How can I cover up my side fence?

Desperately need ideas to cover up my side fence.It has a very ugly sheet metal fence.I just want to cover/hide it.
Please help
My boundary side fence showing my side and the sheet metal my neighbor attached to his sidr so that he didn't have to pay half the cost to replace it
Closer look at what I have to work with
Up close look
Different perspective
Close look at the old fence
The side of my backyard
  53 answers
  • Melissa V Melissa V on Nov 20, 2016
    Hey Kimberley! Wow, I have some ancient chain link, but your neighbor is building a fortress. It looks like he started with a 4' high stretch (are you up on your tetanus shots?), then updated to a 6'-8'high SHINY fence, which, by the way is probably not to code-check with your city inspectors office. Is this a new house for you, or have you lived there awhile? Either way I think that would be step one before you spend money and effort. A couple of obvious options come to mind. We put up the premade cedar panels to hide our (now previous) neighbors junky yard ruining my efforts for a lush, private backyard. I can see you have a basic frame for a fence. We got zip ties from harbor freight and strapped those fence panels right to the fence framework-no digging, hammering, or dealing with the neighbor. Half a day and you're done! Otherwise, thought two, obviously, plant tall plants, large shrubs and spend a lot of $$$ , ⏱ & πŸ‹πŸΌ putting in the plants. Or do both πŸ˜ƒ. PS- What do you think is going on over there?πŸ‘½
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    • Melissa V Melissa V on Nov 22, 2016
      Oh Kimberley, traveling to Australia is still unchecked on my "bucket list", and I'm single, so I wouldn't take up much space (tho' I might not leave πŸ™ƒ). But that money thing is tight up here as well, that's why we're forced to be creative with our spending πŸ’Έ, right? Well, let me know how the fence issue works out.
  • Karen Morin Karen Morin on Nov 20, 2016
    Is the chain link fence on your property? My guess is that city code enforcement is the place to start. Make friends with the neighbor and follow the rules.
    • Kimberley Mouser Kimberley Mouser on Nov 20, 2016
      Fencing like this is unfortunately very common in backyards of older properties in Australia
  • Nicola Nicola on Nov 20, 2016
    Paint a mural of a beach scene or garden using spray paint.
  • Carol L Strom Carol L Strom on Nov 20, 2016
    I used white lattice, to fancy up my chain link fence.....
  • Dol7382879 Dol7382879 on Nov 20, 2016
    Trellis plants in front of it, maybe some espaliered fruit trees, some bushes & arbotvitae. Perhaps paint it a dull camo green first, to blend in.
  • Kel12841846 Kel12841846 on Nov 20, 2016
    Yikes, what an eyesore. I think Leland cypress (cheap and fast-growing is one answer. Have you ever seen Bob Ross painting on PBS or Create channels? You could use his techniques by painting the wall pale blue and, using a large brush, fill the wall with his simple (no talent required) famous fir trees. You gotta get that ugly view under control!! Good luck.
  • P.chatty P.chatty on Nov 20, 2016
    Get old baking pans spray paint them to look like flowers, etc, then get broken hoses, and then have them become the stems or leaves or go crazy with diffent colors and old metal rusted etc cooking pans or even use those plastic containers that is missing lids, etc, cut one in half, spray paint it the colors of sun set etc, I can go on and on. I hope this help
  • Jokarva Jokarva on Nov 20, 2016
    Reed fencing is cheap and too. If you're patient, planting the cypress is a more permanent fix. That really is an ugly fence.
    • Melissa V Melissa V on Nov 20, 2016
      I was just thinking the same thing. I've used that reed fencing for a headboard (to cover a bad patch on the wall that the landlady 😈 didn't feel she should repair, then used it to cover ugly wallpaper in another rental home. I haven't checked it out lately, but it used to be an inexpensive and good looking solution, even for actual fencing!!!
  • Mary Mary on Nov 20, 2016
    fabulous ideas all! I think one of the main problems is that the top of the fence is irregular. If you are able to have someone cut across and perhaps even it out a bit, or at least make sections level, then spray paint the whole this a single color, that would make a good backdrop to whatever else you do. If it is strong enough )or build supports), you can afix painted pallets that are upright on end and stacked to whatever height you have along the fence, you can build yourself a vertical garden on the cheap. There are other easy vertical garden ideas as well. Just look on you tube for how to do it.
  • Great suggestions! Although not cheap, I would buy lattice panels and install. Depending on exposure I would do a vertical garden or start DIY'ing art to randomly dress up the lattice. Then place either mulch or gravel down with stepping stones and make it a secret garden. Put a potting bench in there, a bench or chairs - whatever looks good to you and strikes your fancy! Have fun!
  • Ejp9127249 Ejp9127249 on Nov 20, 2016
    You could plant vines (flowering or not)that would completely cover the fence, depending on what kind you pick and what part of the country you're in. Hopefully the neighbor wouldn't mind if it grew over to his side.
  • Pamela S Alexander Pamela S Alexander on Nov 20, 2016
    Put up a privacy fence or make a vertical garden out of pallets-and you weren't kidding-that is an ugly fence!
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Nov 20, 2016
    Mural? Bamboo fencing? Fast growing flowering vine that is green all year? Landscaping?
  • Mary Mary on Nov 20, 2016
    Thanks Melissa!
  • Sheryle Nesbit Sheryle Nesbit on Nov 20, 2016
    Rolled bamboo blinds against fence - then plant tall grasses in front of all of it. By the time the fencing rots the grass should be tall enough to hide everything.
    • Melissa V Melissa V on Jan 26, 2017

