Can you upcycle garden furniture?
There are loads of options for upcycling garden furniture, from painting metal to staining wood. You can even give your piece a complete overhaul by turning it into something new, for example by using the wooden slats from a bench to make a garden planter. Upcycling garden furniture is a fantastic way to reinvigorate your outdoor space and embrace seasonal trends while creating something that you can use for years to come. Plus, you’ll be saving money and reducing the waste that goes to landfill.
Depending on what you’re revamping, you’ll want to gather some supplies before you start your project. These might include a saw, a drill, a hammer and some wood stain if you’re upcycling wooden garden furniture. Or, you might need sandpaper, brushes and paint if you’re planning to work with metal garden furniture. There are loads of exciting ways to add colour to your outdoor space. If you don’t currently have any furniture you’d like to work on, you could check out the garden listings on Gumtree, where you might be able to bag a fantastic Freebie.
How do you upcycle teak garden furniture?
It’s best to upcycle teak garden furniture by sanding it well to remove old varnish or stain and to create a smooth surface. You can then use a weatherproof stain or paint to change the colour of your item.
The reason teak makes such great garden furniture is that it has a high natural oil content and tight grain, making it strong and weatherproof in all conditions. However, teak can become grey in colour and feel rough when it’s exposed to the elements for years without maintenance. Because of its oil content, the wood doesn’t need protection with oil or varnish after sanding unless you want to give it a shiny surface. To change the colour from mid-brown, you could stain it darker or give it a coat of primer and paint for a brand new look.
Because teak is such a durable wood, if you choose to transform your teak garden furniture into garden accessories or planters, it’ll still stand up to the British weather in the same way that it did before.
What can I do with old garden chairs?
Old garden chairs can be repurposed in lots of different ways to give them a whole new lease of life. If you’re thinking of upcycling old garden chairs, you might consider:
Creating a swing
By simply removing the legs and attaching some thick rope to the sides of the seat of a metal or wooden chair, you can create a unique garden swing.
Making an unusual planter
If you remove the seat of a chair and attach a planter in its place, you’ll have a fun way to add height to a patio or planting scheme.
Transforming chairs into stools
Formal chairs can become casual stools by removing the backs and using strong rope threaded through the seats to act as handles.
Turning chairs into shelves
By removing the legs and attaching the chairs to walls either outside or in your shed, you’ll get unusual shelves for plant pots or garden ornaments.
Designing your own windchimes
You can turn chair legs or spindles into wind chimes by hanging them by string threaded through screw eyes attached to the tops.
Converting chairs into a garden bench
By attaching two or three chairs together and replacing the seats with wooden planks, you can make a comfy bench.
Reimagining a chair as a play kitchen
Sinking a bowl into the seat, adding a swinging cupboard door in front of the legs to create an ‘oven’ and securing shelves to the backrest turns a chair into a compact mud kitchen that allows kids’ imaginations to run wild.
Can garden furniture be painted?
Painting is one of the easiest ways to revive tables, chairs, stools and benches in your garden. It’s important to use paint that’s made for the type of surface you’re working on and is suitable for outdoors. You can make the process easier by using a primer created for wood, metal or plastic that’ll give a smooth, durable surface for your paint to stick to.
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to give your garden furniture a good clean with a stiff-bristled brush and soapy water or a pressure washer. This helps to ensure that any old flaky paint, varnish or rust has been removed. Next, you can give the surface a rub down with some sandpaper to make sure it’s smooth and create a ‘key’ for your primer to stick to. Once your primer has dried, it’s time to go in with your paint. You could choose a paint that needs to be applied with a brush or you might want to go for weatherproof spray paint. Spray paints are especially useful for metal furniture that can be a bit fiddly to paint with a brush.
The most exciting part of painting garden furniture is choosing the final colour – will you choose a bright colour that adds personality to your furniture piece? Or will you go for timeless black, white, grey or green for a more low-key look?
Upcycled garden furniture before and afters
These creative upcycling ideas for gardens could provide you with food for thought if you’re hoping to spruce up your garden or patio for the season ahead. If you take inspiration from our before-and-after transformations, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless – whether you have garden accessories in need of a bit of love or you’re on the hunt for furniture with bags of potential.
Enjoying the great outdoors from the great indoors
If you’re looking for somewhere to work or relax, a shed or summer house with big, bright windows could be just the place. This fantastic upcycled shed proves that you don’t need to have loads of space or a big budget to create an inspiring location to hang out. The shed was turned from shabby to stunning with the help of a bright colour scheme – those white walls help to maximise the light, and the pale orange doors add a real touch of warmth. This project shows that you can make huge transformations with everyday materials, as the wall cladding is laminate flooring and the stripey floor is simply painted MDF.
Colourfully coordinated seating
This upcycle could give you the inspiration you need to get started if you’re hoping to add colour to your outdoor space by upcycling metal garden furniture. These lovely metal chairs were painted in a bright teal blue which really makes them stand out against the green grass. Painting a whole patio furniture set the same colour is an easy way to make a design statement that’ll take your garden decor to the next level.
From pallets to pro-level planters
It’s time to get growing with these fab planters created from unwanted pallets. All you need to make your own raised planters are some power tools, lengths of wood and a couple of pallets, all of which you can source on Gumtree. A lick of paint on the legs makes them look professionally made. We’re dreaming of the colourful flowers and delicious veg we could grow in our own planters once they’re full of soil.
A pallet kitchen fit for a top mud chef
If you have a few pallets left over from making the planters above, here’s another project that won’t take you long but will keep kids entertained come rain or shine. One of the great things about creating your very own mud kitchen from upcycled pallets is that you can make it as large or small as you like, depending on the space you have available. With two large bowls and helpful hooks to hang lots of utensils, this kitchen is going to see absolutely loads of mud pies. We love how it’s been painted in trendy light blue and the pallet boards have been given a thick coat of varnish for a rustic farmhouse vibe.
If these outdoor upcycles have got the cogs of your imagination turning, it could be an ideal time to take a peek at the garden furniture pages of Gumtree – you might just find something that’s absolutely perfect for your next project.