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White picket fence


We finally got some rain-free weekend weather, so after three days of half-hearted painting, we’re about 1/10th of the way to a white picket fence. We’re using Olympic solid stain in “Snowflake” (white, but not completely glaring) – because, as one of our readers helpfully pointed out, stain won’t flake or peel the way paint would. With 200+ feet of fence to worry about, that’s an important difference!

It’s going to be a slow process. On Friday, I was all sorts of energetic and ready to paint. I had the day off, so I went out early and got a 5-gallon bucket of stain. I came home and got to work, thinking that by the time Teague rolled in the door I’d surprise him with all sorts of progress. 2 hours later, I finally finished the first of 28 panels. Frustrated and hot as hell, I did some quick calulations in my head and started wondering whether or not it was even worth it. 28 panels, 2 hours per panel – that’s 56 hours! I knew it would take some time, but I was thinking more like half that…

Tom Sawyer

In the end, I sucked it up and kept going. It does look really good, and I don’t have much else to do this summer anyway. And Teague will be helping when he can, although so far he hasn’t been too excited about the painstakingly tedious work. We dug up the paint sprayer to try that route, but it kept getting clogged – so paint brush it is. Too bad I’m not a fast talker like Tom Sawyer, because I’d love to pawn this job off on someone else!

We did find something to make us work a little faster. Yesterday we had a private little concert in our backyard – an entire band of bagpipers! They were warming up for the Boxing Hall of Fame parade that happens right down the street. They asked if they could practice in our lawn – how do you turn that down?! If you can hire your own band, I highly recommend it. Here they are warming up – and admiring the fence, of course.

Bagpipers, before

And here they are a few short hours later, looking dapper in their kilts!

Bagpipers, after

The parade is a very big deal for our little town, so we clocked out early to go check it out. All sorts of famous boxers (and boxing enthusiasts) come to town to celebrate the sport. The weekend-long event culminates in a parade through town. I don’t know too much about boxing, but it’s fun to watch everybody drive by and wave. My favorite star this year was Bert Sugar, a famous boxing writer who rolled through smoking a stogie and dancing around in plaid clamdiggers. How cool is this guy?

Burt Sugar

The parade is small-town life at it’s finest. Where else can you see stuff like this? A not-so-happy pony looking totally smooth in neon sunglasses…

Nice shades

The parade was the perfect excuse to stop painting (and then never start again). I have the day off today, so I SHOULD be out there painting the fence. But I’m sure I’ll find a few more distractions before I get myself out there.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

becoming-home had this to say on 06.11.07:

I feel the same way about painting kitchen cabinets..will it ever end?

Kristin had this to say on 06.11.07:

The fence is looking great! And your new camera takes terrific pictures!

Ma Wags had this to say on 06.12.07:

Well, having that big yard comes in handy once in awhile! Nice, car, too by the way! Glad to see it’s a 4-door, for possible eventualities!

carabe11a had this to say on 06.12.07:

You might want to try and use a paint roller for the flat surfaces. It works better than a brush with no strokes and covers much more evenly. This way, all you’ll have to do is use the brush for the crevices and between boards. It might speed things up a little more for you.

Mindy had this to say on 06.14.07:

Carabella –

We tried using a paint roller on the flat front and back sides, but it didn’t lay down enough paint and left little tiny bubbles on the surface. The can actually recommends a stiff brush because it gets paint into the wood grain better. Thanks for the thought though! I imagine with some stains that would work well, but the white stain we are using is more like paint. I have been using a small roller for the edges – it’s much easier to get in-between the pickets than a big brush.

rachel had this to say on 06.16.08:

How much paint per panel would you estimate?

I have a three foot fence that needs painting – and I’m thinking it might be simpler to replace it with vinyl, even if I don’t like it as well.

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