Over the past month, I took my fence ideas post to the research phase, and looked at finished redwood pieces available at hardware stores. Just so happens, Home Depot has planed pieces in various widths of whole inches + 0.375″ by 0.625″ which is a nice way to be able to finish sides & faces in whole inches. After measuring the chain link poles we were left with, I came up with a box sheath to build and attach to each using a few widths of this planed redwood. This was easy with the free-standing poles, but for those still attached to fencing, some workarounds were required. They’re still pretty sturdy, though.
post – angle view
2 front posts
3 main posts
One of the things I did to prepare for this project was research weatherproofing sealers. I remember choosing one for our back stairs, but we picked it by color rather than product type. Fortunately, we picked a great product and came back around to it in the research. I read a decent amount of blog posts that gloss over different products, but most of them ignore what I think is the most important factor: how to reapply every few years when needed. Most products suggest that you strip the fence before reapplication. Honestly, that’s a deal-breaker for me. A friend used Penofin and recommended it to me, and when I looked in our basement, there it was, same stuff we used on the stairs. A low-solids wood oil that can be reapplied without stripping as necessary [which is far less frequent than other outdoor weatherproofing, Penofin lasts up to 5 years, where others last 2-3].
I decided to go with the Verde line, the eco-friendly, non-toxic line they make. It’s appreciably more costly, but odor / fume-free and only requires soap & water cleanup. I don’t work for Penofin or get a kickback for singing their praises, but I really like this product. Hey, Penofin people, I am available! Before I put up these posts, I sealed the inner-sides, and did the same with any new pieces going up. There are various tints to choose from, I’m using Rosewood. It goes on looking yellow-ish, but after a few days, cures into a nice final color. The before & after below is after a week.
before & after curing
Once I had a good collection of pieces with sides & backs pre-stained, we got started deciding on heights for rails and spacing for pickets. We decided to use a standard piece as a spacer, so once the first picket was level, we could move down the fence, drilling pilot holes and affixing pickets. I did this side in one afternoon, and the next in another.
testing picket spacing
working down the rail
After each section, I finished with a coat of Penofin on the outsides. This is one of the most satisfying projects I’ve done on my own, mainly because it could actually be done quickly and easily and with only a few tools. Voilà!