The change in the seasons can mean only one thing: summer isn’t far away. A bit like last year, many families and homes across the UK will be swapping picnics in the park and afternoons in the beer garden for something more personal in their backyards.
While garden centres hopefully won’t be as busy and queued out as they were last year, spring is the ideal time for getting your garden in good order. This is especially true for decking, fencing and furniture you have left out uncovered during the colder months.
Tips for painting outside
Painting outside can be quite daunting if you’ve never done it before, or had limited success in the past. If your outdoor space has a few areas which could benefit from a fresh coat of paint or stain, here’s how to get it right when painting outside.
Preparation is key
Ready to paint or stain something in the garden? It might surprise you to know that lifting a paintbrush is one of the last things you’ll do.
It’s really important to carefully prepare any surface you plan on treating in your garden. This isn’t just a case of giving the deck a good wash the day before you want to work on it.
Use a wire brush to remove dirt and debris from the surface you want to paint. When working on a surface that has already been painted or stained, you will need to scrape off any loose or flaking paint. Finish the prep by sanding lightly to even out the surface.
Finally, if you’re painting surfaces next to your lawn, a quick once-over with a strimmer around the bottom edge will keep stray grass out of the way.
These prep jobs are the difference between paintwork looking the part, and a paint job that drags on for days.
Using stain is a good thing
Find yourself fixating over super-trendy grey decking or white panelling? These might look like they’ve simply been painted, but chances are they’ve been treated with a dependable wood stain.
Stains and varnishes can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the different types, and how paint fits into the equation. While you can get exterior paints for wood, metal, and masonry, stain is your best friend if you’re working on decking, furniture or fencing.
Remember that stains will penetrate the wood to add colour. This is how you achieve those lovely grey and black shades. If you’re looking for a highly dependable stain, a good option is Demidekk Ultimate, which is available at The Paint Shed.
Wood varnishes don’t penetrate wood in the same way as stains. They sit on top of the wood and protect it. While you can’t stain over varnish, you can varnish over stain.
Make sure you prep wood throughly before applying stain or varnish, to ensure a consistent finish.
Grey works, but not all the time
Greys and black are very popular colours for gardens right now, and we’re certainly not going back to the days when shades of brown were all you had to choose from. Greys and black look amazing when they’re used well, because they blend in easily with the surroundings. This is especially true if your garden already has a lot of green tones.
Having said that, don’t make the mistake of over-doing it. Too much dark colour will look odd in an outdoor space, and you need to balance it with lighter shades or pops of bright colour. Outdoor furniture and planters are ideal candidates for lighter shades and strong colours. If you need inspiration on garden furniture and using bright accent colours, check out my post on outdoor furniture trends for 2021.
You can of course also use flowering plants to introduce lighter shades and strong colours into your garden. When doing this, don’t just consider ground level; a statement climber is also a great way to add wow factor.
What’s your top tip for getting great results when painting outside?