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Cedar-Slat Privacy Screens

In just one day, you can build screens that will block prying eyes but welcome breezes.

Cedar Slat Privacy Screens

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Clamps
  • Miter saw or handsaw and miter box
  • Pneumatic brad nailer or hammer
  • Cordless drill, drill bits, and driver bit
  • Post-hole digger
  • Level
  • Exterior wood glue


  • Download the Project Diagram for lumber requirements.
  • 1-1/2-in brad nails or 4d galvanized finish nails
  • 2-in deck screws
  • Gravel
  • Olympic semi-transparent exterior stain, Cedar Naturaltone

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


These instructions show you how to make one short screen and one tall screen. For the four-screen composition shown, make two of each.

Make the Screen

Step 1

Mark the screen post.

Cut the posts (A) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Clamp the posts together edge-to-edge with the top ends flush. Across both posts, draw lines that will indicate the top edge of each slat (B) while leaving the spaces shown. Use Project Diagram Drawings 1 and 2 for the tall screen, and Drawings 3 and 4 for the short screen.

Step 2

Cut the slats (B) to length.

Good to Know

The boards used for the slats have one rough-sawn face and one smooth-planed face. To add rustic texture to the project, we oriented the rough-sawn face to the front.

Step 3

Attach the slats with nails.

On a flat surface, position a pair of posts with their outside edges 35-1/2 inches apart and the ends flush. Apply waterproof glue to the posts and arrange the slats on the posts, starting at the top (Project Diagrams). Align the top edge of the top slat with the tops of the posts and each remaining slat with the lines on the posts. As you place each slat, tack it to the posts with two 1-1/2-inch brads or 4d galvanized finish nails. Use a carpenter’s square to check that the slats are 90 degrees to the posts, and let the glue dry. Repeat for additional post and slats.

Step 4

Secure the slats with screws.

Carefully turn over the screen. Drill pilot holes through the posts, centered on each slat, and drive 2-inch deck screws through the posts and into the slats. Repeat for each screen.

Install the Screens

Step 1

For each screen, dig two 8-inch-diameter holes 24 inches deep with the hole centers 32 inches apart (Project Diagrams).

Step 2

Before lowering the screen posts into the holes, place 3 inches of gravel in the bottom of each hole to allow drainage.

Step 3

Lower the posts into the holes, and temporarily prop the screen in place with the help of a friend so it is level and plumb. Fill the remainder of the holes with gravel, packing it in place as you go.

Good to Know

Placing the ends of the posts on gravel instead of on dirt in the bottom of the holes will prolong their life by allowing water to drain away.

Step 4

Slats in this cedar screen ensure privacy without making you feel confined. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Apply an exterior wood preservative in the color you want -- we used a semi-transparent deck stain (Cedar Naturaltone).

Find more privacy screen ideas: