Summer is the time for vibrant colors that show to their best advantage under the bright, hot sun. You may have a yard bursting with vivid flowers, but what about the rest of your outdoor space? Wouldn’t it be fun to kick it up a notch with colors that delight the eye wherever you look?
It’s not only easy to do, but it’s fun. These simple projects that will liven everything up in no time.
Paint a Bunch of Pots
Standard clay pots are useful but can look sort of boring. Painting them in happy colors is a quick fix and adds a whole lot of punch to your display of plants. They don’t even have to be empty; if you’re careful, you can paint pots that already have plants in them.
If the pots are new, you don’t have to prep them at all. If they’ve been used before, you’ll want to wash them and let them dry thoroughly before painting.
What kind of paint to use? Any kind you have at home will do, including any leftovers, you may have from painting rooms or doing other projects. But since the pots don’t take very much paint, you can indulge your love of color by buying small containers of a rainbow of shades for not a lot of money. Home improvement and paint stores sell what they call sample sizes, and they’ll mix them to order just as if you were buying a whole gallon. You can also sometimes find small jars of decorator paint at stores like Target. Unfortunately, those sizes likely won’t be enough for more than one pot each, so you could use them for painting trim.
Then all you need are one or two inexpensive paint brushes (bristle or foam), some newspaper or other throwaway material to protect your working surface, and you’re ready.
As for technique, it’s all yours to decide. You can use one color per pot and leave it at that, use a different color for the trim, add freehand polka dots, or embellish with any design you like. If you need inspiration, check out these posts on Pinterest.
Clay pots are porous, so they will absorb some of the first coat of paint. You may decide you like the look of that, or you can let the paint dry and then apply a second coat. Leave the inside of the pots alone, and don’t paint the bottoms, either.
Transform Your Garden Furniture
Now that you’ve tested your painting muscles, take a look at your garden furniture. Couldn’t you liven up some pieces and give them a new life with color? It’s a relatively simple thing to do as long as you use the right process and paint for the material the furniture is made of.
- Wooden furniture: If the piece has been painted before, sand or scrape off any loose chips and make sure the surface is smooth. If the wood is new or unfinished, it’s best to use a primer coat first unless you’re using a one-step product that combines primer and paint. Spray paint can be easier to use and gives a smoother finish than paint you brush on, but it’s more efficient to use it on tables, Adirondack chairs, and other furniture with broad surfaces; you waste a lot when you spray things like slender chair legs.
- Metal furniture: Sand or scrape away any rust (use a rust-removal product if necessary), and then use paint that’s specifically designed for metal and contains a rust inhibitor.
- Wicker and rattan furniture: Spray paint is the only way to go for this kind of furniture with all of its intricate details. If the pieces haven’t been painted before, you could also consider using a spray stain rather than paint.
- Plastic furniture: Even though it’s comparatively inexpensive, you don’t have to replace old plastic furniture. Spray paint made for plastic will restore dingy pieces in no time. Don’t even try using general purpose paint, though. It won’t stick at all.
Green up Your Lawn
While you’re perking up everything else, take a look at your lawn. If it’s not as green as you’d wish it were, it’s probably time for fertilizer. Lawn fertilization is a primary contributor to the healthy, rich color that shows that your lawn has all the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive.
Adding more color to your backyard will make it more enjoyable for you and your family when relaxing outdoors. Just be sure not to go overboard and use clashing colors or you’ll find yourself repeating these steps quickly enough.
Author: Tiffany Rowe