How to Make a Chain-Link Fence Look Better

Though functional and inexpensive, chain-link fencing fails to provide the privacy many homeowners desire and can give an otherwise charming yard a rather stark appearance. The popularity of chain-link fences has declined so much that some cities have gone as far as to ban homeowners from installing them. Luckily, there's no reason you have to hate your chain-link fence. There are a few things you can do to help make your chain-link fencing look better.

A well maintained chain-link fence

Step 1

Mow your lawn and pull any weeds growing around your chain-link fence before performing any other maintenance. Rake and discard the grass clippings and pulled weeds around your fence.

Step 2

Keep your chain-link fence clean and rust-free for an attractive appearance. Scrub the chain-link with a wire brush dipped in warm, soapy water to remove the build-up of rust. Use a rust-dissolving product link naval jelly to remove particularly stubborn rust deposits. After the fence dries, spray it with a liquid automobile wax to prevent the chain-link from rusting again.

Step 3

Paint your chain-link fence to give it new life and improve its appearance. Select an oil-based exterior paint that has been specially-formulated to adhere to metal surfaces. Apply two coats of paint to both sides of your chain-link fence, allowing the paint to dry between each coat. Black paint helps the fence visually recede into the landscape.

Step 4

Thread wood, plastic, or vinyl privacy slats through the chain-link of your fence to make it appear solid. Privacy slats are available in a wide variety of colors and materials, and can be threaded vertically or diagonally, depending on your preference.

Step 5

Plant shrubs, vines, flowers or small trees near your fence to help hide the chain-link. Honeysuckle, passion flower, clematis and wisteria are just a few examples of fragrant, beautiful vines that can be trained to grow up your chain-link fence. You can even train some forms of small fruit trees to grow flat against your chain-link fence using a technique known as espalier. Consult your local nursery or garden center to determine which types of flowers, trees, vines and shrubs grow best in your area.

Megan Mattingly-Arthur

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.