Painting your shed needn’t be a chore; in fact, with the right shed paint, it can be a fun and relatively easy task, and even be a chance for you to indulge your creative side.
Before painting your shed, it’s a good idea to prep the surface and apply a primer, to help you achieve the best possible finish. You can then apply a shed paint using a paintbrush or roller, or you can purchase a pump sprayer to make applying your paint even easier.
The best shed paints offer waterproofing, UV and weather protection, as well as a stylish new colour. Whether you decide to go for classic brown, duck egg blue or bright pink, your paint should leave a high-quality, professional-looking finish, that rejuvenates your tired-looking outbuilding.
If you’ve decided your garden shed could benefit from a lick of paint, take a look at our selection of the 5 best shed paints, to help you choose the perfect covering. We’ve chosen paints that look good, provide protection from the elements, and are easy to apply – they’re perfect for giving your shed a new lease of life.
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To get things started, let’s take a closer look at our top pick:
Our best shed paint offers a classic colour and provides excellent weatherproofing
Coming in at number one on our list of the best shed paints is this Ducksback paint from Cuprinol. This wood paint is available in a range of brown and green shades, and comes in a large 5-litre tin that should be enough for multiple coats on an average-sized shed.
The true selling point of this shed paint lies in its weatherproofing abilities. The formula is enriched with wax, which repels water, and effectively weatherproofs wood for up to 5 years – impressive.
Another benefit is that it’s particularly quick-drying, taking only one hour after application to become showerproof (perfect for our unreliable British weather!) However, you should wait 2-4 hours for it to dry completely before applying a second coat.
The paint is designed not to drip during application, ensuring a high-quality finish, and it has a low odour, for a more user-friendly experience. This also minimises the risks of fume inhalation and makes it safer to use around children and pets.
Although brown and green are not the most exciting colours, they will blend into your garden and are perfect for those wanting to achieve a natural look. As long as you don’t harbour hopes of a pastel blue or bright yellow shed, we think this is by far the best quality and most practical paint available.
- Large, 5L tin offers excellent coverage.
- Weatherproofs wood for up to 5 years.
- Wax enriched to repel water.
- Quick-drying – showerproof in an hour.
- Non-drip formula.
- Low odour.
- Only available in green and brown shades.
- Has quite a flat finish.
Our best value shed paint is available in a wide selection of funky colours
As well as wood, this Roseal Garden Paint be used on other garden surfaces, including stone, terracotta and brick, making it a highly versatile option, and perfect if you want to continue a colour theme throughout your garden.
The amount of available colours is one of the best things about this paint – there are 24 to choose, including bright teal, pink, orange and lime shades, as well as the more traditional greens and neutrals. This makes it a great choice for someone looking to make a style statement in their garden.
As well as looking great, this paint is also highly practical – it’s easy to apply, and the finish is crack resistant and repels water, effectively waterproofing your wood. As with the Ducksback, it is rainproof within an hour of application, offering you peace of mind in uncertain weather conditions.
Although this is the most affordable product on our list, at 250ml, it is also the smallest amount of paint. It should be fine if you only have a small area to cover (such as a shed door), or if you want to create a striped effect or use multiple colours throughout your garden. However, if you want to paint a whole shed one colour, you will need to purchase more than one tin.
Even so, considering the range of shades offered, and the high-quality waterproof finish, we still believe this paint offers you excellent value for money and is one of the best-coloured shed paints available.
- Rainproof in 1 hour.
- Waterproofs your wood.
- Available in lots of colours.
- Can be used on other surfaces, including stone, terracotta and brick.
- Highly affordable.
- Only 250ml – won’t stretch far.
This clear treatment will protect wood, without changing its colour
The next paint on our list – this Roxil Wood Protection Cream – isn’t really a paint, but rather a clear silicon-based wood treatment. Not everyone who paints their shed does so to change the colour – if you’re simply looking to protect the wood, then this is a great choice.
This treatment will weatherproof wood for an impressive 10-year minimum, after only a single application. It’s ideal if you have a new shed, or one that’s unpainted, and you want to protect the wood, whilst preserving its natural look. Once applied, the treatment absorbs into the wood and becomes invisible, so you won’t even know it’s there.
As well as weatherproofing, the treatment also offers protection from algae and mould growth and can help stop your wood from warping. It’s suitable for use on both hardwood and softwood, and the cream formula means it’s easy to apply, and won’t drip or runoff. The finish should be easy to wipe clean too.
Considering that you only get 1 litre in a tin, this option is relatively pricey compared to some similar products (1 litre should cover 3 – 5 square metres). However, when you take into account how long the weatherproofing should last, and how much money this might save you on future treatments/painting/replacing your shed, we believe it’s more than worth the investment.
