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When to renovate what – your DIY calendar

From the Resene decorating blog

When should you renovate or redecorate? Ask most people and they’ll assume spring is the season everyone takes to the projects they’ve been planning over the winter at the first sign of warmer, drier weather.

Summer can be a sensible time to renovate high-use areas like kitchen and dining rooms because we spend a lot more time cooking and living outdoors. The back wall of this relaxed kitchen/dining area is Resene Triple Merino and the floor is stained in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash. The table is Resene Half Sea Fog with chairs in Resene Anglaise, Resene Smashing and Resene Twine. The cabinet is Resene Spindle with shapes in Resene New York Pink, Resene Twine, Resene Smashing and Resene Half Resolution Blue. Wavy vase from Shut the Front Door, artwork from endemicworld, red chair from Cintesi, tea towel from Father Rabbit, blue placemats and serving board (painted in Resene Twine), placemats, bowls and plates from Country Road, dishrack (painted in Resene Spindle) from Citta, grey cups from Freedom Furniture. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

That makes a lot of sense. However, there are other things to take into account when planning your renovation, besides the weather. That means it can be viable or even sensible to tackle your painting and decorating projects at different times.


Spring is a great time to sort out your outdoor renovation or redecorating projects. As well as being the perfect time to get the garden in order, it’s a good time to think about building projects like decks or new fencing.

If you do it in conjunction with your weeding and planting, you’ll be able to design a really cohesive space that works together to suit your lifestyle. And, if you’re doing hard work like digging post holes for decks and fences, the ground should be a little softer after winter weather.

It’s also the time to check your outdoor furniture – and wooden decking – for any wear and tear, particularly if it’s been out in the weather over winter. Treat it with Resene Moss & Mould Killer, wash with Resene Timber and Deck Wash and finish with a protecting coat of either Resene Woodsman Decking Oil Stain or Resene Timber and Furniture Gel.

Spring is also a good time to check for any repairs and maintenance needed on fences, decks, guttering or drainage after they’ve weathered the winter.


Summer is obviously a great time for outdoor projects thanks to the more reliable weather. Just don’t plan to paint your house exterior in the middle of the day in the height of summer if you can avoid it. Your paint can dry too quickly and blister in the heat. Aim for early summer or late summer and into autumn instead.

If you are painting in hotter weather, start ahead of the sun in a shady spot and work your way around the building, keeping ahead of the sun as you go.

Summer is also a good time to renovate interior spaces like kitchens, because you’ll be able to manage for short periods by cooking on the barbecue or eating simple meals that don’t need cooking.

It is worth remembering that contractors are often at their busiest over the late spring and summer months so if you do have big projects on, make sure they are planned with contractors booked well in advance.

The end of summer is a sensible time to check the state of drainage and guttering around your home, before the next wave of falling autumn leaves arrives.

Renovation projects for spring

Spring is a great time to refresh outdoor furniture and features like fences and decks.

These weatherboards are painted in Resene Nebula with the deck in Resene Woodsman Uluru and pergola and large vase in Resene Sea Fog. The planter on the side table is Resene Cloud. Sofa and armchair from Poynters, tables from King, throw from Citta, palm from Freedom. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Renovation projects for winter

Winter can be a good time to tackle short makeover projects that can be done in a weekend, like refreshing an entrance way or hallway.

Lower wall painted in Resene Clover with alternating Resene Rice Cake stripes on the upper wall, yellow trim and bench seat in Resene Chenin, floor in Resene Rice Cake, wall hooks in Resene Paper Doll, Resene Smoke Tree and Resene Midwinter Mist, pink planter in Resene Paper Doll and light shade in Resene Smoke Tree. Bag and scarf from H&M. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.


There are some strong arguments for undertaking renovations or interior design projects in autumn.

If you need contractors they tend to be less busy than they will be over summer, yet in many regions, the weather is still fairly reliable.

Early autumn can be a good time to undertake painting projects, either inside or out because it won’t get as hot, yet the days are still long enough and the weather is still warm enough for paint to dry.

The other home projects you should think about during autumn is checking for any maintenance jobs that will need doing before winter. Check fences for any sign of rot or disrepair, check windows and doors for leaks or drafts. Do you have any outdoor areas or furniture in need of a paint or stain to keep them protected from the weather? Make a list of things to check and chip away at any maintenance before winter arrives.

If you’re thinking about putting in a pool, autumn can be a good time. Though it means you might have to wait a few months before it’s warm enough to use it, pool contractors are typically less busy over the cooler months. Plus, after summer the ground tends to be drier making for easier installation.


Indoor renovations can still be done in winter as they’ll be protected from the changeable weather. However, you’ll need to put some thought into making sure your paint will dry with heaters and open windows where possible.

If you need contractors, for your project they can be more available in winter with fewer big construction projects on.

Winter tends to lend itself to shorter renovation projects that you can get done in a weekend, inside or out. That means, as well as painting a bedroom or bathroom, winter can be a good time to freshen up a patio or entranceway, paint your front door, paint your kitchen cabinets, repair broken latches or door handles, or build new storage in your laundry.

Ahead of winter make a list of those small projects that will improve your spaces without needing to be a large logistical exercise. It can also be a great time of the year to declutter and to undertake prep, like stripping off wallpaper, ahead of making bigger decorating changes as the weather warms up later in the year.

This is a particularly good idea if you’re planning to sell your home with the traditional spring boost to real estate market activity.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

September 13, 2022

When you’re tackling new projects you might find yourself also painting surfaces you haven’t prepped or painted before. Ask staff at your local Resene ColorShop for advice to make the job easier or use the free online Ask a Resene Paint Expert service.

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