In fact, if any timber garden building goes too long without paint or wood preservatives, damp and rot can creep in all too easily. Even the densest timber and highest-quality build structure can be affected.
GardenLife know painting and wood-treatment is not the most exciting of tasks, but it really is worth doing. It can extend the life of a summer house, garden shed, decking or fence by years. So, to help relieve some of that workload, we’re taking a look at some mechanical help, in the form of various types of garden fence sprayer.
Why use a garden fence sprayer?
Variously called “pressure sprayers”, “paint sprayers”, “spray guns” or “pump sprayers”, these labour saving devices are made by the likes of Ronseal, Cuprinol, Wagner and B&Q.
In a nutshell, using a shed and garden fence sprayer to apply preservative or paint is far quicker than a brush. You’re also more likely to get better, more even coverage. This in turn will protect the timber more effectively. Many garden fence sprayers have adjustable spray nozzles and speed controls, so you can control how much preservative or paint is used, and easily get into tight corners or small gaps.
You do need to be aware of the need to clean your shed and garden fence sprayer, as well as health and safety precautions, but we’ll guide you through those shortly.
Different power sources for garden fence sprayers
There are three distinct categories of shed and garden fence sprayer: corded, cordless and manual. So we’re going to look at the different types, with their pros and cons, and also mention some of the popular models on the market for each type. Of course, there are many other models available too – but the examples below (and their reviews) will give you a guide to what to look out for if you’re considering other models.
Mains-powered electrical garden fence sprayers
The advantages of electrical sprayers are obvious – as with anything from vacuum cleaners to radios, there’s no faffing about with replacing or recharging batteries, and they’re efficient in terms of power consumption.
Then again, there’s also an obvious disadvantage – namely, the cable. The fact it may not reach to the end of your garden, and the impossibility of finding an extension lead when you need one.
Wagner Electric Garden Shed & Fence Sprayer
At £69.99, this one is a little pricey but it’s versatile and gets mainly 5 star reviews. It has an adjustable spray jet so you can tailor it to the size of panelling you’re working with, and the amount of paint you want to use. The tank is housed separately and can stand on the ground or be carried around with a shoulder strap; its capacity is definitely on the smaller side though at 1.4l, so bear that in mind and be prepared for regular refills
Cordless garden fence sprayers
Cordless shed and garden fence sprayer are generally designed to be versatile and easily portable. They offer the speed and coverage of electric-powered models, without the issue of having a cable dragging round behind you.
But instead you have the battery issue – some are rechargeable and can be used anywhere, but charge times can be long and running times short. Others have traditional batteries, but then you have to keep on buying batteries.
Ronseal Precision Finish Fence Paint Sprayer
At £32 this ticks the boxes on versatility – there are different power and nozzle settings for control, speed and accuracy. The tank itself is a generous 5 litres, but the cord attaching the nozzle is quite short so it’s not idea for some garden or fence layouts.
Reviews are mixed – there are plenty of 5 star reviews from users saying how it saved them hours or days compared to using a brush, but other reviews complain of clogging.
As with all products that get mixed reviews, you want to apply some common sense to what you read. For example, the reviewer who complained about spray going everywhere on a very windy day should probably blame their own choice of spraying day rather than the product!
Manual shed and garden fence sprayers
Manual sprayers come in cheap, sturdy and versatile. But since they need to be pressurised by hand, they’re not great for anything larger than a few fence panels. As you’d expect, both Ronseal and Cuprinol both have popular models, but the following Spear & Jackson sprayer is difficult to beat.
Spear & Jackson Pressure Sprayer for Wood Stain
Cheap and (thanks to its pump mechanism) reliable, it would seem it’s hard to go wrong with this one – the 3 bar pressure level will even discharge a consistent spray for a prolonged period. There’s a 5l tank, easy to clean brass fittings, and it will spray water, weedkiller and chemicals with pH values between 5 and 9 (including water-based wood stain).
With an average of 4 stars from over two thousand reviews, £22.50 represents very good value for money.
Cuprinol pump and brush garden fence sprayer MPSB
It certainly looks peculiar but this Cuprinol fence sprayer has the novel idea of combining a manually charged sprayer and a brush to add finishing touches. The tank is smaller than some others on this list, and the tank and nozzle are all in the same housing so you have to carry everything around together, but reviews are mostly very positive (and also contain some useful tips about how to get the best results) and it’s only £28.
With all types of shed and garden fence sprayer, you’ll want to think about the following:
- whether they only work with specific types of preservative or paint (which may limit their use or lock you into expensive products)
- whether you’ll actually be able to carry them once you’ve filled them up with your treatment product
- how easy they’ll be to fill, refill and – crucially – clean
- does the choice of nozzles and length of hose suit you – if you have awkward spaces to reach, are there precision nozzles or extension tubes?
- if you have large expanses of timber to treat, how large is the tank and how fast is the coverage?
- always wear safety gear – goggles, a respirator, gloves and overalls
Finally, even where garden fence sprayers have adjustable nozzles, they can sometimes spray erratically. So, if there are any people, pets, garden structures, windows, plants, ponds or washing lines nearby, proceed with caution (or not at all!).