Decoration, Decorative Features, Garden Design, Indoor, Make over

Painting furniture is a great way to add your own personality to your furniture. But it can be a daunting task if you’re not used to it; we’ve all had the worry of “what if I make it look worse?”. So we’ve compiled some basic tips and ideas to help guide you in the right direction so you can enjoy the process and have some success with painting your furniture. We’ve also got some decorative ideas to help get you thinking on how to make any furniture item your own.   

Prepare your furniture for painting

  1. Always give your furniture a clean before painting. Make sure it’s free from dust by going over it with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth before you start.
  2. Some items of furniture may come already varnished or treated in which case you may need to sand them before you can paint. For wooden furniture, a standard sandpaper will work fine but for metal items, you may need to purchase some special sandpaper.
  3. If there are areas of the furniture you wish to remain paint-free, cover these with masking tape or a special painters tape from a DIY store.

Prepare to paint

Paint choice 

Once prepared you can begin painting your furniture. The paint that you use will be dependent on the material you’re are painting so its best to consult your local DIY store to select the right kind. They will usually divide their paint shelves into sections for materials like wood and metal. 

Brushes

It’s a good idea to have a number of different brushes when painting. You can use larger brushes for covering smooth surfaces and use smaller brushes for getting in and around little details. Any patterns or designs that you wish to paint on top of the furniture will likely be best achieved with the smallest brush. You should feel free to experiment however and see the effects of different brush sizes, shapes and materials have on your furniture.

Start painting

When painting your furniture its best to take things slowly. Work systematically doing one section at a time and take the time to slowly cover the furniture in a smooth coat of paint. This will guarantee you a much neater finish than just throwing paint on quickly. If you’re using spray paints you can apply the same principles; start off with just a light layer of paint and slowly build it up to full coverage.  

Finish up 

Once your furniture is painted and dry you can leave it as it is or cover with a protective varnish. Applying varnish is probably a good extra step to take if your furniture will be outside a lot as it will protect your work from adverse weather. You should bear in mind that a varnish may adjust the final look of your furniture; it may make the overall look much darker or washed out, so it’s best to check this beforehand and buy paint that will work well with your chosen varnish. 

Decorative Ideas

Using tape

Tape can be used to block out parts of your furniture to achieve a certain design. Simply wrapping a strip of tape around the foot of a table leg before painting over it, for example, can give a simple line that will make your table look unique and special to you. You can experiment with blocking parts of your furniture off with tape to add simple line designs to anything. 

Colour blocking

This is a really easy way to make any item of furniture look personalised. Divide your furniture into sections and paint each section a corresponding colour. A chest of drawers, for example, you may wish to paint the outer casing one colour, the draws another colour and the drawer handles another colour. This gives you a colour boost whilst ensuring you still maintain a sense of continuity.  

Use a colour palette generator 

The web has lots of generators that can make you a colour palette for use in your designs or furniture upcycling. Our favourite is https://coolors.co/ You can even upload a favourite photo and extract a colour scheme from that.

Add other materials

Mixing materials is a great way to add a unique stamp on your furniture. Mixing natural materials like wood with some metal features like handles can really make your furniture stand out.

Paint on a design/use a stencil 

All you need is a printer and a craft knife and you can easily create a stencil from any image or pattern that you find online. This is a great way to get a consistent design on your furniture without having to rely on freehanding your designs. 

Evie, Fire Pits, Garden Design, Make over

cosy autumn nights

Although summer garden parties are now a fond distant memory, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the most comfortable time of year outside in your garden. We’ve handpicked a selection of items designed to transform your outdoor space into a cosy place of sanctuary that you can enjoy, even during the Autumn nights.

You may be thinking, “Garden furniture? What about the rain?” but that is precisely why I have selected Teak furniture as this month’s bench of choice. Known for durability and its strength to withstand extreme weather conditions, teak furniture is ideal for anyone who seeks a comfortable bench with very little maintenance required. 

Due to its durability, teak is unlikely to suffer from rotting, termites, and many other damaging wood conditions. In fact, choosing teak with high quality wood and a high oil content is set to be your greatest investment all year. Warm and golden in colour, a teak bench is an Autumn garden essential, and usually big enough for nearly the whole family to share. Of course, if you’d like to give your teak bench more protection, you can opt for a furniture cover during non-use.

