Dog scratches can ruin a wooden fence over time. In addition to the fact that dog scratches are generally ugly, they also leave bare wood exposed, which can cause the wood to absorb water and rot over time. Follow these steps to repair your scratched wooden fence:
Step 1: Stop the dog from scratching the fence.
There's no point in repairing your fence until you've found a way to stop the dog from doing the damage in the first place. Your dog may be scratching your fence out of boredom, loneliness or even desperation. There could be a dog of the opposite gender across the street, or your dog could be attempting to catch the mail man on his daily rounds.
Whatever the circumstances, you must find a solution to this problem before you can move on to the next problem. Try giving your dog extra exercise and attention throughout the day, or if you're not at home, pay a service to start taking your dog for a mid-afternoon walk. If nothing else works, seek advice from a trainer.
Step 2: Clean the fence.
Clean the fence with a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt. Use a paint scraper to scrape away any big clumps of mud, or if necessary, clean the fence with a bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge. Once the fence is cleaned, pick off a large paint chip from the damaged area of the fence. This is the paint chip you'll use as your sample when you buy paint to repair the fence. If you already have the paint on hand, you can skip this part.
Step 3: Sand the fence.
Sand down the fence with a sanding sponge. Pick a side of the sponge with a medium grit, and sand the damaged area of the fence by moving the sponge in all directions. Sand away all sharp edges and deep scratches. When the scratches are barely visible, switch the sponge to a side with a finer grit, and sand it until it's smooth.
Step 4: Clean the fence again.
Use a damp sponge to clean the fence one more time, removing the tiny sanded pieces of paint and wood. Clean the sides of the pickets as well as the damaged areas. Dry the wet areas with a microfiber cloth before continuing to the next step.
Step 5: Match the paint.
Take the paint chip to a paint store that provides paint matching services to get the right shade of paint for your project. Buy exterior grade primer and latex paint.
Step 6: Paint the bare wood with primer.
Paint the exposed, sanded wood with primer, and allow it to dry. It's alright to overlap some of the primer with the parts of the fence that still has paint on it. Allow the primer to dry fully before moving to the next step. You'll be able to tell the primer is dry when it's no longer tacky to the touch.
Step 7: Paint the primed area with two coats of latex.
Apply a single coat of latex paint over the primer and give it time to dry fully. Then apply a second coat of latex over the first coat and allow it to dry. Avoid painting at the hottest time of day to avoid adhesion issues.
If your fence needs more extensive repairs, contact a fencing contractor. He or she should be able to get your fence back in beautiful condition. Contact a company such as Davis Kresak Fences if you have other questions.