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In our back yard we have a 4' high chain link fence between us and our neighbors. We are looking for ways to cover it up as it is unsightly. There is a (currently empty) flower bed that runs along the length of the fence. We have looked online and one suggestion was to make wooden panels and hang them over the fence using U-bolts. We like this idea as we can get a fence without having to dig post holes etc. As we plan on putting plenty of plants in front of the fence, it won't be so visible and we're hoping to get away with cheap materials. Assuming that the neigbors are OK with it, my question is what type of wood to use.

I have seen these at HD: 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Whitewood Ledger Board which look like they have potential. Will these boards hold paint? How long will they last? Is it a false economy to use them?

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That sort of wood is meant for "throwaway" uses like building shuttering to pour concrete. As the web page says it is "not for meant for permanent installation."

Aside from probably being poor quality wood that will easily warp and crack, it will not have had any treatment against rot or other pests and diseases.

If you want to do a "proper paint job" with primer, 2 or 3 undercoats and top coat (sanding it down to clean it before you start, and again after each coat of paint) I wouldn't expect to get more than 5 years before it starts to fall apart, and maybe only 2 or 3 depending on your climate.

Personally I would plant some quick growing climbing plants that will grow up the chain link without any extra support, and within a couple of years you won't see the fence at all. For example clematis montana (or other clematis species, but not hybrid clematis that need pruning!) , virginia creeper (for autumn colour), honeysuckle, star jasmine, etc.

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  • Thank you for your answer. They also have weeds and ivy growing in their side. I thought a fence of some kind might mitigate the extent to which they will infiltrate our side. Will climbing plants prevent the weeds? – Chesterfield Jun 30 '20 at 18:03

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