Split-rail Fence, Jack Fence, or White Picket Fence
A split-rail fence is the most readily available rustic-looking fence type. Split-rail fences are easy to build, and you can source the material readily or have it installed. The biggest downside is that they create more of a visual boundary than a physical boundary. Pets and children can often get through them without much trouble.
If you’d like to build a DIY garden fence for looks, consider filling in sturdy fence posts and cross pieces with two to three-inch diameter branches. The slight variations in size, straightness, and height can help you achieve a rustic, enchanting look.
A jack fence is the quintessential rustic ranch fence look. You wouldn’t want to install one unless you had a large yard because the fence is about three feet wide. You don’t need to dig post holes for a jack fence, so you can build one on nearly any type of terrain.
While white picket fences are anything but rustic, a natural wood picket fence lends a rustic charm to a yard. A fence will look more rustic if it’s made of unpainted wood.
Create a Whitewash Effect
If you’re working with a wooden fence, one of the best ways to make it look rustic and aged would be to create a whitewash effect. You basically create a mixture of white paint and water to create a thinner coating. Paint all over the fence and let it dry.
That thinner coat allows the wooden surface to come out a little bit, so you have that older, rustic feel. This is also the easiest way that makes use of fewer materials.
Incorporating Reclaimed Wood
Making a fence look rustic can have two parts to it. If you want to start from the beginning, you can use reclaimed wood. Be forewarned that this will be difficult to maintain, and you’ll likely need to replace it often.
If you’re not interested in this option, you can use stains after the fact. Use a dark stain and a paintbrush you don’t mind ruining. Dry brush the stain on the wood in patchy streaks and use a rag to rub off any excess. If you want a fence that takes on that aged, gray look, use white stain.
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