painting horse jump rails

DIY Painting Horse Jump Rails

Well here we are deep in the throws of winter. But there is a glimmer of hope, the days are getting longer. Which means, spring will be coming soon! And when spring does finally get here, I want to be ready to work with my horses, and I am trying to use my time wisely now, and update my jumping equipment. So I have decided I am going to be painting my horse jump rails.

Since I have been taking riding lessons, and working over poles, I want to be able to continue what I am learning at home, on my own horse. And my jumps are needing refreshing, so this is a fantastic time to get painting. It does take a little longer for the paint to dry because it is colder. But that’s ok, it gives me something to look forward to after work, and on dismal weather weekends.

So today I want to share with you how I am updating my rails.

Base Paint

First the rails get cleaned off, and a fresh coat of paint.  The rails I am using are 10 ft long 4 x 4’s that we cut into octagonal type rails. They are very affordable at $12.00 a rail. I wrote a blog post about how to make horse jump rails out of 4×4 wood here.

painting horse jump rails

I am using Rustoleum gloss white. This is a fantastic paint that stands up to the elements and gives a nice shine to the rails. The paint is also really durable. So if your horse hits it, the paint won’t peel off.

Deciding On Stripes

After the base coat has dried, its time to add the first color of stripes. I found some pretty blue at Sherwin Williams, and I had a coupon for 40% off. It was still expensive though. $20.00 for a quart of paint. So, I won’t be buying this in a gallon size, that would be way to expensive. But sometimes, you just need some color that isn’t available in the off the shelf Rustoleum.

painting horse jump rails

After I have the color, then I need to decide where to put my stripes. For these, I will start them 12” into the rail, and the stripes will be 24” long each, one on each end of the rail. Then it’s time to tape off the stripes. I like to use the green Frog tape. It works the best of any painters tape I have ever used.

diy horse jump painting

And once I have my stripes marked off and taped, I paint the stripes with the blue. When I use this type of paint, I have found it is better to do several light coats of paint, allowing drying time between each coat. It is time consuming, but the result will be worth it. And then I have to be patient again, and allow the blue paint to completely dry before I move on to the gold stripes. This is very difficult for me. Waiting for paint to dry is my version of hell.

Adding A Second Color Stripe

Ok, now that the blue has had ample time to dry, I remove the tape. And then it’s time to measure off for the gold stripes. I want my gold to meet up against the blue. So one side to tape off is easy, just cover the blue. Then I mark off 6” with my tape measure, and this will be the other end of my gold stripe.

painting horse jump rails

And after I have the stripe taped off, I also use some rags to cover the areas of the rail that I don’t want to end up with gold. Using spray paint means there will be overspray, so I cover the rail with old rags by taping them to the rail. This will protect the remaining portion of the rail to prevent the gold from hitting the rail.

painting horse jump rails

Just like all of the other painting, use several light coats of spray paint to prevent runs. Or if you get impatient, like me, you will get some runs. But if this bothers you, do several light coats instead of 2 thick coats of spray paint.

painting horse jump rails

Touch Ups

Once your gold paint has dried, it is time to untape the rails and see your results. If you have any oopsies, now is the time for touch up. And once the touch up paint has been allowed to fully dry, your rails are ready for use!

The Finished Product

diy painting horse jump rails

I love the way these turned out. They are so pretty! And they didn’t turn out exactly like I had planned, so my next set of rails will be similar, but black and white and gold. I am really looking forward to those. But for now, these are really pretty, and will look great in my riding arena, or in my front yard as I play around with different jump ideas!

diy painting horse jump rails



I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you.

    1 Response to "Updating Horse Jump Rails With Spray Paint"

    • Graham Davies

      Hi Lisa I enjoy watching your videos you have some great tips and Ideas. A couple of tips I have is that on your spray painting you can use newspaper instead of the cloth and just throw it away after use. The second tip I have is when painting poles if you put 2 long screws in one end and 1 long screw at the other you can support the pole on your saw horses with these and you can turn your pole without getting paint on your saw horses.
      Have a good day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.