Creating an Outdoor Space on a Budget

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers, Le Junque

Creating an Outdoor Space on a Budget

Do you have an outdoor space you would love to turn into a comfortable place to enjoy the warm weather, but the cost of Patio Furniture is keeping you from decorating your space? I have some solutions for you that will hardly make a dent in your budget.

Outdoor Space Decorated with Painted Pots

Let’s take a walk down my outdoor patio. The painted pots are painted with DIY Paint. DIY Paint is 100% Natural, Clay Based paint. It forms a cement-type barrier on any surface, especially Terra Cotta Pots. Start with Painting your pots with pops of color.  Just one 8-ounce jar of DIY Paint could do several large and small pots. Painting your existing pots is a great alternative to buying expensive, painted pots!

Outdoor Space Plants on a Budget

If you can wait until some plants have been out at your local Home store for a bit, they will often go on sale, or even better, drive behind the store and see if they are throwing them out! If neither of these ideas is an option, consider buying the smallest containers you can and allow space for them to grow. We started these Jasmine plants small, but they spread fast and grow extremely well here in my Northern California climate.

Outdoor Space on a Budget Flowers

If you are going to splurge, splurge on Flowers that give you a ton of joy. For me that is Hydrangeas. These bloom for us from May through August and their giant flower heads give me so much joy.

Outdoor space on a budget Tables

Patio tables can be expensive! If you don’t get a ton of rain daily, consider buying an expensive Farm Table or Dining table from Facebook Marketplace, or any other reused furniture outlet. This was a table I picked up that was left behind when a neighbor moved. I added boards to the top of it to give it a “Farm Look” and painted the base with outdoor paint. You can read all about how to do this yourself in THIS POST. 

Outdoor Space Furniture Repurposed

Take a 2nd look at old furniture you might already have on hand. This piece was free to me from a neighbor when I was pregnant with my oldest child. It served us well as a changing table and a dresser for three kids! When I was designing this outdoor space, it occurred to me this dresser might have one more life left in it. As an outdoor server! The drawers store outdoor placemats, napkins, and dishware. The top folds down to act as a sideboard/buffet server!

I painted the Changing Table turned Outdoor Buffet with my favorite DIY Paint in Old ’57. Two coats was all it needed. I used Big Top for the finish. Big Top is a low sheen, brush on finish that holds up well to lots of use. Big Top is not rated for outside, but since we have very dry summers, I wasn’t too concerned about it getting wet. 

I can’t say enough about how much I love DIY Paints. The colors are rich, vibrant, and the labeling is absolutely adorable.  There is no stirring, or special instructions, just open and paint.  How fun is that? The paint is made in the USA, is 100% natural, and is the easiest paint I have ever used.

Remember, this is a changing table, when the top is flipped down, it changes into a server!

The drawers hold everything we need for a lovely outdoor meal.  No more shuffling back and forth to the kitchen for supplies.


Outdoor Space Privacy Wall on a Budget

Since I added some new furniture, I thought I would finally do something with those garage door panels I picked up for free.  Mark thought maybe I had “junqued” out too far when I started this project. But I had a vision in mind.  I used hinges at some points, then decided to just used scrap wood, and secured it to the back of the doors at different angles.  I purposely left the sides facing out that had the garage hinges and metal parts still attached.  I thought it added to the industrial look of the entire piece.  And yes, I did this completely on my lonesome.  Which I don’t recommend. There was much heaving, using all four limbs to steady things, and probably took me three times as long, but that’s the way I Redoux around here.

I couldn’t leave just a plain wall, so I had to soften it up a bit.  (My flowers need deadheading….)

You can easily create your own outdoor privacy wall with old shutters, old doors, (Garage Door Panels like I did), Old Windows, Boards, etc.

Outdoor Patio Room on a Budget

Creating an Outdoor Space with Aged and Chippy Pots

Now for those junky-aged pots.  To make pots look truly aged, and to encourage them to keep aging, here is a simple and cheap method.

