All things Gates! How to Paint or Stain Gates

How to Paint or Stain Gates

Best methods of creating a professional finish to your gate.

Need to paint gates or stain wooden gates or just looking to refresh your old gates? If you’re planning to re-coat an old gate in the same colour/ stain, sand down and repair any areas before painting. We stain 1000’s of wooden gates in our factory and this is how we do it.

Stain & Treatment

First, make sure you have a good quality stain able to withstand outdoor conditions and suited to the timber you have on the gate.

We recommend (available in the UK):

  • Softwood Pine: Treatex
  • Hardwood Iroko: Osmo Oil
  • Western Red Cedar: Treatex Cedar Oil

Apply stain using a soft brush (it is advised to go with a brush type recommended by the stain manufacturer). Working in small areas, lightly brush on the first coat ensuring all gaps are protected. Then (and this part is crucial!), before the stain drys, lightly wipe down using a decorators sponge. DO NOT USE a car sponge! The reason being, we had an incident where a car sponge managed to ignite due to heat and chemical reactions. Using a decorators sponge will remove all brush marks leaving a smooth, professional finish.

How to stain or paint gates in wood.

Most stains will require 3 coats and 24 hours between coats for drying. Please refer to manufacturer specs for correct details. Unless you are guaranteed warm, dry weather – stain the gate indoors (a garage or shed).

Paint Gates

Make sure the gate is clean and free of sawdust etc. If the gate is constructed using softwood (for example, Redwood Pine) there will be visible knots. Cover the knots with knotting solution (or knot sealer). This will help prevent the visibility of the knots once gate is painted.

Select a suitable primer for wood type to paint gates for outdoor use. For us, we use a brand called Elmbridge. To apply, use either a soft brush or mini roller. Cover well taking time to get all gaps covered (by using a smaller 1/2″ brush).

Allow adequate drying time (usually 6 hours) before placing the top two coats of colour on. Some brands will require more coats so to save time, invest a little more in a quality paint. If the gate has no treatment, paint the gate indoors (garage, shed etc) so that no water penetrates the wood before it has finished.

Want to see how to fit a wooden back gate or garden gates? See our guide.

By Gates and Fences UK


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