      Just curious, where do you live Sheryle? You don't show it on your post...

      Also, did you have a solution for Kimberley?

      Thanks :-)

  • T clemens T clemens on Nov 20, 2016
    Our fence is lined with these Blue Deodor Cedars. Beautiful all year!!
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  • Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis on Nov 20, 2016
    here at pinterest lots of ides on covering your fence.
  • Ginsum Ginsum on Nov 21, 2016
    I would do a little of it all a little Bob ross as a form of tromping L'oeil for the immediate future then I would put a pergola with some flowering vines I would recommend trumpet vine or wisteria (if you were here but they may be invasive where you are, of course that might be just desserts for your neighbour) you could even break it up with a little vinette with perhaps a water garden/pond with tall grasses . . . Of course all the plants take time to fill in thus the tromp L'Oeil for something to look at first
  • Toni Bylsma Toni Bylsma on Nov 21, 2016
    We had a similar situation with our neighbor doing seriously ugly things to the fence between our back yards, so we sectioned it up, part of it we used cheap lattice with mesh rolled out behind it. Another section we staggered wood slats to make it look intentionally framed, then in last section we put tape on fence in shapes like butterflies and such and painted it a neutral dark color. When the paint dried and we removed the tape it looked great! Good luck!
  • Catherine Catherine on Nov 21, 2016
    In Texas, we would embrace it and hang all manner of things on it.
  • Renae King Estes Renae King Estes on Nov 21, 2016
    We also have an ugly fence bordering our property. It does not belong to us so I simply painted it dark grey and it really made it less noticeable.
  • Cb1922 Cb1922 on Nov 21, 2016
    Stand pallets
  • Fran. Hall Fran. Hall on Nov 21, 2016
    What about planting a tall hedge along the fence? Dwarf Burfordi Holly is a nice one that stays green in the winter and has red berries for the birds to eat.
  • Janet Janet on Nov 21, 2016
    Well if you're into street art, you can pay a couple of $$ and have some homies to comes and really decorate your side of the fence. Some of them are really talented and can add some serious design to your fence. Or even ask one of they guys / gals to design you something and get a pre-design just to check it out.
  • Susan Susan on Nov 21, 2016
    I can think of several neat things to do with this eye sore If you are into fresh greens for cooking and you have some left over evestrough(?)....simply paint the evestrough , drill a few holes add gravel and soil, hang at angles \ / \ / and voila instant herb garden over ugly fence If you have kids let them have at it with colourful paints and a variety of brushes rags and things to paint with! Bye bye ugly fence! Or if you're an artist sketch out a nice scene from a beach or whatever you like to look at.......great view no more ugly fence! Maybe spray paint it a pleasing colour and use it as a display wall for your outdoor decorations.....changing it up with the seasons maybe.......another great view and no ugly fence. Good luck!
  • D roach D roach on Nov 21, 2016
    get some living willow and plant 5 at one diagonal and the next 5 at opposite diagonal all the way along, it will cover the fence in no time, you could also use the willow to make tunnels, igloos etc.
