The harsh winter months are (fingers crossed) long gone, and with the sun shining, it’s time to dig out the garden furniture and start enjoying your outside space again.
A long winter under covers (not to mention the wet weather) can easily leave your tables and chairs looking a little lack-lustre though, so we've pulled together a handy guide to spring-cleaning your furniture, plus a few top tips for making some DIY decorations to revamp your garden ready for any gathering.
Wooden garden furniture is often the first to lose its looks, but it’s incredible easy to restore. A good product (like our sealers and treatments) will take all the hard work out of sprucing up your seats.
Start by removing all the excess dirt with a stiff bristled brush, and then apply the product liberally with a paintbrush.
Work it in with a scrubbing pad and leave it for the amount of time recommended on the bottle, before washing it off with lots of water. Once it has dried sand the wood down to remove any loose fibres and really bring out its natural shine. Easy.
Follow with a protective product, such as garden furniture oil and sealer, to prevent weather damage and keep your hardwood garden furniture looking great. Alternatively, invest in a protective wood paint to reinvent your garden look.
Rusting bolts, algae and flaking paint are all symptoms of old age when it comes to metal garden furniture, especially when left unprotected over the winter months. It can be hard work restoring it, but it is well worth it when you see the results and it means your furniture will last much longer!
Spring is the perfect time to do this, as a hot summer day can stop paint drying properly, and no one likes scrubbing and scraping in the heat. Start by undoing any bolts with a spanner, making a note of any that need to be replaced (some WD-40 can is useful here), then get to work.
Algae: Put on some heavy duty gloves, make sure there are no children or animals around, and apply a fungicidal wash – or household bleach - to kill the algae. Leave it for a day to get to work, and then wash off with clean water.
Flaking Paint/Rust: Lay down some dust sheets, put on some protective gloves and get to work with a steel brush or scraper to remove any flaking paint. Sand down the table top with wet and dry abrasive paper until you've reached a firm base for new paint – be sure to wear a dust mask for this step! Then give it a thorough scrubbing with hot water and detergent to remove any grease and dust particles that will ruin your new paint job. Some paint can be applied directly on to metal, but if you have cast aluminium furniture you will need to use a primer first (make sure it’s the same brand as your paint for best results and be sure to read the instructions on the product). Apply your first coat of paint and once dry sand down slightly with glass-paper – this will help with the second coat. Try to wait for a dry, warm, slightly overcast day to apply the topcoat for best results.
Spring Garden Revamp Finishing Touches
Adding some pretty details to your outside space needn't be expensive. Here are a few DIY decoration ideas to beautify on a budget:
Craft and DIY blogs have caused mason jars jump out of our recycling bins and into our lives over the past couple of years, and it’s no wonder. Strong, cheap and versatile, they make great DIY decorations, adding a vintage, home made feel to anything. Use them as tea-light holders for table decorations, or hung as lamps. Try dip-dying them in glass paint for an added touch and to link them to your outdoor colour scheme.
Alternatively, hang some outdoor fairylights around your garden, periodically collecting some in the mason jars to look like caught fireflies – great for garden parties and barbecues.
It’s the perfect decoration for a garden party, it can transform a garden shed into a wendy house, and it is the easiest thing in the world to make. Use paper, fabric, even old tea towels and hang it anywhere and everywhere!
If your old garden furniture (or even household furniture) is beyond repair, recycle it into a garden feature. This also works brilliantly with old crates and boxes. One example is to use old dining chairs to create a fantastic, colourful planter. You can even use old Belfast sinks or cast iron bath tubs to create wonderfully artistic features for the garden.
Most of us enjoy a nice glass of wine in the garden - so why not think of some ideas for that bottle once it’s empty? You can see below, they create cool hanging features. But even better, why not use colourful bottles as candle/torch holders to illuminate your outdoor dining areas.
Now that the weather is getting nicer you’ll want to spend more time in the great outdoors, and hopefully these tips have left you with plenty of food for thought to give your garden furniture a facelift! If you do start your own garden DIY project we’d love to see the finished result – tweet us your photos @GardenTrends_UK