How To Create a Floating Cedar Wood Slat Fence – Step-By-Step Tutorial

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A refreshed front garden design with Japanese Maple Shrubs

The front of the house needed an update. See before pictures for THE most embarrassing before pictures EVER, it wasn’t very pleasant to come home to this to say the least.
Our budget was limited for this project but we still wanted to achieve an aesthetically acceptable front garden so we kept it super simple.

front garden

Let me go through the thinking process, the planning, and the execution. If you are interested in doing something similar right now, jump to the planning and execution part!

Our brief/thinking process

We decided to keep the brick wall, repair it to the best of our abilities knowing that it is an old wall probably the original from 1910! However, instead of keeping the old iron horizontal bars, we decided to get rid of them and replace it with a more modern Horizontal  Cedar Wood Slat Fence. We liked that wood typically brings a warm and natural aspect to a decor.

Another aspect worth mentioning is because the masonry wall is old and dated, its structure wouldn’t have probably hold properly new iron bars. As a result, instead of securing the horizontal slat fence to the brick wall post, we decided to secure it against the top of the wall which hasn’t previously been used for drilling, a bit more about that in the execution part.

We added a spare cedar wood slat in the back to secure the shrub pot

After the structural dilemmas, I had to think about colour scheme and for the front yard or garden, I wanted to keep it more traditional than the back garden (i chose a muted neutral colour mood board) and pleasant for everyone. Afterall, a lot of people pass in front of the house and I wanted a style that most people would appreciate. I choose a White colour for the masonry paint, which gives a fresh and clean look, it reminds me of Mediterranean gardens as well where white paint is often used (look for Santorini Greece or clickhere for google image results).

We found inspiration on Pinterest and lifestyle magazines 🙂 here is a few of our inspiration: Image1, 2and3 from my Pinterest board here

For the wood paint, I went with a dark wood stain which immediately waterproof the wood and gives a distinct dark aspect. The wood already came pre-treated against rot see below for more about the wood we choose. You may prefer a lighter colour so i’d recommend having a think of the stain because unstaining to change colour is difficult and time-consuming if you aren’t sure between two stains pick up the bright colour. This is because like a hair colour dye, from a lighter colour, you can go darker by painting on top, but you can’t go from a dark colour to a lighter colour without some serious wood stripping!


Tools needed:

  • Cordless drill / screw driver
  • Level
  • Manual Saw for wood

Items needed (click links for image and more info):


Make sure it is a dry day. If you are like us, you will need 2 days to complete this project.

  • Clean the existing wall with a pressure washer (we used this one). This will remove all dirt and help for next stages. Let it dry
    • Correct any defect of the masonry with the Mortar mix. Let it dry
    • Paint the wall in the colour of your choice. Let it dry
  • Verify what distance you want to fix the post at and saw them to the right dimension. Here, we wanted them to be flush with the brick posts and have a small space to create a floating effect.Drill and Screw the posts
    • Once the posts are in, we added a slate wood in front of the post so that the slat fence was flush with the brick wall. Once stained you can barely notice it, plus it gives a bit more room for flower pots to be placed on the brick wall.
After installation of the posts, drill holes and screw the slats
Post are in place, now attaching the first slat
  • Now you will need to decide the space between each slats, we just use a cut of a slat and determine the thinner side would be the thickness. every time we put a new slate, we firmly hold the cut off underneath the one already screw in, then mark holes, pre-drill the holes, placed the slate again and screw it through.
  • You can go thinner, just remember that wood expands with temperature changes so careful not to make it too thin as there is a risk of cracks to the wood.

Once every cedar slats were in place, all we needed was to stain the wood.

We choose to place Japanese Maple Shrubs behind the slates as their fine leaves will hopefully grow around the slats. Those shrubs like the shade so it is great that the slats will provide naturally additional shade. Mindful!

Hope you enjoyed this DIY Tutorial,

Save any picture you like on Pinterest using the left bar and share it if you enjoyed it.

Good luck with your project!

Thank you for reading,

Disclaimer: We are not housebuilders just motivated homeowners… in doubt always talk to professionals.

Before pictures below