How to Build Horizontal-Slat Fence Designs

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Most wooden fences are laid out with vertical boards on the frame. You can change things up and make your fence more visually interesting by changing the orientation of the wood slats and by creating different designs with the wood. This is accomplished by varying the size of the slats used as well as using a different coloration for the boards. This project does not require any previous experience in woodworking and can be completed in a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 wood boards
  • Circular saw
  • Wood stain
  • Wood weatherproofing sealant
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Create the frame for the panel with 2-by-4 boards. Instead of two horizontal boards for the frame, you will need three vertical boards. Decide how wide and how high you want the fence panel to be. For example, a privacy fence panel is usually 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. Cut the 2-by-4s to fit with a circular saw. Lay them down on a flat work surface.

  • Prepare the wood slats for the fence. If you will be using differing widths for the boards, cut 2-by-4s into varying widths. For example, one board can stay at 4 inches wide, while every other board can be cut to 2 inches wide. Use a circular saw to trim the wood to your desired width.

  • Stain the wood for the fence in different colors. For example, you could vary every other board with a natural stain and a dark-brown stain. Paint on the wood stain with the grain of the wood and let it dry for at least four to six hours. Apply a coat of wood sealant to the wood to protect it from the elements.

  • Assemble the fence panel. Once the wood is finished to your liking, lay the wood slats across the vertical frame. You can leave a small space between each board, or stack them right against one another. Use a cordless screwdriver and wood screws to attach each slat to the vertical framing wood. The panel is now ready to be installed.

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