  • Rebecca Bourke Rebecca Bourke on Nov 21, 2016
    Paint, with some beautiful scenery and you will love the look , re: jungle, rain forest, even tropical , there is a maintenance free garden and a magical fence xo
  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Nov 21, 2016
    first of all you need to paint it a dark colour that will eventually blend into the back ground. Then you just need to plant it up. You may wish to use a variety of plants - some fast growing or already established. You can also run wires from post to post and this will encourage creepers to quickly move up the fence thus allowing the growth to spread quickly. You need to visit your local garden centre to see which plants are going to do best in your climate and to determine if they are on the sunny or shady side of the property etc. But start with the fence paint and things will just start to fall into place. Looking on Garden websites and Magazines will offer some inspiration.
  • Linda Deshazier Linda Deshazier on Nov 21, 2016
    Plant climbing roses! They will soon cover it. They will be beautiful to look at, & make your yard smell heavenly!
  • Cathie Mars Cathie Mars on Nov 22, 2016
    How about putting up those long sheets of bamboo poles going lengthwise -instead of up and down.
  • James James on Nov 22, 2016
    How high is it? You could get the cedar fence boards. You should be able to screw them to the railing I see in front of the sheet metal. Stain them and it would look very nice.
  • Mari Detto Mari Detto on Nov 22, 2016
    Least expensive would be paint, so it would all be one color, or buy bamboo fencing it comes in 6' high 20' long rolls and costs under $25 or build your own fence in front of it of wood.
  • Kimberly Mair Jarvis Kimberly Mair Jarvis on Nov 22, 2016
    Stencil paint it to look like bricks or stones, or sponge paint it. Then affix planters of hardy perennials and plant climbing things in the ground. To help the climbers, run strips of chicken wire, top to bottom.
  • Cdo3692205 Cdo3692205 on Nov 22, 2016
    Plastic's cheap and looks nice.
  • Tracy Tracy on Nov 22, 2016
    Great place to add some pretty vines or metal painting all you need is magnets and create pictures weather proof of course to hang and stencil on the walls hope it helps
  • Chr11973570 Chr11973570 on Nov 22, 2016

    Bamboo sheeting. The kind you'd put around the base of a tiki bar. 6 ft tall pieces of narrow bamboo shoots strung together for fencing. Found at Home Depot etc

  • Abigail Carpenter Abigail Carpenter on Nov 23, 2016

    Maybe do something like any of these? Potted bamboo (potted because it is notoriously invasive) along the perimeter could also work. It tends to grow quickly

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    • There are varieties of "clumping" bamboo that are not invasive - and look pretty year round. Also low maintenance and water wise. Clean them up in spring and fall. Planted a row of them in a previous home. Looked great and provided the right amount of privacy.

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Nov 23, 2016

    Vines are ok but only if you can keep them trimmed. And several types die back in winter so you'd be back to same problem. Get paint and lots of it. That can hide until you get some trees going. Not sure what kind but they now have several that grow quite fast. Have you given any thought to knocking it down and selling for scrap?

