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Change of fence colour - is black a good idea?

Hi there, early next year I'm planning to paint/stain the fence in my back garden.  I'm in the process of trying to cover it with greenery, but it's taking time!  It was various shades of brown when I moved in due to several runs of mismatched panels and is currently a light stone/grey colour.  It definitely lightens up the garden, especially in winter. 

I wondered whether a black paint/stain might give the plants more prominence or would it be a bit oppressive? The photo shows the garden in April last year before most of the perennials and grasses had emerged.

I'd welcome your thoughts please, especially if you have recently changed your fence colour and been pleased or disappointed!  Thank you.
Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.


  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,893
    I love a black fence - lighter and variegated foliage and flower colour really pop against black. It also makes the fence sort of fade into the background and merge with any darker foliage rather than standing out as a feature.

    The only thing to be aware of is if the fence is very shaded. It can get a bit green with algae which also seems to stand out more on a black background.

    From your photo I think you'll be ok and I think it will look very smart. I'd go for it🙂
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    Me too, I love the black stain. How about editing your picture Plantminded and blacking the fence, you'll see what it would like.
    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,284
    Thank you @Topbird, I'd like the fence to fade into the background, so that's very reassuring!  A very good point about algae so I'll keep that in mind.  Roll on those  warmer, drier days so that I can get started!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,284
    That's a good point @Uff, thank you.  I'll try to figure out how to do that this afternoon!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,149
    I've had black for years. Dark grey is also good.
    All my raised beds are black, and I only re do the fence now and again, as they have foliage on them most of the year. Unfortunately, when the plants are dormant, it isn't usually suitable for painting, so they get left.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Black/dark grey works really well in the garden. The only problem I could see is if the new paint/stain will adhere sufficiently to what is already on there.  If you know what was used for the current coating, you should be able to look it up on the manufacturer's site or ask their advice.  Things can go horribly wrong with peeling and the original colour showing through over time etc., if they are incompatible coatings.  You could try and get a small pot of whichever colour you decide on, and test it on an inconspicuous area for a few months first, if you don't know what was used for the stone colour.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    bear in mind that whatever colour you use, MAY bleed through to the other side of the fence, especially top / overlaps.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,284
    Thank you @Fairygirl, that's good to know - if it works for you it will work for me! @BobTheGardener, your support for black is also appreciated, thank you.  I painted the current stain so I know what it is and will match it with the black equivalent. Thank you also @Hostafan1, I'll be as careful as I would expect my neighbour to be on the other side!  I'm now confident to get painting next year so thank you all for your comments.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited December 2021
    I would say that personally it seems like a contemporary look. I like the weathered wood look for myself. My inherited shed has black barn paint on (I can highly recommend Barn paint). It's taken me years to get used to it (perhaps more a reflection on me that the shed). I've never repainted in ten years and it looks pretty new.

    You can see it here close up in this little vid made this summer for family overseas.

    I know a shed isn't the same as a fence, but it might help give you a sense of how the colour might feel in your garden.

    Best wishes with your choice.

  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,284
    Thank you very much for your response @Fire and for including your video - you have a delightful garden, well tended and much loved no doubt!  You got your timing just right for the filming, with that gentle breeze and active insects - much appreciated, thank you!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
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