How to Paint a Garden Shed in the UK: A Simple Guide

Do you have a garden shed in the UK that needs painting?

 If so, this post will be perfect for you. In it we’ll provide you with all the tips and tricks to make your job easier. 

We’ll also outline how to paint a garden shed in the UK as well as some of our top tips for beginners

A quick coat of paint is all you need to update and protect your garden shed. 

Painting a shed doesn’t have to be an overly complicated task, however we do understand, from time to time, there can be a lot of confusing information out there! Don’t worry, by the end of this article you will hopefully have more of an understanding as to what to do.

Follow these helpful painting tips to find the colour that suits your needs, and get ready for a durable, colourful year ahead.

how to paint a garden shed

Table of Contents


When it comes to preparing your garden shed before painting it, , you’ll need to sand it. This process will remove any old paint or dirt that has accumulated over the years, meaning your shed can be painted evenly with a fresh coat of paint.

To help create an even finish, use fine-grit sandpaper and work in small circular motions until all surfaces are completely covered in dust. You should also wear gloves if you want to avoid staining your hands when painting the garden shed later on!

What paint should I use on my garden shed?

When it comes to painting your shed, we recommend using water-based paint. This type of paint is easier to use and won’t contain any harmful chemicals that can be hazardous for you or the environment. It also dries much more quickly than oil-based paints which means less time spent on painting!

You’ll need to make sure that the surface you are applying the paint onto has been cleaned properly before starting work as this will help with achieving an even finish when it’s dry (see our previous blog post about preparing sheds).

Add some painters tape around areas such as door frames where there should not be any colour – this will create a clean line once the job is done! We would also recommend using a primer before too.

When should I paint my garden shed?

painting shed in springSo, you are now ready to start painting, but when is the right time to start? We would recommend painting in the spring when everything is starting to grow again and there will be a lot more light. As it gets darker earlier this time of year you’ll need to take care not to paint too close to sunset as you risk staining your shed with wet paint!

It’s also worth considering that if you do decide on painting during winter months, then what was once a white-coloured garden shed might now have turned grey due to frost damage – so make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned before applying any fresh coats.

What is the best colour to paint a shed?

Usually, it comes down to personal preference, however, lighter colours reflect more sunlight, whereas darker ones absorb it. Furthermore, if you want to make your shed look a bit smarter and just like one of those from the show Grand Designs, then white is always going to be the colour for you!

If you are painting traditionally in black or dark brown (which can really help exteriors appear larger), then we would recommend using lighter shades on the inside to create an effect that will contrast with the outside. Try some light blue or yellow – they might not seem very manly but small details such as this will add a touch of originality into your garden retreat.

Is it better to stain or paint a shed?

staining garden shedIt’s a contentious point, but generally, we would recommend painting if you have the time and patience. However, one of your first decisions has to be whether or not you want it to blend in with the surroundings. If that is necessary then you will need to use stain – otherwise, paint should suffice!

Doing some research on how-to videos for DIY sheds can really help too as they might show different ideas for colour schemes than what someone who doesn’t know much about gardening typically thinks of (e.g., blue). They also provide great tips such as using two thin coats rather than one thick layer which could lead to cracks over time!

Can I paint a plastic garden shed?

Painting a plastic shed is possible, but it is not recommended. The surfaces will dull and peel as the paint dries which means that you might need to apply more layers over time or invest in a new shed altogether. It’s also not a good idea because the paint is not as water-resistant, so it will take longer to dry and protect the shed against rain.

There are also certain paints that can’t be applied to a surface with plastic in order to avoid peeling and dulling of surfaces over time. For example, some specific acrylics have additives that help prevent this from happening when they’re used on wood or metal surfaces but these same additives react differently when they come into contact with plastics – causing them to lose their effectiveness!

That’s why we always recommend painting your garden sheds using either latex paint (for those who don’t want an oil-based finish) or enamel for those looking for something more long-lasting.

How to paint an old garden shed

So what happens when you want to paint your existing garden shed? Well, it’s a little more complicated but not impossible.

First of all, you need to remove any surface which is made from plastic and then take off any old paint using sandpaper or an electric sander with a coarse grit. You’ll also want to make sure that the ground below your shed is flat so as not to cause uneven expansion when moisture seeps in (this could lead to cracking).

Next up move on to mixing primers onto two separate parts of one wall at the same time before applying them evenly across both sides. Primer provides better adhesion for new layers and prevents peeling – so don’t skip this step! As well as priming though, you may want to apply either a sealant or primer.

What is the best paint for garden sheds?

The best paint for garden sheds is a rust-resistant one that doesn’t require sealing. This type of paint will be more expensive than other paints and so this might not be the most affordable option but it’ll save you money in the long run as you won’t have to spend time (or pay) on maintenance every year. It’s also worth checking that your chosen brand has been tested by an independent lab like Fotokem or Qualicoat – these companies are internationally recognised manufacturers and testers who provide guarantees on their products’ performance, durability etc.

What else can I do to improve the exterior of my shed?

clear varnish paintingTo add the finishing touches to your newly painted garden shed, you should give it a couple of coats of Clear Varnish (or other gloss varnishes) to protect the new paint job. You’ll need two or three litres to cover an average size garden shed and you ought to apply one coat every month for 12 months after painting, if possible.

You can get this from your local DIY shop in both aerosol spray cans and old fashioned brush-on types so there’s no special equipment required – just follow their instructions carefully.

Let’s get that shed looking great again

Hopefully, the above points have given you the confidence to take on this DIY project and give your garden shed a new lease of life. Good luck! Make sure you take your time and double-check this article if you are unsure.

Let’s Get That Shed Looking Great Again!

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Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

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