Older homes mean character galore but it also can mean some odd spaces! Mixing the past with the modern can sometimes be a bit of a creative challenge. Our rule of thumb has been; it needs to be charming and it needs to be practical.
Our back garden has been a work in progress. Every year we add to this little area, first a garden, then a firepit and sod but it still looked a bit odd. This space once held the carriage house which was torn down a few years before we bought the property. The problem was that was no division between the driveway and garden.
The options were to put in another garden or privacy fence but there was a major problem. We live in Atlantic Canada, we get quite a bit of snow each winter and this little garden is where we put our snow, after shoveling the driveway! Putting in a garden with tall bushes and flowers would mean having to replace it year after year.
Then the idea formed of a picket fence but one that could be removed each year! Traditionally picket fences are painted white, however our house is already white and we wanted something that would stand out a bit more. We also have another fenced in area for our dogs that was made with pressure treated wood.
We went to our local Home Hardware Building Centre and the employees showed us that buying non-pressure treated spruce lumber and staining it, we could match the pressure treated lumber! We also learned that buying longer lengths of lumber would yield us more savings!
Beauti-Tone Wood Shield Stain in Danish Walnut was a perfect match! We picked up enough lumber for our fence one can of stain, bags of premixed concrete, end caps and a Beauti-Tone stain brush.
Before the fence was put together we painted all of our smaller posts. The proper brush made a huge difference! We used the 25mm x 100mm Heavy Duty Pure Stain Brush
We paint quite often and were pleased with how smooth the stain went onto the wood. Being non-pressure treated, the spruce soaked up the stain with very few issues of the stain dripping.
The time of year and weather also makes a huge difference with your paint drying! You want warmer days with humidity that’s not too high. Fun fact, when I was a dog groomer I took a seminar about how to dry a dog in the best conditions. Drying takes the most time in grooming and getting that time down means more income! We learned that 26 degree Celsius and around 30% humidity is the perfect conditions for things to dry! Now I know you cannot control the weather but the end of June and beginning of July in Canada is about this weather conditions and the best time for staining or painting any project.
The section for the fence was about 16 feet and we needed posts every 8 feet. Typically, you want your fence posts no more than every 6-8 feet for stability. Our posts were 4×4”.
The holes were dug 16-20” deep and the posts placed inside. Then using scrap lumber to brace them and a level to make sure they were straight. The premixed concrete was poured into the holes and left for 24 hours.
The main 4×4” posts were painted once the concrete was dry.
The very first thing that was screwed in were the 2x2x4” blocks, into the main posts, using 3 1/2” screws. The purpose of these were to nail the fence boards onto it and (the best part), the entire panel of fencing could come off.
These screws can come out and the entire panel can be removed and stored (inside or outside). The picket fence will not get damaged from any snow removal and when spring arrives it can be put back on.
Originally, this was going to be a simple picket fence but the more we looked at the project we had a bit of inspiration to add a little more character. Why not do a scalloped fence? This would add a little bit more charm and only a few extra hours of work.
First each peak was cut to a 50-degree angle, and then cutting the bottoms of the picket posts. The lowest post in the middle measure at 32” and the tallest 42” with approximately 1 1/4” increments between each post.
Each picket post was then screwed into the frame with 1 1/2” screws. The picket posts were also pre-drilled to prevent the wood from splitting.
The angled tops were then neatened with a utility knife and stain applied to the unpainted, cut pieces. The end caps were a different type of wood and we stained them as well. The colour looked richer and compliments the fence nicely!
We did vary a little from the instruction! The Beauti-Tone Wood Shield Stain recommends two coats, however we only did one (tested on a scrap piece of lumber to see what we wanted to do). Our goal was the match a preexisting fence and to have a fair amount of the wood grain show through. If we need to repaint next year or want to deepen the colour we will because we barely used any of the stain!
To finish off the project we added mulch and a few annuals in front of the fence.
Aren’t results gorgeous? It has character, it has charm and it visually divides the driveway from the garden. The added benefit is a little bit of privacy but not so much that I cannot see my children playing. It was custom made for this space and was easier to make then we expected!
We fell in love with the colour of this stain, the ease of using it and now want to incorporate more projects around the house with this Danish Walnut from Beauti-ToneWood Shield Stain.