• Hometalker
  • Rathdrum, ID

Add Shiplap to Your Fence for Strength and Beauty!

7 Materials
3 Hours

We have a nice sized, fenced back yard. Our fencing is wood - weathered wood. I love the look of our fence! Over the years, we have replaced many of the boards and those we have not replaced, we have nailed and screwed in several times. The posts are still nice and solid so we haven't felt the need to replace the fence yet. Our neighbors to the South and West of us have large dogs, 3 to the South and 2 to the West. One day a couple of years ago, I was weeding along the South fence when one of the dogs to the South must have gotten spooked and charged the fence. Since the fencing is older, the plank right by my face came loose and I was staring into very large teeth as the dog was trying to come all the way through the fence to get to me. I knew it was time to do something to add strength to the fence.

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

Our beautifully weathered fence

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

 I thought that if I bought some boards and screwed them along the bottom of the fence, it would prevent the boards from falling down and also keep the dogs from being able to push them from the other side. I went to Home Depot to see what my options were. The fence posts are 8' apart so I was looking for 8' boards. I decided to get shiplap instead of plain boards. I bought 14 of them and brought them home.

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

 My initial idea was to just use the shiplap along the bottom of the fence but then decided to add them along the top of the fence too. I installed the bottom ones along this fence line before deciding to paint the wood. 

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

As I was installing the shiplap at the top of the fence, I thought it looked unfinished with just the top and bottom rails so I bought cedar fence planks to attach to and cover each fence post. This time, I painted the wood before installing it. Two coats on each piece.

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

While installing the shiplap to the fence posts, I discovered that the posts were not spaced exactly at 8'. That meant that there were gaps between the pieces of shiplap where they were attached to the posts. Although the fence is old and weathered, I couldn't leave it looking tacky with those gaps. I decided to cover them with pieces of wood. To add interest to the fence, I installed solar lights on the 1" x 6" pieces of board on every other post.

add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty


  • Apply two coats of paint on all boards
  • Cut decorative plaques from the 1" x 6" board to the size that works for your fence. Mine are 6" x 6" and 6" x 9"
  • Install shiplap with screws along the top and bottom of the fence
  • Install fence boards to each post using screws
  • Attach the U holders to the small decorative plaques

  • Center the holders on the plaquePlace the holders 1" from the top and 1" from the bottomAttach with small screws
  • Install decorative plaques on the posts where the shiplap boards meet
  • Place solar lights into the U holders on the plaques
add shiplap to your fence for strength and beauty

There are more pictures on the link with additional information on the process. The cost and time spent is per section of fence so your cost will vary depending on how much fencing you are working with. Also, I had the paint & solar lights already so that cost is not included in the amount shown. I updated 25 sections of the fence and used 12 solar lights. The wood for my project was around $500.  The peace of mind it gives me - PRICELESS!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Bry
    on Jun 6, 2019

    Your fence looks amazing now. What color paint did you use? I really like it.

    • Jeanne
      on Jun 6, 2019

      Sorry for the late response, just getting home to look since I couldn't remember the name. I took pics for you too.

      Olympic Assure in Deep Emerald on the boards and Olympic Assure in Tahitian Treat for the accent boards.

  • Itsmemic
    3 days ago

    shiplap ws less costly than plain planks? Going to have to check that out. I too have an older stockade fence with rotted bottoms on some. As we have 2 chihuahuas I am always afraid they will find a spot. Now? I'll fix them !! Thanks for a great idea and look...fence will have new life !!

    • Jeanne
      30 minutes ago

      Sorry for the late reply. I actually think plain boards were about a dollar less but I liked the look of the shiplap.

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