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How to Install Winged Slats for a Chain Link Fence

Purchase winged fencing slats in the correct length for your fence height.

Chain-link fences offer a low-cost means to fence in a yard, but unlike other fencing alternatives, they offer nothing in the way of privacy. The mesh size, which is the size of the diamond-shaped open spaces between wires, can vary, but home fences usually are 2- to 2 3/8-inch mesh. PVC slats measuring 1 inch wide are inserted commonly into the open spaces, using two slats for each space to add privacy. Most slats leave an open space where the wires intersect, but winged slats are slightly wider, featuring fringed edges that fit around the intersections, offering nearly complete privacy.


Fill a spray bottle with water. Add about three tablespoons of dish soap to the water, replace the lid and shake well to incorporate the soap.


Spray the entire length and both sides of a winged slat with the soapy water until well coated.


Line up one of the slats with the opening at the top of the fence, holding it close to the edge of the diamond-shaped holes where the wires intersect. Slide the slat vertically into the fence through the diamond-shaped holes until the bottom of the slat meets the bottom of the fence; the soap makes it easier to slide the slats in place. The bottom end of the slat should stay lined up, but you might need to push it back in so it can slide down through the narrow space. Start at one end of the fence and work your way to the opposite end.


Spray a second winged slat with the soapy water mixture and position it directly beside the first slat you installed. The wings on one side should overlap the wings on the first slat and the wings on the opposite side should overlap the wire intersections. Push the slat down through the fence until the top and bottom are lined up evenly with the first slat. The second slat to slide into each diamond-shaped space might not slide in as easily at the first, so spray more soap onto the slat, if needed.


Line up a third slat directly beside the second slat and slide it down through the diamond weave. This is the first slat to install in the second vertical column of diamond mesh. If you look at the diamonds as horizontal rows, you'll notice that the third slat will share every other row with the second slat you installed.


Continue installing the winged slats one at a time until you reach the opposite end of the fence. The very last column in the fence requires only one slat and not a pair of slats because there is not a connecting series of chains to complete the diamond shape.


Spray the slats well with a garden hose to rinse the soap off the slats, if desired. Although it is likely only visible when viewed at close range, the dried soap can leave behind spots or residue, and can make the slats more likely to collect dust.

Things You Will Need

  • Spray bottle

  • Dish soap

  • Garden hose (optional)

  • Tips

  • Some PVC slats require a locking mechanism at the top and bottom of the fence, but the fringed wings grip the wires at each intersection well enough to lock the slats in place.

  • You can install winged slats without first spraying them with soapy water, but they will not slide in as easily.

  • Standard chain-link fencing around yards in residential areas is 4 feet long, so purchase 4-foot winged slats so you don't need to cut slats to fit. The slats usually are about 2 inches shorter than the fence to leave a slight gap at the top and bottom. Longer slats are available for installation in taller chain-link fences.

  • About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

  • bibliography-iconicon for annotation tool Cite this Article Choose Citation Style MLA APA Chicago (B)

Allonsy, Amelia. "How to Install Winged Slats for a Fence." Home Guides | SF Gate, Accessed 03 November 2019.

Allonsy, Amelia. (n.d.). How to Install Winged Slats for a Fence. Home Guides | SF Gate. Retrieved from

Allonsy, Amelia. "How to Install Winged Slats for a Fence" accessed November 03, 2019.

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