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What are the Different Options for Wood Fence Pickets?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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Wood fence pickets come in a variety of styles to fit the aesthetics of any type of yard. They can be painted or stained, they can be slats of the same height or different heights, or they can be simple, flat-topped pickets or decorative, Gothic-style pickets. While traditionally wood fence pickets were simply designed and painted white, other varieties have sprouted up over the years to add more flare and to highlight the beauty of a yard. One can choose from elaborately carved pine wood fence pickets, simply designed cedar pickets, or even composite wood fence pickets that are water resistant.

Any wood fence pickets can be cut to different heights to change the overall appearance of the fence. Cutting the middle pickets in a panel, for example, while leaving the outlying pickets tall will create a valley between posts. The overall look of the fence will appear wavy. The pattern can be reversed as well, with the center pickets being taller than the outlying pickets. The width of the individual wood fence pickets will also have an impact on the aesthetics of the fence, as wider pickets will look drastically different than narrower ones.

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The choice of wood is also important. Cedar pickets are perhaps the best choice of material, since cedar is naturally resistant to moisture, rot, and bug infestation. Cedar requires no staining, and though it can be painted, cedar is a naturally beautiful wood that looks great without any paint or stain. After several years, cedar can fade in the sun and may need to be stained or painted, and the initial cost of cedar fence pickets is higher than other woods. The price evens out, however, since no stain or paint needs to be bought for cedar.

A common decorative flourish on fence pickets involves the design of the picket tips. Some pickets are flat on top, while others are pointed. Still others have more elaborate carvings, such as French Gothic-style pickets that have a point with semi-circular cut outs beneath the peak. Gothic pickets come to a point at the top, but the point itself is rounded off to provide a smoother look. Dog ear pickets are flat on top, but the edges of the top are cut on each side so a small V-shape is formed between two pickets placed closely together. This type of picket is a great choice for privacy fencing that eliminates gaps between pickets.

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Raynbow
Post 2

I prefer wood pickets that are basic and do not have a lot of decorative look to the wood. Not only does this type of picket not look too complicated or fussy, but it is also less expensive than pickets with specially carved wood or decorations.

Talentryto
Post 1

A good tip for saving money on wood fence pickets is the get the least expensive ones available then treat and paint them. Though they may not be the most durable or made of the best wood, you can make them last for years by applying an inexpensive wood treatment or varnish.

Once you have treated and installed your picket fence, painting the inexpensive pickets will also help to make them last. Most people choose white paint for a traditional, classic look. However, any color can be used on fence pickets to give them the kind of look and color you prefer.

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