The chain link fence is one of the most versatile and widely used fencing systems today, but it is not always attractive. While newer chain link options have gotten a bit more colorful and stylish in recent years, this won’t help you if you’re dealing with a pre-existing fence. If your fence has become an eyesore, or even if it just doesn’t look pretty, you’ll need to find a way to embellish it, hide it, or hide it altogether.
The following options are different ways to do this. None necessarily works better than others and which facelift works best for you will depend on your yard and your taste. For example, if you want to make the fence more attractive but not hide it, painting or using fence slats are both good choices. However, if you want to hide it, a wooden trellis, a veil of vines, or some types of fence slats are a better choice.
Take the time to explore your options before making a choice. Often different methods can be used in conjunction with each other, giving you the best results.
Painting a chain link fence is probably the quickest and cheapest method of improving its appearance. Unless it’s a vinyl coating, a chain-link fence should be a relatively easy item to paint. Vinyl coated chain links can be painted but should only be done by a qualified professional. While you can paint your fence any color, choosing a shade like black, dark green, or brown should make it stand out and blend in with the background.
Before painting, make sure to clean the fence and remove any rust with a wire brush. If there is rust on the fence, apply an anti-rust metal primer before painting. You should also mow the lawn, prune any plants that border the fence, and use a tarp to cover the ground around the fence to catch any drips. Follow the primer with quality outdoor enamel paint.
For best results, use a roller with a 1 to 1 1/2 inch nap to cover the chain mesh and a brush to paint the fence posts and hardware. While spraying can give a good finish, it can be difficult to control the overspray.
Fencing: fence slats
If you’re looking for a way to spice up a chain-link fence while making it more private at the same time, fence slats are a great choice. Fence battens are long pieces of aluminum, polyethylene, or wood that you insert vertically, horizontally, or diagonally into the fence. They are quick and easy to install. In fact, they are available in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to create patterns and designs by alternating the colored slats in the fencing. You can also create a monochromatic look by painting your fencing the same color as your slats.
Before shopping for fence slats, find out the height of your fence, along with the size of the chain mesh and the thickness of the wire used to make it. Chain links are measured diagonally in both directions using the inner gauge. The two most common mesh sizes are 2-inch meshes, which are usually made with 9 or 11 gauge wire, and 2 1/4 or 2 3/8-inch, which are usually made with 11 1/2, 12, or 12 1/2-gauge thread.
Slats can be top, bottom, or self-closing. Top locking and bottom locking slats have a channel that slides through the slots at the top or bottom of the gate to secure them; self-closing slats are not. There are many different types of slats. Different types have different degrees of wind load and privacy factors. Most have a wind load and privacy factor of at least 75 to 80 percent, although some slats with higher numbers are available. Some even offer 100 percent privacy.
If you want to hide your fence, consider buying fence slats made to simulate the look of a hedge. The slats are made from wire inserts covered with green “needles” made from flame retardant PVC. These simulated hedges are amazingly durable and usually come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Fencing: Rolled Wooden Fencing
If you want to hide your chain link fence altogether, wooden fencing is the best option. Rolled wood fencing comes in a variety of materials, including bamboo, willow, stick, reed, dwarf pine, fern, and twig. These fences are made from pieces of wood held together with galvanized wire, which are sold coiled. They come in various heights up to 2.4 meters high and are easy to attach to an existing chain link with special straps or wire. Once attached, they generally provide total privacy and give a natural feel to your yard while hiding your chain link fence. This option can be expensive and not last as long as some other options. The life of the fence depends on the type of material used.
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