September 18, 2018

5 DIY Garden Makeover Ideas on a Budget

Looking for inspiration to help you spruce up your outdoor living space? It doesn’t have to cost the world. Watch our video or read on to discover how you can give your garden an inexpensive upgrade with quick and easy upcycling tips from our Brand Ambassador Craig Phillips.

What you’ll need:

  • Frenchic Al Fresco Paint
  • A small hand-held paint sprayer or a selection of paintbrushes
  • Garden furniture that you want to update – or the raw materials to build something new
  • Sandpaper
  • Optional – electric screwdriver, polythene masking sheets & browning wax

Why the Al Fresco range?

Frenchic Al Fresco paint is perfect for transforming outdoor furniture, as it’s highly durable, weatherproof and UV resistant.

The Al Fresco range is certified child safe and can be used on a variety of materials from wood to ceramic and metal to UPVC. It’s also suitable for use with a hand held paint sprayer, as is all Frenchic paint, making it easy to paint large items quickly.

And to top all of that off, its self-priming and self-levelling qualities mean it’s easy to get a professional finish without years of experience.

5 quick & easy DIY garden makeover ideas to try out

1. Fence transformation

Over time, your fixed garden furniture can begin to look worn as it’s open to the elements all year round. A painted fence in particular is likely fade due to sun exposure, but giving it a new lick of paint can really help to bring it back to life.

The easiest way to repaint your fence is using a hand held paint sprayer, as you can cover a large area much more quickly than using a paintbrush. Simply adjust the nozzle and spray up and down in a fluid motion.

It’s a good idea to apply two coats of paint as rough sawn timber is very porous, so this will fully weatherproof it and help it last longer.

2. Dog bed transformation

If you share your home with a four-legged friend, you might also want to create a designated space in your garden for them. 

Building a wooden dog bed is relatively simple and can be done on a small budget using off-cuts from old pallets. You can choose whatever shape or size you’d like and then personalise it using our non-toxic Al Fresco paint for a more professional look.

Don’t forget to add in a cushion so your dog can lounge comfortably!

3. Summer house transformation

Like fences, summer houses and garden sheds are exposed to all kinds of weather and as a result, their appearance will change over time. However, this doesn’t automatically mean you need to replace it. Instead, you can save money by giving it a DIY makeover on a budget. Here’s how…

Step 1 – Sand & fill

As your garden furniture ages, the paint will fade and cracks can appear as the wood expands in the summer heat. That’s why it’s important that you fill in any cracks before starting your upcycling project and sand off any old paint to help the new coat adhere better.

Step 2 – Prep the windows

Painting a large item is much easier using a paint sprayer, but you need to be careful around windows and other areas that you don’t want the paint to adhere to.

We recommend using a polythene masking sheet that you can simply stick along the top of the window and roll down into position. You can then apply more masking tape to the edges to secure it in place.

Step 3 – Paint

If you’ve never used a paint sprayer before, don’t worry – it’s easy! Hold the nozzle roughly four inches away from the surface and adjust the nozzle depending on the direction you want to paint.

When it comes to the window frames and any other detailed areas, use a flat or oval brush to get right into the corners.

Again, you want to do two coats of paint to fully weatherproof the item and you should remove the masking tape before it dries to prevent pulling off any fresh paint.

4. Stool transformation

Outdoor seating is one of the most popular forms of garden furniture. Whether you have stools or chairs, you can easily revamp them with a fresh coat of paint.

First, remove or cover any seat pads to protect them from paint splatters. Next, sand down the legs to help the new paint adhere. This is particularly important if the wood was previously varnished.

To paint the stool, we recommend using a hand-held paint sprayer to get into tight spaces and around any moulded details with ease.  

5. Build your own outdoor bar

If you’re ready to take on a bigger project and love having people round to socialise, why not build your own DIY garden bar? It’s not as hard or as expensive as you might think!

Step 1 – Build the frame

First you’ll need to build the frame. To do this, we recommend using 3 x 2 tanalised timber and then cladding it with some old pallet wood.

The easiest way to do this is to lie the frame flat on the ground and then position each slat onto the frame, leaving a small gap between the panels to allow space for the wood to expand in warmer weather.

When you’re happy with how it looks, screw the slats in place using an electric screwdriver.

Step 2 -  Add the paint

As with other large items of garden furniture, we’d recommend using a paint sprayer to paint the frame more quickly and to do two coats to fully weatherproof the wood.

If you’d like a more unique effect, you could try creating a gradient effect, where the slats start off darker at one end of the bar and gradually get lighter.

To do this, simply mix around 5% of the lighter colour into the darker one as you move along each slat. You’ll need to use a paintbrush for this as it requires a bit more precision and don’t forget to wipe your brush off between each panel.

Step 3 -  Top it off

Once you’ve finished the frame, you’ll then need to top your bar off. To keep costs down, we recommend using a sheet of environmentally-friendly OSB board and applying a protective layer of our durable furniture wax to seal it.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we used our popular browning wax to darken up the wood, but you can use whatever colour you prefer.

When coating the wood with the wax, apply a heavy layer using a paintbrush and leave it to sink in for 15-20 minutes. After that time, you can firmly buff it out with an old rag to create your final polished look.

 

Looking to start your own DIY project?

If you’re new to DIY or you’re trying out something a little different, subscribe to our Youtube channel FrenchicTV for helpful tips and tricks from our Brand Ambassador Craig Phillips.

Whether you’re planning lots of summer barbeques or want to give your dull outdoor space a new lease of life, we have the tools to help you do it. If you’ve found this video tutorial helpful, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up!



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