Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Great Garden Project (part one) with Johnstone's Paints

I think of our garden as the biggest room in our house and there is so much of it that I've decided to set it out as different areas depending on who uses it. Hubbie has plans for a shed at the end of the garden - he's been talking about it since we moved here 5 years ago. Each year we've bought something big for the garden so the main part of the garden is dedicated to a play area for the boys with a swing, slide, various ride-on toys and the den. Hubbie built the den from a pile of wood that was delivered to us on the back of a flatbed truck and while it was treated with wood stain years ago it is in need of a refresh. The area I spend most time in is what would pass for a patio. I have battled with the gravel and finally given in so now we have tables, seats and lots of plants in pots. What we don't have is any semblance of order or a theme with a mish mash of plastic furniture and folding chairs. I decided to change that.

Ooh lots of lovely paints
My plan was to refurb and upcycle the furniture that's been weather beaten and make it more appealing to sit outside. I want to have a nice area to enjoy the outdoors in and even to sit with a glass of wine if I'm feeling really indulgent. Just as I was pondering what paints to buy and whether to pay a visit to the DIY mecca of Purley Way the nice folks at Johnstone's paints asked if I'd like to try their range of Garden Colours outdoor paints and I jumped at the chance. I asked the boys what colours they would like and we chose wild bluebell and calming stone as well as some gold metal paint for finishing touches and dark oak wood stain for the den.

BEFORE: Side table 
AFTER: Side table 
The first hurdle was the weather. As soon as the paints arrived I was raring to go, but it rained for days. I looked forlornly out of the windows waiting for a dry day and finally it came. I decided to start with the tables that we use for drinks and as the metal legs are black decided that stone would make a striking contrast. I think they look simple and elegant now.

BEFORE: Picnic  bench 
AFTER: Picnic bench 
We chose a two tone look for the kids' picnic table with stone for the table and blue for the seats. I was going for a beach hut feel and it looks much better and the finish is great. It's weather proof, but doesn't disguise the wood so the natural grain still shows through. Unlike before I can wipe clean the surfaces when the boys have eaten so it's practical too.

BEFORE: Swing seat and tables 
AFTER: Swing seat and tables 
The seating area is much more appealing now. The swing seat and side tables work really well together and with the picnic bench is playful and fun. I'm not done with the garden project just yet, but wanted to share progress. The pirate boat has also had a lick of paint, I'm going to replace the sail and hopefully she will be good to go on a seafaring adventure again.

Upcycled pirate ship
I've really enjoyed upcycling our garden and it was so simple. I used two coats of paint to ensure even coverage and the colours and finish are impressive. Next is the den which will take longer, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I might even use the wood stain on these cut logs to make a feature of them.

I'll keep you posted.

Disclosure: We were sent a range of outdoor paints by the lovely folks at Johnstones for our garden project. 

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