June 28, 2024

Easy & Breezy: Using Neutral Colours Outside

Easy & Breezy: Using Neutral Colours Outside

Looking for new ways to turn your outdoor space into a beautiful haven? Neutrals can provide the perfect backdrop.

Whether you’re painting furniture, fences or your front door, there is a stunning selection of neutral shades to choose from. Best of all, the look is timeless and easy to include in different spaces.

Read on as we discuss why neutrals are great for outdoor spaces and provide some colour inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

Why neutrals are a natural fit outdoors

One of the great things about neutral colours is their style longevity. Colour trends may come and go, but the timeless, calming nature of neutral hues means they don’t look dated in the same way. They are classic, no-stress choices.

If you are already firmly camped in team neutral, you’ll probably know that these sorts of shades are fantastic at fitting in too. Whatever the style or situation, there are neutral paint colours to suit and complement the materials, architecture and location of your home.

Neutral exterior paint shades work equally well with plants too. Sitting quietly and harmoniously with just about any planting style, they bring a grounded, relaxed feeling to your home’s façade or garden haven. In short, neutrals let the surrounding plants do the talking.

So, whether you are looking to simply paint your front door and windows or branch out to your shed, garden furniture and more, neutral shades are a great choice and quite hard to get wrong!

Top tip: If you’re looking for more ways to add colour to your outdoor space, you can paint your terracotta plant pots.

Neutral colour ideas for your outdoor space

Classic white

Always popular, established and perhaps the easiest choice, a clean bright white is the solution to many a painting challenge. Maximising space and bouncing light around, whites like Dazzle Me! can make even the dingiest corner feel lighter and brighter. It works well with any style or situation from country cottage to modern city. Above all else, white is classic, familiar and adaptable.

Is white too bright?

Off-white, cream or soft, pale neutral exterior paint colours are always worthy contenders for exterior glow-ups. Softer than a bright white, these shades sit beautifully with natural materials for a pared-back, calm feel.

In a very sunny situation, the strong light can mean a bright white looks a little stark. This is often the case in south and west-facing gardens.

Deciding on an off-white, like Wedding Cake, is perfect for this. Pale taupe and beige tones like Cool Beans would also work for a cooler option, or try a pale grey like Swanky Pants.

This shed is a stunning example, using Cool Beans.


The greatness of grey

The dominance of grey for interior décor has more recently been dented with warmer taupe tones and beige hues firmly back on the menu. But for exteriors, plenty of greys remain key.

If you don’t have a large number of plants to provide interest and variety, your choice of paint colour is even more important. Grey is a great choice because there are multiple versions available. So, it’s easy to keep a super-relaxed and pared-back feel while mixing it up within a single colour palette.

Add impact with black and dark colours

Using black or charcoal paint colours outside will provide definition and impact. It’s a failsafe way to revive and modernise tired garden furniture and seating areas. Check out these pergolas and French doors for inspiration:


Alternatively, dark colours can provide the perfect backdrop for a seating area. It allows your garden furniture, décor, pots and plants to stand out beautifully. Even if you don’t have a lot of flowers, simple green foliage looks stunning against a dark-painted fence or wall.

In fact, dark colours tend to recede in a garden space. With this in mind, dark-painted elements like boundaries and sheds become less visible when they’re further away in the garden. This is because the eye focuses on the surrounding plants instead. On the other hand, paler and brighter colours tend to draw the eye. So, if you want to camouflage or ‘hide’ your shed, painting it a dark colour is a good choice.

Something to bear in mind with black is that it doesn’t reflect light in the same way as whites and paler colours. That’s also true for other very dark paint colours. As a result, they can get hot in strong sunlight.

Dark slatey greys and black are also classic choices for windowsills, window frames, front doors and patio doors. They’re smart with brickwork or render and easy to fit in with the rest of your outdoor décor. Exhibit A is this façade and fence transformation using Blackjack.


Push it just past neutral

Want to dial up the colour? Soft, muted shades with earthy or smoky grey undertones work in the same way as true neutrals when used outside as outdoor light tends to wash out colours, reducing their vibrancy.

You can see what we mean on Abi Hugo’s front door makeover using the fabulous brownish, olive green, Olivia:


Colours like understated greens, slate-infused blues and even vintage pinks are great contenders for a neutral vibe with a little added colour. They’re also perfect partners for other neutrals, allowing you to introduce an added dimension.

We absolutely love this Dusky Blush trellis for that reason:


Choosing the right paint for your outdoor transformation!

As well as picking the perfect colour, it’s important to choose the right paint for your exterior projects. Frenchic’s Al Fresco range is waterproof, UV resistant and highly durable, making it ideal for painting outdoors.

It also adheres to wood, laminate, uPVC and composites, so you can paint all kinds of garden furniture and external fixtures. Even better, there’s a choice of neutral colours alongside brighter and bolder shades. Take your pick today by finding your nearest stockist to see them in person.

You can also read our 8 handy tips for painting outside to make things easier and get the best results!


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