How to Paint Your Garden Beds

What to use: Cabot’s TIMBERCOLOUR Deck & Exterior Paint

Why you should use it: Want to give your garden beds a colourful makeover? Using a paint, rather than a decking oil or stain, will usually give a more colourfast finish. Unlike oils and stains, which need a re-coat every year, Timbercoat lasts several years without reapplication, saving you time and money – what’s not to love about that! If you simply want to enhance the look of the timber you already have, a decking oil may be more suitable, but otherwise Timbercolour will do the job perfectly.

How it works: Cabot's Timbercolour Deck & Exterior Paint is a premium acrylic self-priming exterior paint. It’s formulated to provide exceptional durability to all exterior timber surfaces.

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Depending on your project, you may also need

Before working with timber, you’ll need to make sure you’ve prepped everything first. Preparation is essential before coating timber as it gives you a smooth finish to work with, allowing the paint to glide on easily. Depending on the condition of your garden bed, there are several ways to go about this:

New Bare Timber: Scrub damp timber with Cabot’s New Timber Prep to draw out tannins and oils from the surface. After you’ve done this, use Cabot’s Deck Clean, following the label’s instructions. Allow the timber to dry.

Weathered and Grey Timber: Scrub the garden bed with Cabot’s Deck Clean, following label instructions. Once you’ve done this make sure you allow the timber time to dry before coating.

Pre-Primed Timber and Painted Surfaces: Scrape off any loose or flaking paint, then sand all surfaces to a flat finish. Dust everything off so it’s ready to clean.


Always ensure the timber is dry before applying your first coat. 

Stir Cabot's Timbercolour Deck & Exterior Paint thoroughly with a flat blade stirrer before and during use. If the garden beds are not yet made, paint all sides of the wood BEFORE they are assembled, using a brush, roller or spray. Apply a generous coat along the board, making sure you seal the end grain. If you’re using a spray, always back brush immediately to ensure an even finish.

Allow the first coat to dry for two hours, then reapply a second and third coat using the same method. Some colours may need more coats to achieve full opacity – see how you go.

Once your coating is dry, put a plastic liner in between the timber and the soil.

If your timber garden bed is already built, paint up to the top of the soil line (this is the cheat’s way!), or remove it first before you repaint, and add the soil back once you’re done.

The last step is to plant your favourite flowers and plants! Enjoy!