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Re-using an old grey fence


In 2020 I replaced a portion of our fence with new cedar planks. The former fence was cedar, but very weathered. It still stood, but didn’t prevent Jasper (dog) from jumping over. Practically, we needed to go higher. I still didn’t like that we had to remove a bunch of wood that was still technically doing its job. I decided to keep all of the scrap around for future projects…


Posts: The fence posts were perfect for light structural use still, they just needed to be cut at the ends which were rotted. Slicing out 1/4 of the post I could make four legs for a small planter.

Sides: The sides were created with old siding from a portion of our house that needed replacing. Again, the edges were rotted, but once sliced off it was a brand new cedar machine edge. These were milled to size and screwed into the newly formed posts.

Rail: The railing and inner shelf were created with the original fence panels. Sliced up, milled to size, and cut at 45 degrees, they fit nicely (nice enough) on the posts.

Wood shed siding

Shed storage shelves

Materials: old pavers from a dismantled garden bed, fence panels, fence cross bars

Serving tray

The weathered grey of the panels is mostly surface level on many of the panels. Some have rotted all the way through, but the rest have solid, dry cedar in the middle. Much of the leftover boards weren’t full width, so I spent time milling them down to have clean machine edges with the table saw.

Base: I cut a few of the milled boards to length and glued them together with some clamps. They are different lengths since the final board base will be angled to give it some pizzazz ✨

Sides: To expose the grain, I shaved off one side with the table saw and used this as the edges of a serving tray for our patio. The inner edge was to remain visually grey, but I wanted a fresh machine edge for glueing.

Last but not least, I attached some handles purchased from Ballard Reuse for $3.00 and called it a day!

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