Garden wall paint ideas – 10 ways to add standout color to your outdoor space

Take your garden wall paint ideas up a level with a fresh new shade and you'll spruce up your yard in no time

courtyard with pool and furniture
(Image credit: King Living)

Add color and style to your outdoor space by choosing garden wall paint ideas that will transform humdrum masonry into something special. You can paint a wall to either complement or contrast plants, furniture and accessories. Use it to maximize curb appeal in your front yard or pull together a look in your backyard.

Choose masonry paint as it protects yard walls in addition to bringing a decorative touch. It's suitable for brick, pebbledash, stucco, cement, concrete and stone garden wall ideas, so should cover all your wall makeover needs. If you're painting a wall that gets sun-baked look for paint with UV protection or fade-resistant technology for a longer lasting finish. 

Masonry paint is available in either a smooth or textured finish and comes in a great range of colors. So whether you're looking for subtle neutrals like cream and beige, cool and calming shades of gray and green, or something bolder, here's our round-up of the best garden wall paint ideas to inspire you.

Garden wall paint ideas

Which way to go with garden wall paint ideas: bold or neutral? 

'The current trend shows a move away from cooler, industrial tones towards warm, nature-inspired hues that create a comforting sense of calm,' says Ellen McEvoy of premium paint brand Colourtrend (opens in new tab). 'Our hero shade of the season is soft olive-green tone that will elevate any space and introduce a sense of sophistication. Green brings a sense of familiarity, a feeling of rest and puts the mind and body at ease.'

Other trending shades include 'pink chocolate', a color that conjures up the warmth of summer and brings an earthy and comforting feeling of connection to nature, elegant and easy-going taupe which fits effortlessly into any scheme, and bright and airy canvas toned off-white, a pure and low-key color to bring a feeling of lightness.

There are lots of new paint shades to pick from so get choosing and give your backyard and front garden wall ideas a makeover this weekend.

1. Take your interior design style outside

blue painted wall in garden with dining furniture


(Image credit: Little Greene)

How much do we love this look? Choosing the right shade for an exterior wall is just as important as making interior design decisions and gives you the opportunity to reflect your personality and style outdoors too for a cohesive look throughout. 

Whether it's extending the use of room color ideas from an interior scheme, choosing colors to complement an existing wall, window or front door, or creating a brand new exterior design scheme from scratch, beautifully considered exterior transformations add instant appeal.

'You don’t need to revamp the whole façade to make an impact,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene (opens in new tab). 'A simple update such as painting an exterior wall to offset patio furniture can make the whole home feel renewed. I love to use color in unexpected ways to update an outside area. Even the smallest outdoor space can be transformed with a splash of color into a place where you can escape and retreat to at the end of the day.' 

2. Aim for a harmonious flow of color

dusky pink wall with lounger, planters and topiary


(Image credit: Sadolin)

Just as with fence decorating ideas, when painting garden walls consider surrounding properties and keeping in theme with the rest of the neighborhood to avoid a jarring scheme that stands out for all the wrong reasons.

'Aim for a continuous flow of color,' suggests Matthew Brown, Sandtex (opens in new tab) technical consultant. 'Painted walls can act as a backdrop for greenery and plants. Use subtle tones or make the paint the star of the show and use it to add warmth and energy all year round.'

One thing to look out for is how light can play tricks with shade intensity. 'Colors always look lighter and brighter on an exterior because there is more natural light outside than in,' says Matthew. 'We always advise choosing a shade darker and testing a small area first.'

3. Play with paint to make a space look bigger

tiled terrace painted green with plants and rocking chair


(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Paint can be used to enhance a small space by making it appear bigger. The stripe halfway up this wall exaggerates the width of this space and draws the eye to create the illusion of wider walls. It’s a brilliant design hack for a small space like a balcony. The calming color palette of greens is classy but cool.

'If you want to channel this verdant look, be sure to choose blue-toned greens rather than yellow-toned greens to create a cool, calm feeling of oasis,' says color and paint expert Annie Sloan (opens in new tab). 'Leaving natural textures on display, as with these rattan furnishings, and dressing with plants anchors the space and reinforces the feeling of an “organic” atmosphere.'  

The blue-toned elements of these colors are recessive and make the space feel larger, grander, and therefore calmer and more tranquil. The green makes the perfect statement for an outdoor space as it links with the lush foliage.

4. Enhance on trend curves with a cool paint shade

low curved garden wall painted cream

Wall painted in Cool Arbour (opens in new tab) by Little Greene. In some lights this mid-gray shade looks khaki so greens work seamlessly with it

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Go with curves in a cool shade for your garden wall paint ideas to enhance your space in a way that resonates with nature. Landscapers are embracing curves big time this year, especially in small spaces, where they give a softer, organic, fluid shape to a garden that results in a more natural feeling space.

There are practical reasons for using curves too, as they can enhance a seating space by cocooning it with a low wall, then add layers of interest with grasses and plants. Choose a cool mid-toned gray to add a sense of timelessness to the look.

