Painted Chainlink Fence Hack
DIY,  gardening and landscape

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

Need a painted chainlink fence hack? You’ve come to the right place.

If you’re reading this blog post then it is probably because you have an ugly chainlink fence that is driving you batty. You’ve probably wondered a million times if you can paint that chainlink fence and how much of a pain in the paintbrush is it going to be?

You can paint pretty much anything. The question is whether or not it will hold up.

In a grand, tedious experiment, I painted our ugly chainlink fence one year ago and discovered a hack that might save your sanity and a whole bunch of wasted paint.

Here’s the hack, how I did it, and how the chainlink fence is doing one year later.

PAINTED CHAINLINK FENCE HACK: Only paint the posts and rails, not the links. 

Woah, Woah, Woah! Don’t stop reading yet!

There’s a method to this madness that will work for some of you. Admittedly, not all of you.

If the links on your chainlink fence are SILVER, then your eye is only going to recognize the color of the posts and rails. The silver links fade away in this situation.

Therefore, the painted chainlink fence hack is that you can change what your eye perceives to be the color of your fence just by painting the posts and rails.

Here’s an example of my fence with green posts and rails. It was the definition of an ugly rundown fence.

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack chainlink fence before painting outdoor project progress

Here’s the fence one year later with just the posts and rails painted black.

Much different, right?

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

If you like the current color of your fence, but it just needs the same color update, this painted chainlink fence hack will also work for you.


The key to your success is the primer. Chainlink fences are made of galvanized metal. That’s what helps prevent them from rusting. You need to use a primer that’s specifically formulated to work on galvanized metal.

A lot of paint and primers work on regular metal, but not GALVANIZED metal. If the primer label doesn’t call out galvanized metal, don’t use it.

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

Spray or brush on the paint? It’s up to you.

Spraying is faster, but there’s going to be overspray, which means wasted paint. If you’re not intending to paint the links, then you’ll need to protect those from overspray too.

Brushing the paint on is going to be tedious and time-consuming because you’ll probably need 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.

Cost is going to be an issue too. Spray paint might be more expensive.

By the way, I’m assuming you’ll use a brush, not a roller for this project. A roller is not going to reach all of the places that a brush will on the posts and rails. But do what works for you.

Prep the posts and rails. Yes, you’ve got to do a little prep.

Rust is not your friend. Take a piece of sandpaper and sand off any rusty bits on your fence prior to painting. The more rust you can get off, the better.

Then wipe or hose down your fence prior to painting.

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

Here’s the paint I used. 

I used one coat of Behr Multi-Surface Primer. It specifically states on the back of the can that it can be used on galvanized metal. The multi-surface feature of this primer also meant I could use it on the plastic parts of the fence.

I used two coats of regular ol’ black Rustoleum paint in the can. I ended up using 2 different sheens (satin and gloss) on this fence because I ran out of paint. I couldn’t tell much difference between the two in this particular instance.

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

How’s the paint holding up? 

I waited one year to write this blog post because I wasn’t sure if the painted chainlink fence would survive wet towels being thrown over it, pool equipment banging against it, a snowy New Jersey winter, etc.

I was pleasantly surprised this spring when I went to inspect the painted chainlink fence. The paint had held up SO well.

I did touch up two areas where something must have banged or rubbed against two different metal posts.

I for sure thought the weakest part of the painted chainlink fence would have been the rails where the snow sat on top of it, but nope!

Painted Chainlink Fence Hack

What’s the bottom line on this painted chainlink fence hack? 

This painted chainlink fence hack is not going to turn your ugly duckling into a swan.

It’s still a chainlink fence.

Some people love them (I guess?). Some people don’t.

If you’re like me and even considering painting a chainlink fence then it probably looks pretty bad. You’d love to replace it but fences are expensive!

Painting the chainlink fence is a good interim solution until you’re ready to install a new fence. I’m not saying the paint will make you the happiest you’ve ever been, but it might lower your blood pressure every time you look at that chainlink fence. I call that winning.

Have you ever painted a chainlink fence? Or did you just jump to replacing the fence outright? I’d love to hear all about it. Maybe others can learn from your experience too. You can always comment on this blog post (I have to approve it first before it appears), email me here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.

Thanks for being here today! Here are some other posts you might enjoy! 

How to Paint Metal Pool Coping With Marine Paint

Mountain-Themed Pool Ball Rack Art

House Number Sign From a Wooden Spool


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