Refresh Your Outdoor Space

The warmer months are upon us and there is no excuse for ignoring dull and unexciting exteriors. Paint is an inexpensive way to spruce up your backyard for outdoor entertaining and it will add value to your home. Try these tips for an outdoor area that will be the envy of your neighbours.

Popular Colour Trends

According to Inspirations Colour Consultant Angie Hinchliffe, there is no escaping white in outdoor design. White outdoor furniture is taking centre stage against the earthy neutral tones, which are still a popular choice when it comes to exterior paint.

“Exterior paint colours are still dominated by earthy tones, but there has been a move to dark greys that provide a fantastic contrast to the white outdoor
furniture, green grass or colours of a garden,” said Angie. "Real bursts of colour can be added through the use of patterned fabrics, including scatter cushions and shade umbrellas, which feature fabulous graphic design,” she said.

Angie’s exterior colour choice is bold charcoals with diluted greys. Throw in a good amount of white and add warmth with a merbau wood stain. Accessorise with turquoise and some sunny yellow.

Oiling Your Deck

A coat of decking oil will lift and revitalise exterior timber such as decks, timber fences and outdoor furniture. It’s a great way to showcase its natural grain and add a lustrous finish. There are various types of oils that cater for different looks and different utilities of your timber.

• Preparation is key! Clean, scrub and sand the timber before applying any oil
• If you are working with old timber, sanding will be required to bring your timber back to life. It creates a smooth surface and can remove any mould or algae
• Apply the oil evenly along the grain, covering the full length of 2-3 boards at a time with either a brush or sweep pad
• Observe product recoat times to ensure that there is sufficient drying time between applications, eg 4 hours between coats for Intergrain UltraDeck™

What look is right for your deck?

It’s important to look at the exterior of your house and how this works against the colour of the timber stain. Angie Hinchcliffe offers the following advice for choosing timer stains:

“Timber stains are like white and neutral paints; there will always be one that will suit the style of your home and outdoor space. If your style is French Provincial then the grey soft ash stains will work. If you have a coastal or Hamptons style then wood washes of light stains suit. A modern contemporary outdoor space can use more of the rich, deeper stains.”

Make an easy job of staining your deck with water based decking oils like Intergrain’s Ultra Deck or Berger Premium Decking Oil, available at Inspirations Paint stores.

outdoor living area

Paving Solutions

You can make a feature of courtyards or pool surrounds, or even bring that tired outdoor patio area right back into the 21st century. Painting pavers is fast, easy and the results speak for themselves. There are non-slip solutions for walkways and stairs, textured finishes which are perfect for pool surrounds or decks and also silky smooth satin finishes for a beautiful look that will last for years.

• Surface preparation is critical to a long-lasting finish. Use a wire brush to remove any dirt, powder or loose material
• If applying to new concrete allow the surfaces to cure for at least 4-12 weeks before applying any product
• Never put too much paint on at once. Two coats at the coverage level recommended on the label is better than one thick coat
• Work in small sections of 1-2 square metres at a time
• Allow longer drying times (possibly double specified times) in cooler or humid climates

To rejuvenate your driveway, paths, verandah or courtyard, trust the leading product, Berger Jet Dry which has a number of contemporary colours and finishes to choose from.

Before you Venture Outside

Once you’ve done all your homework, all that’s left is to get the job done! Inspirations recommends following these tips for the most successful outdoor painting job:
• Avoid painting in windy conditions – you'll get your paint all covered in dust and leaves
• Avoid painting in high temperatures or full sun – your paint will dry on the brush and leave brush marks all over the job. Follow the shade around the house to avoid the sun
• You can still paint on warm days, however, to ensure that the paint goes on smoothly, wet the surface slightly with water first.

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