How to install pickets for a picket fence

TM
View the video

Project Overview

Installing pickets to a fence is easy to do yourself. Follow our step-by-step guide and we’ll show you how to position the pickets evenly along the fence line. You’ll also learn how to attach them to the rails. 
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Build a Picket Fence

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the tops off your posts
2 Measure the pickets and mark the rails
3 Transfer your measurements to the rails
4 Attach the pickets
5 Even spacing at the ends
6 Screw the pickets in place
  • Step 1. Cut the tops off your posts

    Mark the height of the pickets on your posts. Transfer the pencil line around the post. Use your saw to cut the tops off your posts. 

  • Step 2. Measure the pickets and mark the rails

    Find the centre of your rail and measure the width of the picket. Mark the edges of the first picket so that the centre point of the rail sits in the middle of the picket. 

  • Step 3. Transfer your measurements to the rails

    Now, take your level and transfer your measurements to the top and bottom rails. This will ensure that your pickets are straight when you attach them.

  • Step 4. Attach the pickets

    Nail the first picket in place. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to position and fix the remaining pickets, working your way out from the centre. To work out the space between each picket, we have used the thickness of a picket. 

  • Step 5. Even spacing at the ends

    When you get to the end of the run leave the last three or four pickets off so you can adjust your gaps to fit the remaining space. Lay the pickets against the rail and adjust spacing to suit. Mark the edges of each picket on the rail. Again, use your level to transfer these marks to the top and bottom rail. Then nail them in place. 

  • Step 6. Screw the pickets in place

    Once all your pickets are in place, fix them to the rails with outdoor screws. Pre-drill each picket so that it doesn’t split. Use a counter sink fitting to make sure you drill the same depth on each picket. Run a string line along the front of the pickets to make sure your screws are in a straight line.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Nail gun
  • Saw
  • Set square
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Outdoor screws
  • Pickets
dress your fence

Gates & Fencing How to dress up a fence Rather than staring at a plain or weathered looking old fence, why not give it a quick D.I.Y. makeover? Here are some super easy ways to give your fence a freshen up, without even picking up a paint brush.

 close up on a bed of flowers at the foot of a wooden fence

Gates & Fencing Freshen your fence Want to refresh your old wooden fence? Follow our steps to fix, clean, repaint your fence and add some greenery for the best effect.

Colorbond 00:14

Gates & Fencing How to build a Colorbond fence A colorbond fence is a sturdy way give your home privacy and security. They also come in a range of colours to match your outdoor décor.

Persons nailing in palings 00:48

Gates & Fencing How to build a fence Find out everything you need and the two important things you must check before you start building a fence.

Person securing horizontal rails 07:06

Gates & Fencing How to build a gate We show you how easy it can be to add extra privacy, security and street appeal to your home simply by building a wooden gate.

Man using a saw to cut top off the posts 07:09

Gates & Fencing How to build a picket gate A picket gate can give you extra privacy and security. Learn how easy it is to build a picket gate with our easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

garden screen

Gates & Fencing How to choose a garden screen An outdoor screen is the ultimate concealer. You may want to hide something in your garden, add some privacy to an area or create an eye-catching feature. No matter what you want to do, there are a few options to consider.

Man attaching the bamboo screen to the fence 03:14

Gates & Fencing How to install bamboo screening A bamboo fence is a great way to add some privacy or even just hide an ugly fence. Watch our step by step guide and we’ll show you how to install one.

colourful garden

Paths & Landscaping Add colour to your garden After a cold grey winter, spring is the perfect time to brighten up your garden. While flowers are one solution, there are plenty of other easy and inexpensive ways to add a splash of colour to your outdoors.

Frog pond

Paths & Landscaping How to create a frog pond Give frogs a safe environment in your backyard by building your own frog pond. It’s much easier than you think and will also look great!

Landscape the pond with house bricks to sit the plants on 02:44

Paths & Landscaping How to create a water garden We’ll show you the basic steps involved in creating your own peaceful water garden, that can help transform any size outdoor space.

Person laying the pavers 03:50

Paths & Landscaping How to pave a pathway Watch our step-by-step guide and find out how to prepare and lay a pathway with pavers.

paving 01:39

Paths & Landscaping Choosing a paving pattern This easy-to-follow video from Bunnings will help you choose your new paving pattern.

water feature

Paths & Landscaping Six garden feature ideas Whether you’ve got an acre or a patio area, chances are when it comes to your garden, there’s always room for improvement. And you’d be surprised, it doesn’t take a lot to transform your outside space and make it a more attractive and enjoyable plac...

remove_oil_stains_summary_nov2014

Paths & Landscaping How to remove oil stains Finding it impossible to remove oil stains from your driveway or garage floor? If so, we’ve got a few ideas that may help shift those stains for good.

How to repair a concrete path 05:09

Paths & Landscaping How to repair a concrete path Learn everything you need to know to repair a concrete path yourself.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content