Choosing Colourful Cuprinol Garden Shades

Compared to my house, my garden has always been a bit lacklustre and this is why I was excited to work with Cuprinol to bring some life to my garden! I’m not a gardener you see, not that I wouldn’t like to be! I just don’t know where to start and it scares me a little if I’m honest with you! We have grass, yes, but we even managed to kill that after paying the GDP of a small country to have a new lawn laid.

We also had a new fence put in after our old one fell down when a cat tried to balance on it and some decking put in which wrapped around the house, but that was about it.

A very unloved garden
How our garden looked after we moved in. The fence was a shocker and a pond right in the middle of the lawn. Not good with a 1 and 3 year old running around!
Not a pretty sight!
garden renovation in progress and lawn being laid
Levelling the lawn and filling in the gaps in the fence

My love of colour and pattern was completely missing from our garden. It was like my taste and style stopped at the bifold doors and I was always apologising to guests when they came over, saying I liked the garden neat and tidy (devoid of character) and was going to let it grow wild (which was obviously a code word for I’m lazy!)

I had recently painted my decking (see the blog post here) but new the rest of the garden needed a bit of colour and character. 

Newly laid lawn in the back garden/ yard
A blank canvas! Just the way I liked it 🙂
This was pretty much how I was going to leave it, however, this grass lasted one Summer! Note to self, water the grass!!!!

Being introduced to the Cuprinol products

During the Spring, I was invited to a Cuprinol event (the wood care partner of Dulux) as they were showcasing their Garden Shades range in the stunning location of the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings in London. We had a fabulous lunch whilst the Cuprinol (and Dulux) Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford, talked us through the latest garden trends and how their Garden Shades are inspired by nature.

Marianne explained how they liked to look at their colour shades as Nature’s Neutrals and Nature’s Brights, explaining that the Neutrals were best used on large items such as the fence, decking and sheds and the Brights were fabulous for furniture, plant pots and other decorative items. Marianne was extremely inspirational and it got me thinking about how I used colour in the garden.

The conservatory area of the Bourne and Hollingsworth buildings in Clerkenwell
The stunning Cuprinol event held at the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell
Waiting for Marianne Shillingford to talk about the latest Garden Shade trends
Cuprinol shades and pots of paints
A cute miniature display
Cuprinol’s Natures Brights Garden Shades
Cuprinol’s Natures Neutrals Garden Shades

After the lunch, we had a go at making our own Bug Hotel with Cuprinol paint. This involved using an old wine box and painting it with Cuprinol Urban Slate and White Daisy, adding plenty of bug friendly materials such as straw and moss and covering it with wire mesh. It made me realise how overly manicured our gardens can become and there is no safe “hiding” place for bugs like solitary bees, ladybirds and woodlouse.

The lovely Marianne Shillingford and our tools ready to make our own Bug Hotel
Getting ready to paint with Cuprinol’s Urban Slate and White Daisy


After the event, I was thrilled when Cuprinol asked if I would like to work with them over the summer months on their #foryourgreatoutdoors campaign. They sent me over a colour chart to choose some tester pots and a leaflet with promotional ideas on how to use their paint. I was instantly inspired by the colourful creations and was immediately drawn to my favourite colour palettes, blues, greens and pinks.

Two tone fence in the garden with pink painted garden table
A Cuprinol promotional photo, I love the dark fence and pops of colour
Bug Hotel ideas. The beautiful colours of the “bedding” stand out wonderfully against the Black Ash paint
Some sample pots
I went with Black Ash, Seagrass, Pink Honeysuckle, Iris and Sage

Painting the fence

For my first project, I knew I wanted some paint for my fence. Since we had it erected, we had not painted or protected it from the elements and it was already showing signs of damage. The fence was currently light tan and I wanted a dark backdrop to make the plants and flowers pop against it. I was drawn to Black Ash, Iris and Sage. Once I received the testers, I set about painting the fence to see which colour I preferred and was instantly taken with Iris!

