Fences are great at keeping things out of your yard and keeping your kids and pets in. But over time, the weather and outdoor debris can take a toll on fencing. If you don't have the budget to replace your old fencing, use these tricks to dress it up.
Clean It Up
If dirt, grass and other debris is the main problem, give your fence a thorough cleaning. A power washer can blast away all that grime, but make sure you test the tool on a hidden part of the fence first. If the stream of water is too powerful, you could gouge a wood fence or strip the paint from any type of fencing.
Refinish the Fence
You cleaned away all the dirt, but the fence still looks blah. Refinishing the fence is an option for making it look new again. The refinishing process varies depending on the type of fence. Wood can be either restained and sealed or painted. If you're repainting, strip the old paint off -- especially areas that are peeling. You may be able to paint other types of materials, too. Test an area first to make sure the paint will work.
Hide the Fence
Don't want the tedious task of painting the whole fence? Hiding the fence with other landscaping features is an alternative. For a lush look, plant along the fence -- just don't plant too close with shrubs or trees that have extensive root systems. Ornamental grasses often grow high and quickly hide a fence. If you prefer shorter plants, put narrow raised beds along the fence lines and plant your preferred flowers in them. Vines also work. The vines can attach right to the fence to hide the slats.
The arrangement of features in your yard can also help hide the ugly fence. Position lawn furniture in front of the fence so you focus on the furniture instead of the fence. Hang outdoor decorations, such as garden signs or mosaic artwork, on or near the fence. All these little features add beauty to the fence and hide the drab look.
With one or more methods of improving the look of your old fence, your backyard gets a quick makeover without replacing the entire fence.