Can My Neighbor Paint My Fence? (2023)

Do you want to know whether or not your neighbor is allowed to paint your fence? The answer is in this article.

Let’s be honest, not every next door neighbor relationship is borrowing eggs and milk. We have all had our neighborly disputes. I still remember when I caught mine pulling weeds and tossing them over his fence into my yard!

As a general rule, your neighbor is not allowed to paint the fence on your property unless you give them permission. However, if the fence is on their property, they can do whatever they want with it. When the fence has been built on the property line that separates you from your neighbor, they can paint it but only the side facing them.

Speaking of fences, have you ever gotten into a squabble over one? Who does it belong to, which way should it be facing? I definitely have! But when you’re approached by your neighbor who claims they can paint your fence whatever color they want without permission, can you stop them?

Whether or not your neighbor can paint your fence all depends on where the fence is on your property.

There are instances where neither of you can agree on whether or not the fence is on your property, theirs, or the property line that separates you. Should you get the police involved? What if it turns out to be their fence after all?

No one said that fences could be this complicated!

But after you read this article, I know you’ll be able to approach your neighbor confidently with the dos, don’ts, cans, and can’t of painting your fence!

(Video) Can my Neighbour paint my fence?

My Neighbor Painted My Fence Without Permission

So, your neighbor painted your fence without getting your approval. What can you do now?

The first thing to do is to be absolutely sure where on the property your fence sits. Knowing where the property line is will help you figure this out. If you don’t already know, you can contact your local county recorder’s office to get a look at maps and identify the borders of your property.

Or, if you’re looking for an easier way out, check out! All you have to do is type in your address, clarify that you’re searching for your property information with one click, and then get the details emailed directly to you! Easy, right?

Once you have confirmation that the fence is on your property, you can approach your neighbor and tell them that they have to repaint the fence to the original color or remove the paint altogether. If this doesn’t work, you’ll probably have to get in touch with the authorities.

Such a hassle, right? Only do this if you’re really serious about it. Otherwise, you can repaint it yourself and make sure they know not to bother your fence again.

(Video) Angry Neighbor Sues Over Painted Fence

If it happens to be that the fence is on the property line, your neighbour does have the right to paint it – but only the side that faces them! If they have painted the entire fence, your side and theirs, then you can follow the steps above. Ask them to repaint, do it yourself, or involve the authorities.

The last option: you find out that the fence was built completely on your neighbor’s property and isn’t actually yours, meaning they can paint it however they want. Just in case this happens, I recommend that you play nice! Why? Because the same rules stated before can be applied in reverse. If you wish to paint your side of their fence, all you need is their permission.

Are you a renter? In this case, your neighbor painting your fence may be more problematic. Approval from the landlord is often required before any changes can be made to the property. Whoever painted your fence will have to answer to your landlord, and likely to the authorities as well!

Who Can Paint My Fence?

Can just anyone come along and paint your fence? Of course not! You have to give your express permission for anyone to be allowed to paint your fence. Otherwise, it could be considered vandalism.

If the fence sits on the property line of you and your neighbor, your neighbor has the right to paint their side only. But, if the fence is on your property, only you can decide who, when, or what color!

People you might give permission can be but are not limited to:

  • Contractors, or those who installed the fence.
  • Family members
  • A neighbor
  • A landlord
  • Friends
  • Any hired worker

Anyone who paints or stains your fence without consulting with you or getting your permission can and should be held accountable!

(Video) Painted Fence Leads to Flying Soda Cans and More

Keep in mind that if you are on a rental property, you have to get approval from your landlord first.

Can You Legally Paint Your Side of Your Neighbor’s Fence?

You can legally paint your side of your neighbor’s fence as long as you get permission, or it sits on the property line.

To answer your question completely, everything in this article can be reversed. Because you can give your neighbor permission to paint your fence, you can be given permission by your neighbor to paint their fence. If your neighbor claims the fence separating your yards is theirs but it sits on your property, the fence is yours.

