How to Fix Palings or Pickets

If you are making a picket fence or a paling fence, fixing them to the already installed posts and rails is a fairly straightforward process.


  1. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 1
    Be sure to paint, stain, varnish etc, the palings or pickets before you work with them. This also applies to the posts and rails that will form part of the fence. It is much easier to paint etc. before you attach the palings.
  2. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 2
    Measure how many you will need to cover each span of rails from post to post. You will need to space the palings or pickets as described below.
  3. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 3
    Run a line of string at the base of the palings. This will form the line along which you will nail the palings to the fence rail.
  4. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 4
    Nail the palings into place along the string line. Use galvanized flathead nails, two nails per joint; if you need better grip, try angle nails.
  5. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 5
    Space the palings. Use a block of wood to space palings or pickets to provide consistent spacing between each one.
  6. Image titled Fix Palings or Pickets Step 6
    Draw a line in chalk across the top of the palings to mark the desired height of your fence. Be sure to keep it straight and consistent across all the palings. Cut the palings at this height, moving along the chalk line. Most pickets do not need to be cut as they already have their typical triangular shape in place (see image above).


  • Traditional spacing for pickets is about one third or a half of the width of the picket itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Palings or pickets
  • Rails and posts already in place
  • Paint, varnish, stain etc. for coating the palings, rails, posts and a paintbrush
  • Galvanized flathead nails or angle nails
  • Hammer
  • Saw for cutting palings if needed

Article Info

Categories: Walls Fences and Decks