If you are still “on holidays” and wanting to make a serious impact on your front facade, maybe a gate makeover is what you need.
Simply updating your fences and gates can help you gain some extra value for your home. I have a gate idea…I just wanted to say that.
Easy Gate Makeover
IF you have some sad looking side or front entrance gates, it’s actually quite easy to revamp them over a short time. Timber can be sourced from any timber yard but we all know that Bunnings
is always open around the holidays. Like a trusty friend. On trend is vertically slatted fences and my special favourite, in natural hardwood or painted black. There’s something architectural about them, don’t you think?
Materials I used
4mm timber drill bit
18 x 42mm screening merbau (packs of 2.7m lengths)
4mm Metal drill bit
A packet of 30mm 10g exterior timber screws
#10 Smartbit countersinking bit (came with weak drill bit that we broke 4 times before switching our method- see below)
paint brush, level,string-line, measuring tape and personal protection (glasses/muffs/dust mask).
Rust-Oleum 2x Black Matt Spray Paint
Exterior paint (Solargard and Valspar = my favs) or decking oil (Cabot’s) to finish
Method (I’m no carpenter)
- First, remove any existing cladding from the gate frame. It could be nailed, screwed or in my case, had galvanised shed panels pot riveted on. They had to be drilled out with a metal drill piece slightly larger than the rivet (eye protection and gloves – creates tiny steel shards).
2. Using a level and a tape measure, check to see that the gate frames are square and level by measuring the top and bottom sections on a vertical and horizontal plane.
3. I attached 3 timber horizontal rails to the gate frame (top,middle,bottom) to make it easier to screw in the new fence slats (timber to timber, not timber to steel). This center rail is necessary to bend any warped boards straight (pretty much all of them!). We simply used extra pieces of Merbau for the rails.
4. Paint the frame and new rails in a fresh coat of paint. (I used Rust-Oleum Matt Black spray paint).
5. I set up my first slat at the gate openings, levelled, with clearance to the bottom (about 70mm) and the slats were 1350mm long. Be sure to check the gate opening and closing widths leaving 5-10mm.
6. Once the first slat was level, I clamped in to the rails and drilled 3 times. One was the wood drill, second was counter sinking, third was the screw. Without pre-drilling Merbau, the boards will split.
7. I used two off cuts of timber as spacers and they were about 6mm thick. This ended up being a two person job, because someone is needed to hold the spacers and the other to level and screw in the slats.
8. We ran a string-line from the top of the 1st gate slat to another we tacked on about 100mm from the opposite end. The middle rail was screwed in last and was squashed straight using the spacers.
Basically, this is how the rest went on. Space, space, hold, level, drill, drill, screw.
- It’s easier if you can take the gates off the hinges and lay them flat.
- Timber is sometimes 20mm or so longer than the advertised length. Check this before you cut and fix anything.
- Make sure you buy EXTERNAL screws. They are galvanised, stainless or powder-coated.
I have been SLOWLY renovating this house with my husband and like most people, we kinda ran out of resources when bubba came along. BUT, we are still going. So, this current project is about the gates. They were original clad in old shed steel. (ew, I know!)
Here is the progress on them thus far.
All I need to do now I decide whether to oil it natural or paint it black.
And yes, if you are observant, there is a very dodgy carport in the background that is about to be taken down!