Unity Garden Playground


I was contacted by the Friends of Shaw Ridge, Swindon, asking if I could possibly create an ocean effect on an old playground of Shaw Ridge school. It would coincide with the community beach cove that they had already created and would finish off that area perfectly.


The first part of the job was to sweep and clean away any surface debris so that we could see what state the tarmac was in. I was told it was about 40 years old and some of the Friends of Shaw Ridge members had played on that playground in their youth. The age and surface of the tarmac is important to review before painting as the original playground paint coverage will be a much less surface coverage than stated the older the tarmac.


Once we were happy with the tarmac surface it was time to start painting. I started out using solvent based playground paint which really didn't cover much area at all, the recommended area should have been 20-25 metres per tin but they barely covered 3 square metres. So, I called in some water based playground paint and the coverage was way more, especially on old tarmac. I used brushes and a roller, but in retrospect, a spray would have been much easier and quicker for the main colour blocking.


When the main colours had been added it was time to paint the ripples or wiggles as the children called them.


Then once we had created our wiggles it was time to put a few finishing touches to the design, water shadows, water washes towards the beach area and a tidy up of the edging, all ready for the children's return from their summer holidays. I did hope that none of the children thought it a good idea to dive in but all was good on the day.