7 Decorating Tips to Bring Colour Outdoors

Written on 5th April 2020

Besides all the good they do – waking up our gardens and boosting our moods being just two of their best tricks – the first rays of spring sunshine can also reveal a multitude of decorating sins that tend to go unnoticed in the shorter days of winter.

But not to worry, because whether you’re targeting wood, metal, masonry or miscellany, our range of durable exterior paint finishes can offer a helping hand. Keep reading for our top tips on breathing some life into your outdoor space – whatever form it might take – with colour and finish.

1. All Features Great and Small

Whether your garden is a large landscaped plot, a single window box bursting with blooms, or anything in between, colour is a wonderful way to ensure it feels connected to your indoor space. Highlighting an outdoor feature in a shade you’ve used inside the house is a surefire shortcut to indoor-outdoor flow, perfect for long summer evenings with the doors thrown open.

Left – Plant Pot: Crimson Red No.W93 in Exterior Eggshell; Lantern: Scotch Blue No.W24 in Exterior Eggshell; Right – Planter: Snow White No.W1, Ash Grey No.W9 and Sap Green No.W56 in Exterior Eggshell;
Watering Can: Crimson Red No.W93 in Exterior Eggshell

For the ultimate cohesive colour scheme, consider our Colour by Nature palette. Its 16 shades, each one drawn directly from the natural world, are now available in long-lasting Exterior Eggshell as well as our Estate and Modern ranges, so your fences, furniture and accessories can pick up right where you left off indoors.

2. Be Bold

Colours will always appear lighter in full sunlight, so when choosing a colour for your front door, fencing or masonry, don’t be afraid to go a few shades darker or bolder than you would usually. We recommend painting a sample pot onto a piece of card and checking you’re happy with how your chosen colour appears outdoors before you take the plunge.

Left – Front Door: Black Blue No.95 in Exterior Eggshell | Image from Recipes for Decorating; Right – Fence: Scotch Blue No.W24 in Exterior Eggshell; Bench: Dutch Orange No.W76 in Exterior Eggshell; Watering Can: Crimson Red No.W93 in Exterior Eggshell

3. Go For Green

When it comes to creating a naturalistic look, nothing beats green. On plant pots or fences, organic shades such as Lichen and Vert de Terre step back and let brightly coloured blooms take centre stage, while deeper, darker shades create a striking contrast with paler planting schemes. For the subtlest of looks, try a soft grey-green like Mizzle.

Left – Planter: Calke Green No.34 in Exterior Eggshell; Bench: Charlotte’s Locks No.268 in Exterior Eggshell; Right – Cladding and Window Frame: Mizzle No.266 in Exterior Eggshell

4. Freshen Up Your Furniture

If your outdoor furniture has seen better days, there’s a more economical and environmentally friendly alternative to trading it in for a brand new set. You can treat lacklustre wood and metal garden furniture to an entirely new look and add longevity in one fell swoop with our ultra-hardy Exterior Eggshell or Full Gloss finishes. Properly applied, they’ll resist peeling, cracking, and fading for six years.

5. Don't Forget Accessories

Thinking smaller when it comes to colour can hold big rewards. Plant pots, baskets and raised beds can be matched to their contents – Brassica makes a particularly lovely partner for pollinator-friendly lavender – or painted in a contrasting tone for a striking effect. You can even use colour to create a welcoming space for wildlife, as the painters of this charming bird feeder have done.

Left – Pots: Assortment of shades in Exterior Masonry; Right – Feeder: Blue Gray No.91 and Chappell Green No.83 in Exterior Eggshell

6. Play with Finishes

It’s not just the colour you choose that can have a huge impact on your final look – the finish can too. A few coats of Full Gloss will add an extra touch of drama to any front door, especially paired with a smart shade like Pitch Black. If you’re opting for a punchier colour, like citrusy-sweet Yellowcake, a low-sheen finish lets the statement shade do all the talking.

Looking for colour inspiration? Here are a few of our favourite Farrow & Ball front doors.

Left – Door: Yellowcake No.279 in Exterior Eggshell; Right – Door: Pitch Black No.256 in Full Gloss

7. Layer Up

You can add interest to any outdoor space by layering up different shades, just as you would indoors. Garden furniture, doors, brickwork, and even conservatories and greenhouses can all be excellent vehicles for colour. Creating a palette that matches your planting scheme is a great way to create a cohesive and considered feel; equally, if you have paint left over from previous projects, you can create a charming eclectic effect by painting each piece of furniture a different colour.

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