When it comes to giving our gardens a makeover, painting fences is a common practice to enhance aesthetic appeal and protect the wood from environmental elements. While there are various paints and treatments available specifically designed for wood, homeowners often ponder whether masonry paint – typically reserved for walls and bricks – could be a viable alternative for wooden fences. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on whether masonry paint is suitable for use on wooden fences, the considerations involved, and the steps you should take if you decide to go down this unconventional path.

Understanding Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is a durable, exterior paint designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist mould and algae growth on surfaces like brick, stone, and concrete. Its formulation is meant to bridge small cracks and provide a breathable yet waterproof coat to masonry surfaces. Given its robust nature, it's understandable why one might consider it for a wooden fence. However, the compatibility of masonry paint with wood requires a closer look at the factors involved.

Can Masonry Paint Be Used on Wood?

The short answer is yes, but with reservations. Though not specifically formulated for wood, masonry paint can adhere to wooden surfaces if properly prepared and primed. However, it's important to understand that masonry paint behaves differently on wood than on its intended masonry surfaces.

Considerations Before Using Masonry Paint on Wood

  1. Breathability: Wood is a naturally porous material that requires a degree of breathability to manage moisture. Masonry paint, while breathable to an extent, may not allow wood to breathe as freely as a wood-specific paint, potentially leading to moisture retention and related issues over time.
  2. Flexibility: Unlike wood paint, masonry paint is not designed to flex with the natural expansion and contraction of wood through changing temperatures and humidity levels. This could result in the paint cracking or peeling sooner than expected.
  3. Durability: While masonry paint is durable against weather conditions on brick or stone, its longevity on wood hasn’t been extensively tested. The wear and tear on a wooden surface, including UV exposure and rain, may affect its resilience differently.

Steps to Apply Masonry Paint on Wooden Fences

If after careful consideration, you decide to use masonry paint on your wooden fence, follow these steps for the best possible outcome:

  1. Preparation: Start by thoroughly cleaning the fence to remove dirt, mildew, and loose old paint. A pressure washer can be effective for this purpose, followed by sanding to create a smooth surface.
  2. Priming: Apply a high-quality wood primer to ensure better adhesion of the masonry paint to the wood. This step is crucial to prevent peeling and to prolong the lifespan of your paint job.
  3. Application: Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply the masonry paint evenly across the fence. Depending on the product, you may need more than one coat to achieve the desired opacity and colour richness. Be sure to allow adequate drying time between coats as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Sealing (Optional): For added protection, consider applying a clear sealer over the masonry paint once it’s fully dried to help seal the paint and enhance durability.

Alternatives to Masonry Paint

For those unsure about using masonry paint on wood, there are plenty of alternatives specifically formulated for wooden fences. These products not only provide the protective and aesthetic qualities you’re looking for but also accommodate the natural behaviour of wood, ensuring a longer-lasting finish.


Innovation and experimentation can lead to surprisingly positive results in home improvement projects. While masonry paint is not traditionally used on wood, with the right preparation and expectations, it can potentially serve as a unique option for your wooden fence. However, weighing the considerations and exploring alternatives ensures that your fence not only looks great but stands the test of time. Remember, no matter what paint you choose, proper application and ongoing maintenance are key to keeping your garden fence in top condition.