Garden DIY During Lockdown discussed by Eco solutions
Sorting your garden during lockdown will make you feel better when the nice weather comes back to us again. The weather forecast is a bit cooler over the next week or so, so it’s the ideal time to get your garden DIY done so you can sit back and enjoy it when the hot weather returns. Read our “Garden DIY During Lockdown” and it will not only give you ideas of how to spruce up your garden but also give you the best way to do it with lots of hints and tips.
It might be cleaning your patio, decking, upcycling & revamping your garden furniture, stripping and painting external door frames, doors and woodwork. Weeding, cutting back, deep cleaning your BBQ, planting, painting your fence or creating a compost, the options are endless and there’s no time like the present to tackle your outdoor space or Garden DIY.
Starting and finishing Garden DIY or a cleaning and tidying project will give you a sense of achievement and purpose which is a really positive thing in these different times. It will keep your mind and body active and give you a huge amount of satisfaction when you’ve finished each job.
First of all, you should plan your garden whether it’s big or small. It’s a good idea to walk around and see how you can divide it into different areas and spaces, much like you have in your home and then make a list of the Garden DIY jobs that you need to get done. Don’t start adding things to your space until you’ve got your existing jobs done otherwise it will get cluttered and you won’t feel like you are achieving the result you want even though you will be progressing.
Gardens always look better when they have strong landscaped lines and by having different areas and zones within the space. Use different materials like wood, stones, patio slabs to create interesting and interlocking zones. If you have a grassed area within your garden then why not change its shape into a circle, square, rectangle or even zig-zag stair-like edges. Mark your shape out with string, leave it and keep going back to it to make sure you are happy with the size and shape and then use a spade to cut away the excess grass. It’s not a massively difficult job, however, it will be much harder if the ground is really dry so always take this into consideration when starting. When you’ve finished and you have the shape you are happy with then edge the area with stones or patio slabs to make a distinct edge.
If you have any patio areas then it’s a good idea to give them a really good clean. Spray the patio or paving slabs with Eco Solutions Grime Go or Paint and Varnish Remover paste and leave it for an hour to work its magic. Then jet wash or give it a scrub with a hard brush and they should come up looking as new. If they don’t have the colour and finish that you want after cleaning them then why not paint them with patio paint. Cleaning them won’t have been a wasted job as you have to do this before applying any new surface coating. Lots of people have been stencilling areas of their patio during the lockdown and this really makes it a standout feature in your garden and very authentic. You can find stencils online, use a small brush and you’ll make your patio look amazing. Always use a finishing product when painting hard wearing and outside areas as it will protect the paint from dirt and marks and prevent it from peeling and lifting in harsher weather conditions.
After a few years, treated decking can start to look tired and worn, the colour will be uneven and it won’t be protected from the elements. It also means that moss and fungi can start to appear and this will make it slippery and dangerous to walk on when it’s damp or wet. It may be that your decking isn’t even that old but you want to add a new colour to really define the area. Before you re-treat or paint decking you should always clean and strip it back. If it is just pre-treated decking then a deep clean using Eco Solutions Grime Go will do the trick but if it is painted or varnished then you should use our Paint and Varnish Remover which will remove all layers of paint or varnish to allow you to apply a fresh colour or treatment. Apply the Grime Go or Paint and Varnish Remover to the whole of your decked area and leave for an hour or more to work. Then jet wash or scrub it with a hard brush, working in small areas and work your way over it until the whole area is done. That’s it, it’s that easy the preparation is done, leave it to thoroughly dry before you apply a new coat of paint, varnish or treatment and your decking will look brand new again.
Revamp your Shed or Transform it into a Potting Shed or Summer house
If you have a garden shed but like most people it has turned into a dumping space where you can’t find anything then now is the time to decide what you want to use it for. If you definitely need the storage space then empty it out and get rid of anything you no longer need. Then decide if you need to add some shelves, hanging pegs or boxes to tidy the things you want to keep so you know you can find things when you need them.
If you empty your shed and decide you no longer need or want anything that is stored in it then why not change it into a beautiful summer house where you can open the doors and sit in a comfy chair to shade you from the sun or the wind on those cooler days. Or how about revamping it into a potting shed with a table and your garden equipment where you can spend hours preparing for your garden planting.
Whatever you decide to do with it then give it a spruce up with a lick of varnish or paint and you will be really surprised how it will change the look and feel of your whole garden.
