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How to Inexpensively Cover a Chain Link Fence for Privacy

If you’ve ever looked at your chain link fence and thought, “Hmm, I wish I had a bit more privacy,” then you’re in absolutely the right place! I’m excited to share some super-affordable, yet creative ways to turn that wide-open fence into your own cozy, private backyard sanctuary. Whether you’re looking to block an unsightly view or to keep out the prying eyes of neighbors and passersby, I’ve got your back. Let’s take a look at these chain link fence privacy ideas that won’t break the budget and will still keep your backyard looking beautiful. 

Finding the right privacy solution for your backyard fence can be a daunting task. On one hand, you do not want to spend the money or lose the durability of a chain link fence but on the other hand, you want privacy in your backyard space. This is 100% understandable. Your backyard should be the space where you feel comfortable and where you can relax it’s really hard to do that with all the distractions that come with a wide open chain link fence. This is exactly why I came up with XX of the most inexpensive chain link fence privacy ideas. 

One thing I have yet to mention is pets. My Airedale Terrier was a barker and military housing is notorious for using chain link fences. To prevent my dog from constantly barking at every kid who walked past our yard. I had to come up with some privacy fence ideas to get some peace and quiet and to keep my neighbors from getting upset with me for ruining their peace and quiet.

Chain Link Fence Covering for Privacy

Privacy Slats Chain Link Fence

This is probably one of the most popular chain privacy ideas. Chain link fences by design allow for plastic or aluminum slats to be installed with relative ease and can make for a quick.  The slats provide a barrier between the outside world and your backyard. Slats like this provide nearly 100% privacy and are ideal for any chain link fence. These slats come in all the fencing sizes and are available in plenty of colors so you can choose the one that fits your backyard fence the best. Maintenance for the slats is pretty minimal, all they usually require is a good washing every once in a while to keep them looking good. I rented a house recently that had these installed on the fence and they worked just as designed and I certainly had no complaints.

Privacy Fabric for Chain Link Fence

This chain link privacy fabric is probably the second most popular choice. The fabric is inexpensive and readily available. It comes in a variety of colors so there is sure to be something that coordinates with your existing backyard decor. The fabric is also very durable and will last for years with little to no maintenance. The fabric is somewhat see-through so it’s not as private as the chain link fence privacy slats but is much easier to install and much cheaper as well.

Wood Fence in Front of Chain Link Fence

This is a really unique idea. I can this being a perfect fit for someone with a HOA or a home that has a chain link fence to protect little ones from a pool or pond. This could also be used if you simply just do not want to look at the chainlink fence anymore. This adds another layer of safety and security to a home so this privacy idea does double duty. Wooden fences do not come cheap. I had a wood fence go down in a hurricane before and was quoted over $1,000 to repair it. From what I have gathered a newly installed wood fence can cost anywhere between $5,000 – $20,000 depending on the size. On top of the cost to install the maintenance costs can be just as expensive. I am not sure I would recommend this idea primarily due to the costs associated with installation.

Decorative Chain Link Fence Privacy Covering

I truly love this idea and am not sure it’s something I have seen before. It may not be the most private idea but it does provide some privacy. What it lacks in privacy it makes up for in style and beauty. The designs are absolutely beautiful and would make for a great addition to any backyard fence. This artist seems to be based in the UK but I am sure you could find someone local to you to complete a similar project.

Faux Greenery for Chain Link Fence Privacy

Fake greenery attached to a chain link fence is not only cheap but it looks great and provides tons of privacy which is probably what you are most looking for. This idea is ideal if you’re looking for a more natural look (but do not have a green thumb) while still blocking the view of your backyard from nosy neighbors. You can purchase the faux greenery in large rolls online or from big box home improvement stores. It simply attaches to your existing chain link fence with either zip ties or metal wire. It’s super easy to maintain, simply clean it every once in a while and reattach any parts that may have come loose. This appears to be pretty durable too so will last for many many years.

Stones and Rocks for Privacy

Rocks used to add privacy to a chain link fence

This is the most laborious of the chain link fence privacy ideas, but it is also one of the most beautiful. It may not be possible in all situations to implement this idea but it does provide maximum  privacy for your backyard.

Ivy Covering a Chain Link Fence for Privacy

Obviously, this idea is similar to faux ivy except this is real ivy. Perfect if you are looking for a natural and organic look for your backyard and you happen to have a green thumb. The ivy will grow and cover your chain link fence providing ample privacy while still allowing light to filter through. This option does require some patience as the ivy will take time to grow and fully cover the fence, but it is definitely worth the wait. Maintenance is no different than any other live plant, simply water the vines it a few times a week and trim it when it becomes out of control.

Bushes in Front of a Chain Link Fence

Again this is similar to a few other chain link covering ideas. The difference here is that you can simply place large bushes in front of the chain link fence to provide privacy for your backyard. I love the idea of bushes in front of a chain link fence. I am just not sure I am patient enough to wait many years for the shrubs and hedges to grow and make it truly private.

Bamboo Covering a Chain Link Fence for Privacy

This is another great way to cover your chain link fence and add in some much-needed privacy for your backyard. The bamboo screens will not only provide privacy but it adds a tropical vibe to your backyard.  Bamboo mats are super easy to install onto your fence simply use metal wire or some other fasteners to tie the bamboo mats onto the fence. Since bamboo is a natural material it does tend to degrade over time so it certainly won’t last forever but it does last 4-5 years and is relatively inexpensive so it can easily be replaced when its life span is over. As far as privacy coverage bamboo mats provide about 90% coverage. That’s a decent amount for the cost. You could certainly do worse than using bamboo for your chain link privacy.

Chain Link Fence Privacy Things to Consider


Price, for most people, is the primary consideration for most things. However it is important to remember that the upfront costs can be deceiving. The cost of maintenance and how long the privacy fence lasts should be considered when selecting the right privacy option for your backyard.

Ease of Installation

Some of these ideas require a professional for installation whereas others can be done by anyone with even the most basic DIY skills. Keep in mind that hiring a professional to install your privacy fence will add to the overall cost, but will certainly make it easier on you.


As mentioned before, some privacy options may be cheaper upfront but could end up costing more in the long run due to maintenance costs. It’s important to consider how often you will need to maintain or replace your chosen privacy option.


Maintenance may not be a top priority when selecting a privacy option, but it’s an important factor to consider. Some options require little to no maintenance while others may require regular and routine upkeep.


Last but certainly not least, the appearance of your privacy fence should be taken into consideration. It’s important to choose an option that will not only provide privacy, but also enhance the overall aesthetic of your backyard. Consider the style and design elements that are most important to you when deciding your fencing option.

Chain Link Fence Privacy Ideas Conclusion

As you can see there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to add privacy to your chain link fence. From simple fabric options to more unique and decorative ideas, you can choose the option that best fits your budget and design style. So don’t let that unsightly chain link fence deter you from enjoying your backyard, tryout one of these privacy solutions!  

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