You can also be held accountable for painting your neighbor’s fence without first getting their permission to do so.

This is why I recommend you to just have a quick talk with them beforehand, establish a little trust and agree on where the fence sits on the property. I know it can seem a little out of the way, especially when you’re sure who the fence belongs to, but you’re better safe than sorry (and being forced to undo your hard work!).

Another more important reason to have a chat with your neighbor, other than to gain their approval, is to make sure they aren’t renting the property from someone else! Many rental properties have restrictions, and you could get in trouble by painting their landlord’s fence!

Can I Paint My Fence Any Color I Want?

Typically, yes, you can paint your fence any color you want. Whether that means a bright, neon green or the classic, picket-fence white is completely up to you.

Well… maybe not completely.

(Video) Can a neighbor block you from painting your house?

Have you ever heard of a Homeowners Association?

A Homeowners Association, or HOA, is a community built up of homeowners in your town or city district that has the power to set rules and restrictions when it comes to what you can and can’t do with your house and the property it sits on.

When you drive through a small town with a tight-knit community, seeing houses that are beautifully painted with yards that are clearly tended to – a storybook type of town – there is more than likely an HOA keeping it that way.

So, how does this relate to painting your fence? If you live somewhere with a Homeowners Association, you will have to contact them to ask if you can paint your fence the color you desire. If the fence is already beginning to look run down, chances are they will contact you first. They care about the appearance of their towns and neighborhood.

If it isn’t a Homeowners Association, then it’s your landlord. When you’re renting a property, I’m sure you already know that you have to ask their permission before altering the house or yard in any way. That includes installing or painting a fence on the rental property.

If there is no HOA in your area, and you don’t have a landlord to check in with first, you can feel free to buy a gallon of that neon green paint!

Fence Painting Etiquette

Maybe you are aware of general fence etiquette, which is to install the fence with the most appealing side outward and to make sure you’re building the fence on what you are certain is not intruding on your neighbor’s property. But what about painting etiquette?

Do you have to tell your neighbor when you’ve decided to paint your fence? No. Nothing requires you to inform them beforehand because the fence belongs to you. However, letting them know might be the right thing to do.

MMC Fencing & Railing advises that you should discuss your fencing project with your neighbour, if only to remain in a good relationship with them. Assure them that you aren’t trying to see less of them.

(Video) Fence fight: Woman paints fence neon colors after neighbor complains to county | WSB-TV

“It’s not you, it’s me.”, right?

In that Fence Etiquette 101 article, MMC Fencing & Railing also recommends that you consult with your Homeowners Association if you have one. There is a possibility that you unknowingly violate restrictions they have set in place. This could be anything from height and upkeep to color and even the type of fencing.

Trust me when I say you don’t want to find out about those restrictions after you’ve already done all the work!


Can My Neighbor Paint My Fence? ›

They can no more paint your fence than paint your house. And if they pour concrete behind the fence on your property, they have to remove it.”

Can my Neighbour paint the other side of my fence? ›

You can't make changes to your side without their permission, such as painting it.

Can you stain your side of the fence? ›

The only true way to protect your fence is by staining both sides. This is easy to do if the fence is entirely on your property, but it's a little trickier when you have neighbors to consider. We've helped countless homeowners navigate this process, and we'd be happy to work with you to get both fence sides stained.

Can you paint one side of a fence? ›

Absolutely, I would do it with a brush. My neighbours painted their side of the fence with a brush. It dribbled through the holes on our side.

Can I paint over my fence? ›

You can paint over the top of fence panels, it will just take a lot more coats to cover a dark colour with a light one. Make sure you use a stiff brush to remove any loose paint, dirt etc before you start.

Do you have to give your Neighbour the good side of the fence? ›

If you're the courteous type and enjoy getting along with your neighbours, it would be generous to show the smooth side of the fence towards them, but this is far from being an established convention and there's absolutely no obligation to do so if you don't want to.