    • Purchase a box of Joint Compound at your local Home Supply/Hardware store.  Mix in a bucket, a large amount of Joint Compound, and paint of your choice.  I made these with leftover wall paint.  This is a great way to use up old paint.  Mix in enough paint until you get the color you want, but not so much that the joint compound is runny.
    • Begin patting on the joint compound to the pots either with your hand, or a plastic trowel.  This is a messy project, I recommend doing this outside.  Keep adding the plaster mix until you have the look you desire.  Either hit with a heat gun, or a hair dryer, or leave it out in the sun to dry (best method).
  • When the plaster is totally dry, you can lightly tap it with a hammer and some of the plaster will fall off in chunks, creating an old look.  To get that dirty aged look fast, simply dampen the plaster where it fell off and rub some dirt, or sprinkle it on, then let it bake in the sun again.  I kid you not, dirt works best here, and it’s free. Or, for the best way, plant your flowers of choice and with repeated waterings, the plaster will begin to flake and fall off and the dirt will naturally cling to the pots.
    Aging Pots redouxinteriors

Creating your own Art for your Outdoor Space

We had this old cabinet door sitting around and I knew it would be a fun pop of color if I painted it Carnival Red in DIY Paint.

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how you might decorate your Outdoor Space on a Budget, using found items, upcycled materials and old Furniture.


  1. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    I am picturing you – octopus like – creating that wall all by your lonesome! Maybe, in a few years, your body will evolve and sprout a couple of more much needed limbs!

    I’ll never look at an old garage door the same way again! I never knew I needed a garage door wall until now!

    And that changing table – who would have thought it once had all kinds of butts sitting on it over the years!

    The joint compound on the pots – genius!!! They look amazing.

    So basically, I am in love with everything (as usual)! It was worth the wait and so glad you linked to our party! And I am pinning quite a few of these fabulous ideas.

  2. aimee steckowski

    okay – WOW!!! i am totally coming over for an outdoor dinner – i’ll bring dinner! 🙂 🙂 looks amazing. i am LOVING the green/teal and the rust red colors you used — and that outdoor table space is amazing. i am now inspired to NOT buy patio furniture and to just “redoux” something!

  3. kim@too much time

    Karen! You did it again!
    Really amazing-that changing table rocks. I have our old changing table as a buffet in my dining room-versatile piece of furniture, huh?!

    I think I need to try your CeCe Caldwell paint. That color is amazing.


  4. Shannon Fox

    Hey~Hey Miss K 😉

    LOVING that aqua piece that is so fun! The whole look of it changed, it has a completely different vibe then the before picture. You distressed it perfectly 😉

    I can smell that Jasmine! YUM! My hubs fav. I planted one…. but the deer like it really well.

  5. janel@hatingmartha

    you are so stinking cool! some day I am going to knock on your door and make you make me a cocktail and go sit in your junk outdoor room. Love!

  6. Maryann - Interior Salvage

    Karen, We are on the same page today! Love, love, love those joint compound pots and your wall of shutters! So cool…..what a fun place to hang out and smell the roses!

    I’m working on turning the insides of my old piano into a garden element….you’ve got my wheels turning on those shutters!

  7. Brenda

    I love everything- especially the changing table. Oh- and that wall! Seriously!
    C’est magnifique!

  8. nova c.

    beautifully creative!!!

  9. Suffering Husband

    Was not a fan of the wall of doors at first, but grows on you.
    Picture actually does not do it justice- works because of how it partitions
    the patio off and the wind break is a huge benefit. Whether the stodgy neighbors
    agree is a different story!

  10. Julia @ 551 East Design

    I’m inviting myself over for a picnic in your backyard. Seriously! It looks perfect for entertaining and relaxing!

  11. Maryann - Interior Salvage

    just re-reading your comments…. I’m loving that you’ve been called stinking cool. That’s one serious complement! lol

  12. Rosemary

    Your outdoor room is so cute and charming. Love all your creative touches.

  13. cassie

    it looks AMAZING!!! i am on the hunt for a big long farm table to use on our porch…. wish me luck! i love the space you have created!

