It’s the summer that keeps on giving and if you’ve been putting off those garden projects, now is the time to crack on! August bank holidays are looming just around the corner so come on, let’s get planning. With a little shove in the right direction from us, we guarantee you’ll rediscover your mojo and be al fresco dining in the most beautiful outdoor space in no time.
Read on to find out how Spiv’s outdoor furniture went from…
And how I took mine from…
First things first
So, where do you start? Well it’s simple really. You need to pull out your battered old garden dining set (we all have one somewhere) and then get yourself down to your local B&Q to buy some Valspar Garden Paint. We’ve tried and tested several different outdoor paints but trust us, you’ll want to opt for Valspar.
The range of colours is incredible (pencil in plenty of time to make your selection) and the coverage is seriously time saving. We all know how painful painting can be, especially on outdoor wood that just seems to drink every coat. We found that two coats was plenty with Valspar with just a little touching up required. The best thing about this premium quality paint though is the way it compliments the natural rawness of the wood and lets the grain show through. Plus it doesn’t need protecting with varnish. Win, win!
Fail to Prepare…prepare to fail
Once you’ve chosen your colours, it’s advised that you sand and prime your furniture. This is definitely worthwhile if it’s particularly old and weathered.
Spiv did things properly, but I took the lazy route, avoiding the sanding and priming altogether (all fur coat and no knickers as my Mum always says!) To be honest the paint still went on pretty well. My furniture had already been painted last year so it wasn’t in too bad condition.
Make sure you lay down a large dust sheet, available pretty cheaply in Wilko’s. Sounds obvious I know, but in all the excitement of the fabulous transformation you’re about to make, you may (like me) forget. And paint is not good for your grass, or your plants, or your relationship with your anal husband. So I just thought I’d warn you.
After two or three coats, stand back and admire your work. Take a large swig of wine (you’ll need one at this point) before going back with a small brush to touch up any obvious areas lacking full coverage.
The fun’s in the finish
Now the slog is finally over it’s time for the accessories – and you know The Homebirds; it’s no holes barred for this bit!
Shop Spiv’s Look
Spiv went for a blush and grey scheme, which ties in perfectly with her outdoor lounge area. Her colour choices compliment one another beautifully and having more than one gives her dining space a layered, sophisticated look. See below for full details of Spiv’s colours and accessories to help you achieve a similar style.
Paint colours –Elephant In The Room and Fairy’s Tutu by Valspar
Table Runner – H&M Home (£9.99)
Salt and Pepper Pot – NEXT Home (£8.00)
Seat Cushion Pads – H&M Home (£8.99)
Tray – Matalan (£5.00)
Large Serving Bowl -Sainsbury’s Home (£7.99)
Grey Linen Bench Cushions – Homesense (£14.99)
Cactus Carafe – Oliva Bonus (£15)
Shop Emma’s Look
Inspired by Spiv’s selections I went for the same blush and grey shades, but also added in a bold blue for contrast, as I knew this would tie in nicely with the dark grey shade of my summerhouse. Like Spiv, I wanted the dining furniture to match the accessories in my outdoor lounge and painting my chairs in different shades made for an eye-catching finish. A full list of my accessories can be found below.
Paint colours – Elephant In The Room, Fairy’s Tutu and Deep Pacific, all by Valspar
Table runner – Ikea (£4)
Candlesticks – Ikea (£4 each)
Crockery – Sainsbury’s Home (£25 for a 12 piece set)
Blue tealight holders – Ikea (£4 each)
Wicker tray – JTF (£4.99)
Vase – Homesense (£4.99)
Trio of decorative bottles – H&M Home (£2.99 each)
Cushions – From a selection at H&M Home (£3.99 each)
Rug – Homesense (£16.99)
White fur rug over bench– Ikea (£10)
Our Top Tips
- Consider using multiple colours on your furniture to add interest and style – think about how they will tie in with your accessories
- When it comes to the actual painting, play loud music and have someone on hand to bring regular refreshments
- Use an electric sander in the direction of the grain and prime your furniture first where possible. At the very least give it a good wipe down with a damp cloth
- If painting with light colours onto dark wood, consider using Valspar outdoor furniture primer to provide a base coat. It could save you time in the long run and improve durability of your furniture over time.
- Don’t paint in direct sunlight (I know this isn’t great for your tan but it’s much better for your paint!)
- Use good quality paintbrushes in two different sizes. A small, slim brush is better for getting inside the gaps
- Leave each coat to dry thoroughly! This significantly improves the quality of the finish and makes the whole process much easier