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Home DIY jobs to get done in February

While you’re most likely back at work by now, February’s warm weather makes it an ideal time to refresh your home and tackle new DIY projects. There is plenty of time for lazy days at the beach, but you may also wish to make the most of the sun and long daylight hours and get stuck into some jobs at your place. Resene Paint Expert Murdo Shaw shares his top tips and advice for February DIY.

Refresh outdoor furniture

“Summer is a good time to reassess your outdoor furniture which might be looking a little down-at-heel,” says Murdo. “Many choose to do this in late spring but if you haven’t already done so, now is an ideal time to sand wooden furniture and spruce it up with Resene paint, stain or oil. Even old metal furniture can be painted and revived.”   

First, treat timber furniture with Resene Moss & Mould Killer to remove any moss, mould and dirt that has built up. Remember to follow the instructions on the pack. Give bare or stained timber furniture a clean with Resene Timber and Deck Wash then sand down any rough areas and wipe away sanding dust. Or for painted furniture, use Resene Paint Prep and Housewash in place of Resene Timber and Deck Wash.

For a stained or oiled finish, apply two coats of your chosen oil or stain. Popular choices are Resene Woodsman Wood Oil Stain available in a range of colours, Resene Furniture and Decking Oil for a very natural look, or Resene Timber and Furniture Gel with its non-drip application, 

For a painted finish, prime with Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat and then topcoat with Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen in your chosen Resene colour. Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen is a great choice as it is very durable and easy to apply. If you prefer a higher sheen finish, you could use Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamels instead. The lower the gloss level, the more any imperfections will be hidden. The higher the gloss level, the easier the furniture will be to wipe clean.

Don’t be tempted to throw old furniture away – you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the excellent results you can get with the right products. Left chair painted in Resene Sambuca. House painted in Resene Double Concrete and Resene Half Black White on frames and trims.

Check your weatherboards

One area that might need some TLC is the exterior of your home. 

“Weatherboards, window trims and/or fascia boards could be looking a bit rough,” says Murdo. “Especially if there have been patches of ongoing wet weather.” 

Whether you need to redo the entire house or window, or just do some simple touch-ups, a fresh coat of paint can enhance the look of the entire facade. Keep things classic by opting to paint the trim a slightly darker shade than the main exterior surface or go a bit more modern by using contrasting paint colours.

Paint the bathroom

Another painting job that can be tackled during summer is your bathroom. 

Painting this area in winter you need to allow more time to cure and there is a risk of surfactant leaching, as well as not being able to use the space while the paint is drying,” says Murdo. “But when you paint in summer, you’re generally assured a faster drying time, less humidity and you should be able to use the room more quickly.” 

Like all wet areas in your home, bathrooms are at risk from mould, especially if the room does not have adequate ventilation. Mould isn’t just unsightly – if left unchecked it can shorten the life of your paint job by penetrating the surface. If it gets established it can grow through subsequent coats of paint, affecting adhesion and ruining the look of all your hard work.

Use Resene Moss & Mould Killer to kill mould and sterilise surfaces before painting with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom (which has antibacterial silver and MoulDefender), or ask at your local Resene ColorShop to get your chosen Resene waterborne paint dosed with Resene MoulDefender to help put the brakes on future mould growth. Make sure you check and adjust your ventilation too.

Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen is a great choice for exterior projects, including weatherboards. Its low sheen finish will help to hide any surface imperfections.
Painting your bathroom is an easy way to give it a fresh new look. Partition wall painted in Resene Olive Green. The bathroom and house were designed by designer Kelly Read Images by Juliet Nicholas and Bryce Carleton.

The best conditions

In addition to having more time to tick off those overdue paint jobs, the summer months offer arguably the best conditions to get your paintbrushes out. Not only are there less chances of wet weather to hold up your progress, but the paint will dry faster in warm weather.  

Also, if you’re concerned about paint odours and/or allergens, then warmer temperatures are a better bet for painting walls. Make sure you open doors and windows and have a fan running to move the air around if there is no natural breeze to help the paint dry.  Most Resene paints you’ll be using on your home are low or very low odour so even if you can hardly notice the smell the ventilation will still help the paint cure faster.

“During the summer, avoid painting in full sunlight and plan your day accordingly. Start in the shaded areas and try to stay ahead of the sun, or follow behind it,” advises Murdo. “In hot or warm conditions, I’d highly recommend using Resene Hot Weather Additive to help keep a wet edge and slow the drying time.”

In the garden

For edibles, Auckland Botanic Gardens recommend sowing broad beans, carrots, beetroot and silverbeet directly into your garden. Plant seedlings of leafy vegetables right through to the end of autumn for a continual harvest. Lettuce and rocket, however, may need to be sown in a cooler area, as hot temperatures often reduce germination and can make them bolt (set seed prematurely). Carefully remove laterals (the side shoots) from tomatoes so that energy is concentrated into fruiting.  Regularly apply liquid fertiliser to tomatoes and other vegetables to prolong fruiting and encourage healthy growth.

As for flowers, now is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, jonquils, freesias, irises and lachenalia. Deadhead roses, annuals and perennials to stimulate new growth and extend the flowering period.

“In warm weather, paint also dries more quickly, which can be helpful and a hindrance at the same time,” says Murdo. Use Resene Hot Weather Additive if you find the paint is drying too fast and try to work in the shade. Remember to paint out of a paint pot and keep your main paint container out of the sun in a cool dry place inside to keep it in good condition.
When the weather is warm, water is crucial for a healthy garden, especially for vegetables. Juliet and Ken's potager garden takes over their back yard in full bountiful force. The old playhouse is painted in stripes of Resene Cream Can and Resene House White on a background of Resene Comfort Zone. Image by Juliet Nicholas

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