We live in a typical Victorian terraced house in Bristol. Most of them have the same layout. The garden at the back is small and it has an almost useless narrow piece down the side of the kitchen. We've never really known what to do with it, but after getting a tiny conservatory put in last year, we wanted to make it look a bit more exciting. It was so dreary and grey to look at, and was even worse on a rainy day.
And then I remembered a picture I'd saved on Pinterest of a beautiful black and white patterned outdoor area! We'd spent most of lockdown getting all the DIY jobs done, so it seemed like a good time to do it. Especially when we have had to spend so much time in our own house and garden. It needs to be as nice as possible!
So I did a bit of research, and found Resincoat patio paint, which comes in a few different colours. It's made to be hardwearing and is resistant to staining, fading and discolouring, while preventing re-growth of moss and algae! Perfect. We got to work clearing the patio, which wasn't the easiest thing in such a small garden.
The shed actually ended up in the kitchen, as it seemed like the easiest place! And it was going to get painted too.
The resincoat paint requires you to wash the patio first with an etching cleaning liquid (which stinks unfortunately). Then a coat of clear primer before you can start on the fun bit.
I got up early the next day to paint a full coat of white over the whole patio, thinking this would be the easiest way to do it. Unfortunately we didn't realise that the paint needs to dry at a low temperature. The sun really hits the patio in the morning, and it got too hot, causing the paint to crack! It was so upsetting, but we brushed the loose cracked bits off and carried on, accepting that the white would need another coat. The next day I learned my lesson, and waited until the afternoons to paint.
Our existing patio has square slabs, so we just divided them each one in half, alternating the direction of the triangles. I used masking tape to create the centre diagonal line, but just painted the straight edges freehand as I prefer it. Masking tape always seems to allow the paint to leak under when I try and use it.
This part too a long long time (about 4 hours), but it's quite therapeutic. I then painted a second coat over the black without using masking tape, as the white was showing through a bit. I don't think it would need 2 coats if it was painted straight onto the paving stones.
And then finally, I painted a second coat over all the white triangles and the lines between the slabs. We left it to dry overnight before moving everything back, including the shed. Orange Aurora by Little Greene was the perfect colour to compliment the palm tree, ferns and flamingos.
Then... TA DA!
In total, this project took me 4 days, as I could only paint in the afternoon, then had to let each coat dry over night. Not really that long, although I'm glad it's finished, and we can now enjoy it.
I love how bright it is when we look out the window. And even when it's raining, it feels like we're in a fancy hotel somewhere hot. The black and white looks amazing with bright coloured, tropical accessories. And my plastic flamingo's now look right at home!