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This is a question on improving the aesthetic of my outdoor space. I did an extension panel on my cinderblock fence to help improve privacy and I'm very happy with the look. I used shade fabric that is supported with some wood and EMT piping that I attached to the upper half of the wall to make the total height approximately 8ft. My question is I'd like to run some type of strip along the wall that would sort of look like a chair rail that I'll paint a medium gray (accent color of our home to tie it all in together).

The reason why I'm asking for advice is because I live in the desert and the temps can get to 121 degrees in August. So I am not sure if lumber would be the best bet. I wasn't sure if some sort of metal flashing that I can prime and paint might be better since it won't warp. I'm open to ideas. But since I'm painting it a medium charcoal gray color I'm guessing that will also make this area absorb more of the hot desert sun. I'm just looking for something that is about three to four inches wide that I can buy in 8ft lengths or longer and attach to the .5" thick wood that is running along the middle of the wall (where the shade fabric was stapled to the bottom). Of course, something lightweight would be important. Here is a photo to help with a visual. The lighter color below is the painted cinderblock. The slightly darker color above is the shade fabric. The gray border would basically be a way to make the area look more finished:

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    Trex (or other composite deck boards) come 5" wide by 20 feet long, and weather to a shade of gray.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 2, 2021 at 16:58
  • That sounds like a good idea but am wondering about the added weight of those strips. Plus, even though I like the idea of working with 20ft long pieces I'd need at least another person to help me. I only have about a 2" wide of a board under the fabric to attach to and it's only .5" thick. I was wondering if some sort of metal flashing that is very light in weight would work.
    – Adrien
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:09
  • Putting a chair rail across there would then give you 2 transitions instead of just one. This really falls into the decorating space (you specify right up front that this is about aesthetic, not function) and is, therefore off-topic. All you'll get is opinions.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:26
  • Appreciate the input. I'll remember that for next time. I am basically just looking for opinions, anyway. But thank you, Freeman.
    – Adrien
    Apr 3, 2021 at 18:14

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If you can find charcoal gray vinyl siding, that would work. Use a table saw or router table to trim away the stepped part that you don't need, which will leave a long narrow strip in the width you want. Even tin snips could work if you have a steady hand. Gray vinyl siding won't need to be painted or re-painted and won't fade appreciably even in desert sun.

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Fabric.

You already have that beige fabric up. It is already attached to the wood. Go back to wherever you got the beige fabric and get some in gray. Fold the edges under to make a strip the width of the wood underneath. Attach the strip to the wood with staples or upholstery nails or whatever you used for the beige fabric. Of course there will be a layer of beige fabric underneath. That is fine.

You will have a line in a different color at the junction of wall and beige fabric. It is lightweight and easy to attach using a method you have already successfully used for the beige fabric. It can a different color as you request and a textural echo of the beige fabric above.

Plus if you don't like it, it will be easy take it down. You could do a mockup first using paper as a test run.

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