Removing waterproof paint from fence

23 Jun 2020
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United Kingdom

Looking for a bit of advice about removing paint from a fence. The previous owners of our property painted both fence in Homebase Home of Colour Wild Willow paint. It is a waterbased, water proof paint with a waxy finish.

I want to remove the paint as we don't like the colour but I am at a loss as to what to do.

I have tried using a pressure washer but it doesn't touch the paint at all. I have tried a paint scraper which has some success but the thought of doing that to 10 fence panels fills me with dread. The scraper works pretty well on the fence posts as these are flat surfaces, but the rough wood on the panels really holds onto the paint. Paint stripper isn't really an option as it will cost more than replacing the fence.

The best success I have had is to find an edge to the paint an peel it off with my fingers. This works to an extent as the paint sometimes peels off in strips, but I don't see this as a viable option for every panel.

At the moments our options seem to be:

1. Continue to scrape the fence
2. Sand the waxy coating off the paint and paint over it
3. Replace every fence panel and sand the fence posts

If anyone has had experience of removing this paint or has any ideas I'd be very grateful.

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What are you going to do to the fence afterwards? If you're just repainting then you could paint over the top after keying it up a bit.
What are you going to do to the fence afterwards? If you're just repainting then you could paint over the top after keying it up a bit.

We are going to paint the fence. My concern is that the waxy coating on the paint won't hold the new paint. Also, the existing paint is a aqua green colour so it is going to change the colour of any new paint, unless it is very dark.

How would you key the surface? Sander?
Yes, rough grade paper to break the surface of the existing paint, then a medium or fine grade to give a smooth finish if you want it smooth.
Give it two coats of primer to cover the existing paint, (I think Zinner B is the one to use for best adhesion), and then two coats of your chosen colour.
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Find another wax-based paint and paint over it with that. If the paint is a couple of years' old and weathered, it shouldn't even need sanding.

Cuprinol Ducksback or Garden Shades should take over it - I did the same for a veranda. They are opaque paints so should cover the existing colour in a couple of coats. Just remember the second/third if necessary coat needs applying with the same day.

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