confinements have taught us to value our outdoor space, however small it may be.
And painting outdoors has never been easier, thanks to easy-to-apply, water-based colored finishes.
From balconies and courtyards to patios and gardens, every inch is important.
Some basic rules
You need to match your paint to what you are painting, checking if you need a primer to start. Some paints are easily installed on several surfaces, others are more difficult, being specialized.
Second, you have to do your preparation.
âMake sure old surfaces are dry, clean and in good condition,â says Craig Collins, paint manager at B&Q. âGet rid of any mold, algae or moss. Remove rust and sand gently.
B&Q’s website has a great guide to exterior painting, while Leyland SDM has all the smart cleaners and primers a perfectionist could ever need.
Also take the weather into account. Aim for a thin two-day window for surfaces to dry and then dry. Avoid working in direct sunlight, if possible.
Choose your quick-drying paint
Cuprinol is quick-drying, water-based, and now comes in super seductive shades.
They have two cool palettes: the neutrals of nature – think landscape, water and minerals – and the vivid colors of nature, in flowery tones.
Try using neutral colors as the base colors, then add more vivid âpopsâ, says Creative Director Marianne Shillingford.
For small jobs, Ronseal Garden Paint is available in 24 good colors for wood, brick, metal and terra cotta, Â£ 4 for 250ml, also from B&Q.
âStyle is what our customers want,â says Stephen Pitcher, director of gardens at Homebase.
Easy-to-grow plants are essential, in boxes or pots that you can spruce up with paint. Then add in some eye-catching furniture – gorgeous faux rattan, shiny metal, classic wood, or your old repainted items.
Finally, rearrange surfaces, from decks and fences to walls and sheds.
The exterior decor combinations can be understated monochrome for a refined, natural and relaxed effect, or Miami-meets-the-Med zingy.
Use a single shade to unify a mixture of surfaces, binding together brick, concrete and fencing, for example.
The Homebase website offers practical painting tips, as well as simple furniture ideas to paint in a ‘palette’.
“Make your garden an extension of a house”, says the landscaper Tom howard, expert in small London spaces. âPainted fences and plaster can attach indoors and outdoors. “
Like many pros, he adores Farrow & Ball, which uses an outer eggshell for smooth wood and metal, in shades such as Mole’s Breath, Worsted, and Mouse’s Back.
“But don’t use expensive paint on raw wood, which just soaks it up.”
Paint a shed the same color as a fence, to blend it. Add chic blocks of color with masonry paint to coated raised beds, which can be easily made from concrete blocks.
Black is surprisingly useful, Howard adds. âIt makes the borders disappear, with the illusion of a bigger space. And a dark background makes the plantation stand out.
Cuprinol’s matte black Ducksback is reliable and inexpensive, at Â£ 11 at B&Q for five liters, enough to cover around 10 fence panels.
Or use bright shades as a focal point
Use color for focal points, says Joa Studholme, color curator for Farrow & Ball.
âInitially, keep the colors bright for movable pots, watering cans or a single chair. Then you can experiment.
You can even use test jars. To reflect the color of your plantation, Studholme suggests Brassica and Cinder Rose, with soft greens like Earth Green on lawn chairs.
Get creative with screening
that of London Catherine pooley, named Interior Decorator of the Decade earlier this year, disguises “blank and unloved walls” with painted latticework, also good for screens if you get overlooked.
She suggests understated Pavilion Gray, or Cornforth White, again from Farrow & Ball: âClassic neutrals are good in an urban setting.
Then wait for your climbing plants to grow, such as wisteria, jasmine or roses.
Designer paint, however, is expensive. Farrow & Ball costs Â£ 29 for 0.75 liter.
There are special paints for particular projects. The satin and gloss Fortress finishes can go straight to rust, Â£ 19 for 0.75 liter, as does Hammerite, at Â£ 19. both at B&Q.
Homebase’s Rust-Oleum patio furniture paint, with a chalky finish in six understated neutrals, could enhance inexpensive plastic chairs. Or try the chalky Frenchic paints.
Zinsser Primers block tough stains, such as smoke damage, and prepare virtually any surface for painting, says Nick King, paint expert at Leyland SDM.