What color fence paint makes a garden look bigger? The experts reveal all...

Outdoor design specialists reveal what color fence paint makes a garden look bigger... and surprisingly, it's not white

A fence by ColourFence
(Image credit: ColourFence)

For anyone with a small, bounded-off backyard or front garden, the question of what color fence paint makes a garden look bigger is an important one. But if you're thinking about the traditional white picket fence, you won't find it here. 

Despite the enduring reputation of white as space-enhancing, it may not actually work that well for small gardens. Instead, try these three colors chosen by experts in garden design and home decorating. 

If the garden fence ideas you're looking for specifically involve visually enhancing a small garden, these are the colors to try. 

What color fence paint makes a garden look bigger?

1. Green

A green fence by ColourFence

A green fence by ColourFence

(Image credit: ColourFence)

It makes perfect sense – green is the color that will help the fence blend in with your planting rather than breaking it up. Travis Nolan is a color designer and owner of Old Crow Painting, a craftsman painting company that specializes in historic
homes and gardens. Travis said: 'If you really want your garden to appear to stretch for miles, go with green hues that will blend into the surrounding foliage.'

Green comes in many shades, and if a deep forest green isn't to your liking for your garden color schemes, there are plenty of shades to choose from. 'For those who are looking for more traditional colors, opt for a light shade that will complement the existing colors in your garden and make your space feel larger.'

2. Light blue-gray

A fence by Jacksons Fencing

A garden fence by Jacksons Fencing

(Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

Light blue is having quite a moment in home decor at the moment, but it's also one of the biggest garden trends, especially if you go for a cooler shade that has gray in it. Ash Read, design expert and founder of Living Cozy, explains that it's better to use light blue as opposed to white or cream in a small garden

'It is true that 'lighter colors are more reflective so give the illusion of more room, whereas darker colors will absorb more light and make a space feel a little smaller.'

However, light shouldn't necessarily mean white: 'A cream or off-white color will provide a bright, airy feel, but can also take the focus away from your plants or other garden decor pieces,' Ash continues. 'Especially in summer when the sun is shining.' 

'A better option could be a light blue which can add a contemporary feel to your outdoor space. Blue works particularly well with neutral-colored garden furniture and decor and can create a lovely seaside vibe.'

An enclosed garden with a light grey fence

(Image credit: Mark Bolton/Future)

You can also go from a light blue to a blue-gray or even straight-up light gray shade: 'A light, cool gray is also a great option and alternative to bright white. Gray is very fashionable and stylish at the moment and for good reason,' adds Ash. 

'Gray is an incredibly versatile color and it can work well with any style of fence and almost any garden decor.'

3. A multi-colored mural

floral mural painted on a garden fence

(Image credit: George Ostertag/Alamy Stock Photo)

This is a more unusual option that is not for the faint of heart, but if professionally executed, could look stunning. We are talking about a garden fence mural that will visually extend your planting scheme. Clare Horne, owner of Nashville's only female-owned, full-service fine gardening, landscape design, and living decor company,
The Grass Girl, said: 'One paint color is not enough—to really make use of your fence and extend your garden, hire a muralist! A fence painted with a mural of hyperrealistic flowers and shrubs can trick the eye into seeing a continuation of your garden bed.

The quality of the mural will have a direct bearing on how size-enhancing it will be. We're really intrigued by this technique, and it will be on our privacy fence ideas radar from now on. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.