Asked on Dec 1, 2013

What is the best privacy screen for an existing chain link fence??

JustfixitDfmAnna Picket


I am searching for the best option to add a privacy screen to my chain link fence.
I already have shrubs in front of it.
However, these shrubs were planted last year and will take some time (a couple of years) to fill in and grow. They are Forsythia shrubs.
They loose their leaves in fall/winter.

I have an existing Chain Link Fence.
Length = 150 ft.
Height = 6 ft.
color = Black
It is 2" mesh with 9 gauge wire.
It is for a residential back yard
It is in Northern NJ
We receive a lot of storms (NorEasters) with high winds.
I am trying to research all choices....
such as:
mesh privacy screen
slats (hedge link)
rolled bamboo
The main goal is privacy. and want an option that will last a long time.
But I don't want to attach something that will fall down in the next storm or put
extra stress on the existing fence.
But, I also would like it to look nice too.
What do you think would be the best choice for this application??
Any ideas/comments/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you.
15 answers
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim
    Tanya Peterson Felsheim
    on Dec 1, 2013

    I think the slats would be the ones best to hold up to storms....and you can remove them when you have your other items growing up if you dislike them.

  • Mikell Paulson
    Mikell Paulson
    on Dec 2, 2013

    That was also what I would suggest. Getting the slats that weave into the fence links!

  • Leona G
    Leona G
    on Dec 2, 2013

    You might want to try Silver Thorn, Elaeagnus pungens for a hedge instead of the forsythia plants. Silver thorn grows quickly, is evergreen and blooms a couple of times a year though the flower is very small they smell wonderful. Growth habit is like the forsythia. You could even alternate the plants if you are wanting the forsythia for spring flowers

  • Neila Cornelius
    Neila Cornelius
    on Dec 2, 2013

    We used chain link fencing around our pool some years ago, and was faced with the same situation. My husband had used wood poles between each section of fence and then nailed a board between each pole at the top and bottom of each section, We took nylon webbing, the kind used to replace the worn out webbing in the older type lawn chairs, and wove it in and out of the chain link. We tacked the bottom and top to the wood boards with a staple gun after folding the webbing over itself at each end. Since I doubt you have used wood at your installation, you could maybe staple or rivet the webbing to itself top and bottom. We had this installed for 2 or 3 years, and was still in excellent condition when we sold the house. Time consuming, but much less expensive than the slats.

  • All great answers. For a quick fix try using a burlap material that can be sewn onto the fence. It will only last about one year until it drys out and falls apart. You can paint or stain it any color you like. You can pick this material up at most fabric stores. Another method is canvas, but more expensive and must be fastened on well as it will act like a sail when the wind blows.

  • E
    on Dec 2, 2013

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. removing the existing shrubs and planting others is not an option right now. using wood poles and board is also not an option. I am considering the privacy slats, but Has anyone using the privacy screens? or the rolled bamboo/rolled reeds??

    • Jeanne Tomassi Shine
      Jeanne Tomassi Shine
      on Jul 27, 2020

      I have. Works awesome. Then, so when the wind blows, I put heavy duty velcro down each post since the screen comes in 50 foot length and 6 feet high (that’s what I bought). I used gorilla glue on top of the Velcro glue and .. cont.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt
    on Dec 2, 2013

    @Barb Rosen has a great post on using rolled bamboo to beautify a chain-link fence:

    • Jeanette S
      Jeanette S
      on Dec 2, 2013

      @Douglas Hunt I saw this when she posted it. You can actually get plastic bamboo and it will last longer.

  • Sheer Serendipity
    Sheer Serendipity
    on Dec 2, 2013

    I have seen rolls of bamboo fencing attached to chain link fences and it really looks nice, gives privacy and not expensive. My neighbor used tie wrap to attach the bamboo to the fence.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S
    on Dec 2, 2013

    I would suggest you get plastic lattice and use wire ties to attach it to the fence. If your fence if 4' tall, you can attach it with the 8' horizontal. You can then use this later. It comes in various colors. I think I would choose green.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide
    Lauren of Mom Home Guide
    on Apr 14, 2014

    I like the lattice idea. I have been thinking of using that. Previously, I put up a 100-foot-long fence tarp on my fence, which did wonders for privacy! But my husband doesn't want me to put it up this year, because he says our skip laurels (that we planted for some privacy in front of the fence) doesn't get the western sun when the tarp is up, and he thinks they don't do as well when the tarp is up. Now, we don't have privacy anymore! You can see my tarp (and the skip laurels) on my Hometalk page. Good luck!

  • Carolyn Atkinson
    Carolyn Atkinson
    on Apr 28, 2015

    You cannot go cheaper than putting up a tarp.

  • Linda Michalovic
    Linda Michalovic
    on Jun 25, 2015

    4'x50' Black Fence Privacy Screen Windscreen Mesh Fabric Cover Slat Garden Yard I bought this from amazon it worked very well

  • Anna Picket
    Anna Picket
    on Feb 23, 2016

    Some people have vinyl slats woven into their chain link fences to add more privacy. It can look fairly nice if it's done right. I've also seen people install a solid fence against it to add another layer. If push comes to shove and you don't like those ideas, I suppose it wouldn't be that hard to replace the fence completely with something that would offer more privacy.

  • Dfm
    on Mar 11, 2016

    have you seen the folding outdoor chairs with the webbing wove seats? the webbing also comes in packages usually used to repair those chairs. you can use that webbing and weave in pattern on a chain link fence.

  • Justfixit
    on Apr 9, 2016

    In France they used rolled bamboo a lot on their patios and I liked the look of it.

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