Think about the colour you want to paint it and don’t just think it has to be painted using a brown or dark fence paint. People are now using bright pinks, creams and contrasting door and window frames with darker shades and colours. There are some great ideas on the internet and some great products outside paints available for you to use now if you want to really make a statement.
Before you repaint or varnish your shed, or existing summer house then you should take it back to its original surface by using Eco Solutions Paint and Varnish Remover. It’s really easy, water-based and non-toxic so you don’t need to worry about wearing protective clothing or having children or pets around. Paste it on, leave it to work for at least an hour and then use a flat-edged scraper to remove the existing paint. Reapply on any really tough areas and when you’ve finished give it a wipe down to remove the scraped original coating. Sand any areas that are rough and splintering and then leave to dry thoroughly before you do the exciting part of the painting or varnishing it. You will be amazed by the results and proud of what you have achieved when you’ve finished and it will cost you a lot less than having it removed completely or buying a new shed, potting shed or summerhouse.
Paint your Fence
Painting your fence will dramatically change the look and feel of your garden. If you have painted it several times before but it is still solid then you don’t need to replace it you can just revamp it. Think about the colour you want to use, a different and dramatic colour or soft pastel shades can really make a difference in any garden whatever size it is. If there are several layers of paint on there already then you should strip it back before you repaint it. Use Eco Solutions Paint and Varnish Remover to remove the existing layers. It’s really easy, paste it on, leave it for an hour or more and then use a flat-edged scraper to remove the existing paint or varnish. Wipe it away, leave it to dry and then repaint, it really is that easy and you’ll have a fresh new looking fence again. Always use paint specially designed for outdoor use as this will help preserve the wood and the colour won’t fade.
Clean & Paint Brickwork
Over the years brickwork around your garden can start to look old and tired. Give it a good clean using Eco Solutions Grime Go, jet wash and scrub and it will bring it back to new again. Again there are loads of new products on the market now which you can use to paint brickwork which will turn an old looking grey or red brick wall into a feature wall in your garden, just like you might have in your home.
Upcycle your Garden Furniture
If you already have garden furniture then decide if you want to repaint or varnish it. Whether its metal, wood or rattan, all these materials can be cleaned easily and repainted with all the new and diverse products available out there now to choose from. If you don’t have any garden furniture then look on Gum Tree or your free local Facebook selling sites for garden furniture for free or for sale. It doesn’t all have to be matching furniture and you can create a chic and dramatic look and feel in your garden by mixing and matching tables and chairs, making your whole project a lot cheaper.
If you don’t need to remove any existing paint or varnish then spray the furniture with Eco Solutions Grime Go, leave for an hour or more and then wipe it clean along with all the ingrained dirt and grime. If you have wooden furniture and there is already a surface paint or varnish on the furniture then use Eco Solutions Paint & Varnish Remover, Paint it on, leave for an hour and then scrape the surface away with a flat-edged scraper. Give it a light sand, tighten any nuts or bolts and leave it to dry thoroughly.
That’s it, you then paint or refinish it. I’ve seen some amazing garden furniture transformations over the last few months where people have used bright paints contrasting with pastel or darker shades and stencilling on tabletops as well.
Make your own Garden Furniture
If you don’t have any garden furniture and don’t have the money to spend on new, or second hand then why not try making your own garden sofa out of pallets. There are some brilliant ‘how to’ guides on the internet and you can make them the shape and size to suit you and your garden. Give the pallets a light sanding and finish with a varnish or a paint with some cushions and throws and they can look really amazing.
A lot of people often assume that corner sofas are only made for gardens with a lot of room, however, they are actually a great space-saving piece of furniture. You can make your own out of pallets to suit your garden’s dimensions and create a defined relaxing area for you and your family to use day and night. Designing your own seating is the best way to save space and is the perfect option for anyone on a tight budget.
You can make a multitude of things using old pallets, from seating to tables, to planters to shelves, the options really are endless and when you start you won’t be able to stop. Use Eco Solutions paint & Varnish Remover to remove any stains, paint or varnish before you start.
Upcycle an Old Chest of Drawers into Garden Storage and Potting area
Why not use old or unwanted indoor furniture outdoors. Strip it back using Eco Solutions Paint & Varnish Remover, give it a light sand, tighten any fixings and paint or varnish which will make it last longer outside and you now have storage for your tools and the top can be used for plants and pots, or you can use it as a potting area. Some people have also used old chest of drawers for planting flowers and herbs by opening the drawers out in a staggered way and these look amazing.
