How to use grey in your garden

For garden

Modern, muted and elegant, grey is a popular choice for updating garden spaces. With a spectrum of tones on offer, grey packs more punch than your average neutral. From deep charcoals to cool slates, there are shades to help you balance or brighten your garden.

Used outdoors, grey makes the perfect partner for bright plants, lush greens and even other accent colours such as mustard or teal. Darker shades, in particular, make the odd paw print or shoe scuff much more manageable.

There are lots of ways to introduce grey in your garden, with grey decking and fencing being two of the easiest ways to include this versatile colour in your outdoor space. With that in mind, we’ve put together some great grey fencing and decking ideas from the Ronseal community to help give you some inspiration for your garden. 

Grey fence ideas

1. Frame your space

Credit: Instragram - @renovation_44

A grey fence provides a fantastic frame to any garden. It’s bold enough to draw a boundary without dominating the space it borders. If you want to make more of this feature, details such as mirrors, outdoor artwork or lighting will elevate the look even further and add interest to your panels.

To finish, decorate with fairy lights or wooden planters filled with light stones and topiary for contrast.

Top tip: Layering further greys in your decking and furniture will also add depth, whilst tying the entire space together. 

2. Tiny touches

Credit: Instagram - @ourlittlehouseno29

It only takes a few small changes to make a big difference to your outdoor areas and how they’re used. Even in the most compact spaces, there are still lots of opportunities to make a real impact. From colour choices to plant placement, a few tiny touches can really transform a space.

 Try taking an unused corner of your garden and turning it into an inviting reading nook or social space. Refreshing your fence with a coat of warm grey instantly adds character to an area.

Next, you can accessorise your panels with some contrasting plant pots at various levels. Placing plants here will not only add to the look but will save you floor space too.

Top tip: Bringing in a table or chair will provide a purpose for the space and encourage people to use it. Pops of colour in cushions and candles will then complete the look.

3. Warm and welcoming

Credit: Instagram - @interiors_with_zeee

Bringing the indoors outdoors is a great way to make the most of your garden and enjoy the summer nights. To create the homely haven vibe, transform your fencing with a coat of soft grey paint. This will add warmth, interest and create the illusion of a feature wall for an outdoor setting.

Extra touches such as shelves, mirrors and plant pots will help to dress the space. Treating these pieces in a darker or lighter grey paint will help tie them all together and add to the finished look. Grey is a great shade for mixing and matching tones together, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

Top tip: Seating and shelter, such as a parasol or canopy, will also help create a cosy corner. Rugs, throws and cushions will add texture to the scene and fairy lights or candles with give you glow.  And there you have it, all the benefits of being in the great outdoors with a few creature comforts to enjoy.

4. Play with pattern

Credit: Instagram - @haregrove_home

Playing with patterns in the garden allows you to subtly introduce colours into your space. For a neutral like grey, patterns also help by adding dimension and interest where the palette could risk falling flat.

Painted trellis panels can be secured to your fence to bring a touch of grey without a big commitment. They’ll also add texture and act as a base for climbers and wall shrubs.

Top tip: If you’re clashing patterns amongst pillows or rugs, try using a similar size print or shade to provide some unity.

5. Social seating

Creating a dedicated social area will open up your garden and make it more inviting. Bench seating is a versatile option, offering storage and plenty of space for people to squeeze in. Adding a mirror, lighting, cushions and plenty of packed planters will make the space all the more appealing.

Top tip: Painting your benches in the same colour as your fence or planters will help it feel more integrated. 

Which grey fencing paint should use?

Ultimate Fence Life Concentrate:

Refreshing your fence or shed with grey paint is sure to give your garden a cool and contemporary feel.

Our Ultimate Fence Life Concentrate paint comes in a range of shades including Charcoal Grey, Warm Stone and Slate.

It's unique formula provides advanced water beading technology and protects from the harshest of weather conditions so you can be confident that your shed and fence will look great for years to come. All you have to do is add water!

Grey decking ideas

1. Zone out

Credit: Instagram - @home.with.the.hills

Having a quiet corner to escape to is what gardens are all about. Shutting the world out, however, isn’t always as easy. That’s where zoning and careful colour choices can really help.

With its calm and contemporary qualities, grey is an ideal colour for creating a dedicated chilled-out space. Pick a lighter shade to really freshen up an area, helping to bounce light around.

Installing a small area of grey decking will provide a practical base for a sun-lit swing chair or yoga mat.

Top tip: Using a paint such as our Ultimate Protection Decking Paint will help secure a smooth and splinter free surface. To finish your serene sanctuary, add palm trees, soft textiles and wrap the area in soft grey fencing. 

2. Deep retreats

Credit: Instagram - @our_little_doer_upper

If you’re looking for ambience and atmosphere in your garden, consider a dark grey decking and fence combination.

Shades such as charcoal will add drama to your setting without the overpowering nature of a traditional black. They’re also an amazing backdrop for vibrant greens and rich reds so stock up your flower beds.

Top tip: Create a focal point with a hot tub or water feature and use concealed upward lighting to dial up the mood. The result? An exotic retreat you’ll want to escape to time and time again.

3. Take the stage

Create a stage in your garden using decking and you’ll find endless ways to enjoy it. Staging the areas with a dining set or swing chair will draw people in. It also provides a purpose, helping to segment your garden into dedicated areas whilst keeping it open and bright.

Multi-level or staged decking can be used for practical purposes too. If you have a hillside or heavily sloped garden, using various levels of decking can help make the space more accessible and user-friendly.  

Top tip: Add impact to your stage, and tie multiple levels together, by opting for a darker grey such as Charcoal or Slate. Products like our Ultimate Protection Decking Stain will also protect your decking against foot traffic and weathering.  

4. Mix and match

Grey comes in lots of different shades and it’s an easy colour to mix and match. Try pairing light grey decking with a darker grey fence and then accessorise with topiary or bay trees to create a clean, contrasting look.

By keeping the boards/grains in your decking and fencing running in the same direction, you’ll help to create a flow between the two.

Top tip: Follow the rule of three when decorating your decking with plants, lamps or other decorations. Odd numbers are always more appealing when styling a space.

5. Light and bright

Credit: Instagram - @the_grey_residence_no_4

Light grey decking is an eye-catching addition to any garden. It lifts and highlights any area you want to draw attention to. Teamed with a rug and cosy cushions on your furniture, it creates a feeling of indoors outdoors and gives you a great space to unwind in.

Top tip: Use slatted fence panels around your decking area to emphasise the feeling of an outdoor room. They’ll let some light and greenery through whilst also offering a little shelter and privacy too.

What grey decking paint should I use?

Ultimate Protection Decking Paint:

Going for grey on your decking is a great style statement that adds a real wow factor to your garden. What’s more, with our Ultimate Protection Decking Paint, you can refresh and restore your decking at the same time.

Our special formula fills in small cracks, locks down small splinters and covers grey wood to bring your decking back to life. It also provides all-weather protection and advanced UV protection from sunlight. Within the shade range, you’ll find Charcoal, Warm Stone and Slate.


We’ve featured lots of grey fencing ideas and grey decking ideas in this article. To explore even more ways to update and refresh your garden space, check out our article on decking ideas and inspiration or our top tips for decorating your garden fence.