It’s so nice to see summer is finally here. Being cooped up in the house during all that’s been going on in the world, especially on those miserable rainy days, has been exhausting at times. Whenever I know it’s going to be a sunny day, it’s pretty much a given that everyone is going to be forced out into the garden to enjoy the sun and not waste away the afternoon staring at tablets and phones.
A big thing I love about these sunnier days is that you can get some DIY work done in the garden. There’s no better way of working on that tan and earning a bit of fizz than a touch of DIY and Factor50. That doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing though. You can leave yourself open to silly mistakes that can do everything from ruin your summer clothes to ruin your lawn completely.
So, before you go rummaging for that paintbrush and summon the family outside like it’s an episode of DIY SOS, here are some mistakes to avoid when redecorating outdoors.
Mistake 1: You’re not working bottoms up!
A bit of upcycling is always good for the world, and it’s become incredibly common for people to take old chairs from the garage or spare room and give them a new lease of life with some funky colours. If it’s something you’re thinking of doing, please don’t plant a chair down on your sheet and start painting with the seat upright.
You want to flip it over first and paint the underside and edges, otherwise, you’re going to be left in a situation with a half-painted chair which will drip all over if you start right side up.
(Oh, and if you are going to be decorating bedroom furniture, I recommend reading this post on Neutral Bedroom Ideas. It has some lovely tips on complimenting white walls with soft tones in your furniture and bedding.)
Mistake 2: You’ve mucked up the varnish!
Remember the old ad on TV where the guy tells you that Ronseal “does exactly what it says on the tin”?
Well, the summer is usually when someone in the house will be nudged into getting varnish down on the decking or the fence. Lift the wrong type of varnish in the shop or use a half tin stuck in the shed which was previously used on the dining room table, and you’ll soon see yourself wasting a day’s work applying the wrong varnish to wood.
Not all wood varnishes can be used outside, so don’t go using a stain or polish unless the product explicitly says so. Even if you have varnish already, double-check that it has UV protection. If it doesn’t, and you apply the varnish to wood outside, it will end up splitting and chipping off.
If you haven’t a clue about where to start, I recommend reading up on woodcare products at The Paint Shed. If you’re desperate to decorate and can’t leave the house, they ship across the country.
Mistake 3: The grass is always greener on the other side
If you don’t care at all about the state of your lawn this next mistake won’t matter, but for anyone who thinks that painting outside means you can avoid blobs and spills on the floor, think of your lawn as the floor too.
Pop a sheet down just as you would inside, and you can avoid any accidents, especially if you’re using oil-based paints. While water-based paints can be slowly washed away if spilt, oil-based won’t want to budge when dropped on the soil.
And never use white spirit/turpentine to try and lift paint off of grass, or it will wreak havoc on your lawn.
Mistake 4: Don’t forget to sand
There’s a reason certain wood and metal paints to use outdoors look thicker. They have to keep chairs, pots and the likes protected against the elements. To make a tight seal on material, it has to make contact. If you already painted a bench, for example, and feel it needs doing again, you’ll have to sand it down to take the paint off so a new coat will work.
If you lump a few new coats over the paint that’s there, it won’t stick. It will split, and you’ll be left with an ugly looking paint job.
Now get to decorating outside!
I hope you enjoyed these tips and it makes decorating out in the garden that much easier. Don’t forget, you can always get amazing DIY tips and the like by visiting the interiors section of the blog, with articles covering everything from painting to budget décor ideas.
Mistakes To Avoid When Redecorating Outdoors is a feature post