8 Easy Fence Upgrades From Landscaping Experts


Fences deteriorate as time goes on; that’s a fact. In fact, when you own a house, it’s an inevitable cycle that the fence will require a little TLC every few years. There’s also a chance that you’ve overlooked the decay, putting off any fence upgrade for a few years now.

Here’s a personal example: Last year, a section of our fence blew down due to a strong windstorm, and we actually ignored the issue for a good four weeks before finally replacing it.

If your fence isn’t in tip-top shape and you’re planning to change that, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up some DIY fence upgrade ideas that can inspire you to get the job done without breaking the bank.

Here are 8 easy ways to give your fence a new look!

fence upgrade
Photo by Roschetzky Photography from Shutterstock

1. Wash and Stain

After a few years, you may notice dirt and mold accumulating on the pickets of your fence. This is normal, no matter how neat and clean you keep your yard.

Now, this fence upgrade only works for fences that don’t show any sign of cracks, decay, or missing boards. If yours only has gunk on it, then you can easily bring it back to that new look again. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest ways to restore your fence, and it can also lengthen its lifespan!

Firstly, if you think your fence is strong enough, a super easy way to clean it is to power wash it. If you don’t think your fence may stand it or you don’t have a power washer, you can also wash it by hand with a brush.

It’s important to use a good outdoor timber cleaner (this one does a pretty good job and comes with a brush) to help you penetrate the wood and get rid of any mold and fungal spores.

This fence upgrade isn’t complete without the staining step. It’s necessary to wait at least 24 hours after the cleaning process before staining your fence. You can do this by either using a paint roller, a paintbrush, or even a power sprayer!

2. Use Some Paint

Sometimes all it takes to turn your backyard from tired to outstanding is a beautiful splash of color. Not only can this fence upgrade embellish your garden, but it can also make your fence last longer and protect it.

The great thing about painting your fence is that it’s easy to do and can significantly change its look. There are countless colors to choose from; from traditional greens to modern matte grays, there are options to suit every backyard.

To make sure you get an even professional finish, try using a power sprayer—it will help you make your fence look like it came in that color from the start!

However, before working on this fence upgrade, remember that you’ll need to properly prep and clean your boundary. This will help you get the best result.

3. Grow a Garden

Some people choose to use their fences for security and privacy reasons. Then, they grow their own gardens into their fences to take advantage of space and use their boundaries to their fullest potential.

This fence upgrade doesn’t save you from the cleaning part, so make sure you do it before starting to grow plants or produce. This is a great method if you want to save space, plant things, or do both!

Either way, you can grow different varieties of plants, especially vines. Climbing plants are the best since they use the fence as their trellis to grow and support their weight.

4. Add a Trellis

If your fence isn’t as tall as you’d like and you’d rather have a bit more privacy, but at the same time, you don’t want to replace the entire boundary, there’s a fence upgrade that may solve the issue: adding a trellis.

It’s surprisingly affordable and incredibly easy to do with basic tools. There are lots of online guides and tutorials that can help you learn the steps, so chances are you won’t need anyone to do the job for you. Once you’ve installed the new section of trellis, you can step up the game and add a new color or stain to the entire fence.

A trellis doesn’t have to just be extra tall. You can install a full-height trellis to your fence and grow vining plants such as Clematis, which has stunning pink flowers, honeysuckle, which features a beautiful smell, or golden hops, which feature leaves that look amazing.

decorative panel
Photo by Alla Lla from Shutterstock

5. Use a Decorative Screen

Again, this fence upgrade idea won’t save you from the cleaning process. Even though decorative screens tend to cover quite a bit of the surface, your job isn’t just to give your fence a new look but to also make it last longer. Therefore, the cleaning process is a must.

If your fence seems to cry out for a bit of vitality, this method may be a great solution. If you’re not willing to whip out the paint to restore your fence, this is a great (and definitely less time-consuming) option.

Experts recommend choosing a decorative panel that will provide a warm vibe to your yard—maybe something that will work well alongside your flower pots. Just one or two panels are enough to create an eye-catching focal point that will instantly give even the dullest of fences an elevated update.

Keep reading to discover other fence upgrade ideas!

6. Combine With Raised Beds for a Softer Look

This next fence upgrade idea requires constant work, as you need to care for the plants. However, if you love gardening, this won’t be a problem for you.

Garden fence ideas are pretty common for front yards, defining edges that separate your property from the ones next to you. And, for added security and to boost privacy levels, ramping up the height can be a great idea.

According to landscape experts, wooden structures are the best fit when it comes to raised beds. They look rustic but lovely at the same time. And it can even match the wood of your fence! Adorn them with clipped evergreen shrubs, cascading foliage, and even structural alliums. Of course, the options here are endless!

Photo by Martina Simonazzi from Shutterstock

7. Complement Rattan Furniture With Woven Styles

Rattan garden furniture is great because it can withstand outdoor elements such as damp conditions or humidity. If you have this kind of furniture in your backyard, using some woven panels made from hazel or willow can turn into a great fence upgrade idea.

These panels are awesome for small backyards—just choose one or two to give your patio the privacy you need (and, of course, to cover the old fence). The rattan furniture and the woven panels combined will create a pleasing mix of tactile textures.

Choose some colorful sofa cushions to bring a vibrant touch to your yard. Cream and pale gray would be an elegant choice, while blue tones are perfect for a summery setup.

8. Accessorize a Plain Fence

After you’ve made sure that your fence is as clean as it can be, accessorizing it can help you turn a dull boundary into a lovely one. This fence upgrade idea is especially great if you’re living in a rental space where splashing your personal touches around isn’t an option.

Or maybe now’s not the time to spend money on a total fence makeover. Either way, you just need to think outside the box and get a little creative.

You can hang a colorful ribbon curtain on your fence, then add some colorful shelves where you can place your pots. You could also attach painted photo frames with single nails. The result of this fence upgrade is a lovely festival vibe, which can be easily removed if you move house.

You may also want to read 8 High-End Ways to Hang Your Plants at Home.

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