot
Privacy$8
Split rail$3
Post and rail$3
Picket $3
Chain-link$6
Lattice $6
Palisade$8
Pipe$7

Prep Work

Before painting or staining your fence, you should do some prep work to get the finish you expect. If your fence is in good condition, a simple cleaning, which costs around $100, can get rid of the dirt. Contractors usually don’t charge for this separately. 

If your fence has rust, mold, or mildew, you’ll need to pressure wash it, which costs $113 to $339. Pressure washing can also remove old paint from the fence, but it requires too much pressure, which can damage the material. Sanding is a better way to remove paint from the fence. 

Painters charge $2.50 per square foot for sanding wood fences and $6 per square foot for metal fences. 

If your fence is damaged, expect to spend between $286 and $844, depending on the type of damage. 

Type of Primer

Priming hides imperfections, improves paint adhesion, and provides a smooth base for the paint. On average, a gallon of primer costs $45, but the price varies depending on the type. 

Primer comes in different types, such as:

  • Water-based primer is ideal for priming wood fences with water-based paint. 
  • Oil-based primer works well for priming wood or metal fences with oil-based paint. 
  • Adhesive-based primer is ideal for priming vinyl fences with acrylic-latex paint. 
  • Shellac-based primer is a stain-blocking primer commonly used on wood fences. 

Here’s how much each type of primer costs. 

Type of PrimerAverage Cost Per Gallon
Water-based $40
Oil-based$50
Adhesive-based$50
Shellac-based$40

Type of Paint or Stain

The type of paint or stain you choose affects fence painting cost. 

Paint

Fence paints are either water- or oil-based. Water-based paints contain low VOCs, emit low odor, and dry quickly. They cost $60 per gallon and are ideal for painting wood, vinyl, and composite fences. 

Oil-based paints are more durable, but they contain high VOCs. They cost $80 per gallon and are ideal for painting aluminum, wrought iron, and steel fences because they resist moisture better. 

What are VOCs? 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of organic chemicals that evaporate into the air at room temperature. They may irritate your eyes, cause headaches and dizziness, and affect the environment. 

Water- and oil-based paints come in flat (or matte), eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Here’s the cost of different paint finishes. 

Paint FinishAverage Cost Per Gallon
Flat (or matte)$35
Eggshell $40
Satin$45
Semi-gloss$70
High-gloss$95

Stain

Staining is ideal for wood fences. They provide a natural look and are easy to maintain. Stains are either water- or oil-based. On average, water-based stains cost $50 per gallon, while oil-based stains cost $65 per gallon. 

Water- and oil-based stains come in transparent, semi-transparent, and solid finishes. Here’s how much they cost. 

Stain FinishesAverage Cost Per Gallon
Transparent$35
Semi-transparent$40
Solid$45

Painting and staining are very different and provide different results, such as:

  • Protection: Paint protects wood against UV rays and moisture better than stain. 
  • Appearance: Paint covers the wood grain, while stain gives a more natural look. 
  • Maintenance: Paint lasts longer than stain and requires fewer reapplications. 
  • Application: Stain requires less prep work and is easier to apply than paint. 
  • Color options: Paint comes in more colors and finishes. 

Number of Coats

Double paint coats aren’t necessary, but they enhance the appearance, increase the life of the paint, and protect your fence better against the elements. An additional coat of paint increases the price by approximately $300 for a 200 linear feet fence. 

Labor

Labor costs make up most of the cost of painting or staining a fence. Fence painters charge between $30 and $80 per hour, while some charge by the square footage, ranging from $0.24 to $0.50 per square foot

Fence Installation 

If your fence is severely damaged, you should replace it. Fence replacement costs between $11 and $51 per linear foot, depending on the type of fence. Metal and composite fences usually cost more than others. 

Fence Repair

Before painting your fence, you should thoroughly inspect it for damages and fix them. Professional fence repair costs range from $255 to $685, depending on the type of damage. 

Pressure Washing

A simple wash can help you get rid of the dirt from the fence. However, if you haven’t cleaned your fence in a long time, chances are you have some mold, mildew, or rust, and you’ll need to pressure wash to get rid of it. The cost of pressure washing fence ranges from $113 to $339.

Bush Trimming

If you have plants near your fence, you should trim or tie them back to clear up the space for the pros to work on. You can do this yourself and save some money. But, if there are many, you may need to call a pro to trim them. Professional bush trimming costs between $6 and $16 per plant. 

DIY vs. Professional Fence Painting Cost

Painting a fence can be fun, but it’s messy and time-consuming. Professional painters have the tools and experience to paint your fence more quickly and effectively. 

If you’re free for three days and have some painting experience, you can DIY. Here’s how much it’ll cost you to DIY.  

DIY Materials and ToolsAverage Cost Per ItemTotal Cost for a 200 Linear Feet Fence
Paint $60$360
Primer $45$180
Chemical-resistant gloves$25$25
Respirator $30$30
Paint brush set$9$9
Paint roller kit$18$18
Sandpaper $8$32 (coarse-, medium-, fine-, and extra-fine grits)
Putty knife$11$11
Painter’s tape$8$8
Drop cloth$14$14
Total$687

The DIY cost of painting a 200 linear feet fence is $687. Hiring a pro is significantly more expensive at $2,183, but you’ll have peace of mind and won’t have to deal with an uneven finish. 

Cost by Location

This cost guide covers the national average, but local costs can vary depending on the state and whether you live in an urban or rural area. Hiring a fence painter in metropolitan areas is usually more expensive than in rural areas due to the cost of living.

If you live in a coastal area, you may need to use a more expensive paint or apply an additional coat to protect your fence from moisture and salinity, increasing the overall cost. 

Click here to get accurate cost estimates from fence painters near you.

FAQs

How long does it take to paint a fence?

Painting a 200 linear feet fence takes approximately three days. The time can vary depending on the size of the fence and project complexity. 

How can I extend the life of the paint job? 

Cleaning the fence regularly, inspecting for damages, and fixing them helps the paint last longer. 

How often should I repaint my fence?

We recommend repainting your fence every 3-4 years for a long life.  

Should I spray or roll paint on my fence?

Most pros use a paint sprayer to paint fences. However, spraying requires more skills, and you risk painting unevenly or wasting paint. If you’re painting for the first time, stick to a paint roller and brush because they are easier to use. 

Hire a Pro for Painting Your Fence

Fence painting is best left to the pros. You can DIY and save money, but if you don’t have painting experience, you may not get the finish you expect. Painting pros charge between $2 and $13 per linear foot to paint fences. Click here for free estimates from the best painters in your area.

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Main Photo Credit: Almazán Fotografía / Canva Pro / License

Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood enjoys painting and is currently on a mission to help homeowners transform their living spaces from boring to beautiful. When he's not painting, you can find him exploring the world.