If you’re looking for the best fence paint available in the UK, you’ve come to the right place.
The humble wooden fence is more than just a means to stop the neighbours’ dog running riot in your back garden. A well painted garden fence can make or break the overall look of your garden and can make it a special place to relax in.
Moreover, it can be used for holding decorations, bird boxes and even garden lights to take the look and feel of your garden to the next level. But it all starts with a great paint job that can even increase the value of your home.
If your fence is looking a bit worse for wear and could do with a fresh new coat of paint, this article is for you. We’ve compiled the best fence paint based on personal testing along with thousands of real customer reviews.
Best Fence Paint Overall: Cuprinol Ducksback
Our pick for the best fence paint goes to Cuprinol Ducksback (and not just because it has a great name).
The Cuprinol Ducksback ticks all the boxes when it comes to choosing the ideal fence paint. It’s water repellent, offers protection for around 5 years, is suitable for use on rough-sawn wood, is safe for use around pets and plants and perhaps, more importantly, the colour looks fantastic.
One of the defining features of Cuprinol Ducksback is that it’s designed to soak into the wood and thus provides better protection from the wet weather when compared to other brands. Whilst I’ve heard of many professionals opting to use masonry paint on fences, I’d generally advise against this as it tends to form a plastic-like film over the fence and doesn’t protect the wood long term.
One thing we notice with cheaper brands of fence paint is that the pigmenting of the colour doesn’t always match what you see on the tin. You certainly won’t be having that problem with this paint.
- Incredibly durable which means your fence doesn’t need a repaint for another 5 or so years
- It applies very easily regardless of the surface. Whilst we’d recommend giving your fence a good scrub down before application, this will go on just fine if you don’t have the time to remove imperfections
- Shower-proof in around 1 hour although you should always check the weather before starting anyway!
- Non-drip formulation
- You don’t have to be an experienced painter to get a high quality finish
- Fantastic colour
- Can be thinned down to use in a paint sprayer
- Great coverage from 1 tin
Best for Durability: Cuprinol Garden Shades
Cuprinol Garden Shades gets our pick if durability is your top priority. With 6 year weatherproof protection, you’ll ensure your garden looks better for longer whilst also extending the life of your fence panels.
For those familiar with fencing, you’ll know that the average fence lasts around 15 years so you’ll only need to paint your fence a maximum of 3 times before it’s time for a new one.
Other than its impressive durability, Cuprinol Garden Shades boasts a huge variety of colours, high surface versatility and can be applied with a brush or a fence sprayer.
- Beautiful matt colour which enhances the grain of natural wood, with 6 year weather protection on wood.
- Suitable for wood, terracotta, brick and stone.
- Brush or Spray
- Water based
- Over 30 different colours to choose from
- High durability
- Fast drying
- Low odour
- Easy to apply
- A little bit expensive compared to the coverage you’ll get from each tin
- Needs a layer of preservative before application to get the best results and to stop the wood from rotting
Best One Coat: Ronseal Fence Paint (One Coat)
The Ronseal Fence Paint (Fence Life) is the perfect choice if you don’t have the time to apply 2 or more coats.
It has high water resistance, a beautiful matt finish and is rain-proof within 1 – 2 hours.
Moreover, with 6 different colours, you’ll be able to choose the perfect one to fit in with your garden theme without being entirely spoilt for choice.
- Areas of use: Sheds and Fences
- Coverage: 6.0 m2 covered per litre
- Finish: Opaque Matt
- Drying time: Rainproof in 1-2 hours
- Number of coats: 1
- Whilst not designed for concrete posts, it’s still very effective at painting them
- It’s very reasonably priced for the coverage
- Can be sprayed but you’ll get a nicer finish if you use a brush
- It gives a uniform finish
- It works as a preserver
- It comes out a bit lighter than what’s on the tin so bear that in mind. Despite the name, you will need a couple of coats to get it to match the colour on the tin
Best Black Fence Paint: Cuprinol Less Mess
Cuprinol Less Mess is a beautiful paint, especially in black. If you’re looking for the best black fence paint, then look no further.
We tested this recently and were really impressed by how smoothly you can apply it and the nice, easy coverage.
It doesn’t contain much odour so you won’t have to contend with that when painting your fence.
Moreover, one coat is all you’ll need and rougher surfaces won’t prove to be a problem so you don’t need to worry too much about any imperfections in your fence.
