A few months ago, my boyfriend and I bought our first house together! It was built in the 1860’s and it’s packed full of original features; huge fireplaces, sash windows, high ceilings, stained glass and even a turret! I’m literally in the process of growing my hair so I can be like a modern day Rapunzel!
Like every old property, our house needed a good amount of work doing to it, walls knocked down, dressing room fitting, en-suite fitting, floors sanded, walls plastered, rewiring… you name it, we did it! We figured we would rather do it all in one go, rather than doing a little bit at a time. Just a few weeks after the sale went through, the builders started work. Everything is starting to come together and we are super excited that after over 4 months of building works, our house is really starting to feel like a home.
The main part of our garden is at the back of the house, but at the side of the house, there is a yard. It’s a pretty big in size, south-facing and always sunny and it’s nice a private. However, and this is a big however, it’s really ugly out there! Each of the surrounding walls is made up of different styles and colours of bricks, the most offensive of all being the big grey breeze blocks. I decided to ask my friends at Street Art Margate if they knew any local street artists who might be able to help me paint the brickwork and make it a little prettier and more colourful. The next thing I knew, Vince was knocking on my door, ready to paint!
Admittedly, I’m super lucky that Margate is bursting full of amazing street artists, especially ones who are willing to come to my house and paint walls with me, but if you keep your designs simple, it would be easy to revamp your own backyard with a splash of colour. Let me tell you how:
The first thing you need to do, is find some inspiration. I created a Pinterest board full of street art I love. If you want to keep your design simple, just create a board full of patterns which would be easy to recreate, like stripes, spots, hearts, etc.
Before you start your design, you need to prep the walls with a little Masonry Paint. Bricks are quite porous, so without the masonry paint, the colours wouldn’t be quite as bright and the edges won’t be as sharp. Think of it as face primer for a wall! Just roller it on and wait an hour for it to dry.
To create the design, we used Valspar Spray Paint from B&Q. Vince marked out the design with intersecting lines to create shapes. He then set about filling in these shapes with different colours. Using the spray cans, he was able to do solid colours, as well as fade from one colour to another and create shapes like dots and lightning flashes. To create a little texture he also sprayed paint into the base of a can to create a puddle and flick it at the wall to give the effect of splashed paint. The paints give a great coverage and the nozzle is really easy to control, even for beginners like me!
I wanted the wall to have a bit of a cartoon feel, with super-bright colours and geometric shapes and patterns, but the options are kind of endless! You could use less colours and make your design monochrome with a slogan or single motif, or use lots of colours to create shapes like stripes, spots, hearts, harlequin, anything! It was so much fun to create and super simple to do. My backyard used to be a wasted space which was ugly and disused, now it’s ready for lazy summer afternoons, barbecues with friends and shoe selfies!