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 |
Updated on

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.

Best shed paint

Best shed paint for damp wood application

Ronseal Fence Life Plus+
Price: £15.44

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.

Customer 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."


  • 100 per cent shower proof in one hour
  • Can be applied to damp wood


  • Needs multiple coats, some customers have commented on a water-like consistency

Best shed paint for non-drip application

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.

Customer review: "A very stylish colour. Gave the garden a really elegant finish. The paint gave good coverage and dried very well. We applied two 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."


  • Non-drip application
  • Wax enriched water repellent formula


  • Works best on rough-sawn wood

Best shed paint for one coat application

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!

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


  • Easy to apply
  • Great results with one coat


  • Doesn't keep its colour as long as other shed paints, for rough sawn sheds only

Best shed paint for range of colours

Johnstone's Garden Colours
Price: £18.37

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.

Customer 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."


  • Range of bright colours
  • Long-lasting colour without losing the natural grain of the wood


  • You may need more than one tin if your garden shed is on the larger side

Best shed paint value for money

UK PAINT Shed and Fence Paint
Price: £50

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.

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


  • Great value for the amount of paint
  • Short drying time


  • Some customers have commented that the heavy pigment made their rollers and brushes difficult to clean afterwards

Best shed paint easy to apply

HQC Fence and Garden Shed Paint
Price: £59.95

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.

Customer 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."


  • Easy to apply
  • Weather-proof


  • Some customers have commented on an un-even finish

Best shed paint for fade resistant colour

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.

Customer 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."


  • Fade resisting colour
  • Five-year weather protection


  • Some customers have commented that the paint is very thick, brush application only

Best shed paint plant and animal friendly

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.

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


  • Protects against extreme weather
  • Plant and animal-friendly formulation


  • Some customers have commented that the paint is a little watery

Best shed paint for a stained finish

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.

Customer 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."


  • Weather and UV resistant
  • Low odour
  • Low VOC levels


  • Some customers have described the paint as being thin and runny, suitable for rough sawn wood


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.

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Rosie Floyd is a Homes & Garden product writer. She works across a number of brands for Bauer Media including Yours, Take A Break Pets, Modern Gardens and a Modern Kitchen.

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