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Pretty ordinary #008: Memorial Day edition

What makes a white picket fence so universally appealing?  Is it its association with our idealized notions of American domesticity?  Or maybe just the visual allure of a crisp silhouette standing in contrast to the world around it?

Whatever the reason, the color white is key. We had a new fence installed just after we moved in last August and left the picketed portions to weather over the fall and winter. The fence looked okay, but wasn’t particularly noteworthy, at least until this weekend. I knew this dreaded day was coming, the one when I had to start the tedious process of transforming hundreds of feet of ho-hum unfinished yellow pine to eye-catching bright white. There’s really no good way to paint a fence except one…picket…at…a…time. I know how Tom Sawyer felt.

Over the weekend I managed to paint the five sections of fence directly in front of the house. If you’ve walked by and counted how many are left to go, please don’t tell me, I don’t care to know.

Technically, I’m staining the fence with an opaque acrylic stain called Rubbol, by Sikkens. The product covers well enough to make this a one-coat job, a must for my sanity. Sikkens is well known in the building industry for durable clear coat products, so I’m hoping this stain will stand up to the elements for many years to come.

On this Memorial Day, I share this unquestionably American image of our colonial house with its white picket fence, and offer my sincerest thanks to all those who fight to keep my American dream alive.

white picket fence


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Leslie #

    Tom Sawyer would be proud. It looks lovely…so crisp and clean!

    May 27, 2013
    • jrh #

      Very! At least until the mold takes hold.

      May 28, 2013
  2. mom #


    May 27, 2013
    • jrh #

      It’s better in person…

      May 28, 2013
  3. Yeah Reid, Thanks for making my ole house look like a momument rising. Gosh, those picket fence pieces look like memorial markings.


    May 27, 2013
    • jrh #

      Zacki – Hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right! As long as I have anything to say about it, the house will keep improving, even if it is one board at a time.

      May 28, 2013
  4. This looks great! We purchased picket fence and will be putting it up next weekend….and then I too will have the tedious job of painting one fence board at a time!
    Your house looks beautiful!

    May 28, 2013
    • jrh #

      Thanks! Even though the process isn’t much fun, the results are worth it.

      May 28, 2013


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