How to Transform Tired Outdoor Furniture Instead of Buying New

With the weather getting clearer and the sun even making a regular appearance, it’s probably time to check the look of your garden furniture and structures – did they survive the wet winter or are they struggling?

But before you decide to ditch that garden bench, bring the metal bistro to the tip of the board, or donate that old shed, there might be a chance to not only save them, but also make them revive to the point where they are one of the stars of your outdoor space.

Sure, some garden items are sunk and should be disposed of properly, but for the rest, it’s time to let your creativity run wild.

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There’s a range of products and methods you can choose from to revive wood, metal and even plastic to bring the sun back to your garden or balcony, and they’re available in a range of tasty colors too.

Wood is, of course, a major material used for garden furniture and structures, and a number of companies produce wood-specific exterior paint designed to easily give garden wood a splash of color. Co-founder of Thorndown paintingBen Thornborough has some tips for reviving wooden furniture, sheds and outbuildings.


Shed revived using Thorndown Squirrel Blue and Skylark Blue wood paint

Ben Thornborough says, “Select your color palette based on shades that will suit your existing garden design and plants, and most importantly, bring a smile to your face.” But also, think about how the inside and outside of your house could be better connected by checking the view from the windows of your house to the garden.

If your interior rooms have a certain color palette or interior design theme, why not choose those tones in the garden as well? This will help visually connect the interior to the exterior, even when windows, patio or bi-fold doors are closed.

If you’re not sure which colors will bring you the most joy, buying a few sample jars is the way to go to see what each shade will look like and the remaining shades could then be used to brighten up small wooden structures in the garden like planters or a trellis. .

Correct product

revive old furniture and garden structures
Metal garden furniture revived with Frenchic Alfresco painting in Greyhound

It seems obvious, but always choose a paint specified for the specific surface and for exterior use. There are a range of companies that do exterior wood paint, including Thorndown, so the choice is exciting, but there are also options for metal and plastic.

French painting makes a multi-surface paint called the Al Fresco Inside/Outside range, a water-based, durable, weather, chalk and UV resistant mineral paint specially developed to transform your garden or indoor furniture.

The company says the Al Fresco range produces a very low profile, almost flat finish, suitable for wood, laminate, UPVC and metal and is a suitable choice for your kitchen, bathroom, front door or hallway. just about any type of garden furniture.

revive old furniture and garden structures
Plastic set revived using pintyplus spray paint in pure white, antique pink, gentian blue and mint turquoise

And if your plastic furniture looks way out of date, the Pintyplus Evolution spray paint available online could be an option to breathe new life into it. the Company Pintyplus claims using their primer and spray can totally transform outdoor plastic items.


revive old furniture and garden structures
Bench updated using Tree Lichen wood paint from Thorndown Paints

Preparation is the key to a perfect finish, so before you consider painting your tired old wood or metal furniture, sand down any rough edges or loose old coatings that will show or affect the finish.

painting company Rust Oleum, which also offers a range of specialist paints for a range of surfaces including exterior metal, has an essential tip when preparing old painted surfaces for repainting that if you suspect there is lead in the paint , do not attempt to remove it yourself. Instead, contact a qualified contractor for a lead paint evaluation.

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Ben Thornborough has tips for wooden surfaces, saying: “Wooden furniture may need to be preserved with a wood preservative. If your furniture is made with treated softwood, remove any surface residue from the pressure treatment process.

“If your furniture is old, make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned, regardless of its composition. Wash off any dirt with soapy water or use a pressure washer to remove stubborn dirt or algae. The Washing with a mild solution of bleach and water also helps kill algae.”

revive old furniture and garden structures
Thorndown Paint’s Field Green Wood Paint on Forest Georgian Wall Greenhouse

Painting the exterior metal is also an option, but may require a little more preparation. Ben says: “If there is rust on the fasteners, treat the metal surfaces or use paint with a rust inhibitor like Thorndown Wood Paint to prevent rust forming on ungalvanized metal or other metal screws. than stainless steel.”

Frenchic paint reminds you to wear a mask before cleaning the metal object you are about to paint and they recommend mixing one part sugar soap with 10 parts warm, soapy water and then sanding rust in order to smooth the surface and help the paint adhere.

revive old furniture and garden structures
Table and bench painted with Thorndown Cavepool gray wood paint

Plastic also requires proper preparation. To have a chance of successfully updating your plastic outdoor furniture, Pintyplus states that it is essential to clean the surface and let it dry before applying the primer (using a face mask and eye protection). With exterior plastic, the primary step of repainting is extremely important.

The company says they make sure the primer is dry before applying the spray paint and it’s important to always paint about 15cm from the surface.

It’s always best to apply two thin coats rather than one, to avoid excess paint buildup and to keep your hand moving left to right or up and down to cover the entire object you’re painting. you paint.

Again, let the coat of paint dry completely before checking any areas you may have missed or need touching up.


revive old furniture and garden structures
Cavepool Gray and Bishop Blue Wood Paint on Forest Oakley Summerhouse by Thorndown Paints

Don’t rush to start your paint job before the clean-up and prep stage is dry.

No matter what surface you are updating, coatings will not bond properly to the surface if you apply them before they dry, affecting paint performance and longevity.

Ben adds: “To ensure a perfect finish with the wood, apply a bonding agent or stain blocking primer to prevent possible tannin spots on the paint coating.

“However, if you’re a fan of all things natural, don’t worry and let nature take its course.

“Apply your first coat of wood paint using a high quality brush, roller or sprayer and let dry for one to two hours, and obviously if you let the paint dry in the sun, it will dry much faster.

“After applying a second coat, allow it to dry for at least 12 hours. Although it may seem dry, the curing and setting process takes much longer and the more time you give it the better. .”

Weather forecast

As with all DIY projects, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly, but there’s one thing you and any specialist paint maker can’t control: the good British weather,

Before you start applying your paint or spraying your plastic, check the weather to make sure no rain is expected for at least 24 hours.

This will give the paint enough time to dry, set and adhere properly and will mean that all your hard work isn’t washed away in seconds. And don’t miss home and garden tips and advice, dream homes and renovation stories for the future by signing up to the Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter.

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