3-D Living Picture

Paint a 3-D Living Picture in your Garden

There’s a world of exciting, surface-coating products to explore – just waiting to bring your garden décor to life. There are so many wonderful new paint and surface-coating products available now – and they can unlock a world of colour and special décor effects in your garden too! It’s all about taking a fresh look at how you can decorate the hard surfaces, because this is how a garden can be transformed from ‘ho hum’ to ‘oh wow!’ in no time at all.

Whether it’s heightened drama, more fun, or deeper serenity you want, it’s the surface coating of walls, pots, furniture – you name it, basically anything outside that isn’t a plant – that can make all the difference. The sky’s the limit when deciding how to use décor coatings outside. We decided to bring a drab garden wall to life by using it as the backdrop for a quirky ‘living picture’ that is so easy to make.

Simply by taking a pot and giving it an antiqued, rust coating, planting it up with some colourful plants, and then making a frame for it out of cornice that we painted an ‘artistic’ blue, we were able to make a statement that is sure to stop and amuse anyone who passes by. Ceiling moulds, painted the same blue, were mounted on the wall behind to complete the ensemble.

What You Need

3 x lengths of moulded cornicing (polystyrene)
2 x ceiling moulds (polystyrene)
1 L Evolve multi-surface primer
1 L Evolve Stonewash Jeans
1 L black PVA
1 L Fired Earth Liquid Rust and Liquid
Rust Agent (the activator)
Alcolin Ultra wood glue
Double-sided tape
Metal stake (scrap)


Mitre box, saw, and a paintbrush.


1. Using the mitre box, cut the cornicing at 45° angles into lengths of 2 x 110 mm and 2 x 150 mm (these measurements apply to the outside edges of the frame). Make sure the pattern of the cornice matches up at each angled cut, so that it flows around the frame when you assemble the sides.

2. Assemble the frame using wood glue, and allow it to dry.

3. Paint the frame and ceiling moulds with 1 coat Evolve primer, followed by 2 coats Evolve Stonewash Jeans (or another colour of your choice in the Evolve range). Let each coat dry before applying the next one.

4. Bury the frame in situ, about 1.5 m in front of the wall to create a 3-D effect, and position it at an angle to energise the composition. Brace it with a metal stake hammered into the ground at an angle behind one of the sides. Attach the stake to the frame with double-sided tape.

5. Paint the pot with black PVA.

6. Apply 1 coat of rust paint and allow to dry. Then apply a second coat, and while the paint is still tacky, spray on the activator. Allow to dry and rust.

7. Plant up the pot and place it behind the frame. Then attach the ceiling moulds to the wall using the double-sided tape – ensuring they are placed to the side of the pot, so as to balance your composition.

The Gardener