I thought Black Ash was a little too dark and Sage wouldn’t have let the plants stand out like I wanted them too. Iris was a beautiful contrast to our lawn and so I spent the next couple of day painting my fence whilst the weather was good.

I present to you my fence! And patchy grass (we’re working on it!)
See what I mean by liking my garden wild? 🙂
Here we have Iris on the left, Black Ash in the middle and Sage on the right

Thankfully, I only needed to apply one coat as it applied really well and easily. We have concrete bollards holding up the fence panels and I did consider painting them as well, but in the end, I went with painting a pattern onto them with Iris to create a bit of a feature. I am extremely pleased with the results and the plants and trees really do pop against the colour. It provides an amazing backdrop to our garden.

What an amazing back drop to our garden. Fence painted in Cuprinol Iris. Lanterns from Rattan furniture from Argos Home. Rug from La Redoute. Fire Pit from Von Haus. Knitted throw from Cox & Cox
Such a beautiful colour! Lanterns from Lights4fun. Tableware from Argos Home
The painted pattern on the bollard. Lanterns from

I then hung my Bugz Hotel from one of the tree to encourage wildlife to make a home in our garden, the children are fascinated by it!

The Bugz Hotel
With matching bollard pattern. How fabulous does the green look against the fence? Lantern from
Can you spot any bugs in there?

Using different Cuprinol colours in the garden

I was also asked by Cuprinol to add some colour to my garden by using their Garden Shades Nature’s Brights and initially I was going to paint a little wooden bistro set that sits under our pear tree in Pink Honeysuckle. Unfortunately, our pear tree got blown over by the high winds at the beginning of August so I had to find another way of adding bright colours to my garden.

I had an unloved planter already in the garden that was painted a bright blue with paint not meant for the great outdoors, so hadn’t weathered very well. I decided to paint this Pink Honeysuckle and it looks fabulous sat on our grey decking!

The unloved planter
Adding a splash of pink to the garden with Cuprinol’s Pink Honeysuckle
I wonder how long I can keep these plants alive??
My Pink Honeysuckle Planter and Willow storage bench

I also managed to pick up a little storage bench which was perfect for our outdoor dining table and could house all our outdoor tableware that was taking up valuable space in my kitchen cupboards. Initially, I was going to paint it Seagrass but I preferred the more natural tone of Willow. Both the planter and the storage bench only needed one coat of Cuprinol and have already lasted well through several downpours.

Our storage bench painted in Willow
Goes perfectly with my hydrangeas and the plant pot

So, there you have it! My garden is now full of colour and ready to use… for winter! Haha. I love the fact that even when the plants and flowers start to hibernate for the colder months, my garden is still a colourful little haven thanks to Cuprinol and their Garden Shades.

Mel x


  1. 23/05/2020 / 8:15 pm

    I have been trying to obtain a 9 ltr tin of cuprinol silver copse for 4 week in warrington Cheshire. There doesn’t appear to be any of this product in the north west of England. Wickes inform me that the nearest place for this product is 194 miles away

    • Melanie Boyden
      27/05/2020 / 7:49 pm

      Hi Les

      Sorry to hear that, I think Cuprinol and Dulux have been having distribution problems at the moment and they had to shut down their Design HQ. I’ve also been finding it very difficult to get hold of paint but I think things will improve in the near future. Have you tried ordering online direct from the Cuprinol site?

  2. Christine O'Hara
    02/06/2020 / 4:43 pm

    Hi’ I very painted my garden fence pebble trail what colour would you suggest for the concrete posts,there are 10 fence panels down both sides of garden and 7 across the end of the garden

  3. john gallagher.
    03/06/2020 / 12:28 pm

    having terrible job finding Cuptenol Rustic Brown!

