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I first came across cuprinol garden shades when I was looking for a pet safe paint/preserve for smartening up my bunny's hutch. This is one of the few outdoor paints which states on the pack that it is safe for pets once dry.
The colours that garden shades comes in it quite large, at last count available in 28 different colours and a range of pot sizes from tester to 2.5L or 5L for some colours. The website details all the colours and also gives some creative ideas as to how to use the paint. And for those not too artistic with colour schemes a booklet of which colours go with what is available to pick up from most stores.
The paint needs a good stir before application, it can be applied either with a brush or a spay system (I have not tried the spray system so I can not comment on it's suitability for this application). The paint is relatively thick compared to some other wood preserves with the guide for coverage being as follows (this has been taken directly from the Cupronol website):
A 5L tin is normally sufficient for:
Brush: Smooth planed wood: 40m²
Brush: Rough sawn wood: 10-14m²
Spray: Smooth planed wood: 30-40m²
Spray: Rough sawn wood: 20m²
They suggest two coats, three for areas which are more exposed the elements or to give a more even coverage. I have usually just applied two coats.
I'm not an experienced decorator by any means but I have painted my fair share of sheds, hutches and wooden furniture. I find the paint is easy to apply, it goes on smoothly although you do have to generously load your brush when applying it to rougher areas. The second coat goes on much more easily and it is with this coat you really see the marvel of the colours and smoothness of the finish. Painted carefully I have not found the product to drip. It is touch dry quite quickly, anything from 20 minutes on a fine summer day.
The paint in general seems to last quite well, as advised I have often done another coat after the first year, although beyond this I have been more lapse perhaps leaving it two years between coats or just putting on another coat once it looks scruffy. The first shed I painted is not in it's 5 year and will have had 3 coats of paint on it and most likely will get another this year. When it rains you can actually see the water drip down rather than soak into the wood.
The colours I have used are as follows:
This has been used to paint and revitalise a very old folding table, it had two coats of paint which gave it a new lease of life. It has spent two summers and one winter outside how and although looks good could do with another coat to make it look good for summer usage. The colour comes out almost white.
This would be the one I have used the most, I have painted a shed with this, and several framed for bunny runs. All seem to be holding up well. The colour is a lovely muted shade.
Again used for a bunny shed and run. A pale soft colour.
I am a bit of a messy painter, I've found if you put you accidentally painted clothes in the machine quickly the paint will come out. If you leave it too long, I'm afraid it'll be there forever.
Overall Cuprinol Garden shades can freshen up an old otherwise and does a good job of making new items colourful and attractive. This paint is good for animal use due to the claim on pack of it being safe once dry. Once you start painting you will be looking around the garden finding out what else you can paint.
We have a summerhouse which came in sections already treated so it didn't get done again. I painted it with red ceddar wood preservative about 4years ago but the bottom of the front doors facing the weather have badly bleached and it really was crying out for some TLC. Feeling adventurous I decided we needed some colour. Its positioned about 50yrs from the house and I wanted it to stand out from the dark oak fence and make a bit of a statement. 75% of the summerhouse was given 2 coats of Seagrass with window frames and doors done in Pale Jasmine. It looks so fresh and new now. 2 coats of each colour covered the previous colour fine and the lighter contrast really looks good. It is thicker than ordinary fence paint. We have extra paint left over as we have promised ourselves that every spring it will get another lick to keep it in pristine condition.It certainly doesn't look 8yrs old and we would recommend to anyone who would like a little change in their outlook of the garden.
