So the sun is finally here, well for today anyway, and it’s that time of year when you want to be spending as much time outdoors as you possibly can. I’m a big fan of BBQ’s for dinner and sitting outside in the evenings. So how has your outdoor space and garden furniture fared over the winter months and is it all ready for the summer months? If not then what are you waiting for?
My garden furniture consists of upcycled pallet benches and a side table and a bigger table that I made out of old fruit crates. Upcycling is all the rage at the moment and I’m a big fan of making furniture out of pallets. In fact I’m surprised there’s not a shortage of pallets in the UK with the amount of things you can make out of them! If you’re a bit handy then there’s heaps of youtube videos and blogs where you can see how to make some fab furniture out of pallets for no cost at all. Pinterest is also a good place to get ideas.
So once you have made your pallet furniture how are you going to protect it? If you want to go for the natural look then a good two coats of clear varnish for exterior wood is the way to go – this is what I had intended for mine but was in a rush when buying the varnish and it had a tint to it. We carried on and covered the furniture in it as we had already opened the tin and I didn’t want it to go to waste but I had never been happy with the look as the colour looked like that old yellow/orangey pine so this year I decided to give them an overhaul.
Being a big fan of the rustic weathered beach look and because I have a beach themed garden to go with my award winning beach themed garden office, I thought I’d have a play around with some pastel beachy coloured chalk paints I had laying around but before I did this I did a bit of prep work.
Because the bench had been painted with coloured varnish previously I thought I’d give it a bit of a rub down. But first I pressure washed them – Oooh I do love a pressure washer and it’s great at making a start at stripping off the varnish (see the right hand side of the bench in the picture above so see how the pressure washer had stripped the wood of the varnish!). I then put my electric sander to work on it but I wasn’t overly concerned about getting every last bit of varnish off as the beauty of the look I was going for meant it wouldn’t matter if some bits were still varnished. Also chalk paint is great at covering varnished wood.
Once the prep work was complete and I gave the benches and side table a good dust off (white spirit on a lint free cloth is good for this), I then started applying different colours of chalk paint, using one colour at a time and when I switched colours I just blended them in together. The colours I used were white, turquoise, pale blue, pale green and a straw yellow and the paints were more crafting chalk paints but you don’t need to buy fancy chalk paint as it would work just as well with emulsion or even acrylic paints and with some of the colours I watered them down to get a more whitewashed look.
To finish and to add good protection for the summer and winter months I added two coats of clear varnish – in fact being the cheapskate that I am I had some decking stain left over that was a white wash colour so I actually used this. Yes, it will work just as well and is actually designed to be hard wearing. Don’t be fooled by all the clever marketing by all the makers of the different products you can buy. DIY stores will have you believe that you need a special paint for certain jobs – usually high priced ones. Save yourself money and use cheap alternatives that will also work! A lot of time it’s a big marketing ploy to get you to part with your cash!
So the final result is here…ta dah!
What do you think?