6 easy ways to add colour to your garden

From tables to sheds, paint your garden in vibrant shades for a fun and playful space that's packed with personality

colourful painted seating area on a decked patio with a yellow pallet coffee table and colourful outdoor cushions
(Image credit: Cuprinol)

If the past few months have taught us anything, it's that our gardens are just as valuable as the rooms inside our home. While we might spend hours selecting paint colours and wallpapers for our interiors, we tend to put far less thought into how we decorate our exteriors. 

We think this needs to change! There's a wide spectrum of bold and vibrant exterior paints out there, and it's about time we put them to good use. From wood to metal, and from terracotta to stone, there's a bright and brilliant outdoor paint to transform any garden material into a colourful feast for the eyes. 

And the best bit? While our gardens change with the seasons, your vibrant furniture will remain the same, making your outdoor space a lovely place to be come rain or shine. 

So join us in a bid to give our gardens the fun and style they deserve. Learn to decorate your space just like any other room with our top six creative paint ideas. There's loads more garden design ideas in our gallery, so make sure you check that out too. 

1.  Paint your pergola yellow and create your own sunshine

a painted yellow pergola in a modern garden with black seating and grey fences

(Image credit: @thishousewemade)

A pergola is a brilliant way to zone your garden and create a designated alfresco living room. Just as you paint your living room walls, paint your pergola to create the exact vibe you want. This vibrant yellow pergola by @thishousewemade will bring a happy and sunny feel to the space whatever the weather. Painted in Mister David by Little Greene, it's a statement shade that we're loving at the moment. If you're after a more muted look, go for a pale green or soft blue.  

2. Turn your shed doors into a feature 

garden studio with brightly coloured doors painted in coral

(Image credit: Rachael Taylor. Struth Photography)

If your shed is more of an eyesore than a decorative feature, listen up! Painting just one part of your shed, be it the doors or the window frames, in a statement colour can instantly transform the feel of your whole space. This garden studio by Rachael Taylor uses coral doors to turn the practical shed into a design feature in its own right. We love how the same paint has been used on some of the plant pots for a cohesive scheme. 

3. Get creative with pattern for fun alfresco dining 

picnic table painted in a blue aztec pattern

(Image credit: Tidyawaytoday.co.uk)

It's amazing what you can create with some paint and masking tape. This picnic table was transformed by #tidylife into a stylish work of art that anyone would be lucky to sit at. The aztec-inspired pattern creates a fun and boho feel, while the touches of gold give a glamorous edge. Simply prime your table, map out your pattern using masking tape, and paint between the lines for an instant designer look at a tiny fraction of the cost. We're loving this lovely Summer Rain Quick Dry Satin Exterior Paint from Wilko, creating a real colour pop and brightening the whole space. 

4. Give tired furniture a new lease of life 

boho garden chair painted in burnt orange with colourful cushions and throws

(Image credit: M&L Paints)

Have you got odd pieces of furniture lying dormant in the garage that are too good to get rid of, but not quite good enough for your home? Cue your next garden project! A coat of bold paint can give a new lease of life to even the most tired of pieces. Perfect for DIY novices, simply clean your old furniture (wood may benefit from sanding too), apply two coats of paint and watch your masterpiece evolve! This Burnt Orange  from M&L Paints completely modernises this traditional-style chair, adding a look-at-me element to any garden. 

5. Repurpose a pallet for a colourful coffee table

seating area painted in bright colours with a yellow coffee table and outdoor cushions

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

Who says you can't get something for nothing? Not us! This stylish yellow coffee table you see here looking lovely? It's made from a pallet. All you need to do is sand it down, give it a good clean and paint the top layer in yellow, or blue or green, or any colour you like. Wheels are optional, but they do mean you can easily chop and change your patio layout. 

Whether it's a pallet, an old coffee table or even a dining table, painting the top in a statement shade is a sure way to an instant centre piece. This design was painted in Dazzling Yellow by Cuprinol and we love it's nearly-neon vibrancy. 

6. Short on space? Paint glass bottles and pack them with flowers 

colourful vases painted in garden paint and filled with flowers on a green window ledge

(Image credit: M&L Paints)

If your smaller garden, balcony, or even window ledge is looking for a splash of evergreen colour too, we've found the perfect solution. Paint a handful of old glass bottles in various colours, place them on a decorative tray and fill them with flowers for a stylish and eco-friendly garden.  Psst... those lucky enough to have a bigger garden can use this as a pretty table centrepiece too! These bottles are painted in colours from the Alitex Collection and M&L Paints.

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Amelia Smith

Amelia has worked on Real Homes magazine since 2016 and is now Deputy Style Editor. She's a flower lover, and her dining table is never without a bright and blousy bunch of blooms. She loves the excitement of planting seeds in her container garden, and watching beautiful flowers appear from nothing. This year she’s on a mission to enhance her new rented garden with a colourful bistro set, a patterned outdoor rug and plenty of fairy lights. Her favourite houseplant is a Calathea, as she loves how they lift their leaves at night, as if tucking themselves into bed!