Upcycle Old or Unused Shelves into a Herb Garden
If you have an old set of shelves in your garage or in your roof space, or you see any for sale or free on your local Facebook selling sites then these can easily be upcycled. Give them a good clean using Eco Solutions Grime Go or Paint & Varnish Remover if they need to be stripped back and repainted. Mount them to a fence or wall and fill them with herb pots to create your own mini herb garden which you will love to go out to when you’re cooking and need some of your homegrown fresh herbs. Old ladders secured are also great for this too and both are space-saving options that look amazing.
Clean and Upcycle Old Planters and Pots
Cleaning and painting old planters and pots will transform them into bespoke pieces, make them look like new and really stand out in your garden. Use Eco Solutions Grime go to give them a good clean and you may well be happy with the results as they are. If not you can paint them using some outdoor paint or you can even now get glow in the dark paint which offers an amazing result at nighttime.
Upcycle an Old Peg Rail
If you have an old peg or hanging rail that you no longer use then why don’t you strip it back with Eco Solutions Paint & Varnish Remover and repaint or varnish it? You can use it to hang tools, handmade bird feeders and much more and it makes it into a feature for an area in your garden. If you have a BBQ area then it’s great to use to hang your BBQ utensils, apron and much more whilst you’re cooking.
Upcycle an Old Bird Bath
Birdbaths can become dirty and grimy quite quickly so give it a clean using Eco Solutions Grime Go and then wash it off with a jet wash or a hard scrubbing brush and it will look like new again. You may even decide you want to paint it using a specialist outdoor paint that you may have used for another project and have some leftover from.
Bird feeders and birdbaths entice lots of birds and wildlife into your garden, making it feel natural and a haven where you can listen to them sing and watch them flying about which is really relaxing and wonderful to see. Research shows that listening to the sound of birds can help lower stress and fatigue, as well as helping to combat anxiety so the more birdbaths and feeders you have in your garden the better.
It’s really easy to make your own bird feeders at a minimal cost. Wash out some old food tins, maybe old soup or baked beans tins and then paint them. You might want to use one colour or maybe patterns and multi colours whatever your preference is. Drill 2 holes on one rounded side and tie some string through the holes so you can hang it from a fence, a tree or something else in your garden. Fill them with some birdseed or bread and you have your own handmade bird feeders that the wildlife will love to come and explore.
Garden trellis helps you to create greenery and nature vertically in your garden, you can use walls, drainpipes and fences to secure your trellis and if you don’t have any soil in the area then use a planter or pot underneath to plant your new climbing flowers or plants. Clematis and climbing roses are great to bring colour and greenery at a height in your garden.
Outdoor solar lighting is another great way to zone areas and to bring soft lighting to your garden at dusk and adds a sense of ambience and tranquillity. It’s lovely to see whether you’re spending your time outdoors or if you’re looking out at your garden from inside at night.
Solar fairy lights are really accessible now and can be bought online all year round. They are a simple and cheap option to bring a glow to a patio or defined area within your garden. They are also great to drape over fences or walls, you can arrange them through tree or shrub branches, or hang them from canes stuck into the ground. Why not use old jars and wide-necked bottles and add fairy lights inside them which are great to position around your seating area or on tabletops or shelves in your garden.
Using Old Pots and Pans
If you’re having a clearout and tidy inside your home then always lookout for things that you could use outside before you get rid of them. Kitchen pots and pans are great alternatives to use as planters in your garden as they are hardwearing and look really cool and different to standard pots. Just drill a couple of drainage holes in the bottom before adding your soil and plants and they are good to go.
It’s not always the big things that change the look and feel of a garden. Plan what you want to achieve, how you are going to do it and prioritise each small project within your bigger project and you’ll get there bit by bit and have a garden that looks completely different and one that you will love to spend time in.
About Eco Solutions Non-Toxic Product Range
Eco Solutions Products are a range of safe water-based products which includes; multi-purpose paint strippers, a one-stop all-around graffiti remover, textured coatings remover (ideal for removing Artex® type coatings) and other specialist products including general cleaners that remove grime, paint, glue and much more.
One product does all and there are no pre or after treatments needed. They are safe to use yourself and cause no harm to the environment compared to conventional and sometimes hazardous solvents and they are a must-have product in your DIY tool kit.
Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover is the best paint and varnish stripper and is ideal to use for many upcycling and DIY projects. Most DCM-free paint strippers have just replaced one hazardous solvent with another, however, Eco Solutions patented technology removes the hazardous solvent content and replaces it with water.
