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DIY ideas for chain link fence slats & decor

Updated December 2017

Chain link fences are practical, strong and, to some people’s eye, plain. Many people admire the simple, clean look of the classic silverish gray chain link fence. People often choose chain link because they want both security and an unobstructed view.

When it comes to value, chain link can’t be beat. Galvanized wire is durable and requires little maintenance. But for all their advantages, it’s true that a chain link fence lacks the visual interest of ornamental iron or richly colored cedar.

What can you do if you want the security of chain link, but you’re a fan of bright hues? There are ways to add color and privacy to a chain link fence. Some methods are permanent, and others are temporary. Take a look:

Chain link fence slats

Privacy slats turn chain link fences into a privacy fences. They also add color. You can choose slats to match or contrast with your chain link fence. Create patterns by alternating several colors. Install slats on the entire fence, or use them only where you want a bit of color or privacy. These accessories are easy to install and and remove.

Add lattice trellis to chain link fence

Wooden lattice on white background.Your chain link fence offers great functionality, but unfortunately it doesn’t offer very much privacy. If you want to add an extra layer of privacy while beautifying your fence at the same time, then adding a lattice trellis can be a wonderful option.

These lattices are sturdy and lightweight and come in composite or trellis panels. They are available for purchase at home supply stores or lumber supply stores and are usually available in 4-by-8 foot panels.  Once you purchase, you’ll need to know how to add it to your chain link fence:

Step #1: Placement

Place a panel flush on the outside of the chain link fence and make sure that the panel does not touch the ground.

Step #2: Wrap

Wrap the wire in between the lattice and chain link fence in the middle of the panel, then twist the wire to make sure it is secured to the panel. Next, use pliers to cut off the extra wire. Repeat this on the edges to the left and right, then on the top and bottom. There should be about nine secure points for every panel that you use.

Step #3: Cover

Position the next panel directly next to the previous one, ensuring that it’s the same distance from the ground. Repeat the securing method and continue on until the fence is completely covered.

Step 4: Attach

Attach a 1-by-4-inch board that is approximately 4 feet long on the trellis side, then add another one on the chain link side. Then, use deck or wood screws to join the two boards to secure the fence for the long term. Next, attach boards at the top of the fence and at the bottom, making sure to cover the edges of the lattice panels. If there are more fence edges, repeat as needed until they are covered.

Colored Vinyl Coating

vinyl coated chain link fenceBlack chain link is another classic look for fences. We can add vinyl coating in a number of stock colors including green, white, brown and black. These colors tend to blend with the background, and in some situations may look even less noticeable than a silver fence.

Vinyl coating dresses up a fence in a subtle way. Besides color, vinyl adds thickness to the wire. This can change the look of the fence, especially if you desire a custom treatment. Vinyl coating is a way to add interest without obstructing the open look of the fence.

Use vines to cover the fence

Vines growing on fenceThere are a variety of beautiful vines that can cover chain link fences quickly. Looking for something that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance? No problem – there are several low maintenance vines that produce beautiful, sturdy greenery as well as those that bloom in the spring and summer. When you’re looking to purchase vines, be sure you read which ones thrive in your climate so you can be sure that it will grow well over the fence and cover it.

If you don’t prefer the look of lattice, you can also choose to use your chain link fence as the trellis itself. This “living fence” can be a natural and inexpensive way to cover large areas. For example, if you find plants, vines, or flowers that grow vertically and will wrap around the chain link fence, over time the plants will grow and provide a protective barrier around the fence that will add greenery, color, and privacy.

Use string lights or garlands

The easiest way to add temporary color to a fence is with colored lights, art or garlands. If you’re satisfied with the look of your fence, but just want to add seasonal cheer, add twinkling lights or hanging garden art.

Install chain link fence in Portland OR

Pacific Fence & Wire has been serving the Portland area since 1921. Contact us today for more information about chain link, vinyl, ornamental or wood fences.