Update your outdoor entertaining area

Has your outdoor entertaining area seen better days?  Are you watching the summer months go by thinking that you should really update your backyard?  If so, I have some great inspiration and tips for you to update your outdoor entertaining area courtesy of Dulux.  Let me tell you more here.

Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylist Bree Leech, Photographer David Mitchener

Colour in the image above is Dulux Natural White.

Firstly, I believe that colour, more than any other design element, has the power to change and enhance an environment.  This is where the power and value of paint comes into play.  A weekend spent repainting an area can create a dramatic effect and may be all you need to bring some love and attention to a forgotten room or outdoor area.  A mini-makeover is very satisfying, so don't leave it until you want to sell your home, do it now and enjoy the benefits!

Update your outdoor entertaining area with colour

Whether you have a pool house, a sprawling outdoor space with open fireplace, or simply a small walled courtyard, a lick of paint can go a long way to transforming and updating the space.

We still appreciate the soft neutral palettes of white and grey but the trend now is to introduce some soft colour into the look.

Dulux Colour Expert, Andrea Lucena-Orr says using lashing of pastels like salmon pinks and mint greens against core exterior neutrals – crisp whites, concrete greys and natural stone – can add a sense of playfulness and visual delight.   They will make you feel like you have been transported to an exotic tropical destination.

“Incorporating pops of colours like Dulux Weathershield® in Mint Twist or Pink Dust in conjunction with Dulux Vivid White can create a striking backdrop – evoking a sense of modern glamour, fun and energy that can often be associated with being poolside at a luxury hotel.”  Colours in the image below from Dulux Australia are Tranquil Retreat, Snowy Mountains Half and Pink Dust.

Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylist Bree Leech, Photographer David Mitchener

“For a more nurturing, nature-inspired look, try pairing rich turquoise greens and deep blue-greys with warm whites, like Dulux Natural White™, on your outdoor fireplace, dining area, furniture, or decorative accessories, such as mats and plant pots. These shades, while seemingly simple, will provide a sense of holiday-comfort we all crave in the summer months.”  Colours in the image below are Dulux Vivid White and Dulux Mint Twist.

Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylist Bree Leech, Photographer David Mitchener

This is great advice from Dulux.  As a designer I assist lots of clients with finding the right white or grey and it is so uplifting to be thinking about which colour to introduce.  An update to your outdoor entertaining area is the perfect place to start with.

Update your outdoor furniture and pots with colour

If you're not adventurous enough to paint walls in a splash of colour, furniture and pot plants are the ideal place to start with.  We always think that we should just introduce colour with cushions and rugs.  However, by updating some tired furniture with a lick of paint in a soft pastel you have a whole new look for your outdoor room.  Remember that this can easily be changed next year if the mood takes you!

Related: How to decorate with pastels

Dulux Weathershield can be used on a wide range of substrates.  It is self-priming on most surfaces and you can use on brickwork, decking, weatherboards and gutters.  You can also use it on outdoor furniture.

Prefer to keep your outdoor area neutral?

If a splash of painted colour isn't for you then keep things neutral with some whites and greys.  Consider painting exterior bricks to refresh the look.  The ones below are painted with Dulux Weathershield Natural White which brings a freshness and contemporary edge to the area.  Add a colourful ceramic pot to complement the garden greenery and an outdoor rug for a very effective way to update your outdoor entertaining area.

Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylist Bree Leech, Photographer David Mitchener

Related: Painting bricks white

Some advice before you paint new timber, masonry and cement

  1. Sand all dressed timber
  2. Fill nail holes with a flexible, exterior wood-filler
  3. Ensure filled/putty surface is sound by conducting an adhesion test
  4. Unpainted masonry should be cured for a minimum of 28 days before painting
  5. Ensure the surface is clear of any loose sand or cement.  Fill holes with grouting cement.
  6. Wash down with water using a stiff brush to remove all loose material.
  7. Dulux Weathershield is self-priming on most surfaces unless you are using a colour tinted from a Chromamax or matt base.
Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylists: Bree Leech & Heather Nette King. Photographer: Lisa Cohen

Dulux White Duck, as shown on the weatherboards of the house featured above, is a classic all-time favourite.

Some advice before you paint weathered surfaces

  1. 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.
  2. Repeat at random in a number of areas and scrape off all loose and flaking paint.
  3. Check to see whether the surface has mould.
  4. If so, remove by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water).  Ensure you wear a face mask and gloves.
  5. Rinse surface well with water
  6. If the surface is peeling or flaking then remove loose paint with a scraper or wire brush.
  7. Ensure that you sand any rough edges, then prime and repaint the surface using Dulux 1Step Prep.

Whether you like the idea of keeping things neutral or adding a splash of colour, paint really is your friend when it comes to a weekend mini-makeover.

Related: How to use colour for exteriors

Update your outdoor entertaining area
Image: Dulux Australia, Stylist Bree Leech, Photographer David Mitchener

Some handy painting tips

  1. Once you have prepared the surfaces, ensure they are dry and use long brush strokes, starting with the inner panels and working your way out.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Finally, always check the temperature.  Only paint if it's between 10 and 35 degrees and don't paint if it is too windy as the paint will dry to fast.  A light breeze though is fine.

I hope that this has inspired you to update your outdoor entertaining area.  Remember it may only be a case of painting some pots or furniture, investing in some greenery and tidying up!  Or you can paint a wall or fence to brighten and freshen up the space.

Updtae your outdoor entertaining area


If you need assistance I have a FREE Resource Library – click here to sign up.  Or I have an online colour consulting service to help you to select exactly the right colours for your new build, renovation or room refresh.  All the information is here.

Related posts: How to link your outdoor room to the inside and The humble garden bench – my favourites

2 thoughts on “Update your outdoor entertaining area

  1. David says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thanks for a really interesting article on outdoor entertaining areas. I’m just updating a large outdoor entertaining area at the front of my house which has reddish/brown timber flooring with awful timber heritage green walls and a basalt colorbond roof. I don’t want to change the colour of the roof and I really like the colour of the walls in the second image (tranquil retreat) and I thought I might try this with a grey deck like flooded gum, teahouse or basalt (current roof colour)? The rest of the house has an elegant and light Hampton’s feel and I’d be grateful for your thoughts on which colour option might go best on the floors of my outdoor entertaining area. Cheers, David

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi David I think I would opt for Basalt as this is a classic decking colour – not too dark so does not absorb too much heat but not too light that it will mark easily. Definitely avoid Flooded Gum as it has a warm purple hue which will be at odds with everything else. Good luck Samantha

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