Does anything scream Autumn like toasting marshmallows by the fire? The best part is, you don’t need a big bonfire to do it. Let the natural elements keep you warm outside this Autumn with an outdoor fire pit. In cast iron, this classic firebowl ties in traditional tones with hard-wearing construction. Whether it’s the warmth you like, or simply the sound of the fire crackles as the wood burns, a firebowl is guaranteed to set the mood for your Autumn garden. 

It wouldn’t be a cosy evening without fluffy blankets now would it? It’s time to get the kettle on and wrap up under a big woven throw while you enjoy the crisp fresh air. Many gardeners will say, Autumn and Winter is when you work hard in your garden but Summer is when you get to enjoy it. With these additions, you can enjoy it all year round.

With Autumn, comes darker nights. Don’t let poor visibility stop you from getting outside and enjoying this season. Light up your garden into a magical magnificence with luxurious outdoor lighting. You could place these above your garden bench, by your back door, or even perfectly placed along your walkway. If traditional styles are to your taste, popular lighting options include decorative wall lights, stylish lamp posts, and glowing pedestal lights. Whereas, a favourite amongst modern gardeners are sparkling string lights and eye-catching hanging lanterns.

Shop the look:

Oxford 4 Seat Bench Teak Furniture

Cast Iron Rust Finish Fire Bowl

Hyde Park Outdoor Wall Lantern

Lifestyle Throws & Blankets

 

For more, be sure to keep up to date with us by following us on Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram. Tag your customer photos with #primroseuk for the chance to be featured!

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Evie works in the Primrose Marketing Team.

Growing up in the English countryside, she likes nothing more than to be surrounded by nature’s peace and quiet, with the addition of the family pets of course!

Evie is passionate about all things digital marketing and loves the challenge of combining creativity with online content.

When not at her desk, you’ll typically find her in the gym, posting on social media, or watching a popular series on Netflix!

See all of Evie’s posts.

Decoration, Garden Design, How To, Lotti, Make over, Sail Shades

Sail shades are one of the most versatile ways to add shade to your garden. You can use them in lieu of an awning or gazebo, to create temporary or permanent shading. You can pair multiple sails together for an eye-catching centerpiece or simple to extend the shelter. With so many shapes and sizes on offer, it can be daunting to know where to start. So we’ve gathered a few inspirational shade sail setups to put you on the right track.
sail shade inspirational layouts
Pair square and triangular shade sails to keep a wider area completely covered – great for keeping decks and patios shady and dry. Mix and match colours for a stylish final look.

gazebo sail shade layout

This modern alternative to a traditional gazebo is a stylish way to cover larger areas. Use a combination of sail shade poles and matching sized triangles.

porch sail shade

Keep a patio or deck covered with a rectangular shade sail and posts. Perfect for creating a porch area that’s cool in the summer and dry in the winter.

patio triangle sail shade

Make a place for rest and relaxation on your patio with triangular sail shades. Criss-cross a pair of different sizes for a stylish alternative to an awning on a patio or deck.

event sail shades

Combine several shade sails for true versatility, perfect for large outdoor events like weddings and festivals. Mix-and-match a variety of shapes and sizes to cover a wider space – the only limit is your imagination!

playhouse sail shades

You can even finish off a summerhouse or playhouse with a shade sail or two so you can keep cool and dry while enjoying your garden. Use existing structures to keep your shade sails taught and save money on fixtures and fittings.

For more information, read our full fitting guide or watch the video below.

Jenny at PrimroseLotti works with the Primrose Product Loading team, creating product descriptions and newsletter headers.

When not writing, Lotti enjoys watching (and over-analyzing) indie movies with a pint from the local craft brewery or cosplaying at London Comic Con.

Lotti is learning to roller skate, with limited success.

See all of Lotti’s posts.

Dakota Murphey, Decoration, Gardening Year, How To, Make over

If you need more space in your home but an extension or a loft conversion is out of the question, how about putting a log cabin in your garden? Garden buildings have come a long way since the ‘outbuildings’ of old. Contemporary garden rooms can be designed exactly to your specifications and to meet whatever requirements you may have. From teenage den to guest suite, music studio to home office, it all becomes possible with the help of a good builder.

Here are just a few examples of how your new garden studio office might look:

garden office

home office building
Image Source: Whitehead Builders

log cabin

outdoor office
Image Source: Home Building

If you’re thinking of a garden office, this can be a clever and cost effective way to extend the usable space in your home, while adding interest by making use of your home’s natural surroundings. What’s more, a professionally designed and installed garden office will look fantastic and add value to your home too.