    • Kimberley Mouser Kimberley Mouser on Nov 24, 2016

      Unfortunately it is a boundary fence between the property on the right and my property so if I take it down then I'm up for the full cost of replacing it

  • Oberlinmom Oberlinmom on Nov 23, 2016

    If it's yours take it down :). Painting it one color seems like the best least costly idea. I'd look into types of evergreens, a variety of shapes and sizes. Then as money and time permits look into other types of plants. You can esplanade some varieties (depends on the light of course). Art is also an idea. Think outside the box if there are styles you like you have an outdoor bonanza of space most craft shops have Stars, signs, suns, lanterns, you name it to create a theme. One of my friends has colorful plates, window frames even a bike wheel. etc. on hers. It works. An arch or pergola to support vines. One warning about the bamboo or grass fencing it's cheap and the grass type starts to mildew, if you are in a snowy state the bottom will wick up the moisture. The metal rusts and it lasts about two years max. Just something to keep in mind if you go with the very cheap versions.

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    • Lorelei Lorelei on Jan 22, 2017

      Just consider getting Leyland cypress trees. If you get them on the smaller side they aren't terribly expensive (more mature ones are). Keep them spaced because they are fast growers (a foot or more a year) and they spread out wide too. Your metal fence will be a distant memory after a few years.

  • Rene Rene on Nov 23, 2016

    Faux Vines. They come in sheets you could cover the fence with them. Amazon has them. I covered part of my fence with some.

  • Orrin Paul Shoemaker Orrin Paul Shoemaker on Nov 24, 2016

    If you can find a local artist who likes to work big you could have large, Georgia O;Keefe style, flowers painted on it. We had a large poppy and two smaller poppies painted on our garage door and we are constantly getting positive comments about it.

  • Epo13076499 Epo13076499 on Nov 24, 2016

    Plant some kind of wild vine

  • Carol Carol on Nov 25, 2016

    Plant a double row of bueberries or put in a raised bed garden for instant veggies.

  • Terre Tulsiak Terre Tulsiak on Nov 26, 2016

    I like the idea to accentuate it making it look on purpose. Frame the metal with wood

  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Jan 22, 2017

    Like Orrin, I suggest painting your fence. Get a bunch of different metal or exterior paints from the bargin bin. Ask the local high school art teacher if he/she would like the class to do a mural project along your fence. You can let them know what you want. Then you can plant some higher shrubs or trees where the fence is a little tattered. There was a person on hometalk a while back who painted huge poppies on her fence line it looked amazing. Google what you might like and see if anything inspires you. Good luck.

  • Lorelei Lorelei on Jan 22, 2017

    Painting metal - can look beautiful I'm sure and imagining a pretty floral "scene" - but what about the elements? How would it seal to keep it from breaking down from the metal heating from the sun or freezing from the cold? It is a pretty large expanse of fencing to have to "touch up."

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Jan 23, 2017

    Hey Kimberley,

    So, I thought I'd check in with my friend from down under and see how the fence ordeal has worked out for you. FYI-I am also on disability, it can make life a bit of a challenge, that's for sure πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ. Looking forward to some pictures of your summer! 😎

  • J Elaine Baker J Elaine Baker on Jan 24, 2017

    Pinterest is FULL of pictures of metal fences that have been painted to be amazing fun or even elegant artwork. That fence would be fun to do and redo every couple years ... ever bigger and more extreme ... but then that is my THING!!

  • Jeannie.mcquaid Jeannie.mcquaid on Feb 02, 2017

    Don't want to see it? Paint it camo. Then plant in front of it with plants that have different colors of foliage, varigated leaves, etc. Herb garden would serve dual purpose.

  • Inetia Inetia on Feb 03, 2017

    Bamboo fencing comes in different heights .

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  • Krista Fairbank Krista Fairbank on Oct 04, 2020

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 16, 2023

    What did you do in the end?

  • Landscape with trees/bushes and climbing plants.