Wood You Be My Neighbor? DIY Modern Privacy Wall


In the back of my mind I’ve been searching for a way to create some privacy between our back patio and our neighbors kitchen window since we moved into this house 4 years ago. I figured any solution would cost us an arm and a leg, and didn’t seriously look into it until about a month ago.

The only thing dividing the barely 25ft distance between our house and neighbors was the fence. Visually, there was no detatch. Don’t get me wrong, we love our neighbors, but we feel privacy doesn’t have to be a favorite pastime! And this is very much needed when it’s possible to see the spinach in their teeth while they’re eating dinner.

Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.

What isn’t an exaggeration is how well we can hear amazing piano playing coming from their house when they practice. True story.

Searching (you guessed it) Pinterest, I found this beautiful gem.
via The Brick House

Holy smokes! How gorgeous is that privacy wall. I’m totally digging the modern/art deco feel of the exterior. It’s so crisp and clean lined, but that wall warms it all up. A total exterior focal wall!

Me likey.

It didn’t take too much sweet talking to convince my husband either. :)

We decided to paint ours. We LOVE the natural wood look, but for our house, which is brick and painted siding, we felt it needed to be painted as to not detract or conflict with the brick. But it may have looked nice either way!

I knew we could accomplish this and spend very little money doing it.

First, we did a price check on some things at Lowes to make sure we could swing it this month. Finding the 1x3x8’s we wanted to use at only $1.26 a piece, that sealed the deal.

Hello impromptu weekend project!

Let’s view this lovely “before” shot.
Welcome to our sad patio.


IMG_3667[2]2 It’s very neglected, rarely used, and embarrassing. It’s a virtual frying pan in the heat of the Texas summer. No shade by trees. No protection at all from the heat. The sun sets to the west, which is this side of the house, so in later afternoon it gets roasty-toasty from the sun. It really warms up the main living area of the house too. No thank you!

Not only was the sun a big issue, there was also this little thing…
Oh, hello!

I like my neighbors as much as the next person. We’ve made some pretty awesome friends! But in an attempt to make our “little box” fit our lifestyle, this privacy wall falls very much under the “need” category. The closeness of our houses is so tight that if we both stand outside on our own respective patios, it’s very awkward to try and continue doing your own thing, without feeling like you have to say hi every time. Welcome to the suburbs.

<<< >>>

We cruised to Lowe’s, and grabbed up 4 contractor packs of 1x3x8’s (6 in a pack), and had them cut down to 81.5 inches. IMG_3678[2]

We started above the molding at the base of the pillar, made sure it was level, and nailed both sides into place. Then from there we used a 2×4 to keep the spacing equal. It was really smooth sailing! Without stopping, it took under an hour to hang all the boards. That’s including going back and putting in second nails, counter sinking them, and changing out a few boards that had flaws.

Luckily we didn’t have to worry about attaching the boards to brick since this nice trim piece was there. It lined up perfectly parallel with the outside of the pillar.

Can’t you feel that shade relief already?


Done! Now I just have to paint!

Since it was getting dark, I left the painting for the next day.
It is no joke when I tell you those little boards made a HUGE difference the next day as the sun beat down on the house all afternoon. I was able to leave that window shade and the door blind open all day. The kitchenette corner of the house wasn’t 10 degrees warmer, nor was it radiating heat if you happened to walk by it. AND the porch was a little cooler. I’d say it’s a complete WIN.

I bought Valspar outdoor satin paint in Garden Stone. Which is also my guest bathroom color. Apparently that color is no longer in their system, but thanks to a little number on my old can, they were able to mix it up manually! IMG_3714[2]

It’s a nice soft gray color. Nothing too flashy, and will blend nice with the rest of the house. I will be using the leftover paint to paint my front porch pillars too!


We used 20 boards at $1.26 a piece which is $25.20. The paint was around $30 for a gallon which will be used around the exterior in other places(front pillars, front entry way walls, back patio door(?)…). I only used about 1/5th of the can on the privacy wall. So $6 worth of paint, brings my total to $31.20.

Here’s a quick before and after shot of my patio chairs. IMG_3733[2]
We bought these two chairs with a matching table, a 3 piece set, as a floor model from Lowe’s last year. They came with these striped cushions… sat on by many, faded by the sun, and ugly as the day is long. They had to go. I’m ashamed to say it’s taken this long to replace the cushions. I got 2 new ones for $13 a pop at Home Depot! Not too bad! Then I added these colorful yellow chevron outdoor pillows I found on Amazon.

And of course you need accessories…
IMG_3798[2] Pillows are from here, and the lanterns, here and here. I got the fish from Michaels last fall on super clearance for $6! The candles are from a friends wedding, and the round placemat was from the holiday decor at Bed Bath & Beyond.

IMG_3772[2] Here she is in all her glory!

Private, shaded and cool(er).

Now, to add some more accessories.

More plans for our little outdoor space:

  • New light fixture(maybe remove existing and install a ceiling fan?)
  • Hang an outdoor decorative thermostat on that bare wall
  • Maybe hang some little bud vases above the table
  • Paint the door (Gray? Yellow?)
  • Paint all the trim white (as well as the rest of the house)
  • Build a planter from leftover wood and plant ivy to climb the privacy wall.
  • Install a sun shade for more relief from the sun
  • Landscaping around the patio



This awesome rug we bought on sale last summer. It is made out of recycled bottles, and cost only $30 for a 4×6! You can get it here, although it isn’t on sale anymore. From afar, it looks like it has so many colors, but the weaving is only blue, green, red and yellow. It reminds me of spot printing, where CMYK spots are printed so close together it gives the appearance of a different color. Such a trick for the eye, its amazing!


What neighbors? I need to get some vines started to really fill in this wall.





One step closer to an outdoor oasis in the middle of a Texas heatwave!

One more before.. IMG_3667[2]2







7 thoughts on “Wood You Be My Neighbor? DIY Modern Privacy Wall

  1. I’m so glad to hear someone talk about privacy. We are huge on privacy. In Phoenix, we all had cinder block fences that were 7 feet tall, so there was good privacy. But, here, in our neighborhood, we have iron fences only, though large yards. That means no privacy. So, we have to strategically plant shrubs and such. I’ve thought about this type of thing, but I am not sure it will fly with the hoa. We’ll see! Good solution, though.

    • Would love to have a 7 foot wall! You could try some ivy for quick coverage over your iron fence if your neighbor is okay with that. Otherwise I’ve found cedar trees to be great, quick growers too. Good luck with your privacy search!

  2. Pingback: DIY No Soliciting Sign – For Reals | Life's Joy Photography

  3. i love this idea and love how you did a complete walk-thru but I suggest lowering the resolution of your images and optimizing them for web use. They all took forever to load for me and I feel like I skipped through faster than I would had I been able to see all the photos!

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