- Weatherproofs wood for 10+ years.
- Can be used on softwood and hardwood.
- Only requires one coat.
- Reduces mould, algae and warping.
- Perfect for maintaining the natural look of your wood.
- Not a paint – won’t change the colour of wood.
- Pricey, considering its size.
A large tin of dark brown shed paint, with good weatherproofing qualities
If you want a larger tin that will stretch further and allow you to cover your entire shed, this 5 litre tin of Johnstone’s Woodworks Shed & Fence paint could be just what you’re looking for.
The paint will cover 6 – 12 square metres per litre, meaning you should have more than enough to paint your whole shed in one tin and even to apply multiple coats for smaller sheds. Make sure to let each coat dry for 2-4 hours before applying the next one.
The coverage on offer is an attractive dark oak colour, with a sheeny finish. Whilst this isn’t the most exciting or original of shades, it will blend in nicely with the natural environment.
In terms of the protection offered, this shed paint is enriched with wax, much in the same way as the Ducksback, to encourage the water to run off it, and provide excellent weatherproofing. It also offers protection from UV rays and helps stop the finish from fading.
The manufacturer states that the paint will retain its colour for 3 years, but after this you may have to reapply it, to keep it looking its best. However, considering the very reasonable price tag for this quantity of paint, we don’t think this is too much of an issue.
- Large 5L tin should be enough for several coats.
- Wax-enriched formula repels water.
- Also offers protection from UV rays.
- Retains its colour for 3 years.
- No bright colours offered.
- The finish isn’t as opaque or long-lasting as some competitors.
This brown wood preserver does exactly what it says on the tin
Our final shed paint is another product from Ronseal – their Shed & Fence Preserver. Unlike the first Ronseal product we featured, this one doesn’t have any bright colour options – instead, it’s available in a choice of 3 brown shades, similar to the Johnstone’s Woodworks.
Despite the lack of colour options, this solvent-based wood preserver is designed first and foremost to protect your wood, and it does this very effectively. The paint waterproofs wood, helps to prevent rot and decay and also eradicates woodworm and prevents re-infestation.
This one soaks into the wood, rather than sitting on the surface, offering you deeper wood protection. Due to this, you might use more product than you expect – however, with 5 litres, you should still have enough to cover an average-sized shed in 2 coats of wood preserver.
This is the most expensive product on our list, but considering the amount of paint on offer and the quality of the finish, if you want to paint your shed brown and protect it from the weather, we’d definitely recommend this option.
- Large 5L tin will go far.
- Waterproofs wood.
- Helps protect against rot and decay.
- Can eradicate woodworm.
- Only available in brown shades.
- Priciest product on our list.
How To Paint A Shed
To paint a garden shed, you should roughly follow the below process:
1. Clean and prep
Before you begin the process of painting your shed, you should clean it thoroughly, scrubbing away any dirt, mould and cobwebs.
2. Fill and sand
Once your shed is clean, fill in any cracks in the wood with wood filler, and sand the surface down to remove any old paint. This will ensure a smoother paint application, and a better finished result.
3. Coat with primer/treatment
Make sure your shed is fully dry before starting to paint – wait at least 48 hours after the most recent rainfall. Before applying your main paint colour, it’s a good idea to apply an oil-based primer or wood treatment, which will help protect your shed from weathering.
4. Paint your shed
Once your shed is clean, dry and primed – and assuming the primer isn’t the colour you want your shed – it’s time for the fun part! Apply your chosen paint colour using a brush, roller or pump sprayer (a sprayer is by far the quickest and easiest option).
5. Apply a second coat
Once your first coat of paint is completely dry, apply a second coat, in order to achieve a high-quality, opaque finish. Stand back, and admire your newly painted shed!
Popular Paint Colours For Sheds
Here are some colours to consider when renovating your garden shed:
Traditional shed colours such as green and brown will help your shed blend into its surroundings – ideal if you prefer a more natural look and don’t want to make too much of a statement with your shed.
White, light grey or pastel blue shades will reflect the heat and can be great choices if you plan to spend a lot of time in your shed during summer. However, bear in mind that white will show the dirt!
Grey is a practical and versatile shade, and a very fashionable paint colour right now. Painting your shed a moody dark grey will help give your garden a modern look.
Covering your shed in a rose pink or lavender shade can complement the flowers in your garden, and create a feeling of springtime.
A bright blue, orange or yellow shed will look fun, tropical and summery, and add a burst of colour and interest to your garden.
Can’t decide on just one colour? Consider painting the planks of your shed in complementary or contrasting colours, to create an eye-catching striped effect.
If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could paint your shed to look like a house – complete with red ‘brick’ walls, white window frames, and a coloured door. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.