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‘Tis the season for longer days and warmer nights, which means it’s also the perfect time of year for outdoor entertaining. If your backyard isn’t up to snuff – especially after the hectic school holidays – try these tips, courtesy of the decorating experts at Dulux.

Believe it or not, the difference between a beat-up backyard and a poolside paradise can be a simple lick of paint – in a carefully considered colour, of course. 

Dulux Colour Expert Andrea Lucena-Orr recommends pairing your crisp whites, concrete greys and natural stone with lashings of pastels like salmon and mint if you want to add a sense of playfulness.

“When it comes to introducing colour into your backyard spaces, it pays to be adventurous,” Andrea says. “Even a small quantity of an unexpected colour through a geometric pattern on a retainer wall, or a vibrant accent wall in your pool house can make a bold statement.”

With these colours popping against a neutral backdrop – say, your house’s exterior wall or your pool fence – your guests will be instantly transported to the tropics and feel that sense of modern glamour, fun and energy made famous by the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Fans of the nature-inspired look should try pairing rich turquoise greens and deep blue-greys with warm whites, particularly in your outdoor dining area.

“Whether it’s your outdoor fireplace, furniture or decorative accessories, like mats and plant pots, these shades, while seemingly simple, will provide a sense of holiday-comfort we all crave in the summer months,” says Andrea.

Now you know *which* colours to paint with, it’s time for the how! Outdoor painting can be tricky terrain, so be sure to go for a finish that’s easy to apply and lasts for years – Dulux Weathershield may be your best bet. You can use it on most exterior surfaces, including brickwork, decking, weatherboards and gutters, and it will maintain its good looks – and protect your home against Australia’s harsh conditions – for as long as you live there.

Tackling an outdoor painting project can be completed in just one weekend, meaning you’ll still have plenty of time to host and toast this summer once the DIY makeover is complete.

Here are some painting tips and tricks, courtesy of Dulux, to help you achieve these looks in your own home…

General painting tips:

  1. Save time and money by calculating the amount of paint you need before making your purchase. This will ensure you won’t run out of paint during the course of your project and may help reduce the amount of waste. Head to Dulux’s website to access their paint calculator.
  2. Check the temperature for the day. Only paint if it’s between 10℃ and 35 °C. The colder it is, the longer it takes to get the paint to dry.
  3. It’s okay to paint in the wind. Note, a light breeze is great to help the drying process, but if it’s too windy, your paint will dry too fast.

Tips for painting weathered surfaces:

  1. Is the surface ready for painting? Test the adhesion on all previously painted surfaces by cutting a small ‘X’ through the existing paint with a sharp blade, press cellulose tape firmly across the cut and then rip off the tape. If the paint comes off, it is unsound and should be removed. Repeat at random in a number of areas to test the surface. Scrape off all loose and flaking paint and ensure the surface is dry.
  2. Does the surface have mould? Remove all mould and mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one-part bleach, three-parts water). Make sure you are wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. Power washing is also an option. Rinse surface well with water. They recommend you use Dulux® Weathershield® for your top coat.
  3. Is the surface peeling or flaking? Prepare the surface by removing all loose paint with a scraper or wire brush. Make sure you sand any rough surfaces, then prime and repaint the surface using Dulux 1Step® Prep.

Tips for DIY wall painting

  1. Gather your painting supplies and ensure the surface has been properly prepared (sanded and washed) prior to starting to paint. Follow the label on the Dulux Weathershield can for more information.
  2. Once the surface is dry, apply Dulux Weathershield to the surface using long brush strokes, starting with the inner panels and working your way out.
  3. Smooth over the wet painted section with long brush strokes. Do not reload the brush when you do this, a few strokes should be enough to smooth the surface. Repeat this process for the second coat. Allow to dry, then give the surface a light sand with 400 grit sandpaper and repeat for a second coat.
  4. If painting bare timber a third coat will need to be applied.

Image Credit: Dulux Australia. Stylist: Bree Leech. Photographer: David Mitchener.

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.