  14. Shoestring Elegance

    Everything you did looks AAAAMazing!! Great job!! Great Inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing,
    you’re giving me some great ideas…Love your site so perfect!!
    I hope you have a wonderful week end planned where you can enjoy all the fruit of your labor!!
    Hugs, ~Theresa

  15. Stuff and Nonsense

    oh what fun

    creating a little privacy
    and a whole lotta style
    for your backyard space

    and why is everyone else
    already getting blooms on their hydrangeas
    but me?


    thanks for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded!


  16. amy of four corners design

    love your use of the garage doors for your fence – genius idea…and good for you for doing it all on your own!

  17. Catherine

    Looks like a great place to relax!
    I love the pots–thanks for the info on how to do it too!

  18. debbiedoos

    LOVE your wall of Jasmine! I have one growing on the front of our house now for about 5 years and ahhh like you said the smell is wonderful when you walk by. Great pieces you painted, you busy little bee! Have a great weekend.

  19. Holly Lefevre

    It is a gorgeous oasis! I adore the space you have created it is magical and unique. I hope to have some sunshine and jasmine to share with you soon!

  20. shelly andrade

    That’s it, I’m on my way over to hang out in your backyard. I’m going to see if I can jump high enough to make it over your wall – lol!

  21. Pat

    Hi– came over from FJI SNS #136

    Love your fully repurposed wall of shutters and furniture! I just love the whole outdoor room you created. That walk way is stunning! Is it stone or repurposed concrete? Just wondering, it is hard to tell. I’ve done that before myself…made a walk of repurposed concrete….;)

    I love the serving table too, very clever use of a changing table! Enjoy your outdoor room!

  22. Linda @ it all started with paint

    That project is just too crazy cool! Love that its supported by (and hiding …) the trampoline (which is not at all eclectically chic) …

    Oh, and I’ve pinned it!

    … so happy you shared with us all at the Great Outdoors llink party!



  23. Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

    hahaha, I love that you attached it to the trampoline. This came out so, so awesome!! Thank you so much for linking up to our party!

  24. Stacey

    That is my kind of outdoor living space! Love it all – the colors, the funkiness! I want it!!
    Thanks for linking up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  25. Jill Flory

    That is so amazing! I love everything abut this post!! I’m bookmarking it for the tips in it – love those terra cotta pots 🙂 And the glove idea for outdoor polyurethane? I am SO remembering that one! Saw you featured a couple places – Yay for you!!

  26. Gwen

    FAN-TAZ-MA-LISTIC!!! I’m so glad to hear the spray Poly works… I have a can for my porch swing!

    It’s amazing GTC… and thanks for the tip about the joint compound. I have an UGLY planter that I just haven’t known what to do with!

  27. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    I hope I don’t have to pick a favorite part, because basically I love it all! What a great spot for a picnic! And I didn’t even know they made a spray outdoor poly, but I’m going to try your trick on my potting bench!

  28. Bliss

    Baby changer to outdoor server extraordinaire. Awesome!


  29. Linda

    What a beautiful piece! Came here from Roadkill Rescue to find out how you applied the poly. Going to give it a try on a piece I’d like to use outside. Thanks!

  30. Beth

    If I have a wood piece I want to put outside, all I have to do is apply poly?

  31. Thomas

    Very interesting and different remake.

  32. Stephanie

    I love your outdoor table. Did you make the bench? If so do you have a tutorial for that?

  33. Stephanie

    I love your outdoor table. Did you make the bench? If so do you have a tutorial for that?

  34. kim

    OK, I’m a little slow tonight… you just slather joint compound randomly on the pots, or cover the entire pot and then paint them. I kinda understand as the joint compound ‘ages’ it will fall off leaving the original pot to show, right?
    I just love receiving your posts via email, so much eye candy and lots of sweet tips and ideas! 🙂

  35. Shelly

    Love the Privacy screen!! We have been looking for ideas to block the neighbors. Good Idea


    • GTC

      Thank you so much Shelly! I actually have to put them back up this year!! They fell over with a windstorm, but I love that it creates an outdoor room.

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