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How To Create Wooden Facades To Disguise Metal Chain Link Fence Posts

by April Carlson

Installing a privacy fence can add to your home's property value and enhance the surrounding space. In addition, if you are handy with basic hand and power tools, you can save money by performing the work yourself. However, if you already have a chain link fence in place, you may dread the thought of removing the old steel posts. Removing old posts can involve extensive digging and back-breaking labor, and once they are out of the ground, disposing of the posts is another potentially frustrating task. The good news is that you probably don't need to remove the old posts; instead, use them as your bases of support for your wooden privacy fence. Below is how you can disguise metal chain link posts and turn them into an attractive part of your new privacy fence:

What you will need

  • Circular saw
  • Measuring tape
  • 2-inch by 4-inch pressure-treated pine boards
  • 2-inch by 6-inch pressure-treated pine boards
  • Primer suitable for use on galvanized steel
  • Paint brush
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench

Step-by-step procedure

1. Determine how much material you will need for the project - Before starting construction, you will need to make a plan for how much and what to buy. Begin by counting the fence posts and identify the number of terminal posts and line posts. The terminal posts, which are the end posts and posts next to gates, are typically 2-⅜-inches in diameter; in the mid-section of the fence lies the line posts, and these are usually 1-⅝-inch in diameter for most residential chain link fences.

Once you have counted the number of each type, multiply the number of terminal posts by two to calculate how many two-by-fours are needed. Then, multiply the number of terminal posts by two to determine how many two-by-six boards are needed. For example, if you count 6 terminal posts, you will need 12 two-by-fours and 12 two-by-sixes.

Likewise, multiply the number of line posts by four to determine how many two-by-four boards are needed. For example, if you count 12 line posts, you will need to buy 48 two-by-fours. The lengths of the two-by-sixes and two-by-fours can vary depending on the height of your fence, but keep in mind that most privacy fences have 6-foot tall posts.

2. Prepare the fence posts - Once you have purchased your materials, you can begin by removing the fence fabric from the posts by snipping wire ties holding it in position and by unbolting tension bands. After removing any fasteners holding the fabric in place, pull it away from the posts.

The galvanized steel posts have a long lifespan and are resistant to rust, but you will need to provide an extra layer of protection by applying a coat of primer. This will seal the metal from corrosion that might occur once the posts are hidden inside the wood facades. Be sure to cover any scratches, gouges or other areas where rust might be quick to form. Allow several hours for the primer to dry and apply another coat if necessary.

3. Assemble the wooden facades for the terminal posts - The next step is to assemble the wood facades that will cover the posts. Assembly of each facade requires that four boards be attached together in an overlapping fashion.

For the terminal post facades, begin by laying a two-by-six on its side. Carefully anchor the two-by-six to prevent it from moving, then lay the broad flat side of a two-by-four on the edge of the two-by-six. Line up the edges all along the boards, then drive several #10 wood screws, 3 inches in length, through both boards to hold the assembly together. Viewed from the end profile, the boards will make an "L" shape.

Next, repeat the same step as above with another two-by-six and two-by-four to form the familiar "L" shape. Hold the two joined pairs of boards together so they form a rectangle when viewed from the end, and once again use #10 wood screws to hold everything together.

4. Assemble the wooden facades for the line posts - After the terminal post facades are finished, you will assemble the line post facades in a familiar, but different, method. Begin as you did in step 3 but this time lay a two-by-four on its edge. Lay another two-by-four on top of the other one to form the familiar "L" shape. Assemble the two pieces together using #10 wood screws to form a square shape when viewed from the end.

5. Install the wooden facades - Once the wooden facades have been fabricated, you can easily install them by sliding the facades over the metal posts. Slide the posts all the way down until they rest on the soil, grass or concrete basin. If the facades feel loose, secure the facades to the metal posts by inserting a high-quality construction adhesive inside the facade and preventing possible slippage of the wood. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before attempting to install a fence.

For more information about fencing options, contact a local fencing company. You can click here for more information on fencing services in your area.