Can I paint my fence any color I want? ›

When it comes to fence painting, you can do whatever you want to your side of the fence. So, if it is your fence on both the outside and the inside, then you are free to do whatever you like in regards to painting.

What happens if you don't stain both sides of a fence? ›

Generally, this is the best approach, but it is not cast in stone. In reality, if one side of the fence faces a neighbor and they choose not to stain or seal their side will discolor and yours won't, without this affecting the structural integrity of the structure.

Does a fence need to be painted on both sides? ›

In actuality, you should be staining both sides of your fence. Not only will it be more aesthetically pleasing to all parties involved, it will help your wooden fence last longer. As the days continue to get longer and the sun beats down a little harder, sun protection should be on your mind.

Can you finish both sides of a fence? ›

You can achieve the same look on both sides of a wood fence by adding pickets to both sides of the fence or choose a shadowbox design that has alternating pickets on each side. Now that we've broken down what the difference is between the front and back sides of a fence, you can start planning your installation.

Can you leave fence panels unpainted? ›

While you can choose to leave your fence bare, this may shorten its lifespan. Over time, an unfinished wood fence could warp, twist, split or develop mold. To protect it from the elements, consider either painting or staining your fence.

Can you repaint wood fence? ›

If your fence is starting to look a little worn, now is a good time to paint or stain it. Whether you have a wood or chain-link fence, a well-applied stain or paint job every few years will help your fence last longer and keep it looking great.

Does fence paint need 2 coats? ›

Apply a second coat once dry.

This will help to give your paint colour depth, ensures a longer-lasting finish and increases your protection benefits.

When should you not paint a fence? ›

A good rule of thumb is to wait a month or two if the fence is made with dry materials. This will allow it to weather enough but not too much. If the fence is made with pressure treated materials it may be 3-4 months for the posts to dry enough and can be checked with a moisture meter.

Should I spray or paint my fence? ›

Our answer is clear: If the wooden fence needs to be painted, spraying has a clear advantage. The application is not only faster, but the surface is also more thoroughly coated. Because when spraying, the paint gets into the deep cracks and grooves of the wooden fence.

Is it better to paint a fence with a brush or roller? ›

To paint garden fences, however, we recommend using both a roller and a paintbrush. This will help you paint the fence quickly without wasting a lot of paint. Use the roller for flat surfaces and the fence brush for edges.

Who gets the good side of a fence? ›

The finished side should face toward your neighbor. Not only is this more polite, but it's the standard. Your property will look a lot nicer with the “good” side facing the outside world. Otherwise, your fence will look like it was installed backward.

Is it rude to put up a privacy fence? ›

Some folks wonder if it's considered rude or unfriendly to put up a privacy fence. The answer is no. Privacy fences are extremely common, especially if there's a pool, deck, or other feature that encourages a lot of activity in the backyard.

What is a hit and miss fence? ›

Hit and miss fencing earns its name from the construction methods used; boards are fixed on alternate sides of the panel and supported by vertical battens to create a pattern that looks good from either direction. You and your neighbour can both enjoy a stylish garden boundary.

Can I paint fence myself? ›

Apply a layer of fence paint and primer to your dry, sanded fence. Wait for the primer to dry completely before moving on. Coat your fence in paint using a paintbrush, roller, or airless sprayer. Be sure your paint is specifically for wood, exterior, and outdoor use.

What colour to paint a fence to make it disappear? ›

If you want fences, utility poles, pool filters and other metal or plastic stuff in the garden to just vanish, try painting them black. Some gardeners think that using green paint on metal and plastic items in the garden makes them blend in better and become less visible.

Can you paint over dark brown fence? ›

Paint. Although you can't stain over paint you can paint over stain. And with paint, comes an immeasurable selection of colors. Look at your house, natural surroundings and neighborhood to spark a colorful idea.

What is the fence law in New York State? ›

The NYC Building Code generally allows a maximum fence height of 10 feet, and the NYC Zoning Resolution outlines additional height limits: Residential districts: 6 feet, BC §3112.1. Residential front yard fences: 4 feet, ZR §23-44. Residential side of corner lot: 6 feet, ZR §23-44.

