Return to Painting and Decorating Library Index

Make the Most of Your Exterior Living Space

Fashioning one or more exterior living areas has been enjoyed by growing numbers of homeowners in recent years.  Versatile outdoor spaces can be used for dining and relaxing with family members, as well as entertaining guests within the peaceful confines of home.

With today's increased emphasis on comfort and relaxation, celebrating the home during warm weather months can easily be achieved by creating romantic outdoor living vignettes where family members and friends uncover contentment and charm outdoors. The application of paint awakens lackluster surfaces as well as ordinary furnishings, and transforms them into dreamy materials and glamorous fittings!

Instead of replacing existing outdoor furnishings and decorative accessories, consider injecting a gentle hint of enchanting color to the mix.  For instance, enhance plain wicker chairs and tables with a touch of subtle painted color.  This spring and summer season's soft palette consists of romantic shades of pinks and reds. Consider transforming a dated color or solid white wicker seating vignette into a monochromatic color scheme that highlights an enchanting range of one muted color, such as dusty rose.  Consult a paint professional for advice regarding necessary primer, paint and sealants.  Then, add overstuffed seat cushions, comfortable pillows, soft throws and fragrant, cascading potted flowers.

Introduce romantic pattern to the outdoor living space via painted fabrics, special effect decorative paint techniques and painted murals on exterior walls. Regardless of the surface, floral patterns can be applied using a variety of painted options.  Dusty colors that display flowered motifs can be stenciled directly onto cloth hammocks or canvas umbrellas as decorative borders, or painted freehand randomly onto wooden benches and tables or even floors.

Smooth surface planters of varying sizes can be treated to a paint application that provides interesting texture and flirtatious color to the pot.  (Using a rag to gently remove random areas of paint while the painted surface is still wet represents a simple way to produce an aged, vintage look amongst many surfaces.) An accent wall can be fashioned from a nondescript wall surface and transformed into an exciting mural using a carefully considered washed color scheme together with oversized painted floral designs.

Add a dash of romance to your outdoor living space this warm weather season with the dazzling effects of paint!

Gail McCauley for the
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Return to Painting and Decorating Library Index