Winter Fence

Victorian window screen. This is a portion of a fence we built in our back yard. I’m including this today because it’s so dang hot, I thought a cool visual was in order.

My husband and I wanted a portion of our yard to be dog-free but given our personalities, something normal and easy was out of the question. While doing our research, we serendipitously discovered window screens stacked in a back corner at an antique reseller. Iron, sturdy and decorative, they seemed perfect. We bought 12 in several designs, then the fun began.

It took most of the summer to remove the paint layers — some of them had 6 colors — using metal brushes, paint removers, steel wool, and lots of elbow grease. The sections aren’t very tall — 3 feet max — and we crouched over them or sat on upturned paint cans. The work went on and on, but…when they were clean, painted black, installed by my husband, it made the yard unique. As for keeping the dogs out, ha! If there’s a squirrel sassy enough to flick a tail in Pushkin’s yard, that dog’s over it in a flash.

I was in high school when Daddy gave me the words that prepared me for stripping Victorian iron, or tiling a bathroom, or learning to make pizza from scratch. He sat at the piano, playing, while I decorated the family room for a party. I went up a ladder, taped crepe paper or other decoration in place, climbed down. Moved the ladder. Climbed up again. It took a long time and when I was finished, I said, “I don’t like the way it looks but it’s the best I can do.” Daddy stopped playing and said, “If you don’t like it, say so, then be brave enough to try again.” So I removed my work. The second iteration was better; lesson learned.

Enjoy the cool picture. Drink lots of water. More on Wednesday.


  1. Great minds must think alike. I used a door screen for a gate in the yard. Nice post!

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