5. Use paint to connect with nature

pale green-grey wall with olive tree and furniture

This outdoor space might be small but the wall paint really sets the scene for the minimal planting to create an eye-catching look

(Image credit: Future)

'Going green on your garden walls is a great choice if you want your outdoor space to blend seamlessly into your natural environment, which is a core element of this year's key trend: biophilic design,' says Lick’s (opens in new tab) trend expert Matilda Martin. 'Calming colors like sage will do just this by instantly increasing your connectivity to nature.'

Choose the right garden wall paint ideas and they will work as a backdrop that enhances your garden color scheme and the finer details of small architectural trees and other sculptural plants. Sometimes all your garden really needs is an interesting wall and a small tree outlined against it, particularly if space is tight.

6. Showcase a focal point with a clever paint job

basement garden with pink painted walls and tropical shrubs

This pink shade is one of our favorite garden wall paint ideas as it's so easy on the eye

(Image credit: Arcaid Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

This basement level patio garden in Notting Hill, London was designed by Modular (opens in new tab) in conjunction with Crawford & Gray Architects (opens in new tab). Lush plants with strong shapes like tree ferns, phormiums, ornamental grasses and yucca were chosen together with reflective materials to create a dramatic look.

The soft pink masonry paint is the perfect backdrop for showing off the stylish powder-coated steel planters, slate steps and and galvanised metal stairs that form the centerpiece of this space.

When painting exterior walls choose a product that dries quickly to a pleasingly smooth matte finish. Look for a formula that's dirt and water resistant, and contains anti-fungal and anti-ageing technology so it stays looking fresh for longer. This is especially important for high traffic areas like steps.

7. Choose an accent color to add some wow

raised bed painted pink and planted with ornamental grass


(Image credit: Little Greene)

Using accent colors to add emphasis or contrast as part of your color scheme works just as well in the backyard as indoors. Dusky pink is having a moment right now and we love to use it as a sophisticated accent color for garden wall paint ideas. If you want to add a pop of bright that feels very on trend this could be the color for you. 

If you're considering using it in a larger space, balance opulent pink with a neutral  for a harmonious feel. Gray works particularly well with pink.

If you want to create impact with your garden wall paint ideas the best accent colors are usually the boldest ones. It's also a good way to introduce color if you're a little nervous with the idea of brights. Repeat the accent color a couple of times more such as with a pink-flowered plant or outdoor cushions to carry the theme through.

8. Opt for gray for a cool and timeless look

garden gate with painted wall and path

Choose classic gray like this restful Arquerite (opens in new tab) shade by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Decorating with grey is a timeless classic that remains popular for garden wall paint ideas year after year. It's a great choice for urban outdoor spaces such as courtyard gardens, rooftop gardens and balconies as it helps to create an effortlessly cool look.

Choose a warm gray paint shade that will sit comfortably against materials like chrome and steel and the result will be an elegant and balanced look that evokes harmony and calm. And because it's such a neutral, versatile shade it pairs well with almost any other color.

9. Go dark and moody with black

black wall with garden furniture set


(Image credit: Garden Trading)

When it comes to garden wall paint ideas, opting for black is an on-trend look that’s here to stay. In city gardens it makes the perfect backdrop for showing off the outline of sculptural plants and sleek modular furniture. So if you’re going to treat brickwork to a coat of matte black masonry paint be sure to keep the rest of the look modern too.

If you're looking for garden wall paint ideas for a small space going dark is always the best move as it will make your yard look bigger. It will also blend seamlessly into the background and let everything else take center stage. Embracing darker tones in a small garden space lets you create a bold finish you'll love. 

10. Pick crisp white for a cool and contemporary look

courtyard garden with pool and painted walls


(Image credit: King Living)

White is one of the most versatile and timeless colors around, spanning both classic and contemporary schemes. It can be used both as a stunning main color or introduced with deft touches here and there as a quieter highlight.

There are many shades of white to choose from. As with any other color choice, think about the mood and the atmosphere you wish to create. Understanding how the nuances in different whites and soft neutrals behave in different light settings is key to avoiding a look that's too harsh and clinical.

There are many benefits to choosing white. One of the nice things about white is that it goes with everything. It also enhances the colors of plants surrounding it. White is also a very calming color, either on its own or when paired with soft pastel shades, so if you want your yard to feel like a sanctuary white is the color for you. 

What wall color looks good with plants?

When it comes to wall colors that look good with plants, white is always a good bet. 'White works well with any color combination, giving all the focus to the plants,' according to the experts at Berger Paints (opens in new tab). 'With white garden walls, your space will look more open, breathable, clean and airy. White walls also allow the plants to become the main accents by letting them add color and character to the space.'

Other good color choices for garden wall paint ideas that will showcase plants perfectly include sky blue, terracotta, mint green and coffee.

Sarah Wilson
Gardens Editor

Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured.