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Painted Garden Benches – The Perfect Finish For Your Garden


Nobody could deny that a painted garden bench would be the focal point of any garden. You may want one because it will be a beautiful addition to a sunny spot in your garden or you may be a hugely dedicated gardener who likes to open their garden to the public during the summer season or indeed, you may host fund raising events in your garden and your painted bench would be quite a talking point for your guests. Whatever the reason, so many people want a painted garden bench and we are here to hold your hand and guide you step by step through the process in this tried and tested methodology.

We will advise you on bench preparation, the type of paint to use, how to apply the paint and time frames. They key is, don’t try to skip any of the step by step advice, not if you want a good result that is!! Whether you are looking for your bench to be in Cotswold olive for that relaxed New England look, or perhaps rectory red to enhance your Japanese water garden – we have the knowledge, (and you are going to have it too), so please read on.

  1. The area around your bench should be covered with newspapers or an old sheet
  2. The surface of the wood must be scrubbed with a strong bristled brush to remove any dust or particles from your bench. You can use the same brush again with a bowl of warm soapy water to remove additional hard to see particles – then rinse the bench with clean water. If you have had your bench for some time and it has been outside and open to the elements, there may be mildew or mould on the bench and in cases such as these, bleach should be added to the soapy water for scrubbing purposes, with particular care being taken in the mildew/mould affected areas. Again, clean water for rinsing purposes is a must. The bench must be allowed to dry out thoroughly before you move on to the next stage – do not rush the drying process.
  3. Use good quality highly abrasive sandpaper to rub down the bench – do not be shy with this as you are looking to dispel any surface marks or old paint – you can use an electric sander if you have one. You need to work towards a smooth finish without any splinters. Dust the bench off and sand down again with a finer sandpaper to give an even smoother finish. A clean damp cloth should be used for the final wiping of the bench and you should continually rinse the cloth as you wipe the bench, so that you are not just moving dust from one part of the bench to another part of it.
  4. Always use an external wood primer – don’t go straight to painting. Proper preparation is everything. The primer gives an impervious coat to the wood and by not using it the top coat will not adhere properly to the wood and the drying of the paint will be hindered. You can spray paint or hand paint using either of the methods below. Hold the nozzle of a spray paint can a minimum of five inches away from the bench and systematically make steady passes to make sure the surface is evenly coated. Pay particular attention to any corners and joins where spot painting as needed. Let the primer dry at least overnight for the best effect.
  5. For brush-on primer, dip your brush into the paint and coat the wood with even strokes to avoid creating brush lines again systematically make steady passes to make sure the surface is evenly coated. Pay particular attention to any corners and joins where spot painting as needed. Let the primer dry at least overnight for the best effect.
  6. The colour for the final coat is entirely up to yourself although external egg shell does give a lovely finish. Hand painting followed by an aerosol paint gives a super finish also, being sure to use a paint for external use – this is very very important. Protection against the weather is paramount here. The paint can be applied in an identical fashion to the primer and if you are finishing with a spray paint, be sure to shake the can before applying so that the contents are evenly distributed. Ensure that you allow the paint to dry overnight before you apply a second coat.
  7. A weather proof sealer can be used to spray over the bench finally, and if your taste is for a shiny bench, then a clear gloss coat can be applied.
  8. Always, always, always allow your bench to dry completely in between each coat and before you move it into the garden.

Have confidence in your ability to do this and do follow these instructions for the best results – it really is worth it, but most of all, ENJOY YOUR BENCH.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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