The best shed paint for freshening up your garden shed

These paints are sure to give your shed a new lease of life.

A close up of a hand holding a brush and painting their shed

by Rosie Floyd |

The humble garden shed gets exposed to a lot in the UK. From heavy downpours to scorching sunshine, the weather can take its toll on them after a while. This is why it is important to use using the best shed paint to keep your structure looking in great condition.

Whether you use your garden shed as a workshop where you can tinker with tools, a man cave or she-shed where you can practise your hobby to your heart's content, or as a storage solution for all your gardening equipment and household items – a lick of paint will give your shed a fresh lease of life.

How to prepare a shed for painting

If you're unsure about where to start with getting your shed ready for painting, the experts at B&Q have lots of advice.

Make repairs

Before you start painting your shed, you will want to take some time to have a good look around it. Be sure to check for any damage. Your shed is exposed to all the extremes that the UK weather brings, so there are bound to be some areas that need a bit of attention. Replace any decayed sections of wood with healthy timber. If there are any smaller areas of damage that need repairing but don't warrant replacing a full panel, you can use exterior wood filler to put in any cracks. This will just need to be sanded flush before it gets covered in paint.

Prepare the wood

Next, you'll want to get rid of any dirt, cobwebs and flaking paint. The best way to do this is by brushing it with a stiff bristle brush. If your shed is covered in algae, just dip your brush in diluted outdoor cleaner and give it a good scrub to get it off. Once your shed is looking clean, you will need to make sure the wood is completely dry before getting your paintbrush out.

Prepare the area

Preparing the surrounding area is a great job to do while you're waiting for the timber to dry out. Firstly, you will want to cover any nearby surfaces and plants with dust sheets. No matter how careful you are with paint, mishaps can happen, so by covering your surroundings, they will be protected from any accidental spillages and drips. We would recommend wearing old clothes for this reason too.

You will also want to make sure you leave yourself enough room to get around every angle of your shed. You will want to trim back any hedges and cut back any foliage that hangs over your outdoor structure so it doesn't cause any obstructions. If you don't want to cut any of your plants, we would suggest tying them back with plant ties and canes.

Cover handles and windows

It can be a pain to remove shed paint from areas that you don't want to be painted. So, use masking tape or newspaper to cover any metal work and window panes. You may want to consider unscrewing handles or fittings so you can paint underneath. This will give a tidier and neater finish.

How to paint a garden shed

Once you've finished doing all the preparation, you can now get your paintbrush and roller at the ready and start painting. Each shed paint can be applied differently, so check the tin of your chosen colour before you get started for advice on the best results.

Apply the paint in the same direction as the grain and be careful not to spread it too far. You can avoid runs or drips by not overloading your chosen applicator and making sure you work it in well. Watch the video above for more instructions.

Best shed paint

Ronseal Fence Life Plus+ - Willow

Best shed paint for damp wood application
Ronseal Fence Life Plus+
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If you're worried about the protection your shed has against the elements, this shed paint offers all-weather defence. The paint has UV protection for a durable colour and it's also shower-proof within an hour.

Key features
5 litres
Up to 6m² coverage per litre
All-weather protection
Five-year long-lasting colour
Shower-proof within an hour
Matt finish

Pros: 100 per cent shower proof in one hour, can be applied to damp wood
Cons: Needs multiple coats, some customers have commented on a water-like consistency

Review: "I have been using this product now for many years, it does a really good job at protecting the wood without peeling off over time. I have a wooden gate that was varnished and the wood had started to go soft in a couple of places where the water had got under the varnish and been trapped. I stripped the varnish off and used this product over the damaged wood. A year later and the wood dried out without any further spread. I have a fence that I made ten years ago and used this product on it from new, it still looks perfect with just a quick recoat every year or so. This product is well worth the price, just expect to use a couple of coats to get a good finish. It dries very quickly and you can get a second coat on in a couple of hours."

King Of Paints Garden Shed and Fence Paint - Dark Oak

Best shed paint for mildew protection
King Of Paints Garden Shed and Fence Paint
Amazon

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Developed using a water-based system, the King Of Paints promises long-lasting results with a low carbon footprint. Its formula is specially designed to help eliminate mildew growth.

