How to Make a Shadow Board Fence


A shadow board fence is a decorative way to provide privacy. Not only does a fence add property value but it also is a classic backdrop for landscaping. This attractive fence also allows air flow in the fenced area. When properly installed, a privacy fence requires little upkeep. Traditional privacy fences are 6 feet high, with three rows of stringers. Installing a shadow board fence requires few tools and little time.

Things You'll Need

  • Auger or post-hole digger
  • Gravel or sand
  • Garden stakes
  • Twine or string
  • Quick-drying concrete
  • 4-by-4-inch wooden fence posts
  • 2-by-4-inch wooden boards (for stringers and bracing boards)
  • Wooden fence pickets
  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Power saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Mower or weed eater
  • Spray paint
  • Level


  • Map out the area. Mark on the map where the fence will be. Avoid crossing large downhill areas.

  • Clean up the area, making sure are no briers or bushes are in the way. Mow or chop down grass.

  • Put garden stakes around the property. Run string or twine along the stakes to be sure they are straight. This will be the guide for the fence.

  • Measure along the stakes. Use spray paint to mark every 8 feet. This is where the posts will be.


  • Dig holes about 3 feet deep where the spray paint is. Put gravel or sand in the bottom of the holes. This helps with drainage. Starting at a corner, place a post in the hole. Pour concrete around the post. Nail bracing boards to the posts to keep them straight. Continue placing posts, giving them 24 hours to dry.

  • Run string evenly to each post. Cut off tops of posts evenly. Mark lines on the posts for the stringers.

  • Starting at the bottom, nail the stringers to the posts. Be sure they are level and equal distance apart.

  • Nail the pickets to the stringers. The pickets must be equal distance apart. Nail the pickets in the space on the opposite side.

  • Remove string and cut off the remaining stringers. Pick up any excess wood and nails.

Tips & Warnings

  • An assistant helps with fence installation.
  • Use a high-quality outdoor stain for a longer-lasting fence.
  • Wear safety protection to operate power tools.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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