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Q&A: Shed Paint

We’ve already wrote an article on the best shed paint and from that article, we’ve had many of you emailing in asking us specific questions.

On that basis, we’ve decided to put a guide together that covers all of your questions as well as some frequently asked questions when it comes to shed paint. With that being said, let’s take a deeper look.

The Basics

What kind of paint do you use on a shed?

Is it better to stain or paint a shed?

Choosing whether to stain or paint a shed is all down to personal preference. If you want to keep the natural look of the shed then staining might be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you want your shed to add a splash of colour to your garden painting will be a better option.

Bear in mind that a good quality paint will likely be more durable than a staining option.

Do you need to treat a shed before painting?

You don’t necessarily need to treat a shed before painting it but if your shed is prone to algae or mould growth using a preserver or wood oil can help extend the life of your shed.

Can I paint my shed with emulsion?

In theory, yes but it’s certainly not advised. Emulsion paint is specifically formulated for interior use on walls and ceilings so applying it to an exterior shed is a bad idea.

Wood has a tendency to expand and contract depending on the temperature and moisture levels in the air so the best paint for wood is something that has a flexible film. Emulsion simply isn’t made for exterior use and doesn’t stand up to the British weather well.

Can I paint my shed in the rain?

No, you shouldn’t paint your shed in the rain. The paint needs time to dry and cure properly in order for it to become weatherproof. This means you should paint in dry conditions when the temperature is above at least 10 degrees celcius. If you were to apply the paint during the rain, it would simply wash off.

How often should I paint my shed?

How often you paint your shed is all down to personal preference. Some people like to paint their shed every year whereas others go 5 years before repainting.

We always advocate using the most durable paint for sheds as this means the colour retains its pigment for longer and thus you won’t need to repaint it as often!

The Specifics

I’ve got a metal shed roof to do, it’s flaked and gone rusty. I used black Hammerite a few years back but I really don’t rate it. Any suggestions?

Personally I haven’t had any issues with Hammerite. I notice that it’s the shed roof that you painted in black? There’s a good chance that it’s been exposed to the sun a bit too much, hence the flaking. Maybe it’s worth trying Rustoleum Combo (no need for an undercoat) or Johnstone’s Smooth metal paint and seeing how you get on with them.

I want my shed painted white with green window frames. Should I go with Superdec or Allcoat?

I would personally go with the Zinsser All Coat but the white isn’t their best colour for coverage. I’ve used it in a sprayer before though and would recommend. Superdec isn’t a bad paint but for me lacks a bit of body.

What’s UK Paint’s shed paint like?

It’s not too bad. You’ll get a decent enough finishes with a couple of coats and it’s got solid durability. It’s also reasonably priced if that’s a factor in your buying decision.

I would like an oil based product for my shed that I put up before Christmas. Either a super light stain or just a clear oil (nothing glossy) – what would you suggest?

Sounds like you’re looking for Osmo’s clear oil stain. They’ve got a fair few options in different shades, it’s nice to use and it should last you a long time.

I’ve been supplied with a tin of Protek’s Shed Stain. What’s it like?

I’ve only ever used it once but as I recall it was ok to apply and should be fairly decent in terms of durability. If you take a look at the tin it should say that it’s wax-enriched which means it’ll be better when standing up to the British elements.

I’ve got Zinsser Allcoat water-based gloss to paint my shed. Will it work?

It does the job, and quickly too. Re-coating after an hour is great in our climate. I’ve used it on almost everything outside and it seems to last well on surfaces that don’t get hammered on a daily basis. Not sure if it’s ideal for garage doors if they get used regularly but it definitely holds out well in our weather conditions and should be fine on your shed.