DIY Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

DIY Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

Sharing is caring!

Hide that AC, Boat, RV, or ugly area under your deck with this DIY hack.

Yay, guys! This DIY Removable AC Screen will hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. And, this hack would also work great as a DIY Removable Fence Panel to hide boats, RV’s, and that ugly area under decks. It’s perfect when you don’t have room for swinging gates.

UPDATE: I first shared this DIY in 2017. 2 years later, I decided to add a new video and project update. 🙂

I made these easy and lightweight lattice screens to hang on posts that I set in concrete. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. This DIY tutorial will focus on building a removable AC Panel. But, using the double keyhole hangers would work perfectly on DIY removable fence panels too. Let’s get started.

DIY Tutorial for Removable AC Panel. Works for Removable Fence Panels too. #AbbottsAtHome #ACScreen #RemovableFence #RemovablePanel #AirConditioner
Spring 2019 UPDATE PHOTO: Just that extra bit of wood hides the panels and lets the house, trees, and barn be what you notice driving down the road. 🙂

Watch this video update from 2019 to get a project update and find out why this is my ‘most controversial’ DIY project.

First, you don’t always need to hide your AC unit(s). Generally, they aren’t that noticeable. But sometimes they just stand out too much. Last month, we had to cut down a very large tree in our side yard. It was constantly attacking our roof and we just couldn’t safely keep it trimmed anymore. This tree was so large, it shaded the whole side yard. In fact, not much would grow there and the shade sort of made the whole area unnoticeable. So, we never did much with it.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
This once shady and hidden side yard needed an upgrade.

Removing the tree unexpectedly put a spotlight on our 3 air conditioners, the really scruffy shrubs, and weedy flower beds. We live on a corner near the start of our street. Suddenly, that side of the house seemed to stand out as the focal point for the longish approach to our house. I know it was probably more noticeable to me than anyone else, but I had to do something about it.

The 2 key design factors for my screen were; proper air flow for the condenser, and something easily removable when the A/C’s need servicing or replacing.

As the daughter of an AC guy, I have to say it’s important to follow the airflow guidelines for your units. Usually you need 5 to 6 feet above the units to be clear and 18″ around. When you start putting units together, like my 3, you may need to add more free space. If you block off air flow with screens or plants, your A/C could overheat and break or plants could clog the unit. I had to carefully design a screen that would hide the units while letting them work properly.

I just wanted the screens to fade into the house, so I didn’t need anything fancy. Traditional lattice would work just fine. We’ve planted beds full of knock out roses and butterfly attracting plants. Once they grow in, they can be the star of that side of the house. 🙂

I love this DIY Removable AC Screen! Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
Don’t forget to Pin Me

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. AFFILIATES HELP YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGERS DELIVER FREE CONTENT.  Read the full disclaimer here.


Cost to Make this DIY Removable AC Screen

You’ll spend about $50 for one of these panels on 2 posts. Add about $35 or $40 more for the second panel, if they share a middle post.

Time to Make this DIY Removable AC Screen

This can easily be done in 24 hours. I would set the posts in concrete one evening and let them set overnight. Also, spray paint the keyhole hangers to protect them from the weather the night before too. Then finish off the panels the next day.

Hack for building an easy removable fence panel. Hide a boat, RV, or that ugly, dirty area under a deck. #FencePanel #RemovableFence #AccessPanel
Spray the Double Keyhole Hanger with protective enamel.

Materials for your Removable AC Screen / Removable Fence Panel

Directions to Make a DIY Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

Draw up your Plans

Decide how wide and high you want your screen. Remember the trellis panels are only 8′ long. So, I wouldn’t go wider than 8 feet unless you adjust the design for 2 trellis panels. My panels are about 30″ high including the frame around the trellis. If you want higher coverage, you’ll need to buy the 4′ x 8′ trellis to cut to size.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
After drying over-night, this post was ready for its panels.
Start with the Posts

Cut the posts to the correct height with your Miter Saw. Mine are about 4′. You could also cut the posts to size with a chainsaw after attaching the panels. Cutting after is probably the easier way to go, since you could skip leveling the top of the posts before setting.

Dig at least 10″ down for each post. The depth will need to be adjusted on hills or uneven terrain. You want the post tops to be pretty level so that the screens are easier to level. Tie a Mason Line 1″ from the top of one post, then pull it tight to the same point on the next post. Use a level to check the line and adjust the post height as needed. You will need to dig deeper or fill in the hole to make them level.

Once you have them leveled, follow the directions on your fast setting concrete mix to create the wet concrete in the hole. After it’s wet and mixed per directions. Grab your level and adjust the level on all 4 sides of the post. The wet concrete will hold the post upright as you adjust it. Make sure the wet concrete is pressed up against all 4 sides, so that it dries firm with no wiggle. Allow it to dry completely.

Prep the Keyhole Hangers

Spray front and back of Keyhole Hangers with the protective exterior enamel spray. This will protect the metal from the elements. Do as many coats as necessary. Allow to dry completely.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
My center post with it’s 2 hangers and split panel board.
Attach the Keyhole Hangers

Hold the keyhole hanger against the post where you’d like to attach the screen. If you didn’t level the top of the posts before setting them in cement, you’ll need to use a Mason Line to level the Keyhole Hangers now.

