The Little Corner Accent Fence

A Scrap Wood Project

Way back when, oh say maybe about 1999, I got in my mind to make a little accent fence for a corner of the front yard here at 173.  I had just finished putting a new fence around the back yard and had leftover material and, being the kind of guy I am, it drove me nuts that my yard just ran into the neighbors yard. Mind you - I'm not agorophobic, antisocial or asocial, but I am a dues-paying, card-carrying member of the Good Fences Make Better Neighbors club. Really, we have great neighbors here at 173, but there's just enough OCD in me that it always bugged me that nobody was clear on what was mine, and what was theirs.  ( - what happened in my childhood???)  Anyway, leftover materials...OCD...time on my hands...I decided to build that fence (just so they'd know!).  The posts were pressure-treated 4x4s, the stretchers (I don't even know if that's what they're called - you know - the horizontal boards between fence posts), and the pickets were just leftover ferring.  I sifted through some of the old photo albums but couldn't find a true before picture, but here's a very early shot of the fence, even the apple tree was little more than a twig at the time!  Oh, and notice the color!  That'll come into play in a few paragraphs.

Because it was just a little accent fence, I planted the posts using post spikes:

Dogs Gotta Go Too!

I gotta say, those things were great!  They made putting the posts in sooo simple!  And - they lasted a long time!  The only problem was, one of the posts became the neighborhood - how shall we say - canine watering post.  In and of itself - who cares, but about a year or so ago that spike had literally disintegrated, to the point that the one side of the fence was just free swingin'!  If you expand this picture you might be able to tell:  

Well, I guess not, but again - notice the color.

Time for a Refresh

So, as is typical here at 173 in the spring, I find a bunch of small projects to hop on. A few days ago I was at Lowes and saw those spikes and thought - it's time. So I got the spikes, disassembled the fence, drove in the new spikes, and reassembled said fence:

Devil in the Details

Not too bad, but there's a couple things here.  For whatever reason, I didn't even notice that the spikes were gray and not brown like the old ones, and I hated it!  And what you may not be able to tell is that a lot of the pickets were loose (all those years ago I used drywall screws - the things we learn), and some had rotted out.  First order of business - do something about those gray posts.  As luck would have it - I didn't have brown paint, but I did have black:

Then I started putting those horizontal boards on, and had an inspiration - why not go with something different:

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.  - Will Rogers

Double Stained

Quite a departure.  So here's the part about the color.  If you look at that first picture you'll notice how ORANGE the fence was!  That's not photo artifact - the color for all the fences at 173 was Behr cedar deck stain.  IT WAS ORANGE!  I figured it would darken nicely over time, and it did, but for a couple years you could see all the fences from a couple blocks away!  I think they could see them from the space station!  So when I redid the fence, I really didn't want to have bright orange again, and I had an epiphany!  I first stained the new boards with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and immediately gave them a couple coats of the cedar stain!  Here she is:

Pretty close to the aged color - at least it's not neon orange!  Not 100% convinced that I like the style of the new fence...we'll see.
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