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AnyVan has teamed up with Lynne Lambourne of Love Nellie to bring you a new Ultimate Upcycling Trilogy with perfectly easy ‘how-to’ transformation guides. We are excited to bring you the third and final instalment of our trilogy which offers a step-by-step guide for Upcycling an outdoor dining area.

Timed to perfection, this project got underway just as the UK reached temperatures that rivalled Palm Springs! I decided to create an outdoor dining area, and by that, I don’t mean buying one of those uncomfortable teak tables and chair sets. They only look good for one summer and then you end up having to spend hours making them look presentable for the next year. I wanted to be creative and upcycle some items to create a space that would not only look great but wouldn’t break the bank. If we are imaginative we can create a space in the garden that acts as an additional room, a social space that will have your neighbours making excuses to pop over and join you for a drink at the drop of a hat.

The Furniture

I had an old farmhouse dining table that I wanted to upcycle. I painted it a few years ago but it was very much in need of smartening up and weatherproofing. You can buy old tables on second-hand sites such as Preloved and Gumtree that are very reasonably priced. Don’t be put off buying pre-owned furniture or worrying how you will get them home. This is where AnyVan can come in to save the day – but let’s get back to the project!

Upcycled Outdoor Dining Area

There are so many paints on the market at the moment that will claim to be ‘outdoor paint’ but I have always trusted Ronseal for my outdoor projects. I picked up a shade called ‘Midnight Blue’ which I just knew would add a touch of sophistication to the garden. I wanted a colour that would have a real impact, not the usual pastel garden colours that everyone expects. I had also salvaged a vintage fireplace that will be painted the same colour which will be a great place to display plants, lanterns and candles helping you add some style to the area. The outdoor fireplace will serve as a focal point in the garden and will be adding to that feeling of an additional room.

The Prep

Before I started painting both the fireplace and the table, I made sure they were given a good clean and any old paint was sanded off. Thorough preparation always ensures a great finish – you don’t want to be painting on top of old, flaky paint because you want to rush into the exciting bits of the project. If you have an electric sander this is the time to dig it out – it can save your arm muscles and speed the job up.

The Paint

Once the wood is prepared, it is time to paint. A quick stir of the paint and a good quality brush and we are good to go. The Ronseal outdoor paint was easy to use and gave great coverage. The first coat may look a little patchy, but the second coat will even it all out. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they paint is applying the first coat it far too thickly, but thin and even layers are what we are aiming for.

Upcycled outdoor dining area

It was a hot and sunny day when I started, so the time taken for the paint to dry was faster than usual. Always let each coat dry properly before applying the next so that you can get a smooth finish.

The Finishing Touches

The fireplace was transformed and the paint added a slight sheen, bringing the wood back to life and making it look as good as new.
I wanted to keep the top of the table natural wood whilst the legs were painted ‘Midnight Blue’. I applied outdoor varnish on the table top to protect our upcycled project from the elements and spillage that are bound to happen. The varnish is only white when on the application so you can see if you have any large drips and even out. When this dries, it will become clear.

upcycled outdoor dining area

Outdoor mirrors are a great way of adding a touch of class to the outdoor space and, if angled correctly, can reflect the lovely green areas of the garden to your seating area – almost like a piece of living artwork. I found mine on a second-hand website and thought it would look perfect above the fireplace.

Once the mirror was in place, all that was needed was a glass of summer Rose and some solar lighting. I found some perfect vintage-looking large solar light bulbs in Robert Dyas and suspended them on a thin rope from the balcony above the seating area. They added a real feature to the area.

 upcycled outdoor dining area

For the final touches, I needed a few plants to make this outdoor dining area complete. I chose succulents as they are easy to grow and don’t require too much watering. The hanging planters were from Ikea and I planted them with herbs, giving off a lovely fresh aroma when passing.

The Outcome

The outdoor space has been transformed and it was so easy to do. I promise you as you sit there, a glass of wine in hand on a summers day with your friends it will be worth all the effort. The kids love it too – the only problem may be persuading them to come back indoors for dinner!

upcycled outdoor dining area upcycled outdoor dining area

If you need help getting your newly upcycled projects or materials back home, get in touch with AnyVan today for a free quote! We move anything, anywhere.

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