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A new fence paling being nailed to the fence with a hammer and nail

Overview

Replacing old or broken palings on your fence is an easy D.I.Y. job that anyone can do. For a small investment of time and money, you can make your fence structurally sound again. Plus, it'll keep your home looking neat and tidy. Here's everything you need to know to get the job done.

Steps

1Remove old or broken fence palings

Starting at the base of the paling, use your wrecking bar or ‘jemmy' to pry the board off the horizontal rail. Because the timber is a soft wood, the paling should come off without much effort. Work your way up the board, prying the paling away as you go. Once the paling is removed, use a claw hammer to remove any nails that didn't come off with the board.
An old fence paling being removed from a fence using a pry bar

2Measure and cut your new palings

Measure and mark up your timber to length. Use a circular saw to trim the timber. To get a cleaner cut, start with the blade slightly away from your timber, wait until the motor has reached full speed, then start your cut. This technique also reduces the chance of kick back.
A circular saw being used to cut timber fence palings to length

3Nail the new palings onto the fence

Rest your paling on the base of the fence. Use a spirit level to make sure your paling is straight. Hold the paling in place with your foot and hammer in the nails. Start with one nail in the top rail, then – making sure that your board is still straight – work down the paling, hammering two nails into each rail. Finish off with a second nail into the top rail to secure it into place.
A new fence paling being nailed to the fence with a hammer and nail

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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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.