Those who have read my ops will have gathered that I am a conservative (note the small "c" ) soul. My garden does not contain stainless steel sculpures (no gnomes either) or floodlit pergolas, and I would no more change my beautifully crafted crazy paving patio for fashionable decking than I would swop my carpets for hardwood floors. My garden shed does not look like a doll's house and I have no desire to wallpaper my fence. However I must admit that said garden shed is only a couple of yards from my kitchen window, and 40' of vertical lap could do with a little softening if the eye is not to be drawn to a timber wall rather than the goodies within. I first discovered Cuprinol Garden Shades some 4 years ago when a superb family firm of landscapers created my paths, patio and steps. More used to the sort of job which cost the price of a house to do, they nonetheless took great pains with my little plot. They told me that this was because they so enjoyed working on a small well-loved garden ( it seems that their last client had paid £50,000 for a huge project and hadn't even looked at it 2 days after it was finished.) This was nice of them as I had a feeling that perhaps I was getting in the way. I had a tendency to trail after them holding a trowel and bag of compost. As fast as they completed a raised bed, I put flowers in it. It was suggested that a corner would look nice with a small rockery and the following day they arrived to find a rockery complete with alpines. They made such an artistic job of the path and tiny step by my shed that I couldn't wait to enhance things. Sure enough I left them to it, dashed down to Homebase and discovered Cuprinol Garden Shades. Early the next morning the landscapers arrived to find that I had spent the previous evening painting the structure in Holly. With every step they took I was right behind them with my own efforts, and by the time they left a few days later th
e mini vista was complete. This time of year is a sort of starter time for gardens. Although things are growing well, it lacks the lushness of summer. If I was to do something about that fence it had to be now. There is a certain urgency as the sweet peas are already on their way up. So, back to Homebase and the purchase of a 5litre can of Garden Shades. Those who watch the various tv gardening programmes will have seen Cuprinol Garden Shades being used to good effect. This wood preservative is water based and perfectly safe for plants. Just as well as I haven't mentioned that I had to paint behind a large golden Lonicera and a well grown Winter Flowering Jasmine. There is no apparent smell to the product and it brushes on easily. Garden Shades come in 12 soft matt colours ranging from pleasant greens, willow and golden cedar to blues, lilac and terracotta for those who wish more obvious colours for their garden woodwork. The containers range from 1 litre cans for smaller jobs up to the 5 litre one which cost me £20.50. The grain is not hidden by the woodstain and, although for rougher wood it is suggested that 2 coats may be needed, I use only one as I didn't want a too "painted" look. For this reason the shed did not desperately need a new coat as the original one had worn well. Incidentally, Garden Shades can be used over already creosoted timber and is water repellant. A night of heavy rain following my use of the preservative left the work unspoiled. For those lucky dooyooers who have a huge expanse of fence, Cuprinol Garden Shades now comes in a roller container. The 5 litre can covered all of the fence, shed and back garden gate with one coat and I have enough left over for that garden seat I am now eyeing; although I may well use Cuprinol`s golden cedar for this job. The drying time is given as 1 hour for touch dry, but on a warm sunny day the finish was already dry within half an hour. I found this
out by trying to get into an awkward spot and feeling my hair brush against the newly painted surface. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Fortunately the wood was already dry and I don't have holly green hair. If all appears too easy to be true, there is one small reminder. This stuff is intended to sink in to the surface. It will as easily and immediately sink in to brickwork or paving, so a little care is needed. However, having not been careful enough myself, I found a little bleach removed green spots off my path, at the same time showing how much the rest of the paving needs a good scrub. Ah well! Unlike many professionals I do not throw away brushes, but clean them between jobs. After this one the Cuprinol washed straight out under the tap. A pity that it didn't wash out from under my fingernails as easily. They are still green. Since I had to apply some of the product behind a tangle of jasmine my knuckles didn't look too good either. I had to use a sort of scrubbing action whilst reaching between the vines. Does it look good? I think so. The lonicera now has a glowing golden presence against the deep green behind it, and I can't wait to see the giant sweet peas I have sown as they reach upwards clinging against the fence. The back gate appears to have subsided nicely beside the honeysuckle and some of the jasmine branches are a distinctly shiny dark green. But that is not Cuprinol's fault.
Transforms and protects either planed or rough sawn garden wood. Safe for use with plants. May be used over weathered Creosote Resists cracking & peeling. Fade resistant colours. Water repellent.