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Resene backyard

From the Resene decorating blog

Lacklustre backyard? Cue colour accents. Even the grungiest space can be transformed with a lick of paint and a few stylishly arranged items. And it need not break the bank. Give your outdoor space a fresh face with some clever, budget-friendly decorating tricks.

Resene colour consultant Nikki Morris says one effective way to revitalise an area is to zero in on the details. Focusing on a few decorative elements can make a huge difference to an outdoor space.

A garden and patio

To view more of this project see "The secret garden."

“Look at Resene pavement paints such as Resene Walk-on for refreshing paths – or use them to make the kids a hopscotch game,” she suggests. “Paint birdhouses and hang them from the garden trees, or paint the garden shed door a bold, adventurous colour. Use timber crates painted or stained with colours for garden storage, and paint terracotta pots in colourful hues (use Resene Terracotta Sealer as a basecoat).”

By the same token, an existing feature can become more of a feature when an object beside it is given a pop of colour.

Painting a timber bench seat a warm orange brown will contrast nicely with granite-coloured paving and mid-green foliage, for example. The white trunk of a birch tree will virtually glow if given a black backdrop. And colour from flowers and foliage can be enhanced by repeating the same colour in outdoor fabrics and furniture. Or you can look to your borders.

Gold medal-winning landscape designer Ben Hoyle of Blue Gecko says, “Adding colour to boundary fences is the most commonly overlooked and cost-effective embellishment you can do in your garden. Using deep colours even on a standard paling fence is a must if you want to blur your garden edges and make all your plant foliage pop.”

Stain and revive an old wooden deck

To view more of this project see "Kwila deck."

Stain your fences

To view more of this project see "Fences."

Resene Bokara Grey and Resene Gravel make a striking backdrop to greenery, as does easy-on-the-eye Resene Karaka and Resene Mangrove, which are both deep muddy greens.

For a brighter, more eye-catching statement, don’t be afraid to use bold colours, like Resene Resolution Blue or Resene Snap for coastal themes, Resene Pohutukawa or Resene Blaze for a subtropical feel, or Resene Conundrum, a deep moody red, to set the scene.

Give old wooden furniture an update too by painting them in mismatched colours for a rainbow effect – or a single vibrant hue for standout solid colour.

“If you have tired outdoor wooden furniture such as table and chairs or sun loungers, consider injecting new life and personality to your outdoors with highly vibrant shades of colour,” says Ben. “Be adventurous and echo your personal colour choice with flowering plants in pots all around the garden.”

Or reapply a stain to bring tired furniture back to its original look. Nikki suggests Resene Timber and Furniture Gel for an easy-to-apply, waterborne gel-stain, which is designed for use on a wide variety of new and weathered timber surfaces, including furniture. Resene Timber and Furniture Gel is available in four contemporary colours – Resene Sheer Black, Resene Kwila, Resene Jarrah Tree and Resene Silvered Grey.

A modern outdoor kitchen

To view more of this project see "Good for the soul."

Nikki suggests homeowners on a budget think outside the square too.

“Do you have a traditional old metal washing line? Clean it down and paint it a fun colour – red, blue or pink.”

Outside metal furniture that’s fading can be given a spruce-up. If rusted, wash down with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash, and prepare the rusted areas using a 3M paint and rust stripping removal disc. Dust off and immediately prime with Resene Rust-Arrest. Then paint with a Resene exterior acrylic, such as Resene Lumbersider. If the corrosion is extreme, or you live near to the sea, apply an additional coat of Resene Rust-Arrest.

Wellington artist Samantha Walker uses Resene Lumbersider for just about everything in her garden.

“Recently I made some stake totems and in the kids’ art classes I run the kids created them as well.

The stakes needed to be undercoated first, painted with Resene Lumbersider, then a metal rod drilled up one end to enable them to be staked into the garden. I also recently started chicken wire figures on metal rods painted with Resene Lumbersider.”

She also uses Resene Lumbersider on her outdoor wall hangings and garden art made from Perspex.

“When I first started painting on Perspex, it was a real experiment,” says Samantha. “I wanted durable outdoor art, but I wasn't sure how the paint would handle being used on Perspex if that Perspex was in the sun. As it happens Resene Lumbersider lasts very well on Perspex.”

Samantha experimented with different techniques before she perfected the one she uses now.

“Perspex comes with a protective peel on both sides of it. I wanted my Perspex art to be smooth on the top side so I figured I would paint onto the Perspex in reverse on the underside. I peeled one side of the protective layer off and started painting on that side. But I soon realised that painting with a brush wasn't the effect I wanted, so I started dribbling the paint on and smearing it around with my fingers. I started with the top colour, i.e. black, and then layered the other colours around it. I actually couldn't see how the final artwork was going to work out as the other side of the Perspex still had its protective layer on it. It was very much a wait-and-see artwork.”

But it worked out well. Samantha created shapes and patterns with black paint, then filled in the details with other colours, like Resene Trinidad (orange), Resene Sassy (a bold magenta), Resene Broom (a bright yellow) and Resene Niagara (a peacock green).

“The paint took a long time to dry as it was layered on thickly. Once it was dry, I painted over it with either outdoor paint or a protective varnish – Resene Concrete Clear – depending on whether I wanted to see through the artwork to the fence or wall on which it was hung. I now drill holes in each corner once the artwork is finished (and one in the middle if the artwork is long or big) to screw my pieces onto whatever I'm hanging it on.”

Any exterior acrylic paint (such as Resene Lumbersider (which is in most Resene testpots) or Resene Sonyx 101) is ideal for using on Perspex, but as Samantha mentioned, it will take a few days to dry and for adhesion to fully develop.

As for painting or reviving weathered and previously painted or stained timber, including decks and fences, you may need to wash it first with Resene Moss & Mould Killer for best results. The residue and other contaminants can then be washed from the surface using Resene Timber and Deck Wash or Resene Paint Prep and Housewash before applying your topcoats.

Waterblasting fences is not recommended as it can gouge and badly damage the timber, especially soft woods such as cedar. Scrubbing with Resene Timber and Deck Wash is a better option.

Old brick retaining walls can be revitalised with paint as well, providing a more contemporary look to the garden. Wash the bricks first with Resene Moss & Mould Killer, then seal with Resene Sureseal. Then apply Resene Lumbersider in your chosen colour.

With a splash of colour and some smart decorating tips, you can easily take your backyard from dull to dazzling in just a few easy steps.

› Visit Ben’s website, Blue Gecko.

› Visit Samantha’s Facebook page.

July 10, 2013

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