Inexpensive Ways to Cover a Chain Link Fence

Chain link fences are a popular choice for property owners due to their durability, affordability, and low maintenance. However, they may lack privacy and can appear unattractive. The good news is that there are numerous cost-effective ways to cover a chain link fence and transform it into an aesthetically pleasing and private enclosure.

Benefits of Covering a Chain Link Fence

Covering a chain link fence offers numerous benefits. It goes beyond merely concealing the metal links, providing practical advantages and aesthetic improvements. Here’s why you should consider covering your chain link fence:

Enhanced Privacy:

One of the most significant advantages of covering a chain link fence is the privacy it offers. By adding a suitable covering, you create a more secluded and intimate space in your backyard. This is especially valuable if you want to enjoy outdoor activities without feeling exposed to prying eyes.

Improved Aesthetics:

Chain link fences, while functional, may not be the most visually appealing choice. Covering your fence can greatly enhance its appearance. You can choose from various materials and designs to match your property’s aesthetics, making it more attractive and welcoming.

Increased Property Value:

A well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing fence can contribute to the overall value of your property. When you invest in covering your chain link fence, you’re not only improving your quality of life but also potentially increasing the market value of your home.

Curb Appeal:

If your chain link fence faces the front of your property, it significantly impacts your curb appeal. A covered fence can make your home more inviting and visually appealing to passersby and potential buyers.


Covering your fence provides an opportunity for customization. You can choose materials, colors, and designs that reflect your personal style. This flexibility allows you to create a fence that complements the overall design of your property.

Weather Protection:

Depending on the covering material you select, your fence may also provide some protection against adverse weather conditions. For example, a mesh screen can act as a windbreak, while natural barriers like dense shrubs can offer some shelter.

Reduced Maintenance:

Covering your chain link fence can reduce the need for maintenance. The covering material can act as a protective layer, preventing the chain link itself from rusting or weathering as quickly.

Noise Reduction:

Some coverings, such as densely planted hedges, can also help dampen noise from neighboring properties or busy streets. This added tranquility can make your outdoor space more enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Material

Selecting the appropriate material for covering your chain link fence is a critical step in the transformation process. The choice of material will greatly influence the final look, durability, and functionality of your covered fence. When making this decision, consider factors such as your budget, the level of privacy you desire, and your personal preferences. Here are some cost-effective material options for covering a chain link fence:

Privacy Slats:

If enhancing privacy is a top priority, privacy slats are an excellent choice. These vertical plastic or metal slats can be inserted into the chain link mesh, providing both privacy and a solid visual barrier. Privacy slats are available in various colors, allowing you to customize the appearance of your fence.

Mesh Screens:

Mesh screens are versatile and cost-effective. They come in different densities, allowing you to control the level of privacy and wind blockage. Mesh screens can be easily attached to the chain link fence, offering an effective and flexible solution.

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Natural Barriers:

For a more eco-friendly and natural look, consider planting shrubs, climbing vines, or installing tall hedges in front of your chain link fence. These living barriers not only provide privacy but also contribute to the beauty of your outdoor space. They require some patience to grow and maintain but can be a long-term and aesthetically pleasing solution.

Recycled Materials:

Another budget-friendly option is to repurpose recycled materials. Old doors, windows, or wooden pallets can be creatively attached to the chain link fence. These recycled items can add a unique and vintage touch to your property’s exterior.

Affordable Fabrics and Tarps:

When looking for a temporary and cost-effective solution, outdoor fabrics or tarps are ideal. These materials can be easily attached to the fence and offer a variety of patterns and colors. They are also simple to replace or update if you decide to change the look of your outdoor space.

Painting or Staining:

If you want a budget-friendly option that can instantly improve the appearance of your chain link fence, consider painting or staining it. Choose colors that complement your property and give the fence a fresh and appealing look.

Hanging Decor:

To add a touch of creativity and personal style, hang decorative elements such as wind chimes, birdhouses, or hanging planters on your chain link fence. This is a simple and affordable way to make your fence more visually interesting.

When selecting the right material, keep in mind your long-term goals, maintenance preferences, and the climate of your location. Each material has its advantages and limitations, so make your choice based on what aligns best with your needs and preferences. Your selected material will play a significant role in achieving the desired outcome of your chain link fence covering project.

Privacy Options

Privacy Slats:

Privacy slats are cost-effective and easy to install. They come in various colors and styles, allowing you to customize your fence’s look while providing the privacy you need.

Mesh Screens:

Mesh screens are a versatile option, available in different densities. They offer excellent privacy and can also block the wind.

Natural Barriers:

Planting shrubs, climbing vines, or installing tall hedges can provide a natural and beautiful privacy barrier.

Aesthetic Enhancements

Painting or Staining:

One of the simplest and most effective ways to enhance the appearance of your chain link fence is by applying a fresh coat of paint or stain. This transformation can make a world of difference, giving your fence a brand-new look. Here’s how you can make the most of this option:

  • Color Choice: When selecting a paint or stain color, consider the overall aesthetic of your property. Opt for colors that complement your home’s exterior, landscaping, and any existing outdoor decor. Earthy tones, neutral shades, or vibrant colors can be used, depending on your style and preferences.
  • Preparation: Before painting or staining, it’s essential to prepare the fence. Clean the surface thoroughly, removing any dirt, rust, or peeling paint. Sand rough areas and apply a primer if necessary. This ensures that the paint adheres well and results in a smooth finish.
  • Application: Use a quality paintbrush or spray gun for an even and professional finish. Apply the paint or stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Multiple coats may be necessary for full coverage and durability.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the painted or stained fence looking its best. Inspect the fence periodically for any signs of wear, and touch up any chipped or faded areas to prevent deterioration.

Hanging Decor:

Another creative way to add personality and charm to your chain link fence is by hanging decorative elements. These accents can turn your fence into a canvas for self-expression. Here are some ideas:

  • Wind Chimes: Hang wind chimes of various sizes and materials to create a soothing and melodic backdrop for your outdoor space. The gentle sound of the chimes can add a relaxing ambiance to your garden.
  • Birdhouses: Birdhouses not only serve as delightful decorations but also provide shelter for local birds. Choose birdhouse designs that match your style, and enjoy the sights and sounds of feathered visitors.
  • Hanging Planters: Incorporate hanging planters to introduce greenery to your fence. Flowers, succulents, or herbs can thrive in these containers, adding color and fragrance to your space. Consider using a variety of planters to create an eye-catching display.
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Vine and Flower Attachments:

For a lush and natural covering, encourage the growth of climbing plants and flowers on your chain link fence. This approach adds a touch of nature to your outdoor area. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Select Climbing Plants: Choose climbing plants or vines that thrive in your local climate. Consider options like ivy, clematis, wisteria, or climbing roses. These plants are not only beautiful but also easy to train along your fence.
  • Planting: Plant the selected vines or flowers at the base of your fence. Ensure they receive adequate sunlight and water to encourage healthy growth. Use trellises or wire supports to guide the plants as they climb.
  • Maintenance: Regularly prune and care for the climbing plants to prevent overgrowth and maintain a neat appearance. Be patient, as it may take some time for the vines to cover the entire fence.

The aesthetic enhancements of painting or staining, hanging decor, and encouraging the growth of climbing plants and flowers offer a myriad of creative options to make your chain link fence more visually appealing. These additions not only improve the fence’s appearance but also create a delightful and inviting outdoor space for you to enjoy.

Budget-Friendly DIY Solutions

Reclaimed Wood or Pallets:

Use reclaimed wood or pallets to create a rustic, cost-effective fence covering. You can paint or stain them to match your style.

Recycled Materials:

Old doors or windows can be repurposed as a unique fence covering. They add a touch of vintage charm to your property.

Affordable Fabrics and Tarps:

Utilize affordable outdoor fabrics or tarps to create a temporary privacy screen. This is a great option if you want to change the look frequently.

Maintenance Tips

Regular Cleaning and Inspection:

  • Cleanliness: Regularly clean the fence covering material to prevent the accumulation of dirt, debris, or mold. Depending on the material, use a hose, a soft brush, or a cloth for cleaning. For painted or stained fences, gentle washing with mild detergent may be necessary to maintain their appearance.
  • Inspect for Damage: Periodically inspect the covering material for any signs of wear and tear. Look for tears, holes, or loose parts. It’s essential to address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Check for Rust: Examine the chain link fence itself for signs of rust or corrosion. If you notice rust, use a wire brush to remove it, and then apply a rust-resistant paint or primer to protect the fence. This will help maintain the structural integrity of the fence.

