Amidst a busy summer, Lee and I recently found ourselves with a very rare weekend dedicated solely to working on the house. With much of the interior projects being long-term and rather extended, we were eager for some improvement projects we could take on start-to-finish in one weekend, and boy were we thrilled with the results! I decided to share a tutorial on how we constructed our DIY lattice privacy screens on a budget.
Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, our primary project was a DIY privacy screen for the backyard. Having a new puppy (Ace) means safety in the yard is now a top priority for us. This privacy screen will serve our garden by protecting our lovely peonies from the elements, and act as a fence to keep Ace from curiously wandering the neighborhood. Jessica over at Four Generations One Roof had a great beginner-level tutorial featuring a project very similar to what we had in mind. With some slight tweaking based on our particular needs, we were able to put her tutorial to good use! Thanks, Jessica!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1in x 4in pine boards 8 ft long (6 boards needed per 4ft x 8ft panel; 12 total for our 2-panel project)
1 large box stainless steel 8 x 1 5/8″ screws
4ft x 8ft privacy diamond lattice
Saw (or, have the store pre-cut the pine boards for you)
4 Steel U-posts
First off, we measured the area in the yard we wanted to visually “fill”. We have a large garden in the corner of our backyard that is fairly exposed to the neighboring yards and, if you look just right, through to the road in the subdivision.
This opening really isn’t much of a problem, we simply saw it as an area of improvement for the atmosphere of our backyard space. After measuring, we decided that two 8ft screens placed next to one another should suffice. Then, short supply list in hand, we were off to Home Depot!
We used 1×4 pine boards for the frame, and vinyl lattice privacy screens for the centers, both of which are sold in 8ft lengths, like an adorable match made in heaven. I knew I didn’t want to spend my time painting tedious lattice slats, so we went with the vinyl as it’s more durable, easily washable, pre-color tinted, and offers a low-maintenance lifespan. Easy decision! We also planned on white, but I’ll admit, I questioned whether or not we should explore some creative coloring once we arrived at the store and saw what options are available – there are some cute color combos and unique wood staining options if you’re up for the challenge! We however, were not. We were all about finishing this project in one weekend for instant gratification and resolution. So, white on white it was!
Let me start by saying, this project is incredibly straightforward and totally beginner friendly. The starting steps of the project are simply: assemble your panels! To create each panel, we laid out one sheet of vinyl privacy lattice, placed four 8ft lengths of 1in x 4in pine boards along the longest sides of the lattice- one on top of the lattice and one right underneath, and then screwed the two boards together. You are essentially sandwiching the lattice between the lengths of pine boards, creating a frame. This is going to give you the optimal amount of stability and structure, which ensures your project stays looking its best for years to come.
Before you start screwing things together, keep in mind that you will likely have one “good side” of your project. Or, one side that will be viewed by you and your visitors most often. This is the side on which you do not want screws showing, and will need to be face down as you assemble your project. The backside, or side into which you’ll insert your screws, will be face up as you’re assembling.
We were generous with our stainless steel screws for two reasons 1) they’re stainless steel decking screws and they don’t rust 2) we tried as often as possible to screw through a lattice slat as we were fastening the two boards together so that not only were the boards holding up the lattice sheet, but the screws were keeping it in place as well.
Once the top and bottom boards were in screwed place, we double checked the length of the space for sides (adjusting minimally for imperfections and warping boards) and cut two of the 8ft long 1in x 4in boards down to size, repeating the sandwiching technique, and screwed them into place along the sides of the lattice panel.
Our particular project was going to find its home in our garden, and thus needed something to keep it in place. Without a pre-existing structure to fasten it to, we made our own. We purchased four steel u-posts, pounded them securely into the ground until they felt stable, and fastened the frame of our panels to the posts with screws straight through the post and into the backside of the panel (where all the other screws are visible) on the now vertical 4ft sides.
For extra stability, we took scrap cuts from the 1in x 4in boards we cut earlier and screwed them into the backside of both panels, securing one panel to the other so that they formed one long unit versus two independent units. Then, we spray painted the frame with white exterior spray paint to match the white vinyl lattice, and voila! We were finished!
Two other projects we completed that weekend involved a bird bath makeover, and a refinished desk! With a little sanding, scrubbing, and paint, we gave two old items new life and hope to enjoy them for years to come.