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Innovative outdoor storage ideas

From the Resene decorating blog

Everybody talks about decluttering the inside of your house, particularly in any room you’re planning to renovate, but having innovative, smart storage options can be just as important outside, particularly if you have a small urban section with little or no garaging.

Here are just a few smart ideas for creating outdoor storage solutions that aren’t just functional and perfect for clearing clutter. They’ll make your property look good too – with some thoughtful application of the right Resene products.

A practical outdoor storage box

Outdoor storage ideas can be practical without cluttering up your entranceway or yard.

This large, practical storage box and coat hooks painted in Resene Poured Milk look classy and elegant on this porch against weatherboards in Resene Half Periglacial Blue and a door in Resene Blue Night. The door frame is Resene Alabaster, the planters are in Resene Slipstream and Resene Grey Seal and the bench seat is Resene Coast. Project by Emily Somerville-Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

Upcycling materials for storage solutions

Upcycling materials like wooden pallets can offer fast and very cost-effective storage solutions outside or in sheds.

Pops of Resene Quarter Turbo painted on the stool, coat rack and the wall sign (with Resene Stack) stand out against a wall in Resene Silver Chalice, with a floor in Resene Stack and Resene Nero. Pallet in Resene Stack, storage box and bench in Resene Nero which is also on the pegboard holders with Resene Stack. Balls, bucket, rake, spade, fork, brush and shovel and broom from The Warehouse. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Box seating

This idea is an obvious one but also a particularly useful one that will work in any size garden, or even a small balcony. If you’re handy, build yourself a rectangular wooden box, with a hinged lid. It can be any size that suits your needs or your space – just take into account the weight if you’re going to need to move it. It can also be a really practical way to use up wood offcuts from another project.

If you’re not confident about building your own, keep a lookout for a second-hand trunk or blanket box. Clean up the surface with Resene Moss & Mould Killer, and Resene Timber and Deck Wash. Once dry you can paint it in Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen waterborne paint or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel tinted to the colour of your choice, or stain with Resene Woodsman natural wood stain.

Add outdoor cushions to the top of the box for seating, fill the inside with whatever you need.

Top tip:  If you have a small exterior space, paint or stain the box seat the same colour as the wall or fence it sits up against. It will help your space to avoid looking cluttered.

Upcycled shelf seating

Look out for tall and narrow, but sturdy, shelving units in second-hand stores. Laid on their side, painted in your choice of Resene colour they make great bench seating with built in storage cubby underneath. Add a foam squab covered in outdoor fabric for comfort. Shelving units are ideal for storing the kids’ outdoor toys, pool towels, spare cushions, potting mix or spare pots. Park your new bench seat near the back door and use the cubbies as a storage spot for muddy shoes and gumboots.

Outdoor box seating

Box seating is simple to make, adding both functional storage and additional entertaining areas.

This back wall is painted in Resene Aspiring with paint effect in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Moon Mist. Right wall, breeze blocks and vase painted in Resene Moon Mist, box seat in Resene Aspiring, deck in Resene Woodsman Uluru, table and large plant pot in Resene Teak, tray in Resene Flax and small plant pot in Resene Siam. Cushions from Allium Interiors and Shut the Front Door. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Make stylish storage boxes for your patio

Simple wooden boxes add stylish storage to a small patio.

Wall painted in Resene Quarter Friar Greystone, floor in Resene Triple Friar Greystone, while the trellis is in Resene Friar Greystone and the wine box shelves are stained in Resene Colorwood Iroko (large) and Resene Colorwood Equilibrium (small). Tops of the table and bench seat and the chair set are Resene Delta, furniture legs in Resene Gunsmoke, tray in Resene Zeus, pots in the wine boxes in Resene Abbey Road, Resene Mamba, Resene Juniper and Resene Opal and the two planters on the ground are Resene Zeus and Resene Alabaster with pinstripes in Resene Nero. Plants from Kings Plant Barn. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

Seek out under-used space

Are you planning a wooden deck that sits half a metre or more off the ground? You may be letting valuable storage space go unused.

Before you lay your slats on the top of the deck, use upcycled timber to frame sections between the upright posts of your deck foundations. Line the ground with pavers and place in sealed plastic storage containers. To keep things weathertight you might want to cover the boxes in a sheet of heavy-duty plastic sheeting.

You’ll also need to consider how to access the storage once the deck is finished. Either a hinged section of the deck that lifts up, or a removable front panel on the deck to pull your containers out. If you have a much higher deck, you could add a hinged door to access your storage.

Once your deck is completed and stained in Resene Woodsman natural wood stain, the storage area should be almost invisible.

Upcycled cupboards

Kitchen wall units or freestanding sideboards can be sanded, painted and repurposed as outdoor storage. Keep one near the barbecue for cooking utensils, charcoal and dishes. Bolt a wall unit to the fence or even the side of the house as storage for garden utensils, seeds and fertilisers.

Consider getting creative with your upcycled finds so they become a talking point in your back garden. Try experimenting with some of Resene’s paint effects products for an unexpected finish.

Resene FX Paint Effects Medium is a simple way to achieve different textured and weathered looking finishes like limewashing, colourwashing. Resene FX Faux Rust Effect gives almost any material the appearance of weathered steel. For outdoors, it’s a good idea to finish with a coat of Resene Waterborne Aquapel.

Resene Resitex and Resene Sandtex give your surface a rougher, textured finish, while Resene FX Crackle will leave your outdoor pieces with an antique, worn finish.

Top tip:  When mixing your Resene FX Paint Effects Medium add the colour in small increments until you are satisfied. If you find it’s too subtle you can always add more.

Crate table

Wooden crates have long been a cost-effective stand-in for furniture. While they might often be associated with the likes of student flats, adding a bit of colour and design flair really levels up this cheap material.

Take four wooden crates (you can buy these fairly cheaply but keep an eye out at places like breweries, wineries and produce growers). Clean them, lightly sand them, and give them an undercoat of Resene Quick Dry, before painting them in Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen tinted to your chosen colour.

Place the crates together, with each one facing outward in a different direction so they make a roughly cube shape. Measure the surface area of the top of the combined crates and get two sheets of ply cut to that size; screw the crates together in this shape. Paint the ply then nail or screw to the top and bottom of the combined crates. To keep the table mobile add a castor to each corner. Now you have a moveable outdoor coffee table with storage cubbies for everything you need, like candles, cups or blankets.

Top tip:  Paint your crates before assembling the table. It’s much easier to get your paint into all the nooks and crannies.

Upcycled concrete blocks

Concrete masonry beam blocks, with the double holes (also known as cinder blocks), are another easy to find product that can be upcycled in a multitude of ways. The simplest way is to use the blocks between planks of wood for fast and effective shelving that’s great in garages or outdoor areas.

You can also use these concrete blocks as fun planters, stacking them vertically and firmly gluing them together to create a sculptural shape. Just take care that you have a sturdy base of blocks, and don’t go too high, so your creative project doesn’t tip over. Cover the bottom of the holes with spare tiles or pieces of metal glued on, and fill the holes with potting mix before planting succulents or other small plants. You could even keep some holes free to store trowels and other small garden tools.

Before using your concrete blocks in your shelving or planters, seal them with Resene Concrete Primer and then paint the blocks in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel tinted to your chosen colour.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Quarter Friar Greystone

Resene Grey Seal

Resene Friar Greystone

Resene Triple Friar Greystone

Resene Slipstream

February 27, 2023

Ask your local Resene ColorShop team for advice on your next storage project and how to best paint to so you can the maximum life out of it, or ask a Resene Paint Expert online.

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