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If In Doubt, Paint It Black...The Failsafe Way To Revive a Tired Garden Fence Or Shed

If In Doubt, Paint It Black...The Failsafe Way To Revive a Tired Garden Fence Or Shed

I’ve made no secret of my love of black paint. I mean, I painted my whole bathroom black. I also painted all 75 spindles, 48 steps and seven doors in our hallway black as well. And now I’ve just finished painting my rundown garden shed and fence black too. So I think that makes me pretty well qualified to talk to you about the transformative power of black paint. Each time I’ve painted something black, far from making the space feel dark and oppressive, it’s been a vast improvement on what was there before. But I have to admit that even I was a little cynical about whether or not I’d be able to make this particular section of our garden look any better with just a lick of black paint.

For reference and because we all love a good Before & After, here’s what the garden looked like when we moved in. Greyyyyyyyyy.


We didn’t have the money to tear it all out and start again so instead we’ve tackled different areas every Spring/Summer and made small improvements to get it looking a whole lot more appealing. Three years ago I painted the shed (yes it’s a big shed but it stores all our crap and the idea of tearing it down and taking all the crap through the house is not something I relish right now). Two years ago we tore up the tired decking and replaced it with astroturf so the kids had somewhere to play and roll around.

And last year we spruced up our patio and seating area. From this (left) to this (right)

And we’ve been adding to the planting along the way too.


This year our wisteria flowered for the first time since we moved in, many of our plants have flourished and it’s started to feel like a proper urban jungle. But as with anything when you improve everything else, it makes the dodgy bits look even dodgier. This fence to the right hand side of the garden had been bothering us and we were starting to think we were going to have to look into getting it replaced. We had previously replaced the left side with a modern slatted style after it was blown down during a storm. At the same time, the shed that I’d painted a few years back was looking shabby, weathered and in need of some TLC. So when Sandtex, the leading outdoor paint specialists, approached me to ask if I had any exterior painting projects on the go, I figured this had to be worth a try, before we committed to a whole new fence.


Sandtex have a large range of colours but truth be told I never considered any colour other than black for the job. I had previously painted the shed dark grey, which was nice and all that, but I love the drama of black with the green of the plants popping against it. Plus it just makes everything look so much cooler. Tell me I’m wrong?


The exact paint I used is the 10-Year Exterior Satin in Black. It’s not a stain like most others on the market, it is a paint so it’s much thicker than your usual watery exterior paints and therefore feels very hardwearing. The coverage is brilliant which is especially important when you’re painting on to a surface that has seen better days.


Also I’m an easily bored painter so anything that means I need to do less coats is all the better for me. It’s worth mentioning that immediately after I applied it. it looked quite glossy and I was a bit worried it was going to have too much sheen at first, but I’m pleased to report that it has now been on the shed a couple of weeks (rain kept stopping play) and it’s dulled down to a far more matt semi-sheen finish, which is exactly what I was after.


I honestly think we’ve saved ourselves thousands and given this fence another couple of years with just a couple of licks of paint. The new ferns and acer we planted need some time to bed in and flourish, but this side of the garden is no longer the shameful side. In fact, I now think it looks better than the much newer fence on the other side and I was sorely tempted to take my brush and black paint to that too. And I would have done if I wasn’t worried about the colour leaking through to our neighbours side.


It’s a total transformation and major style upgrade using just a couple of tins of paint. We also have some of Sandtex’s Exterior Masonry paint to tackle the flower beds that join the upper and lower parts of the garden but we have decided we would like to get those rendered first to make them look more modern. Little by little, this once hard, grey garden has gradually been brought back to life. It may be small but it’s our little oasis in the city.

This post is a paid partnership with Sandtex but all words, opinions and DIY skills my own.

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