The Homeowner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Fence Colors

colored vinyl fences

“To paint or not to paint?” That is the question— typically asked by every homeowner at one point or another. Unless your house has colored vinyl fences, you can probably relate, too.

Anyway, there are several reasons why you need to paint your fences every once in a while. But regardless of the why, you need to make sure you do it right. That means picking the correct colors as much as getting the job done properly.

In case it’s your first time painting fences, we got you covered. Below is a guide to help you pick the right colors for your fences, alongside a few other tips and some color suggestions.

Steps to Pick the Right Colors for Your Fence

Painting your fences a new color will have a big impact on the overall look, style, and ambience of your home. So you need to do a sizable bit of in-depth research before committing to any single palette. Luckily, the steps below will help you do just that!

Consider Your Home’s Style

Obviously, the color you pick for your fences must be able to complement the style of your home. For example, if you live in a traditional cottage or the house has that distinct “cottage-style” design, then best stick with colors that will blend nicely with the surrounding landscaping. Light and natural-looking colors will also do, as they can bring out the house’s rustic feel more effectively.

Meanwhile, owners of Mediterranean-style houses would do well to consider warmer colors like green and blue, alongside certain shades like tan, gold, and coral. Such sun-inspired hues give Mediterranean-style homes a sort of casual elegance, and they make the entire place feel more welcoming to boot.

Mind the Surroundings

Next, you need to make sure the color you pick complements your property’s surroundings. For instance, if your house is surrounded by lots of greenery and foliage, then better choose natural colors. But in case you have many flowers in your garden, choose brighter shades that complement them.

Either way, unless you want to make your fences your home’s main feature, you should choose hues that naturally and beautifully blend with your surrounding area. Otherwise your fence will wind up being the eyesore of your neighborhood.

Review Your Neighborhood’s Fencing Policies

Speaking of neighborhoods, check if they have rules and regulations regarding fence colors. A lot of neighborhoods (particularly posh ones) have such policies, either to maintain a pristine, respectable reputation or to help homeowners avoid looking too outlandish.

Go to your neighborhood’s administration office and ask for a copy of their fencing policies (if any). Then review these rules and regulations thoroughly before picking a new fence color. This way, you can pick the palettes that will complement your entire neighborhood (and avoid becoming the area’s pariah).

Consult Your Nearest Neighbors

Additionally, look at the neighbor to your left, right, and front, and check their fences. Then ask them if they’re okay with the color you’ll pick for your own fences. In most cases, neighbors won’t mind what hues your fences are. But on the off chance they do, asking them beforehand will help you pick better shades that will complement their fences (thus avoiding conflict).

Take note that the key word here is “complement”, not “conform”. After all, just because they have colored vinyl fences or they paint their wooden ones white doesn’t mean you should follow suit. All you need to do is make sure your fences don’t become an eyesore.

Do’s and Don’ts to Remember When Picking Fence Colors

Aside from the steps above, there are other do’s and don’ts to consider when picking fence colors. Some of them are listed below for your reference.

The Do’s

Do Your Homework

Before anything else, you need to do some in-depth research about fence colors. As mentioned above, painting your fences a new color will have a big impact on the overall look, style, and ambience of your home. One wrong step, and your home will become the joke of your community (not to mention you’ll end up several dollars shorter to boot).

Consider the Paint or Stain You’ll Use

At the same time, you need to choose the right paint or stain to apply on your fences. Not only will they affect the fence’s aesthetics; it will also have an impact on its subsequent maintenance. In case you didn’t know, different paint or stain choices offer varying degrees of protection. For example, transparent stains only offer up to two years’ worth of protection against the elements. On the other hand, oil-based paint or stains can protect your fences from pests and weather for up to five years.

Try Different Combinations

It’s okay to use more than one color when painting a fence. In fact, with the right combination, you can bring out the best in your entire property! Still, if you’re having trouble deciding which colors best complement each other, try using a color wheel. Then pick the combination that exudes the most balance.

Be Bold and Creative

Finally, be bold and creative when picking colors, while simultaneously minding the steps and tips mentioned above. Take a photo or your home and fence, then print it out. Then with a pentel pen, color over your fences with different shades to see how they would look. Do this until you find the hue that you like best.

The Don’ts

Go With the Current Trends

There’s nothing wrong with looking at magazines or online resources when choosing fence colors. In fact, you can even get some inspiration from them! However, you should not always go with the current trend when picking fence colors. Aside from the fact that trends quickly come and go, some of them won’t actually complement your home and its surroundings.

Pick Orange or Black (Unless It Actually Looks Good)

In an effort to make their fences give off the vibes of natural cedar, a lot of homeowners wind up painting their wooden fences orange or installing orange colored vinyl fences. Don’t make the same mistake. Because instead of excusing that beautiful cedar aura, your fences will only end up popping up in a very annoying way.

Alternatively, you should refrain from painting your fences black, too. Yes, black can complement your grass and greenery (the combination of Kelly green, black, and white in particular looks amazing). But if it doesn’t complement the rest of your property, then best choose another shade.

Undertake the Painting Project Alone

Choosing the right colors for your fence (much less painting them) is no mean feat. At the very least, it will take much of your time. And while there’s nothing wrong with undertaking the entire project on your own, it still pays to ask someone for help. If you want the job done quicker and have fun at the same time, ask help from your friends or family. But if you want the project done to a professional degree, then ask professional painters.

8 Great Color Ideas to Try for Your Fences

So now that you know what steps to take when picking fence colors, as well as the do’s and don’t, time to check out some color ideas. Below are eight of the most popular shades homeowners paint their fence with. Take note that these color suggestions are great for other types of fences, too, particularly colored vinyl fences, stone, and metal fences.

White

White has this uncanny ability to make anything look clean, sleek, and modern. By painting your fence white, you’ll give your property that pristine, well-to-do vibe that’s typically showcased in all-time favorite movies and sitcoms. As an added bonus, white provides a great backdrop for everything it encloses, most notably the plants and flowers in your garden.

Pink

Earlier, we touched upon the importance of avoiding trends when picking fence colors. But while pink can be considered a trendy shade, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its merits. For one thing, this color gives off a neutral vibe that can go with almost everything, as well as remain classy after it’s no longer a trend. Pink also gives off the feeling of being spacious, thus improving your property’s atmosphere.

Reddish Brown

Reddish brown can dramatically complement your cottage-style home, especially if you’re applying it on brick fences. That’s because this color can easily and beautifully blend with its surroundings. By painting your house a light blue along the way, you’ll essentially make your home’s greenery and flowers stand out.

Navy Blue

When it comes to wooden fences, white has always been the traditional choice (and a great one at that). But if you want your fences to make a bolder statement, try navy blue instead. Dark yet stunning, it will make your fences stand out without being too zany. Plus, its inky hue creates a sort of grounding effect for the flora surrounding it.

Green

High fences can feel oppressive and claustrophobic sometimes. By painting it green, you’ll be able to make it feel less domineering and more breathable. That being said, the wrong type of green can feel like too much of a good thing. So best stick with the most natural-looking green you can find. That way, your fence will feel like a tall hedge rather than an imposing barrier.

Yellow

Warm, sunshine colors like yellow are great if you want to brighten up the mood of your property. Joyous and radiant, it will give your garden a cheery vibe, which can prove useful during cloudy days and circumstances. And when paired with white, it will leave your fences feeling classy and fresh.

Gray

Gray is a classic neutral color that goes well with pretty much every style of home. So whether your property sports classic picket fences or edgy modern ones, you can rely on this color to bring out its best. What’s more, you can choose between gray paint or gray stain. While the former can give your fences a solid color, the latter will allow your fences’ natural grains to shine through.

Black

Okay, we did advise you not to paint your fences black if possible. But we only said that to make sure your fence’s color doesn’t clash with your house’s. With that in mind, black can work well with modern style properties. And as mentioned above, the combination of Kelly green, black, and white looks particularly stunning.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Fence Colors

Finally, there are a few last things to think about when choosing the colors of your fences. These include:

Paint Quality and Price

As hinted earlier, not all paint and stains are created equal, and some last longer than others. If you want to enjoy your fence’s new color longer, best choose your paint wisely. At the same time, watch out for the paint’s price tags. While many paints are expensive, they’re not necessarily of high quality. So do you research before buying.

Garden Plants

You’ll also have to consider the plants you have in your garden when choosing fence colors. This is so you can ensure you pick the shades that will make them stand out, which will enhance your home’s overall look and feel.

Maintenance

Painted fences don’t last as long as colored vinyl fences. Time and the harsh element will eventually take its toll on the paint. To stall this, you need to regularly check your fences and see if it needs repainting or repairs. Depending on the paint or stain you applied, around once a month will do.

Personal Preferences

Choosing your fence’s color is ultimately a personal decision. And while it’s important that the shades you pick complement the rest of your house, it’s equally crucial to opt for the ones that suit your personal tastes. So best do everything you can to find a compromise between the complementary choice and your personal preferences.

Choose the Best Colors for Your Fences

Whether you have wooden fences or colored vinyl fences, it’s best that you paint it with the right palette. That way, you can bring out the best in your home. So read the guide above and pick your colors wisely.

About the Author

Isaias is one of USFence’s newest bloggers. Working as a writer since 2011, he’s quite knowledgeable about fencing, home improvement, and gardening. As such, he’s written countless articles on those and other topics.

Isaias currently resides in the Philippines, and he has plans to visit Japan someday to learn more about its architecture, history, and culture.