Once level is found, screw 2 exterior screws through the hangers. Leave them out about 1/4″ so that the hangers are easily removable. Remove the hangers from the screws.

Build your Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel

Now, you can either build the screens completely, then attach the keyhole hangers, or do what I did. My husband was out of town, so I was working alone. Now, I can’t hold up those long screens by myself while trying to figure out where to attach those keyhole hangers. So, I had to attach those hangers to the boards before building the screens.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
All 3 posts with the first board attached to the keyhole hangers.

As you can see by the pictures, I lined up the boards and checked level. Then marked where I needed to attach the keyhole hangers based on the screws in the posts. Since I was using 2 screens, I attached 2 keyhole hangers to the board on the center post. Then I cut that board down the middle. This allows the screens to be removed separately. I could have used 2 boards next to each other on the 1 post, but cutting the single board made everything a bit easier.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
Trellis on, beginning on the 1″ x 6″ frames.

Now we are basically building a trellis sandwich. Cut the trellis to size and attach to the boards while they are still hanging. I used my brad nailer to do this. Cut and attach the 1″ x 6″ boards to the front of that trellis. Get those brad nails through the cross points on the trellis to be extra secure. Use as many nails as necessary on both sides to secure the panels together tightly.

Now you’re panels are done. Awesome, right?! So, pat yourself on the back and admire your hard work.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
Fully framed and finished panels.
DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
The panel on the left is bare. The panel on the right has been treated with the Weathered Wood Accelerator.
Get the “Weathered Wood Look” for this DIY Removable AC Screen

Have you tried any of these Weathered Wood Accelerators yet? They are so cool. It’s sold with stains, but it’s not a stain. It’s a chemical that reacts with the tannin’s in the wood to produce the aged look. It was so easy to use and virtually mess-free. I even dripped some on a few landscaping rocks and it left no marks, whatsoever. Nice! I wouldn’t test that out on your clothes, though. Follow the directions on the container.

I very quickly applied it with a foam brush. I would have been careful applying this to furniture, just to assure I got an even look. But, since this is an outdoor project. I rushed it and it still looks great. The few darker spots I had blended away with another coat of the accelerator. The weathered look is perfect. The grey wood blends right into my red bricks with grey accents.

DIY Removable Outdoor Air Conditioner Screen. Hide those air conditioners, allow proper air flow for the condenser, and make the AC guy happy when he sees how easy it is to remove. You can easily have this project done in a weekend. #AbbottsAtHome #AirConditioner
The finished panels blend into the brickwork. Once those new flowers grow in, this side yard will be beautiful.
DIY Tutorial for Removable AC Panel. Works for Removable Fence Panels too. #AbbottsAtHome #ACScreen #RemovableFence #RemovablePanel #AirConditioner
Spring 2019 Update: This Removable AC Panel has held up great (even during Hurricane Harvey). And our roses and bushes grow in nice and full every summer. This panel is the last thing you see as you approach our house now.

Looking for another Easy Home Maintenance Project? You can Restore your Grout to Like New and this product seals grout too. Yay! Watch the quick video to see how easy it is, then click here to see the Grout Restoring Tutorial.

That’s it for my DIY Removable AC Panel. BUT, some of my incredibly talented blogger friends have also shared their latest Outdoor Projects. See more Make It Pretty Outdoor Projects


Looking for another DIY to give your yard some style? Check out this great L-shaped Backyard Bench AND it only costs $130. Yea!

How I built my L-shaped DIY Outdoor Bench for $130, awarded 2nd place in the IG Builders Challenge, season 3

Or, get a pretty and weed free path in your yard with this tutorial. 🙂

Guys, it's pretty easy to get a weed free gravel path. In 3 easy DIY steps, you can block those weeds for years with just a little labor and 2 things from your local landscape supplier. #AbbottsAtHome #Weeds #NoWeeds #PeaGravel #Landscaping


Now that you know how to build a DIY Removable AC Screen and/or Removable Fence Panel, get out there and build your own. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!

17 thoughts on “DIY Removable AC Screen or Removable Fence Panel”

  1. That’s great that your camouflage for your air conditioners was designed to help them continue to function, and easily removable in case they needed to be serviced. My husband and I are about to get a new unit installed, but we had a problem with the ground sinking beneath the concrete pad. We’ll have to get that all replaced before we can put it in!

  2. Love it, Great idea! Very ingenious!! This has also given me a great idea for a short fence I have around my RV pad. I always need to remove a couple panels for a tight turn every time I bring the RV in and out and it gets to be time consuming so I end up being lazy and leaving the panels out most the time! I have been trying to come up with a way to quickly RnR the panels every time I take the RV in and out. With the use of the keyhole hangers and removable posts, I will be able to quickly remove and reinstall them! Thanks for the idea!

    • Great, Bob. The keyhole hangers are the real reason I shared this project. I was hoping it would help other people with similar problems. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

  3. Great tutorial! I appreciate your attention to ensuring proper air flow for your AC. And, I’d never heard of the weathered wood accelerator product. The panels look less conspicuous after the ‘weathering’ treatment. The lattice panels look very neat, and they hide your utility units nicely.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

Comments are closed.