- Formulated to ensure adhesion to rough timber whilst protecting it
- Special pigments results in a colourful and even finish
- It is quick-drying, low odour and the low VOC content makes it more environmentally friendly than other paints
- Excellent value for money
- Brings out a lovely colour
- Works well even on the roughest surfaces
- Compared to other brands, there’s much less ‘splash back’ during application
- Whilst we didn’t have any issues with this paint, some reviewers suggested the paint washed off a little bit after a few months. It should be fine with one coat but if this concerns you, try two.
Best White Fence Paint: Johnstone’s Garden Colours
Part of their Woodcare range, Johnstone’s Garden Colours contains an amazing white orchid colour which for us is the best white fence paint.
Johnstone’s Garden Colours scores highly when it comes to ease of use, how easy it is to clean and more importantly durability.
When it comes to white fence paint it’s going to be much easier to spot stains so you’ll definitely want something like this which is easy to clean and provides protection from the elements.
- Protection lasts for up to four years on most types of garden furniture
- The smooth formula is easy to apply and gives a layer of long lasting colour
- It’s incredibly quick to dry and would be ready for a second coat within just a couple of hours
- Harmless to plants and animals when dry
- Up to 4 years of protection reduces the chances of having to repaint your fence
- Great value for money
- Is thicker and more waxy when dry than some other brands
- Once dry, it’s smooth to touch and gives off a nice sheen
Best Slate Grey Fence Paint: Ronseal Fence Life Plus+
Slate grey is a beautiful colour and really brings a touch of class and elegancy to any garden. If you’re looking for the best slate grey fence paint then look no further than Ronseal Fence Life Plus+.
What we’ve found with this particular paint is that it’s a little bit watery and rather absorbs into the water rather than providing it with a thick coat on the surface. Whilst this might seem like a negative to some, it actually gives off a really nice subtle colour.
As a water-based product, it’s very easy to clean, not harmful to children, pets or flowers and is low odour.
To apply it, simply brush it on or use a good quality fence paint sprayer.
- 5 Year protection for both rough sawn and smooth planed sheds and fences
- Provides all weather protection and UV protection for long lasting colour
- Can be applied by spray or brush
- Can be easily washed off with soap and water if you drop it on paving during application
- If using a sprayer it can be applied in minutes
- It’s shower-proof within around an hour
- Can be used on rough or smooth timber
- Sticks well to damp wood
- You’ll need 2 or 3 coats if applying to rougher surfaces
What to look for when buying fence paint
You might be wondering why we chose the paints we did. Well, there are a few things we look for when trying to decide what fence paint to use. These include:
- Durability – This is probably our most valued attribute when it comes to fence paint. British weather is less than ideal so you’ll want something that is going to be able to withstand a climate that rains on average for over 150 days a year.
- Ease of application – Many of us in the UK take great pride in our gardens and painting our fences is just one way we can make our garden look great. With that being said, instead of hiring professionals, we often undertake such tasks ourselves. Finding a paint that’s easy to apply is highly convenient for a DIY painter.
- Colour – We certainly have our own personal favourites but choose whatever you think will fit in best with your garden.
Best Fence Paint Colour
This all comes down to your own preference but different colours can give your garden a different feel. Let’s look into why some colours are more popular than others.
Black is a very underrated paint colour in our opinion. A black finish absorbs light in the sunny months and even helps make your garden look bigger.
If your garden is in a heavily shaded area, a nice white colour will help to lighten up the space and looks very modern.
Slate grey is another modern colour that adds an elegance and simplicity to your garden. This colour works particularly well if you have darker items and foliage in your garden.
With many gardens being host to green leaves and plants, plum could be a perfect choice for you. Plum is a complimentary colour to green and is bold and lively.
Dark brown gives that classic garden fence look. Why mess with the tried and tested?
Should you use a brush or a fence paint sprayer?
These days there are many high-quality paint sprayers on the market that have been designed specifically for fences.
The advantage of fence paint sprayers is that you can apply the paint in a speedy manner and still get a high-quality finish. This of course saves on time but also gives people without the stamina to paint the fence with a brush another option.
It all comes down to personal preference. The finish isn’t THAT much different although if you’re a decent painter and have the time to spare, you’ll probably get a better finish if you use a brush.
How long will the paint last?
As durability played a heavy factor in our choices for the best fence paint, all of the paints included in this article should last you around 4 – 6 years. This essentially means that you’ll only need to repaint your fence 2 or 3 times before it’s time for a new fence.
We hope our expertise on this subject has given you the insight to choose the right paint for the job. All of the products included have been tried and tested by my dad and I during our careers as painters and have been backed up with thousands of happy reviewers.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us via email@example.com and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can!
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Want to learn more about different paints? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best gloss paint” article!