Repair or Replace Damaged Parts:

  • Patch or Replace: If you find any damage to the covering material, take action to repair or replace it as needed. Patch small holes or tears with matching material or tape, or replace sections that are extensively damaged.
  • Secure Loose Parts: If any parts of the covering are coming loose, reattach or secure them properly. Loose material can flap in the wind and cause further damage.
  • Tighten Fasteners: Check for loose screws, bolts, or clips that may be holding the covering in place. Tighten them as necessary to ensure the material remains secure.
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Maintain Climbing Plants and Flowers:

  • Pruning: If you have encouraged climbing plants or flowers to grow on your fence, regular pruning is essential. Trim overgrown branches or vines to prevent them from damaging the covering material or the fence itself.


  • Reapply Paint or Stain: For painted or stained fences, consider reapplying a fresh coat every few years or as needed to maintain the appearance and provide protection from the elements.

Preventative Measures:

  • Control Climbers: If you have climbing plants, monitor their growth to ensure they don’t overwhelm the fence covering or structure. Prune them back to maintain a healthy and well-maintained appearance.
  • Secure Hanging Decor: Check that any hanging decor is securely fastened to the fence. Strong winds or adverse weather can cause decorations to become dislodged or damaged.
  • Weather Resistance: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, consider using materials that are more weather-resistant, and be vigilant in checking for damage after severe weather events.
  • Pest Control: Inspect your fence for signs of pest infestations, such as termites or ants, and take appropriate measures to prevent or eliminate them.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure the longevity of your fence covering, keeping it in good condition and preserving its aesthetic appeal. Regular cleaning, inspection, and timely repairs will contribute to the durability and functionality of your covered chain link fence.

Safety Considerations

While transforming your chain link fence, be cautious about any sharp or protruding parts that could cause injury. If you have children or pets, ensure that the covering materials are safe for them.

Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact of your choices. Using sustainable materials or planting greenery can be an eco-friendly way to cover your fence.

Local Regulations

Before starting any fence covering project, check your local regulations and homeowners’ association guidelines. Some areas have specific rules regarding fence height, material, and appearance.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Inexpensive Ways to Cover a Chain Link Fence

How can I hide my chain link fence?

To hide your chain link fence, you can use privacy-enhancing methods like adding privacy slats, mesh screens, natural barriers like tall shrubs, or covering it with climbing plants. Each of these options provides varying degrees of concealment, so choose the one that suits your preferences and needs.

How do you cover a fence cheaply?

Several budget-friendly options are available to cover a fence inexpensively. You can consider painting or staining the fence, attaching hanging decor, using reclaimed materials like wooden pallets or old doors, or opting for affordable fabrics and tarps. These creative solutions can transform your fence without breaking the bank.

Can you put a privacy fence over a chain link fence?

Yes, you can install a privacy fence over a chain link fence. One common method is by using privacy slats or mesh screens to add a layer of privacy to the existing chain link. This solution is cost-effective and can significantly enhance the privacy of your outdoor space.

What to plant to cover a chain link fence?

If you want to use living plants to cover your chain link fence, consider options like climbing vines (e.g., clematis, wisteria, or climbing roses) or tall shrubs (e.g., holly or arborvitae). These plants can grow to provide natural coverage, adding both beauty and privacy to your fence.

How can I make my chain link fence look nice?

To make your chain link fence look attractive, you can apply a fresh coat of paint or stain, choose colors that complement your property’s aesthetics, hang decorative elements like wind chimes or birdhouses, and encourage the growth of climbing plants and flowers on the fence. These enhancements can transform your fence into a visually appealing feature of your outdoor space.

What is the best plant to cover a fence quickly?

If you’re looking for a fast-growing plant to cover your fence, consider options like trumpet vine, honeysuckle, or morning glory. These climbing plants are known for their rapid growth and can provide a lush covering in a relatively short time. However, be prepared to manage their growth, as they can become quite vigorous.


Inexpensive ways to cover a chain link fence offer a world of possibilities for homeowners. Whether you prioritize privacy, aesthetics, or both, there are creative and budget-friendly solutions available. With the right choice of material and design, you can transform your chain link fence into a stunning and private outdoor space.