    • Melanie Boyden
      10/06/2020 / 12:43 pm

      Hi John

      I think so many people are having issues with getting Cuprinol paint at the moment. I know they shut down their design centre and factories during the lockdown and are now probably trying to play catch up by getting stock back to the shops! I managed to get Iris and Black Ash from my local B&Q the other day in Brighton so keep looking.

      Mel 🙂

  4. Jeanette Waters
    06/06/2020 / 9:40 am

    I’ve used seagrass on both my sheds with silver birch for the doors and edging round the windows and roof. It looks amazing and has brighten up the garden no end. Plus i painted the flower troves silver birch to that are now attached to the shed. The fence will be done next i think forget me not will be the colour.

    • Melanie Boyden
      10/06/2020 / 12:41 pm

      Hi Jeanette

      That sounds fabulous, I nearly went with Seagrass myself but I am a lover of dark colours (as you probably can see in my home) so went with the Iris for a dramatic back drop and it certainly has done that! I can’t believe it’s taken so long for people to be more adventurous in the garden and steer away from the typical brown colours for fences and sheds!

      Mel 🙂

  5. Alison Johnson
    07/06/2020 / 8:06 pm

    Hi I have been having the same problem with garden shades willow. Tried everywhere in my area & even on line 5 ltr. Where can I get some please? Also tried cuprinol direct. I understand being in lockdown but it’s the time most people need it.

    • Melanie Boyden
      10/06/2020 / 12:38 pm

      Hi Alison

      This is true, unfortunately even I’ve struggled to get hold of Cuprinol paint at the moment. Our B&Q seems to becoming more well stocked recently so I think you just have to keep checking. Very frustrating I know. I have contacted the PR team who I work with but they said due to the Dulux HQ and paint factories being shut throughout lockdown, they are now trying to catch up with orders and get the paint back out again. Hope you find some soon!

      Mel 🙂

  6. Joyce Miles
    27/06/2020 / 7:39 am

    Last Autumn I bought 2 x 2.5 tins of Pebble Trail with the intention of painting my new fences this year. I have painted 1.5 fences and will need the same again but cannot find Pebble Trail anywhere. My local shops are without almost any fence paint, stocks don’t seem to be getting replenished. Ineed help to find more Pebble Trail.

    • Melanie Boyden
      07/07/2020 / 1:20 pm

      Hi Joyce

      I have recently spoken with the Dulux PR team and the design centres and factories are now reopen so they are slowly starting to get more stock out to the shops. I also need some Iris paint to finish my fence but have not been able to purchase some anywhere! Hopefully the shops will be fully stocked soon! Mel 🙂

  7. Irene Andrews
    27/06/2020 / 4:35 pm

    Where can I purchase a sample pot of willow please, I have 11 six foot panels to paint so need to ensure it’s the correct colour. And how many litres do you think I will need.

    • Melanie Boyden
      07/07/2020 / 1:23 pm

      Hi Irene

      I have been assured by the Dulux PR team that the design centres and factories are open again so hopefully the shops will start to become fully stocked once more! I have also had a lot of trouble trying to locate paint to finish my fence!

      Are the panels 6 foot by 6 foot? Mel 🙂

  8. Sarah Vernon
    23/12/2020 / 9:49 pm

    I have painted my fence in seagrass and love it now have a summerhouse and might try sage and cream …going for a moroccan sort of feel do like your willow storage Mel and touches of pink great idea …I agree people are very conservative with colours all my neighbours have wood green or brown .I get my paint from wickes

    • Melanie Boyden
      30/12/2020 / 5:54 pm

      I think if there’s anywhere to be bold with colour, it’s the garden! I love splashes of bright colour in the garden, it breaks up all the green, brown and often grey skies! 🙂

  9. Rebecca P
    20/03/2021 / 8:16 am

    Just to say, my local B&M has much better stock of Cuprinol than B&Q or even online…..

    • Melanie Boyden
      20/03/2021 / 10:11 am

      Ah, thanks for this! My nearest B&M is 90 minutes away, gutted 🙁

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