Why is Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover safer than other traditional Paint Removers?
- Tough, not toxic
- PH neutral
- No fumes
- No skin burns
- No ventilation required
- Suitable for use around people with respiratory problems such as asthma sufferers
- Working wet system
- Ideal for removal of lead-based paints
- No H (hazard)
- No P (precautionary) statements on the label
- Environmentally safe
What are the Benefits of Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover?
- It is suitable for use on wood, metal and masonry
- It doesn’t create dust as sanding does
- Rapid and effective paint removal
- It won’t scratch the surface as sanding does
- You can get into awkward areas compared to sanding
- It is gentle on wood and won’t damage its surface
- It removes the paint in the grain of the wood and doesn’t damage it
- It doesn’t discolour surfaces
- It can be used on all types of surfaces including wood (hard and soft), Marble, Stone, Brick, Concrete, Plaster, Ceramic Tiles, GRP, Aluminium, Brass, Cast Iron and other soft metals.
- It removes; Lead-based paints, Oil-based paints, Solvent-based paints, Water-based paints & emulsions, Polyurethanes, Stains, Varnishes and waxes,
- Intumescent paints, Rust-preventative surface coatings.
Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover is quick and easy to use and removes the hard repeated sanding, dust and fumes when you are upcycling and doing any DIY.
How to use Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover
- Put gloves on and use an old or cheap paintbrush to coat the surface with a liberal amount of Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover, the thicker the coating the better
- Depending on the size of your project it can take just 5 minutes to apply the product
- Leave it to work its magic
- Just 45 minutes to an hour later you can start the next stage
Removing the Varnish or Paint on your Upcycling Furniture Project
- You will need a bowl of warm soapy water (washing up liquid is fine)
- Take a stainless-steel scouring pad, the same as you would use on a saucepan and scour the surface all over to expose the wood or use a flat-edged scraper
- You will start to see the natural grain of the wood or surface as the paint or varnish comes off and as you work over it you can wipe it with a dry cloth
- Be aware it will dry almost 3 times lighter
- Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover gets into the grain of the wood so when you scour it you will see the natural grain come through
- Any lumps and bumps of paint or varnish will be removed
- Giving a good scour and rub doesn’t damage the grain or the wood so don’t be afraid to do this just always do it in the direction of the grain
- You can leave it on longer than 45 minutes and it won’t damage it. Even 24 hours later is fine. If the Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover has dried when you go back to it just spray it with water to reactivate it before you rub it down with the warm soapy water and scourer
- The surface will dry completely in approx 1.5 hours but we advise that you leave it 24 hours if you are waxing, varnishing or repainting a surface again
Grime Go removes all types of grease, oil, dirt, stains, grime, dirt, mould, adhesive residues and paint splashes. It can be used to prepare surfaces for repainting or just to clean and brighten the substrate. No fumes, no skin burns, no abrasives and non-toxic.
PVCU Cleaner cleans uPVC windows, doors and guttering (may etch certain types of Perspex and polycarbonate so do a patch test first). Removes heavy grime, dirt, oil, and paint splashes too. Spray on and wipe away any stains and grime. The product is safely being used by an increasing number of consumers and professional users alike. DIY Doctor is currently one of the largest home improvement websites in the UK. They are committed to putting the customer first, providing a platform for novice and experienced Home Improvers so they can get together with experienced tradesmen to share knowledge, skills and experience about anything to do with house and home. You can see their demonstration for PVCu Cleaner here.
Super Strength Degreaser removes grease, oil, grime, glue and even light carbon build-up. It is effective and pleasant to use, water-based, no abrasives with no H (hazard) or P (precautionary) statements on the label.
Graffiti Go removes all paints including car spray paints – Graffiti shadow – Leather dye – Marker pen -Crayons – Fly posters – Chewing gum and can be used on all types of surfaces including; woods, all metals (including Aluminium), stone (including soft and porous stones), brick, marble, concrete, most plastics (may etch certain types of Perspex and polycarbonate).
Whatever job you are doing, Home or Garden DIY During Lockdown there will be an Eco Solutions Product that will make it easier and quicker for you to do. You can check out our home DIY Ideas During Lockdown here and our Upcycling Mistakes to avoid here.
Our Home and Trade Strip can be ordered through Brewers, Buildbase, Jewsons, Travis Perkins, or for aerospace +Cromwell/Med-Lab. You can find our list of stockists here.