Turn a basic terracotta pot into a colourful planter
This project is as easy as applying a terracotta sealer to the exterior and interior of the pot and letting it dry before applying a couple of coats of acrylic paint in your favourite colour (or multiple colours). Don’t be tempted to miss the preparation step as terracotta is porous and your paint job won’t stand the test of time. Apply 2 – 3 coats of your base colour, allowing the paint to dry after each coat. Now to decorate – you can go for stripes, using quality painter’s tape to mask off the horizontal or vertical, wide or narrow stripes. Paint the unmasked area in your second colour, let dry, then peel off the tape. Or for a dipped effect, aim for an organic effect by slipping a large rubber band onto the lower half of the pot. Paint with your second colour, let dry then slide off the elastic band. To finish, apply sealer to the painted pot. Let dry.
Create a pond in a pot
To make a simple pond, you’ll need a large watertight bowl-shaped pot, about 30cm deep x 40cm wide – preferably glazed ceramic or porcelain. You can use a concrete pot as long as you waterproof it first with pond sealer. Don’t let the idea of waterproofing put you off. You just brush on 2 – 3 coats at right angles to each other, allowing 2 hours drying time in between. Leave 7 days to cure before filling your pond with water and adding your water plants. Top tip: include a submerged aquatic plant to absorb nutrients, and add a couple of small fish to keep mosquito larvae under control.
Upgrade your paling fence
Let’s hear it for paling fences! They’re fab boundary markers, they’re great for privacy and they help corral the kids and pets. But in the looks department, well… they can leave a lot to be desired. The miracle cure – a good quality exterior-grade paint you simply brush on or, for a quick finish, spray on. First things first though, use a stiff bristle brush to remove any dirt and scrape away any splinters before cleaning the fence with a high-pressure water cleaner. Let the fence dry thoroughly then lay drop sheets at the foot of the fence to protect from paint drips or over spray. Go for an on-trend grey or charcoal colour to accentuate lush greenery or look to your home’s exterior, fascia, windows or doors for colour cues. Apply two to three coats of paint for good coverage and, if spraying, start at one end of the fence and work towards the other end, spraying the paint in a vertical motion. If you have a shiplap fence, you may want to use a paintbrush to cover hard-to-reach crevices.