How to Make or Restore Wood Fence


For house owner’s who have wood fences surrounding the perimeter of your house, you should check the condition of the wood fence regularly because wood fences are vulnerable to whether elements such as sun, wind, rain, snow as well as below-ground frost and in the end it will result to rotting. You should always make sure to check on your wood fence’s condition at least once in a year and immediately repair any damage that you notice before it spreads to other area of your wood fence. Damages that occurred to one of your post could result to it pulling down the entire fence if it is not restored immediately. The important components of a wood fence include the vertical posts, rails which are attached horizontally between post to post, along with screening material like boards or pickets. It does not matter what types of wood fence that you are using, you should be able to identify each of the components used for the wood fence. Below are steps that you can learn for building a new wood fence and also tips in restoring the fences whenever it is damaged due to whether elements.

To make or restore your wood fence, you need:

  • Boards and Posts
  • Power Saw
  • Post Hole Digger
  • Paint or semitransparent exterior oil stain
  • Steel Tape
  • Marking Pencil
  • Small Axe or Hatchet
  • Gravel or Sand
  • Nails
  • Hand Saw
  • Hammer
  • Work gloves and safety glasses
  • Level
  • Ready-Mix Concrete
  • Wood Chisel
  • Tamping Rod
  • Cordless drill
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Power washer
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Caulk
  • Wood preservative
  • Exterior screws
  • Turnbuckle (optional)

Making or Restoring Wood Fence

How to Make or Restore your Wood Fence

Making Wood Fence

  • Step 1 is for you to set the spacing of your fence posts.
    • The spacing should be at least 6′ to 8′ apart of each post and this is also depending on the fence type that you are building, the surrounding terrain, and purpose for making the fence as well as other related factors.
    • Firstly, the corner or end post should be set-up. Then, you need to stretch a line starting from each corner or end post. Make sure that all the posts in between are aligned.
    • Next, drive a stake at the position (every 6′ to 8′) where you want to create the hole for your post. Ensure that you measure and position all posts accurately.
    • This is important because the fence appearance and the structural strength really depend on the proper positioning of the fence posts.
  • Step 2 is for you to set-up the fence posts. You can simply use a regular post hole digger for digging up the holes for all of your posts.
    • You need to dig the holes in a straight manner along with the appropriate depth at each of the stake marker. In order to make the post more firmly, you have to make the holes slightly larger when you reach the bottom than the size that you did on the top.
    • In order to provide drainage and avoid excessive moisture at the bottom of each hole, you need to place a large stone or two shovels full of gravel inside each of the holes and before placing the post into its exact position.
    • You can align each post by using a regular level. Once it is properly aligned, it is time for you to tamp the surface in order to pack the dirt especially around the post’s base area.
    • Make sure to allow the posts to settle firmly for several days before proceeding to install the fence onto it.

Make sure that at least 1/3 of the total length of all your wood fence posts are buried in the ground especially the corner posts as well as other posts that you intend to carry heavy weight on it or even for the posts to be able to withstand the pressure of high wind.

  • Step 3 is to add top or bottom rails to the fence posts.
    • One of the ways for installing the rails is to nail it onto the top of the fence post before joining it with another rail right at the center of the post which is common for standard types of wooden fence structures.
    • The rail can also be installed on the body of the fence post by attaching it using a groove, a wood block or even with metal bracket.
    • The joint type that you choose differs depending on the wood fence that you are making whether you want to use the lap joint, grooved joint, butt joint, mortised joint or the slotted joint.

Once you have done measuring one post, you need to cut a measuring stick to get the actual measure for each post and apply the measured stick on each of the post that you are going to make.

  • Step 4 is to choose the style of your fence such as the pre-assembled wood fencing sections or simply use recycled items to make your fence look more unique.
    • You can even add some shrubbery or plants in order to make your fence look very attractive.
    • Choose the type of fencing carefully whether you need just a simple barrier within your house perimeter, picket fences, basket weave fence, a high rise privacy wood fence, board fence or a decorative fencing type.
    • Make sure that your bottom rail are at least 2-inches above the ground in order to prevent decay problems and also easier for you to cut the grass beneath the fences.

Restoring Wood Fence

  • Step 1 is to use power washer that you connect with you garden hose together with the power washer hose.
    • Then, start the power washer’s engine and carefully begin to clean the wood fence off any dirt and grime.
    • Make sure not to erode the wood fence too deep that can damage its surface.

You can even rent a power washer but make sure that the machine operates between 1,500 or 2,000 psi and not more than 3,000 psi units. As for the spray tips, you need to use 15-degree and 25-degree types.

  • Step 2 is to recoat the wooden fence using oil stain.
    • If you notice any damaged pieces, you should try to glue them first before starting to stain them or at least 24 hours after you finished cleaning the wooden fence.
    • You can use waterproof glue and clamp as well as taping the damaged pieces firmly together.
  • Step 3 that you can do is to tighten up any loose boards by driving them using weather-resistant or stainless steel screws.
    • You have to recess the head at least 1/4 inch before filling it using a light-colored caulk.
  • Step 4 is for you to make sure that you straighten up your gates and doors by re-aligning them.
    • Sagging gates can be restored by realigning them with a turnbuckle.
  • Step 5 is to apply wood preservative with appropriate brush especially into the posts around the base area in order to avoid this vulnerable area from rotting.
  • Step 6 is to use an exterior semitransparent oil stain so that you would be able to preserve the natural color of your wooden fence.
    • The solution also helps protect the wood and at the same time allow the grain along with its color variations to show through.
    • Make sure to use oil stain that consist of ultraviolet inhibitors that can slow down any bleaching done by sunlight and also having a mildewcide that can contain the growth of fungal.
    • You must also ensure that your wood fences are dry before applying any stain on them. You should at least allow for 24 hours time frame but if your climate is cool and humid, you need to allow another 24 hours period before applying the stain.

    Always remember that whenever you want to make or even restore your wooden fence,

    • Make sure that the heads for your fence posts are rounded; capped or slanted enabling it to help you eliminate any accumulating water in future that can cause severe rotting to your wood fences.
    • Due to severe weathering throughout the year, it is expected that the finish of your wood fences would not be able to last for more than three years. You should recoat it within the period of time in order to maintain its look and lifespan.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC