Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beautify a Chain-Link Fence: Paint It Black, Or Partly Dismantle It

Here are two thoughts on how to alter the appearance of a basic chain-link fence. For once, this is not about growing plants on or around it. It's about the fence itself.

1. I came across this very unique approach in Hyde Park the other day.

A partly dismantled chain-link fence
Chain-link fences are a fact of life for many of us. Digging out the posts can be quite strenuous. The posts are sunk into concrete that has been poured very deep into the ground. Digging them up can cause plants or structures around it to collapse into any remaining holes. You could rent a metal-cutting power saw and just saw them off at the base...but you still wouldn't be able to plant anything where the concrete is.

This gardener shows how you can remove just the chain-link part of the fence. This works especially if you don't need a secure yard for a dog etc.. Then it might look like this (above and below):

These large sculptures take the place of the old chain-link mesh

I am really quite fond of the contrast (below) between the beautiful traditional garden on the right, with its trim white picket fence and tidy potted flowers, and the striking bohemian garden on the left. Both are eye-catching, and even more so for being right next to each other.

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So what else could you do with a chain-link fence to make it look a little less like... a chain-link fence?

2. You could paint it black (or green etc.). Purchasing an already black chain-link fence would be better. But I think black is within your reach if you want it. Just try to do it before your clinging vines are established. You could also use Rustoleum's Chain-Link Fence Paint to brighten a rusted silver fence back to its original, gleaming industrial shine. Your choice!

I would paint my own fence black now, but my clematis and a few other plants prevent me from doing so. I also think that if you really want it to look neat and clean in black, the fence needs to be pretty straight. If it is leaning here and there, that's where you should grow some plants!

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