Can I paint my house the same as my neighbor? ›

Lucky you -- you have the freedom to paint your house the way you want! Your new neighbor has the same freedom. Having a house painted white isn't exactly pushing the boundaries of taste and design -- you've chosen the most popular house color for your own house.

What are the fence laws in California? ›

Fence Laws In California: A Quick Overview

For a front yard fence, the maximum height is 42 inches. For a backyard fence, the maximum height is 72 inches. If you're sharing a fence with a neighbor, your fence must be a minimum of 60 inches high and be free of gaps that a small child might pass through.

Do you need a permit to put a fence around your property? ›

A privacy fence in your backyard will often not require a permit unless it is to be over 6 feet tall, depending on where you live, while the cut-off for the same type of fence in your front yard may be just 3.5 feet.

How close to property line can fence be? ›

Check Rules and Regulations

Typically, fences are installed anywhere from 2 to 8 inches from a property line in most areas. Some areas might allow to go right up to a property line, especially if you live in an urban row house where every inch makes a difference!

Do I need a permit to cut down a tree on my property in NY State? ›

About. No work may be performed on or within 50 feet of a street tree without a Tree Work Permit from Parks & Recreation. Any person, business, or contractor wishing to remove or perform work on or within 50 feet of a tree on New York City property is required to obtain a permit from Parks & Recreation.

Do you need a permit to build a fence in New York State? ›

Permanent or non temporary fences may require a permit. For one- and two-family dwellings, DOB does not require permits for fences 6-feet or less in height, and homeowners may install their own fencing. In residential locations, fences are not required between properties.

Can I build a wall between me and my Neighbour? ›

You should always seek the fully informed consent of your neighbour before commencing any works. If agreement can be reached, this could be written down so the terms of the consent and the works are clear to both you and your neighbour.

Do I need permission to paint? ›

You do not need to apply for planning permission for repairs, maintenance or minor improvements, such as painting your house.

Does painting your house increase property value? ›

If you're planning to list your home on the market, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase its value is also one of the simplest: paint.

What is the new good neighbor fence law in California? ›

California Good Neighbor Fence

California law states the presumption that two neighbors benefit equally from a boundary line fence and that they are therefore equally responsible for it.

What is California fence Law 841? ›

The maintenance of the fence that separates your property from your neighbor is regulated by statute. California Civil Code Section 841 provides, “[a]djoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them.” This part of the code is known as the Good ...

Can my neighbor build a fence on the property line California? ›

Answer: The installation of a fence on a property line requires the agreement of both property owners. If your neighbor insists on building on the property line without your consent or damages your property it becomes a civil matter.

Who pays for fence between neighbors in California? ›

The State of California generally recognizes that in neighborhoods, a boundary fence will benefit both homeowners equally. Typically, both homeowners are responsible for the costs of construction and maintenance of the fence.

Do neighbors have to share the cost of a fence California? ›

Secondly, California law presumes that both owners benefit equally from the boundary fence, and therefore are equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction and maintenance.

What is the highest fence allowed in California? ›

Typically, fences can't be taller than 4 ft. for your front yard, and can't be taller than 6 ft. for your back yard. Please note that this could vary based on your area, check your local ordinances beforehand to make sure you know what the restrictions are.


1. Connecting To Neighbors Fence - Fence Etiquette
(Coop Knows)
2. 15-Foot Fence Infuriates Neighbors
(WYFF News 4)
3. How close to a property line should a fence be?
4. DONT' MAKE THIS MISTAKE 🎨 *Watch this before you stain a fence*
(Live Oak Home & Commercial Services, LLC)
5. Dealing with entitled Neighbors while trying to build a fence
(Willow Dragon)
6. Are Neighbors Required to Pay for Half of Fence?
(Judge Judy)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 31/08/2023

Views: 6180

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.