Renovate Your Garden Furniture with a Colourful Coat of Paint
Is your wooden garden furniture no longer looking its best? Is the sight of that dirty, unattractive looking chair and peeling table putting you off eating al fresco? Before you rush out to spend your hard-earned cash buying replacement items, think about the improvement a coat of paint might make. The cost of a can or two of paint is a much more economical option than buying new and will both give a whole new lease of life to your furniture as well as protect the wood. The newly painted items will last you long into the future. Your garden has probably changed somewhat since you originally bought your furniture. Repainting gives you the opportunity to create the ambience you are looking for by choosing a colour that best reflects the patio, decking or lawn where the furniture will sit. Why not get the children involved with the painting? It’s a great learning opportunity for them; they will have lots of fun and might save you some time.
Preparing Your Garden Furniture for a Re-paint.
The first step in preparing your garden furniture for an overhaul is to check it so that you can decide the best way to go about your task. Removing what remains of the existing finish is crucial in creating a smooth absorbent surface over which to apply the new paint. Wood that has not been treated, other than with a coat of oil, can easily be sanded with a block and fine sandpaper or an electric sander. This method works well too for previously painted surfaces. However, working with wood that has been painted with gloss paint requires a different approach.
Examining your furniture provides you with a great opportunity to check that all the components are in good working order and make any repairs before painting. Perhaps screws are rusty and need replacing or your foldable garden furniture doesn’t fold-up easily and needs attention and a spot or two of lubricant. Complete any repairs before you begin preparing surfaces for painting.
Preparing to Paint Furniture That Has Not Been Previously Painted
Prior to sanding, you should wash the furniture down with soapy water, brush off any flaking paint or rotten wood and then wipe it over with clean water. Sanding a chair by hand requires much less effort than sanding a whole outdoor dining suite or several large sun loungers. If you have a lot of sanding work to do, you might consider spending a bit of money on a sander. Mouse sanders can be bought relatively cheaply, are easy to use and give you a good result. They are excellent for getting into corners and other places difficult to reach. When you have finished sanding, wipe off any dust using a damp cloth. Once dry, you should have a clean, smooth surface on which to apply the paint.
How to prepare exterior furniture that has been painted before
To get the best finish on wood that has been painted before, you first need to get rid of old layers of paint, particularly if the paint is cracking. Trying to do this with a paint scraper is a time-consuming and thankless task and the finish you will get is likely to be unsatisfactory. Plus, you may damage the wood with the scraping action. Fortunately, there are many types of paint stripper on the market today and while care needs to be taken and the manufacturer’s instructions followed, they are less hazardous than they were a decade or so ago. Nevertheless, they are powerful products and once applied will soon allow you to remove the paint with ease. If using a paint stripper isn’t something you want to do, then use a sander. You will need to have plenty of spare sandpaper sheets to hand. Once you have removed the paint, clean down the surface as in the paragraph above. There is another method available, entrusting your furniture to a company who will dip them in a paint removing solution and return them to you ready to paint. Obviously, the items that are to be dipped must be all wood with no upholstery attached. At the same time as renovating your furniture, you can apply any of the above methods to other wooden items in your garden that need some tender loving care, such as, your garden shed, garage window frames or the door of an outbuilding etc.
If You Want the Best Finish, Don’t Forget to Apply Primer
If you want to apply an oil, such as linseed oil to your newly prepared furniture, you don’t need a primer. Similarly, if you are staining the wood, you wouldn’t use a primer. However, if you are painting furniture which will be out in your garden somewhere or on your balcony, the recommendation is to first apply a primer which works well with the type of paint you will be using. For acrylic paint, which is well-suited to wooden garden furniture, use an acrylic primer. Try to make sure that both the primer and the paint contains a preservative which will protect the wood. Don’t start applying the paint until the primer has had time to dry. There will be instructions on the can and you should follow them. Usually, painting garden furniture requires plenty of brushwork. Make sure you cover every bit of the surface, even the difficult parts that are hard to reach. You could, perhaps, use a roller for larger areas. You must be the judge of that.
Think Carefully About the New Colour of Your Garden Furniture.
Perhaps, you have a colour in mind. Maybe you are baffled by all the different hues available today. Think about the effect are you trying to create. Consider your garden, are there other wooden structures or items that could also be painted to match the furniture? What colours predominate in your flower borders and other plantings, can you pick a colour that will compliment that? White is classic, crisp and clean and so long as it is maintained looks good at any time. Or, alternatively, what about black, it looks chic and doesn’t show the dirt as easily as white. Various shades of beige and cream are available and give a neutral look. You could, of course, be bold and go for something bright, a nice green or royal blue. You could even choose to paint your furniture two-tone by painting the main frame of the chair or sun lounger one colour and the arms and legs another. You won’t recognise your old tatty furniture when you have finished. And, who knows, you might just leave your neighbours feelingly slightly envious. Once you have finished your work, you can take delight, not only in the new lease of life you have given your furniture and the great new look you have created for your garden, you can also smile at the money you have saved not going out and buying new.
Get the kids involved
Children usually delight in painting anything and garden furniture is no exception. First, make sure they wear old clothes, so it doesn’t matter if they spill paint on them. Just as importantly, make sure you are using a paint that is child-friendly and even then, always supervise your children. Even little children can help. They can paint a small area and you can get their view on the colour. Older children, if shown the correct way to apply the paint, should do a good job, get a great deal of satisfaction, build their self-confidence and learn something too.
Cover Up the Ground in the Painting Area
Inevitably, no matter how careful you are, there will be paint drips, splashes and spots that on close inspection seem like are everywhere. This isn’t surprising, seeing as you are likely to be applying several coats of paint to get a good finish. You don’t want paint on your new decking, lawn or clean patio flags, so spend some time preparing the painting area. If possible, choose a flat area that is hidden away and not used for recreational purposes. Wherever you choose, cover the ground entirely with a non-slip covering, decorators fleece is good or there are rolls of protective material on the market that will do the job nicely. If all else fails, use newspaper, but make sure you put plenty down and replace it as it becomes stained with paint.
Do You Follow the Latest Fashion When It Comes to Colour or Do You Go with What You Like
The colour of garden furniture is, like many things, subject to the vagaries of fashion. Blue is very popular now, it has both royal and nautical associations and can range from something bright to a nicely toned-down pastel shade or anything in-between. It’s a great colour to use to create that well-loved rustic look that has an air of nostalgia about it. Light green works well in this regard too. I have already spoken about the great finish possible with white, which has an elegant charm about it and blends in easily with the surroundings, but without losing its own unique personality, even in a highly floral setting. Perhaps the best thing about painting garden furniture is if you don’t like the finish or in time get fed up with the colour, you can change it. This means you can be as radical as you want or play it safe, it really is up to you.
Approach the Task in an Eco-Friendly Way
We should all want to do our bit to save the planet, so use environmentally friendly paint and packaging. Look for products that are environmentally friendly. Paintbox has lots of fabulous paints available and most of their packaging can be recycled. Taking care of the environment involves preserving, repairing improving and not throwing away and Paintbox is a company with an ethos that holds those values dear.