An old adage may state that good fences make good neighbors, but not everyone wants to completely cut themselves off from the people who surround them and their homes. Chain-link fences can provide the solution for this situation, marking boundary lines and keeping belongings, pets and children separated while still allowing face-to-face contact with those outside the fence. Over time these metallic boundaries can rust and fade, and a coat of paint may be in order to keep your yard looking good. A paint roller makes the best tool for painting chain-link installations.

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Step 1

Lay down drop cloths or pieces of cardboard on both sides of the chain-link fence to prevent paint from dripping onto the ground below. This is especially important if the fence is surrounded by grass or plants; chemicals from paint can kill plants.

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Step 2

Scrape away any loosened or flaking paint with a wire brush. Brushing the fence can also remove any heavy rust stains or dirt and grime buildup. If necessary, use a small amount of warm, soapy water to clean away dirt or grime; dry the surface immediately to prevent rust.

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Step 3

Inspect the fence for rusty areas. Treat rusted sections with a rust inhibitor; such a product often comes in spray cans for easy application. Allow the inhibitor to dry according to product instructions before continuing.

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Step 4

Pour your chosen paint product into a paint tray. Some paint products will come with rust inhibitors included; consider using one of these if your chain-link fence has a lot of rust.

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Step 5

Roll your paint roller in the tray to gather paint. Use a long-nap roller (at least ¾-inch nap) to allow for better coverage and to reach into the gaps. Roll the roller on the flat surface of the tray to remove excess paint; overloading the roller with paint will produce more dripping, running and wasted paint.

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Step 6

Roll the paint roller on the chain-link fence, covering all metal areas with paint. Roll slowly to reduce paint splatter. Re-wet the roller with paint as necessary.

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Step 7

Touch up missed areas, crevices and posts with a paintbrush. Inspect the other side of the fence; the long-nap roller may have covered the other side as well. If not, roll and brush the other side.

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Step 8

Keep all people and animals away from the fence for at least 24 hours as the paint dries. Your specific paint product may recommend a different drying time; consult product instructions for details.