However, when it comes to specifying your new home office, there are some key decisions that need to be made at the outset to ensure that your log cabin offers the home comforts you need for all-year use.

1. Insulation

As a starting position, all garden buildings that are designed for year-round use need to be fully insulated. When you specify your garden office, make sure you choose a twinskin log cabin which comes with cavity filled wall insulation, as well as full roof and floor insulation.

Standard levels of insulation provide a better thermal performance than you would find in a mobile home, while upgraded insulation levels are comparable to those of a modern brick-built house. Once insulated, the walls of your log cabin garden office can be the equivalent thermal value of a solid wall, which is much thicker.

2. Heating

Even with high levels of insulation and double glazed windows in your garden building, chances are you will need additional heating to keep warm during the colder months. There are several heating options.

  • Wall mounted electric convector heaters are the traditional choice
  • Wall mounted electric infrared heating panels are energy efficient as they don’t heat unnecessary space
  • Underfloor heating is unobtrusive and space saving
  • Wood burning stoves can be fitted to an outside wall for a natural solution and real fire comfort
  • Fully fitted air conditioning can be used to provide heat in the winter months
  • Standalone oil filled radiators or electric fan heaters can be wheeled into position for extra flexibility

It makes sense to install a heating system with a programmable timer, so that you can control the temperature to suit the times that you are actually spending in your garden office. The latest systems come with smartphone app controls, which may be useful.

3. Ventilation

British summers can be hot, and usually when you least expect it! Some form of ventilation is recommended to keep the temperature comfortable, so make sure your garden office design takes account of this.

  • Glass panels can look very stylish in a contemporary garden building, but don’t forget to include an opening window in the room design to keep their airflow circulating
  • If you wish to avoid the clutter of a desktop or floor standing electric fan during the summer, think about a ceiling mounted electric fan that can be switched from the wall.
  • For full comfort throughout the year, whatever the outside temperature may be, air conditioning systems can be fitted.

4. Natural light and shade

Maximising natural light is the holy grail of many interior designers. And what could be nicer than having a garden office where light floods in through large expanses of glass? Using insulated glass panels in your home office design will provide plenty of light while blurring the boundaries between indoors and the natural environment on the outside.

That said, you may also need to make provisions for shading to screen your eyes from the intensity of direct sunlight and to cool down. If you work with as computer screen, the sunlight reflecting onto the screen can be very uncomfortable and cause long-term eye strain.

Think about where the log cabin is situated in your garden. Positioning your home office near a deciduous tree means that the leaves will shield you in the summer but not block out valuable winter light. Consider the design of the building too; deep eaves will offer a degree of natural shading.

Of course, fitting window blinds (or even curtains) to your garden office is a simple trick you shouldn’t miss. Whether you go for Venetian blinds, pleated or blackout roller blinds such as these ones, there’s no shortage of choice to give your building the right degree of shade. For a top end solution, look out for double glazed window designs that come with Venetian blinds fitted within the glass panes.

5. Electric lighting

Your home office will come fitted with standard electrics, and lighting is typically installed in the form of track spot lights or downlighters set into the ceiling to provide a general level of artificial light. Among garden building designers and customer alike, LED lighting has become an increasingly popular choice to provide good quality and energy efficient ambient lighting.

In addition, you may need to consider specific task lighting to aid your work. Depending on the amount of detail incorporated at the garden room design stage, task lighting can be built in – perhaps as a pendant light over a sitting area, wall-mounted picture lights or outside entrance lighting.

If you’re not sure how exactly the room will be configured, why not add more power point to provide flexibility later on? Then, when it comes to furnishing your home office, standalone lamps or desk lighting can be added as required.

6. Data cabling

Finally, in addition to wiring for power and light, it is essential that your garden office’s IT connectivity requirements are fully covered. Tapping into your home wireless network may not be the best solution. Very often, your computer’s WiFi reception may be patchy, particularly if your home router is in the main building and high levels of insulation in the garden office disrupt the signal.

Specifying data cabling when you order the design of your log cabin garden office will give you a much more reliable service when you need it most. You will need data connections for telephone, broadband and possibly TV too. You may also wish to consider cabling for alarms and entry systems, so you can answer the front door or gate when you’re in the office at the bottom of the garden, and to protect your garden building from intruders.

Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey is an independent content writer who regularly contributes to the horticulture industry. She enjoys nothing more than pottering around her gardening in the sunshine. Find out what else Dakota has been up to on Twitter, @Dakota_Murphey.