How to Makeover Your Backyard for $3500

Your Spring spruce up guide

Turning your backyard into an entertainment zone can add tens of thousands to your property value.

But how do you get your backyard Spring ready without blowing your budget? The key is making simple strategic changes that make a big impact. Here’s what I achieved in one of my rental properties in just 1 day, with help from my trusty trade team.


This isn’t a huge yard, but some of the simple upgrades I’ve made here can be achieved in any garden or courtyard in just a day. Here’s the rundown on what I achieved with the help of just 2 carpenters, a painter and two general labourers.


  • Oiled the deck
  • Painted the back of the house
  • Spray painted mismatched colour bond fencing to match all sides
  • Installed a substantial timber retaining wall / garden beds with bench seating
  • Installed plants and herbs
  • Laid topsoil, new turf and pine wood chips
  • Installed garden art and outdoor styling


So often, we end up with fences that are mismatched, tired, or have a dated colour scheme that doesn’t match the vision we have for our homes. The solution isn’t a new fence, it’s your trusty spray gun. Spray painting your fences in the same neutral colour gives your garden a clean backdrop. Dark greys work well as a base that makes your plants and accessories pop.

Spray paint your fences the same colour for continuity

Here, I’ve used the treated pine retaining wall to create a herb garden and built in seating. I’ve spray painted the garden art a poppy lime, to draw the eye to this fun focal point in the garden.


Whether your deck is brand new like mine, or years old and in need of a revamp, oiling your deck is the #1 thing you can do to breath life back into your entertaining space.


  1. sand first with 240 grit sandpaper
  2. sweep all dust off
  3. apply 2 coats of Johnstone’s Deck Oil in Merbau
  4. Use paint brush for the edges and sheepskin roller for the remainder of the deck
  5. Allow to dry before styling with an outdoor rug, furnishings and potted plants
A palm sander or belt sander is perfect for prepping your deck


Johnstone’s Deck Oil is durable, fast drying and hard wearing


Johnstone’s Deck Oil showcases the timber grain even on treated pine decks


Create multiple spots to sit and relax in your outdoor space


A Lilly Pilly hedge will grow to soften the fence line in your backyard

Love what you see here? Check out the whole range of Johnstone’s Professional Woodcare products here. I can’t wait to see what you do with your backyard and outdoor spaces this Spring!

8 Responses to “How to Makeover Your Backyard for $3500
  1. Hi Cherie
    What colour do you suggest painting the fence ? Maybe monument or woodland grey ?

    1. Both are such great colours Tracy, though I am partial to Monument 🙂 C x

  2. Hello Cherie, I love what you do. I wish I had such an amazing creative mind like you do. You make everything so simple. I have a really desperate question regarding a bathroom and kitchen at my daughters house. She is so desperate to have it fix. They have limited amount of money and knowledge on how to start. Is there a possibility for you contact me at all. It would mean so much to me.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Please head over to my facebook page, send me a private message with your bathroom & kitchen photos & I’ll happily take a quick look for you. Cherie x

  3. This arcitle went ahead and made my day.

  4. Amazing. I have a Barron backyard pool area and deck in need of a makeover. Wish you were here.

  5. Hi I really love the garden around the fence line. Is there anything I would need to know about it before my family tried this at our place. I love the idea of the seat in the middle and we have the fenceline to do it on. Thanks for the great pics that can be followed without too much info

    1. Hi Pam,

      You just need to make sure you don’t have any soil or plants leaning up directly against your fencing. You therefore need to line the fence with timber sleepers or another building lining material so your soil can push against that (not your fence). In the example provided in this blog, there are 2 layers of timber sleepers on both sides of the garden bed. Hope this all makes sense to you. Cherie x

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