A woman has saved more than £450 by giving her patio tiles a purse-friendly makeover just in time for six-person garden gatherings.
After the longest of lockdowns we're finally able to socialise with our friends and family (within the guidelines, of course) in our gardens, which has left many of us scrambling to spruce up our spaces.
But patio and garden-makeovers can be costly, as one women discovered when she was quoted £500 to place decking in her back garden.
Deciding to see if she could do the job herself, Viv Wilks, 50, from Derby, set about giving her tired patio tiles an Insta-worthy upgrade.
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"Our old grubby concrete patio tiles needed changing. We considered decking, but the quote wasn’t what we wanted," Wilks explains.
"My partner said that he would have a go himself and we were going to price up the materials when I was inspired by a painted patio on Pinterest so I said I would have a go at that first."
So while working from home, Wilks decided to crack on with the project and spent the next few days giving her tiles an uplift.
"First I gave the patio a good cleaning with water, giving it a good scrub with my yard brush. I de-mossed and pulled up the grass from in-between the tiles," she continues.
"I only used water and floor cleaner to scrub the tiles with my outside brush - Cif floor cleaner, which only cost me £1.50."
Where there were gaps between the tiles, Wilks used ready mixed cement from B&Q to fill them. Then it was time for painting.
"Once everything was clean and dry, I used B&Q Masonry paint in the colour Hudson on the tiles. I ensured each coat was dry before applying another one.
"I used a paint roller for the painting and would advise using a roller with an extension lead if you have a bad back."
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The next step involved Wilks getting a little more creative in a bid to emulate some of the elaborate patio tiles seen on social media.
"Once the coats of paint were dry, I used a 30x30cm stencil from Amazon that cost £8.50 to create patterns on the tiles with a small tin of Cuprinol fence paint in the shade Dark Slate," she explains.
Depending on the size of your patio, Wilks believes it might be possible to use a test pot of Cuprinol or other waterproof paint, which would save even more money.
"After leaving the paint to dry for about an hour, I then sealed the patio with No Nonsense sealant from Screwfix, which cost £12.99," she adds.
"I did this to preserve it from spills and dirt. It provides a light glaze which you can clean easily."
The total cost for her patio makeover was just £38.
"What’s more, the entire process only took about three hours in total," Wilks adds.
"I found the project easy to do - I don’t feel there were any tricky bits. I love DIY so I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, where Wilks detailed her garden project, said: "Viv’s patio makeover is stunning and proof that you don’t need to get a professional in every time you want to upgrade.
"Using everyday floor cleaner and some tester paint pots from B&Q can save you hundreds when you’re giving your garden an upgrade, as we can so clearly see here.
"Amazon is a great place for finding all kinds of stencils - I also go to my local Hobbycraft when I’m seeking inspiration for my next project as there are plenty of options to choose from."
Wilks certainly isn't the only one keen to give their patio a spruce up in time for summer.
A recent survey of 2,000 people commissioned by AO.com found that Brits give their garden or outdoor space a makeover an average of six times a year.
With people looking to prepare their gardens for post-lockdown life and BBQ season, the research also found that sales of pressure washers have surged by 351% year-on-year.
Commenting on the trend Will Jones, Garden & DIY expert at AO.com, said: “It seems that people are looking for a quick, easy way to maintain their outdoor space and spruce it up before inviting guests over throughout the summer months, with the pressure washer being the top product of choice."