DIY Patio Border Fence

Before and After Patio Update1

It may look like there has not been much going on in our residence over the past 2 weeks, the opposite is actually true. We have 2 projects going at the same time: patio and half bathroom downstairs. The half bath is going much slower than planned, painting the cabinets has been compromised by the Texas heat and humidity. It’s either raining, too humid, or too hot to paint so I’ve just been slowly plastering and sanding bathroom walls the last three weekends. But more on that later (not today).

Meanwhile, Dmitry took the initiative and took on project management role for the patio. We purchased Applaro seating from Ikea about 5 weeks ago when they were having a 20% off sale for Family members. Ever since then the furniture set in boxes in Dmitry’s car. And finally the patio saw some action the last two weekends.

Here’s what it looked like before. Our “construction” chairs, random greenery, messy edges, growing weeds.

Patio Update-1

The other side was even worse with all the “construction” mess and overgrown peppers.

Patio Update-1-2

We wanted to start fresh, but we didn’t want to just toss all the plants in the trash so we posted them on Craigslist for $30 and what do you know? Dmitry found a buyer! They even helped dig everything out!

Patio Update-1-3

Now that we had a clean slate to work with, it was much easier to proceed.

Originally we wanted to build a stone retainer wall about 6 to 8 inches off the ground, kind of like this. But the more we thought about it, we decided that the stone option would be too costly, too complex, and we would lose some square footage because of the stone’s thickness. So Dmitry came up with a much simpler and cheaper solution to build a retainer wall from 2″ x 6″ boards.

We went to Home Depot and picked up a circular saw (we didn’t have one and bought the cheapest option they had available, which happened to be Ryobi and it did its’ job great), 1/2″ threaded rods, and five 2″ x 6″ boards.

Dmitry prepped further by pulling out the existing rubber wall and transplanting the rest of the plants into buckets. In this process we learned that we have very rich black soil here, which is unusual for Texas that is known for its’ clay and sandy soil.

Patio Update-1-4

Worms and other creatures concur about the greatness of our soil.

Patio Update-1-5

Now that everything is clean and prepped, Dmitry measured and marked the boards (inside, of course, where the AC is, because it is 110F degrees outside).

Patio Update-1-7

And now for cutting, this was pretty much his set up…

Patio Update-1-8

He used a smaller board to help him guide the saw straight, but this saw actually has a laser guide on it as well. For the connecting edges of the board (where one boar meets the other), he cut at 45 degree angles to make connections more smooth.

Patio Update-1-9

He then marked the spots for the rods and started drilling using a 1/2″ drilling bit. The green tape is to let him know when to stop so he doesn’t drill too deep.

Patio Update-1-13

Here’s a cool shot of the saw dust.

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Then he inserted the rod and gave it a good twist.

Patio Update-1-15

After then it was more of the same: measure, cut, drill, twist…

Then came the install where a little bit of yoga training can be a huge advantage!

Patio Update-1-17

Now to the fun part – staining. Originally we wanted to match the fence staining to the Applaro furniture, but our Ikea was out of the Varda stain, so we picked up the closest match we could find at Home Depot. The good thing is that it comes in a huge bucket and we can use it for many more projects. I just used a regular cheap brush to apply the stain.

Patio Update-1-18

I applied one coat and let it dry for a couple of hours per instructions, then applied a second coat. You don’t have to do 2 coats, we tested in between and one coat was already water repellent, but we wanted a darker, richer color.

And here is our complete patio border fence! The right side has been stained twice and the left one only once at this point. It’s also a little bit high right now to make it easier to stain, I plan on pushing the fence in the ground a bit more when we are completely done.

Patio Update-1-19

Oh yeah, and while Dmitry was cutting the 2″ x 6″ outside, I was inside busy assembling the Applaro furniture. It was a breath to put together, and actually feels very sturdy. Once outside, only a few connecting brackets needed to be secured in place and it started raining. But Dmitry was determined to complete this one and cross it off his list.

Patio Update-1-20

It seems to have held up pretty well through its’ first rain. Never mind the dying hanging plant.

Patio Update-1-21

Now we just need to pick up some cushions and buy some new plants! I was going to make my own cushions, I have the padding, but after evaluating the cost of exterior fabric, sealant, and my labor I decided that buying ready-made cushions is a better option in this case. And now that we saved nearly $200 by going with wood instead of stone, that money can be invested int he decorative accessories for the patio.

What did you do this weekend? I noticed that most of the outdoor/patio stuff in stores has been put on clearance and mostly sold out, is it really back to school time for everyone? Are we late on our project? Did you get any good deals on outdoor furniture?


  1. by Love Z on August 12, 2014  12:49 pm Reply

    We remodeled our house a few years ago and it resulted in a reduction of our backyard. It was painful for me to dig up our shrubs and trash them, so we tried to give them away to our neighbors. One neighbor took several of them and I was so relieved about that. Unfortunately, I went to his backyard a few weeks later and didn't see any of them.

    • by Iryna on August 12, 2014  12:53 pm Reply

      Oh no... well... As long as I didn't throw them away makes it a little easier. I am glad these people are not our neighbors, so I won't know what they did with them. Out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps the plants didn't survive the transplant.

  2. by Carolyn on August 12, 2014  1:45 pm Reply

    Wow! What a change! Looks so good!

    • by Iryna on August 12, 2014  2:02 pm Reply

      Thanks, Lulu!

  3. by Katya on August 12, 2014  2:38 pm Reply

    LOOKS AMAZING! And like....three times bigger!

  4. by maya hisse on August 12, 2014  3:38 pm Reply

    the patio border wood fixture looks AWESOME!!!

  5. by GoHamyGo on August 12, 2014  5:36 pm Reply

    That looks absolutely amazing! So well done aND professional! I simply cannot wait to hsee it in person! Great job you guys!

  6. by Lindsey on March 19, 2016  7:47 am Reply

    How has the furniture held up? Have you needed to restain? I would love to see an update! We are thinking about this set. Thank you! :)

    • by Iryna on March 19, 2016  4:59 pm Reply

      Hey Lindsey, it's been two years now and so far so good! It has faded slightly, but not to the point of needing new stain. On a sunny summer day we get about 4-5 hours of direct sunshine on it. I've posted an update here
      I definitely recommend it, much cheaper than many other outdoor options and looks great!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. by Delaney on May 25, 2017  9:31 am Reply

    What stain did you get from Home Depot? Hoping to find a Behr stain to match the IKEA patio set...

    • by Iryna on July 9, 2017  11:04 am Reply

      Thanks for stopping by! It was not an exact match, but this is the color we used

  8. by Dawn on June 14, 2017  3:57 am Reply

    Looks nice! What was the brand and color stain you found at Home Depot to match the Varda brown. Thanks

    • by Iryna on July 9, 2017  11:05 am Reply

      Thanks for stopping by! It was not an exact match, but this is the color we used

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