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Old 08-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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? Regarding Building a Fence (Posts + Stain)


We're going to be building a fence in our backyard. The yard is mostly flat, and slightly slopes down near the end of the fence line. The fence will be approximately 60' from the house, and 60' wide.

We built this mailbox the other day (pic below), and want to build a fence to match. That is, we want to follow the same build plans for the fence posts as we did for the mailbox. Here's what we plan to do. If something jumps out (especially the part regarding the type of wood + staining), please let me know. I'm looking for someone to say STOP, don't do that...if we're doing something really wrong. As for the mailbox...it's not a big deal if it lasts 5 or 10 years and that's it. Easy to replace. For the fence, we want it to last.

- Use standard pine 4x4 posts. (not cedar or PT)
- Stain the entire posts (from top to bottom, even the part in the ground) in Varathane Gunstock stain (noted as an interior stain)
- Poly the entire posts in Old Masters SPAR-Marine Varnish (semi-gloss), resists weather

Would this be acceptable? I don't want to use PT because we don't want to wait 1 or 2 summers for it to dry before staining. Cedar costs a lot more than normal pine, and if we plan on poly'ing over the stain with the Marine Varnish, will that last ok? I grew up in a cedar house, and that was re-stained every year or 2 by my father. If we have to re-stain this fence, that's ok, but preferably, if we could stain it once, and lock it in with the Marine Varnish, that would be ideal.

Our plan is to dig holes, fill with stone/crushed stone, then set the posts in concrete (I know the debate regarding concrete/no concrete, and not really interested in that part right now. ).


*Cliff Notes
- Can we stain then marine varnish a standard pine 4x4, and will that last outside regarding rot and integrity of the wood?
- Will the marine varnish protect the stain, or would we have to sand the poly, then re-stain every year or two to keep the color?

Mailbox that is the inspiration for the fence posts:



Looking to have the fence look "something" like this:

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