How To Choose The Correct Shed Paint And How To Apply It

June 30, 2022
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Painting your current garden shed comes with a long list of essential benefits. Compared with the costs of purchasing a new shed, repainting your current garden shed is a much more cost-effective method of restoring your shed to its former glory. Using high-quality paint with a strong primer and coat of UV protective paint will ensure your garden shed remains in excellent condition for years to come. Below are just some of the essential benefits of painting your shed:

  • More Cost-Effective Than Purchasing A New Shed
  • Personalised & Expressive
  • Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space
  • Provide Greater UV & Weather Protection

In this article, we aim to provide a complete guide to painting your garden shed, offering expert insight into how best to choose the right paint for your shed, and more importantly, how to apply it.

Key Considerations

When applying your shed paint, there are several important considerations one must make before, during and after the process is complete. Below is a list of the key considerations you should make when painting your garden shed:

Surrounding Area

When applying paint to your shed, one of the most important things to consider is the external surroundings. Ask yourself, do you want your garden shed to blend in with the natural environment? Or do you want it to stand out against the backdrop of greenery? Choosing a paint colour that directly contrasts your surroundings will make your shed the standout feature of your garden, so if this is the aim, consider something bright!

UV Protection

One of the fastest causes of deterioration to your garden shed’s exterior paint is UV radiation. UV radiation will lead to a much faster loss of colour and gloss to your shed exterior, as well as causing potential flaking to your paint. Many paints are now available with UV protection as standard, but it’s always a smart decision to protect your shed exterior with an additional layer of UV protective coating.


Before you begin painting your garden shed, you should ensure you have the necessary and appropriate tools and safety equipment in place before work can begin. Below is a list of the key tools you should have lined up when painting your garden shed:

  • Old Sheet/Flat Cardboard Boxes
  • Masking Tape
  • Old Newspapers
  • Hand Brush With Stiff Bristles
  • Paint Roller & Tray
  • Large Shed & Fence Brush
  • Small Paint Brush For Nooks & Crannies
  • Protective Gloves
  • Protective Goggles

How To Apply Shed Paint

To ensure you are guaranteeing your garden shed is painted well, and protected from UV radiation, and weathering, you must ensure that your paint is applied correctly. Let’s take a closer look at how exactly you should apply your shade paint, breaking it down into essential steps.

Clean It Up

Before any actual paintwork can begin, it’s essential to ensure your shed is clean and free of dirt, debris, or even algae. This can be carried out with a small wire hand brush, a sponge and a bucket of hot soapy water, removing your current shed of dirt, debris, cobwebs, algae and mould. Brush off any flaky paint, scrub the surface with a sponge, diluted in outdoor cleaner, and then wait for it to dry completely before applying your primer or paint.

Prepare The Area

As you wait for your garden shed to dry, you should now prepare the surrounding area for paintwork, covering any exposed surfaces to protect them from the risk of paint splatters. You can easily carry this out with a large sheet covering the surrounding area, or even a collection of flattened cardboard boxes will do the trick. As an additional preparation measure, you should cover your shed’s windows, (if they have them), with old newspaper stuck down with masking tape, to prevent paint splatters from staining the glass. This goes the same for any detailing or panels you need to protect, such as metal handles, hinges and locks.

Sand It Down

A particularly important stage of the preparation process, sanding your old shed down to remove flaky paint is essential. Using light key sandpaper, sand down your current wooden shed surface to remove any deep dirt and create a smooth surface for your fresh coat of paint to easily adhere to.

Add Primer/Preserver

Applying a primer or preserver to your garden shed will make a significant difference to the longevity of the wood. Wood preservers help protect the material from the threat of rot, decay and blue stain. Typically, wood preservers contain active ingredients that improve the efficacy of the wood by penetrating deep into its pores. Wood primers should be applied before the paint, as a preparatory coating that will help protect the wood from degradation, rot and even pest infestation. Vital in improving the adhesion of the paint on the wooden shed surface, primers help prolong the lifespan of the paint itself, prevent flaking, and generate a better finish.

Paint & Repaint!

Now the preparation work is complete, it’s time to start actually painting your shed! Start from the top of your shed and paint downwards, either by using a handheld shed brush, or a paint roller for the larger areas. For the smaller nooks and crannies, consider a small paint brush, to prevent paint from collecting in these small cracks, reducing the risk of paint runs or drips. Once the first layer of paint has been applied, take a break, let it dry for a few hours and then make preparations for your second coat.

What Materials Should I Use?

Choosing the right wood for your garden shed will play a pivotal role in just how durable your shed is going to be in the long term. Below, we outline the essential materials you should consider when building a garden shed.

Framing Lumber

Sometimes referred to as “construction-grade lumber”, framing lumber is an essential component of practically every wooden shed on the market, utilised as the underlying wall and roof frame of your garden shed. Framing lumber is typically constructed from 2×4 planks of the material and is used for both the wall and roof frames.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Performing the same function as framing lumber, but with greater resistance to rot thanks to the pressurised treatment, pressure-treated lumber is typically used in applications that are placed within a few inches of soil. There are a handful of different lumber types, each offering a varying level of protection, with the most durable form of pressure-treated lumber ideally used for below-ground foundations, offering the greatest resistance to the impacts of moisture and rot.

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Wooden sheds are generally composed of two different types of material, the structural lumber frame, and the sheathing that covers it. The most common form of sheathing is the Oriented Strand Board, (OSB), due to its low cost and reasonable durability and strength. Constructed from a mixture of softwood chippings glued together in a pattern, OSB is an effective solution for your garden shed sheathing for both the walls and the roof.

Exterior-Grade Plywood

A stronger, more weather-resistant form of OSB, exterior-grade plywood is constructed from a high quantity of thin slices of wood glued together in a layered formation. ½ inch thick plywood will be suitable for your wall and roof sheathing, but it’s recommended you use at least ⅝ inch plywood for your shed’s flooring. Plywood used for flooring should be pressure-treated to provide greater resistance to rot.

Sheet Wall Siding Panels

Once the frame of your shed has been put up, you’ll want to sheath your walls with siding panels that are both stylish, durable and weather resistant. Sheet wall siding panels are the plywood-type sheet material that is used for your exterior walls.

A1 Sheds & Garden Buildings: Sheds And Large Summer Houses Available Online

Looking to spruce up an existing garden shed, playhouse or cabin? At A1 Sheds & Garden Buildings, we provide paints, preservatives, shed bases, roof windows and many more accessories and additions to personalise your tailored space. We are committed to providing the best local service for you, and take great pride in being available to offer professional and practical advice when it comes to all topics related to sheds.

Discuss your individual requirements with us and make the most of your garden or outside space. As an independent business, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals on hand to help you. Explore our products online or contact us today.