Key features:
5 litres
Up to 6m² coverage per litre
Five-year colour performance
Shower-proof within an hour
Can be applied with a roller, brush or sprayer
Satin finish

Pros: Has an algaecide and fungicide mix in the formula, can be used on sawn and planed wood
Cons: On the expensive side

Review: "Bought this for shed and steps and purchased other make for my fencing. This product was by far much higher quality with a better finish and I hope a long lifespan. It was much more expensive but worth the extra money."

Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback - Silver Copse

Best shed paint for non-drip application
Cuprinol 5 Year DucksBack

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Looking for quick-drying, low odour shed paint? You need Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback. It has a wax enriched water repellent formula that dries in a matt finish and is rain-proof within the hour.

Key features:
9 litres
Up to 4.8m² coverage per litre
Five years protection
Non-drip application
Wax enriched water repellent
Showerproof in 1 hour
2-4 hours drying time
Matt finish

Pros: Non-drip application, wax enriched water repellent formula
Cons: Works best on rough-sawn wood

Review: "A very stylish colour. Gave the garden a really elegant finish. The paint gave good coverage and dried very well. We applied 2 coats on the untreated wood but the previously painted fence only needed one coat. The paint is not too watery, like some. Great price as was on offer."

Ronseal One Coat Fence Life - Dark Oak

Best shed paint for one coat application
Ronseal One Coat Fence Life

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You can save your arms from a lengthy application process with the Ronseal One Coat Fence Life. All you need is one coat and your garden shed will be looking great in no time at all!

Key features:
5 litres
Up to 6m² coverage per litre
Keeps its colour for up to two years
Brush or spray application
All-weather protection
4 hours drying time
Matt finish

Pros: Easy to apply, great results with one coat
Cons: Doesn't keep its colour as long as other shed paints, for rough sawn sheds only

Review: "I use this paint every year and my fence is still going strong 15 years later."

Johnstone's Garden Colours - Botanical Retreat

Best shed paint for range of colours
Johnstone's Garden Colours
Amazon

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Bring your garden to life with Johnstone's Garden Colours. This brand offers many bright and vibrant shades to add a splash of colour to your shed. If you would like your garden shed to have a natural feel while still being painted in a bright colour, Johnstone's Garden Colours are designed to allow you to still see the grain of the wood through them.

Key features:
2.5 litres
Up to 12m² coverage per litre
Keeps its colour for up to three years
2-4 hours drying time
Woodgrain finish

Pros: Range of bright colours, long-lasting colour without losing the natural grain of the wood
Cons: You may need more than one tin if your garden shed is on the larger side

Review: "We used this brand and colour of wood stain to do a little bit of feather edge on an outhouse and we were so impressed with the quality, application and colour that we decided to use it on a bigger project, ie. a shed workshop. It's thicker than a wood stain and dries like paint, so the coating looks longer-lasting and of good quality. We will be getting other colours in the Johnstone's Garden Colour range for re-doing our fence panels in the spring and also on some decking planters my husband made. Would highly recommend it."

Wilko Garden Colour - Night Sky Blue

Best shed paint for covering multiple materials
Wilko Garden Colour

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As this shed paint can be used to cover brick, terracotta and stone, as well as wood, you can use it to transform all of your outdoor space. The formulation contains pigments and waxes to resist ultraviolet and water attacks, so there's no need to worry about weather damage.

Key features:
2.5 litres
Up to 10m² coverage per litre
All-weather protection
5 hours drying time
Water-based formulation

Pros: Has all-weather protection, covers multiple materials
Cons: Some customers have commented that the colour is more royal blue than navy blue

Review: "Bought this to brighten up my back garden and it's worked brilliantly. Painted my shed and fencing around raised beds and they now look brand new."

UK PAINT Shed and Fence Paint - Anthracite Grey

Best shed paint value for money
UK PAINT Shed and Fence Paint
Amazon

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This shed paint comes in a huge 20-litre tin, so you won't be running out of it in a hurry. It's perfect if you've got a large workshop to cover or you want to paint your fence in the same colour as your shed. You'll even have plenty left over for topping up your shed's coverage year after year.

Key features:
20 litres
Up to 6m² coverage per litre
2 hours drying time

Pros: Great value for the amount of paint, short drying time
Cons: The tin is heavy to carry around, some customers have commented that the heavy pigment made their rollers and brushes difficult to clean afterwards

Review: "Great area coverage from one can and one coat is all you need! Amazing price for this amount of paint."

HQC Fence and Garden Shed Paint - Sage Green

Best shed paint easy to apply
HQC Fence and Garden Shed Paint
Amazon

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Whether you use a brush, roller or spray application, HQC's fence and garden shed paint is easy to apply. The thick formula doesn't drip or run and it dries in no time at all. It also applies weather and mildew protection to your shed.

Key features:
5 litres
Up to 12m² coverage per litre
2-4 hours drying time
All-weather protection
Mildew resistant

Pros: Easy to apply, weather-proof
Cons: Some customers have commented on an un-even finish

Review: "We like this paint very much. We bought it to repaint our summer house. We have put just one coat on so far and intend to do another. It already looks great and covers really well. It was packed very well... no mishaps and the order was delivered quickly. So glad to have something to do in these difficult times. Thank you."

Wickes Garden Colour Matt Wood Treatment - Classic Cream

Best shed paint for fade resistant colour
Wickes Garden Colour Matt Wood Treatment

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Offering a high colour coverage while also giving long-lasting protection to your shed is the Wickes Garden Colour range. The water-based formula boasts five-year weather protection, which ensures the colour of your shed won't fade over time.

Key features
2.5 litres
Up to 12m² coverage per litre
Five-year weather protection
4 hours drying time
Water-based formula
Matt finish

Pros: Fade resisting colour, five-year weather protection
Cons: Some customers have commented that the paint is very thick, brush application only

Review: "Love this paint. Needs two coats as a general rule but some areas needed a third as the base colour I wanted to cover was particularly dark. The paint is a good consistency - went on smoothly with minimum drippage."

Cuprinol Garden Shades - Urban Slate

Best shed paint for rich colour
Cuprinol Garden Shades

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Cuprinol Garden Shades has special pigments in its formula to ensure rich colour. You will also be able to see the natural texture of the wood shine through. This paint also offers a matt finish and six-year weather protection.

Key features:
1 litre
Up to 12m² coverage per litre
Six-year weather protection
Rich colour
2-8 hours drying time between coats
Matt finish

Pros: Rich colour pay off, six-year weather protection
Cons: One-litre tin might not stretch very far, requires at least two coats, coverage level varies between wood types

Review: "I have used Cuprinol fence paint and the colour is beautiful. The colour is gentle on the eye and has really enhanced my garden. It is easy to apply and quick drying."

Wickes Shed & Fence Timbercare - Sherwood Green

Best shed paint plant and animal friendly
Wickes Shed & Fence Timbercare

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With no strong odour and a low VOC, this shed paint is ideal to use if you're worried about the effects it may have on surrounding plants and your pets. This high coverage paint also protects against damage from UV light and other extreme weather.

Key features:
9 litres
Up to 100m² coverage per litre
Three-year colour performance
4 hours drying time
Matt finish

Pros: Protects against extreme weather, plant and animal-friendly formulation
Cons: Some customers have commented that the paint is a little watery

Review: "Goes a long way and is easy to apply. Doesn't look patchy even over an old brown stain."

Wilko Wax Enriched Timbercare - English Oak

Best shed paint protects against rain and UV damage
Wilko Wax Enriched Timbercare

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Enriched with waxes to provide high water repellence, this shed paint will ensure your weatherboard, roughly sawn outdoor structure is shielded from rain damage. The specifically designed water-based formulation is also designed to have excellent ultraviolet resistance to prolong the colour fading.

Key features:
5 litre
Up to 4m² coverage per litre
Water repellent
2-5 hours drying time

Pros: Water repellent, UV resistant
Cons: Designed for use only on rough sawn timber

Review: "We painted our shed with this. Two coats and still have half a tub left. Great for purpose and value for money."

GoodHome Colour It Matt Fence & Shed Stain - Golden Oak

Best shed paint for a stained finish
GoodHome Colour It Matt Fence & Shed Stain

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If you would like your shed to have more of a stained than fully painted finish, the GoodHome Colour It range from B&Q will be perfect. Generously apply with a brush or a spray and your roughly sawn shed will quickly dry and be showerproof in 60 minutes.

Key features:
9 litre
Up to 10m² coverage per litre
Shower-proof within an hour
Five-year guarantee
1-4 hours drying time
Matt finish

Pros: Weather and UV resistant, low odour, low VOC levels
Cons: Some customers have described the paint as being thin and runny, suitable for rough sawn wood

Review: "We were unsure about using this on our shed but took the plunge as it was so cheap. We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome. It is quite thin and runny but went on easily. We used two coats on our shed and are really happy with how it looks now it's all finished."

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