With so much extra time at their disposal during the lockdown, lots of households have moved to give their outdoor space a facelift; from painting fences and pointing patios to general lawn care and maintenance, there’s been plenty to keep people busy.
2 Pints of Lager and a Plank Of Wood
One of the more popular DIY projects has been building an outdoor bar, with many people converting old, unused sheds or even creating new structures to socialise and entertain al fresco. Searches for ‘garden bar’ hit nearly 1 million searches globally in May 2020 (total of 993,090 searches worldwide)
Other popular searches included:
- Turn Shed Into Bar (22k searches)
- Garden Bar Accessories (25k searches)
- Outdoor Bar Table and Stools (164k searches)
- DIY bar Ideas (63k searches)
(Search data from April, May, June 2020)
Of course, all that DIY can’t go unnoticed, with everyone sharing pictures of their projects. going by this hashtag data from Instagram.
- #gardenbar (65k posts)
- #diybar (11k posts)
- #outdoorbar (48k posts)
- #homebar (490k posts)
Looking After Your Bar
Of course, it’s not long before the British summer is over and the cold, wet weather sets in – so how do you protect your outdoor bar?
There are several simple steps that you’re able to take to look after an outdoor bar that will safeguard all of your hard work from the elements and allow you to socialise throughout the seasons.
Though you’ll lose the aesthetic appeal of the wood’s natural look, painting your wooden bar is one of the best protectors against the elements. Paint forms a protective barrier against moisture, which means that the material won’t be susceptible to rot, while it will also reflect the harmful UV rays from the sun too. Whether you used latex or oil-based paints is up to you, though latex-based paints are easier to apply and generally last longer. What’s more, paint is affordable and easy to touch up as well. Simply keep an eye on your paintwork and reapply a coat to any chipped, faded or peeling areas.
Top Tip – Go dark! Trending colours for summer 2020 were grey, sage and white. But why not go for something a bit different for winter? Plum, navy or even black for a sophisticated look. It is party season after all!
Another effective step to take to protect your outdoor bar is the use of wood treatments. Not only do you want to protect against any spilt drinks, but you will also need to shield it from the weather too. There are several types that you can employ which are extremely effective; water sealers will protect the natural look of wood while ensuring that it’s waterproof from exposure to exterior moisture as well as allowing any damp wood to dry faster. This avoids the likes of warping and rotting which could permanently damage your bar beyond the treatment of wood fillers and the like. Preservers and varnishes are also an excellent means of protecting your outdoor bar. Again, like wood sealers, they will allow you to maintain the appearance of the wood’s natural grain, meaning you can seamlessly blend the structure into your home’s exterior. You’re able to dye the wood using different coloured varnishes too, as well as pick from a choice of matte and satin finishes. There’s also a range of woodworm treatments available should any of your timber appear to be affected, find out how to treat woodworm, in our guide.
Top Tip – Make sure you clean the wood thoroughly before applying any treatment to it. Ensure any dirt or debris are removed. Diluted bleach should do the trick.
Consider the Location
Another important consideration when it comes to the care and longevity of your outdoor bar is its location. If you place your bar in an area of the garden that’s hit by high winds then it’s far more likely to be damaged. Similarly, if you’re able to place your bar in a more sheltered area out of the reach of rain, sleet, snow and even strong sun, you’re only taking steps to prolong the life of the timbers.
Top Tip – If possible, consider moving it into the shed, garage or even indoors, to make sure your hard work doesn’t get ruined.
Searching for more how to’s and guides on timber care? Browse our BC Profiles help and advice page where you’ll find up-to-date information such as our fence care guide and more!