Best Garden Colors 2022: Touch up your fence or beautify patio furniture


Summer is just around the corner, but there’s still time to brighten up your garden with a quick splash of color. Perhaps your fence needs a color refreshment or your shed is weathered beyond recognition? Refreshing your garden area with an outdoor coat of paint is an inexpensive and effective way to prepare for a season of socializing.

In recent years, many of us have been spending more time outdoors and with that has come greater awareness of garden aesthetics. Treating your yard as an extra living space is an easy way to take the decor style outside.

With hundreds of paint colors to choose from, it’s easy to coordinate your interior and exterior decor. Exterior paint gives you the opportunity to create different entertaining areas in your garden and to dress up any areas of fence or brickwork that are not visually appealing. Try upgrading your patio furniture or refreshing a garden wall, or just paint some flower pots for an easy starter project.

We tested a range of exterior paints on different surfaces to find out how easy they were to apply. We considered the color saturation, drying time and final impact of each finish.

Lick garden color in ‘Grey 08’


From the latest trending colors to Instagram-worthy cans of paint, Lick stands out for all the right reasons. This paint brand has a huge social media presence and is often featured on the accounts of leading interior design influencers.

We wondered how well this color would work outdoors, but upon testing we were amazed by the deep color saturation. This dark gray shade has universal appeal and would work equally well in large gardens or to decorate planters for a small balcony.

We recommend using an exterior primer as a primer followed by two or three coats of this exterior matte paint. Other hues that caught our eye were the soft sage hue of ‘Green 02’ and the deep terracotta of ‘Red 03’.

Tash Bradley, director of interior design at Lick, said: “The first thing to look for when shopping for an exterior paint is to look for keywords like ‘masonry’, ‘weatherproofing’, ‘exterior’ or ‘all purpose’. This will ensure you don’t use eggshell or satin on the outside. Most exterior paints can withstand fluctuating temperatures, but from a practical point of view – e.g. B. if a wooden fence could be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time – avoid painting it with a high gloss finish to avoid too much reflection. If you plan to paint decking, make sure the paint contains an anti-slip agent to avoid making surfaces a hazard.”

Graham & Brown Paint in ‘Herbert Exterior Eggshell’

Graham Brown

As a great all-rounder, this paint color can be used anywhere. The Eggshell Exterior range is a quick drying, water based exterior paint that is weather resistant and washable.

We tested a dark gray eggshell exterior paint that was reassuringly thick and easy to apply. We used undiluted paint to paint some exterior walls without a primer. This color had a thick opacity in its first coat, so you might get away with a lighter opacity depending on the finish you want. We recommend starting with a thick roller as this helped with application and was much quicker than using a brush.

This medium-gloss color is virtually odorless and has excellent color retention, so your chosen shade will stay perfect for years. It’s also available in over 360 colors, so there’s a shade for every outdoor space.

Before painting outdoors, make sure the weather is dry and has lasted at least two days in summer and four days in winter. By choosing the right time to paint you will avoid bubbling or dripping. Most paints take 28 days to fully cure, so wait a while before washing off the painted area.

Valspar exterior color in ‘Carriage Wheel’


With 2.2 million shades to choose from, Valspar has a color to suit any outdoor space. And once you’ve decided on a specific shade, the color-matching technology can locate a color from any swatch. You can color coordinate your patio furniture or use a wallpaper pattern from your living room to match indoor and outdoor spaces. Take any sample of your choice to a B&Q store to have them matched and mixed.

We tested Carriage Wheel along the base of a fence to create a dividing line around a patio. We started by cleaning the fence with warm, soapy water, waiting for it to dry, then applying a primer before painting. The smoothly applied color and its thickness gave us confidence that it would be UV resistant and weather proof through the winter.

Tobie Lewis, Senior Brand Manager at Valspar Paint, says: “If you want to create a happy garden, Valspar’s color effects palette is a great guide to shades that reflect natural light to boost serotonin. Yellow – either pastel or vibrant Toning – can lift the energy in our gardens and improve our mood, making the space even more inviting for a moment of relaxation or conversation.

“Alternatively, decorate the bottom of a fence or wall with a darker color to give the illusion of your fence merging into the sky. If your garden is a haven for relaxation, use muted biophilic colors to connect with nature.”

Designers Guild Wall Color in ‘Notting Hill Slate’

Guild of Designers

This color felt luxurious when it arrived on our doorstep – from the packaging to the deep, rich color in each pot. We tested the dark gray ‘Notting Hill Slate’ on a wooden fence post and were impressed by the rich pigmentation and modern finish.

This paint holds up in hard wearing exteriors – walls, masonry and plaster – and retains a beautiful, deep, chalky appearance. We applied one coat with a roller, waited two hours, and then applied a second coat with a brush. After about an hour, the area felt dry. We were impressed by how quickly the paint dried and how little paint was needed to achieve a smooth matte finish.

Perfect for outdoor spaces, this moody dark graphite color serves as a dramatic backdrop for plants and greenery. We can also see this color working well on brickwork around a patio to accent outdoor furniture. This shade is also available in a matte emulsion for use throughout the home when you want to coordinate indoors and outdoors. This paint is mixed to order, made in the UK and the tins are made from recycled materials.

Little Greene Garden Paint in ‘Cool Arbour’

Little Greene

Ethically made in a traditional paint factory in the foothills of Snowdonia, Little Greene is a real-life paint company. The family-run company produces environmentally friendly water-based and oil-based paints formulated with naturally occurring vegetable oils.

This paint delivery caught the eye at first glance with its attractive recyclable packaging. Because of the pretty packaging, we were excited to open the lid and reveal the color inside. The warm neutral color felt timeless while being relevant for use in a variety of garden landscapes. Practical and durable, it is easy to apply with a medium-sized brush. This paint is washable, weather-resistant and suitable for all outdoor wood and metal work.

Little Greene exterior paints are available in a wide range of colors with a variety of finishes, from traditional gloss to chalky matte lime. We tried Intelligent Exterior Eggshell, a popular finish for most exterior painting projects, from buildings and gates to fences and furniture.

We applied the paint to a bench without a primer and noticed how quickly it penetrated the wood. Two coats and 24 hours later our finished bench was ready to be put back in the garden. Strong and durable, this paint is ideal for furniture and formulated to prevent color fading and mold and save you the work of repainting it next summer.

Coat exterior paint in ‘The Record Store’

a coat

This jet black color will add a luxurious touch to your garden, as a dramatic backdrop for planted areas or patios. This paint goes on smoothly, has a deep color and is ideal for wood, metal or masonry projects. Note that this paint will weather condition for a durable finish and works well on doors, windows, sheds, furniture, brickwork and metalwork but is not suitable for decking.

We wondered if this black color would hold up to the unpredictable British weather, but the day after we tested a sample it was raining heavily outside and the color retained its slick finish.

Choosing a monochromatic color means your painted furniture, woodwork or brickwork will look attractive even as garden trends change. We can see this shade used to paint a fence or wall with contrasting bright seasonal flowers planted in front of it. Or accentuate your garden chairs against a glamorous dark color backdrop.


For visual appeal and deep color saturation, Lick was our first choice. While the eco-certificates, attractive packaging and color options in Little Greenes range, made it another solid choice.


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