Help! My Neighbor’s Paint Job is Ruining My Fence!

Neighbor Paint JobThis post was inspired by a recent blog comment. one of our readers told us a story which made us wince in sympathy.

This homeowner had lovingly and carefully added a beautiful stain to her side of the fence. Her neighbor proceeded to paint his side of the fence white, and the color bled through to her side, ruining her work.

They say good fences make good neighbors, but shared fences can become a nightmare.

Our reader wanted to know how to handle this issue, and we do have some ideas. However, we’d like to add a disclaimer–without actually looking at the fence it’s impossible to discern the very best approach for getting this problem fixed. We can only make some generalizations.

There’s no way to simply stain over white paint (or any other paint color) that’s come bleeding through. You’d have to start by removing the paint on your side of the fence. However, even after you remove the paint, a new round of stain may not adhere all that well. You’ll still have paint underneath the surface of the wood.

You might have to grab a couple of paint companies to come out and give you a bid on making your side pretty once again. You don’t have to hire them to do the work if you’re confident in your ability to handle the job yourself, but they can at least give you some insight on what needs to be done. If you’re not confident, pick one and hire him–otherwise, you might make the problem worse!

Note: you’ll typically only see this kind of a problem on very thin, porous fences. If you live in Milwaukee or in surrounding cities like Mequon, Wauwatosa, and Fox Point then you could call us to install a new fence for you instead. We mill extra thick boards to prevent problems like this.

If a new fence isn’t an option try talking to your neighbor before anyone paints or stains your fence in the future. If you can both agree on a color, as well as a product (i.e. paint vs. stain) you’ll save yourself a lot of headache and heartache.

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