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Painting a fence

Fence painting

Most new fence panels come ready treated with a wood colour which can be anything from light golden to dark brown. Over a period of time this will fade, usually to an unobtrusive shade of grey. To maintain the original appearance and to protect your fence from the elements, you can treat it with a wood colour or preservative. You will be able to restore it to the original colour, change it to another wood tone or go for something completely different.

Choose the right treatment for your fence

Choosing the right treatment

Today’s advanced water-based wood treatments are easy to use and give an excellent level of protection on the surface of the wood. They are ideal on pressure-treated (sometimes referred to as tantalised) timber which is given a long-lasting preservative treatment during the manufacturing process. A water-based wood treatment applied regularly can maintain or change the colour of the fence and protects for up to five years.

View all Garden Timbercare & Wood Preservatives
Wickes Shed Fence

Wickes Shed & Fence

Wickes Shed & Fence timbercare range is resistant to fading and provides long-lasting protection against sun and rain damage.

Ronseal Fence Life

Ronseal Fence Life

Ronseal Fence Life dries quickly and protects from the sun and weather in just one coat.

Cuprinol Ducksback

Cuprinol Ducksback

Cuprinol Ducksback advanced wax enriched formula is showerproof in just one hour and water repellent, providing weatherproof protection for up to five years.

Choosing the right colour

Changing the colour of your fence can transform the overall look of your outdoor space. Use the following guide to help you make the right choice:

  • Choose a colour that suits the style of your house and garden and complements the tones of any features such as decking, a patio or brickwork
  • It’s a good idea to paint a small area first before you paint the whole fence. Colours often look a little different when you see them applied to timber in daylight
  • In most gardens, bright shades might work on a bench or arbour but are likely to be overpowering on a fence. Colour is usually best used to enhance the area rather than to make a feature of the fence
  • Any wear and tear on an old fence may become more obvious if you paint it with an eye-catching colour

Soft stone shades work well with plants, enhancing both foliage and the colours of flowers. They also suit contemporary and minimalist designs. Dark hues can contrast with colours to beautiful effect such as a yellow climbing rose against soft black fencing.

Cuprinol Shades Natural Stone

Cuprinol Shades Natural Stone

Ronseal Black Oak

Ronseal Black Oak

The most popular natural wood colours
Colours Products Results
 Dark Brown Ronseal Fencelife Dark Oak
Cuprinol Ducksback Harvest Brown
Wickes Shed & Fence - Chestnut Brown
Perfect for a traditional look.
Perfect for a rustic effect and where a dark unobtrusive background is required.
 Warm red wood tones Ronseal Fencelife Red Cedar
Cuprinol Ducksback Rich Cedar
Wickes Shed & Fence and Shed & Fence Autumn Cedar
For a more defined and noticeable fence.
This works well with dark evergreens and traditional red brick houses.
 Light oak tones Ronseal Fencelife Harvest Gold
Cuprinol Ducksback Autumn Gold
Wickes Shed & Fence Red Cedar
Works best with Cotswold paving and golden stone chipping.
Closest match to new fence panels and a good choice for preserving the original colour.
 Shades Sage
Fresh Rosemary
Combine wood protection with appealing different colours while still showcasing the natural grain of the wood.


When you’ve painted your fence, make the most of it as a backdrop to your garden. Foliage shrubs such as variegated plants (a plant which has different zones of colour on the leaves) or climbers planted against fencing in complementary or contrasting hues look particularly effective.