Outdoor Facelift; Cover Unsightly Fencing

Simple ideas for covering up colourbond and other fencing:

In Australia, colorbond fencing has reached epidemic proportions. It’s sturdy, it’s functional… but it’s not so pretty! We have some quick and inexpensive ways of covering it up. You can easily transfer these ideas to any fencing that is not a pretty site. Apartment dwellers can use these ideas on balconies and courtyards.

Our favourite solution is to plant a vine over unsightly fencing. Try Star Jasmine, which is a very hardy and fast growing vine. It’s not an instant result, bit it is the most cost-effective and softening look. It has really lovely and glossy dark green leaves throughout the year and in summer there is an abundance of white, starry, flowers, that will waft a beautiful jasmine scent around your outdoor space.


To get this look going, drill some small holes in a vertical row in either side of the panel you want to cover and create a lattice weave over your fence with some fishing wire. The wire is great because it’s tough, wont heat your plant in summer and is virtually invisible. Choose as mature a plant as you can afford so you can kick-start the process instead of waiting years on a seedling. Plant your Jasmine in the corners where the two fence edges meet and as it grows, start weaving it around the fishing wire till you have the coverage you want. In summer, the vine will take off by itself and you’ll find yourself weaving it into place quite often.

If you want something a little faster, then head to your garden supply store (we went to Bunnings). Get a roll of twig, bamboo or wicker fencing (these usually come in 180cm tall rolls that are perfect height and width for standard colorbond fencing panels).  The store should also have a wire attachment kit so even a novice can attached it.

Art is not just for indoors, you can easily inject your outdoor space with a little personality and charm but adding a few lanterns, clustering some pot-plants together (we love cacti and succulents because they are virtually indestructible), and hang a piece of focal art to complete your outdoor space.

We wanted our outdoor area to have an exotic sense of serenity so we opted for a Balinese themed feature. We didn’t need to look far for inspiration as we found a great faux sandstone plaque for just $25 at Bunnings. To make it a little more of a feature we painted a piece of outdoor plywood in a dark grey-blue coloured outdoor plaint called ‘ironstone’ and mounted the plaque to the plywood for a lovely contrast. Instead of a plaque, you could use any weather-proof item like a metal candle holder or lantern on a plywood panel. Then, get a metal hook and fix the plywood to the top of the colorbond over the twig fencing panel.


Remember to reuse and re-purpose what you can before you buy new. For example, the lanterns we used outside were indoor lamps that we didn’t have a place for anymore. Sure, they’ll rust a little in the weather, but we think that will add to the charm. Plants like succulents can be easily snipped and replanted and you can get many new plants from just one. Again, we just planted our succulents in old vases and candle holders that were no longer being used. The plywood was lying around in our garage from another project, but if you don’t have any lying around then you may want to check out your local hardware store for any off-cuts that they may be throwing away and save them from becoming landfill.

Leave no fence uncovered!


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