Should I Paint my Shed Grey?

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If you are searching for easy ways to make high impact changes to the look and feel of your garden then the humble shed is a great place to start! The majority of gardens in the UK have a shed of some description and they are often in full view.

Although the primary function of most sheds is to provide storage space, they are in fact an important component of your overall garden design. By re defining the colour of your shed you can either integrate it seamlessly into your existing scheme or upgrade it into a real focal point, helping to transform the overall appearance of your outside space.

I found myself in this exact situation recently. I was bored and wanted to change the colour of my 6ft x 4ft wooden shed from a nondescript dark brown (below) to something a bit different.

I liked the sound of grey….

You should paint your shed grey if you are after a modern, contemporary look. Greys are very natural, relaxing and soothing colours. If your garden colour scheme already incorporates elements of grey then a grey shed will integrate and blend in well. If, on the other hand, you have no existing grey in your scheme then a grey shed will act as much more of a focal point and stand out feature.

Why Should I Paint my Shed?

There are two main reasons that you would choose to paint your wooden shed – firstly to improve the look of it and allow it to blend in to, or stand out from, your garden scheme, and secondly to prolong its useful life by giving it extra protection against the elements.

Failure to maintain your shed could end up with it looking like this, or worse:

If your shed has reached the end of its useful life and requires replacement be sure to check out our top 5 things to look out for when considering a new shed.

How Often Should I Paint my Shed?

As a general guide, to maintain a high level of effective protection and to keep your shed looking sharp, it is best practice to paint your shed once a year.

Is it Easy to Paint a Shed?

The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in DIY to paint your shed and it is relatively easy to do. As sheds are outdoor garden buildings they do not demand the same precision painting skills that would be needed for other jobs such as painting the interior of your house.

How Long Will it Take to Paint a Shed?

This depends greatly on the size of the shed, and the drying time for the paint that you are using. I competed the painting of my 6 x 4 shed with four coats within 2 days. A larger shed will likely take a bit longer.

How Many Coats of Paint Will I Need to Paint a Shed?

Products differ so you should always follow the instructions. If you are changing the colour of your shed it is likely to require more coats than if you are repainting it in its existing shade.

As already mentioned, when I changed the colour of my shed from brown to grey it took four coats in total for complete coverage. But then again I may have been able to get away with three!

How Many Tins of Paint Will I Need to Paint a Shed?

I Used a 5 litre can of Cuprinol Ducksback paint, which will cover up to 30 square metres with a single coat. One can was large enough to do all four coats of my 6 x 4 ft shed without a problem – I even had some left over.

Top Tip: If you use more than one can of paint it is a good idea to mix them together in one large container as there can sometimes be slight colour differences between cans.

How do I Paint a Shed?

Great! So you have decided to paint your shed. Here is a list of the essentials you will be needing:

– Safety goggles and gloves
– Stiff bristled cleaning brush
– Sandpaper
– Masking tape
– An old sheet, cardboard or newspaper (to protect the surrounding area from paint splashes)
– Paintbrush and / or roller and tray
– Small paintbrush for cutting in
– And finally, Paint!

– Preperation

For best results try to pick a a couple of days when the weather is warm (over 10 degrees ideally) dry and no rain is forecast. During the job, always make sure that you use safety equipment (goggles and gloves).

Before you start, you will need to make sure that the surface of the shed is dry and clear of any debris like cobwebs, dirt, algae or flaky paint. You can use a stiff brush to help get rid of cobwebs and any patches of flaky paint can be removed with a light sanding. Warm, soapy water is good for getting rid of any dirt, mud or algae.

Some people will sand the whole shed down prior to painting. I have never done this. As long as the surface of the shed is clean and dry I have found this more than adequate to achieve a good finish. When changing my shed colour from brown to grey this is the method I used, I painted the grey onto the brown directly.

You will need to mask around windows and door furniture such as hinges and locks to protect them from rogue paint. I find that it is often easier and quicker to remove individual items like locks, handles and hinges rather than masking and painting around them. You will also need to protect the area surrounding your shed from paint splashes, especially any planting, concrete or stones. You can use old cardboard, sheeting or old newspaper for this.

– Painting

Now everything is prepared the painting can start 🙂

You can apply the paint by using either a roller or paintbrush. Because of the uneven nature of the surface of the shed I found it easier to use a brush but it at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference.

When using a brush you should always paint parallel to the grain of the wood, and sawn edges of wood tend to take and absorb more paint. A good tip is to make sure that you don’t overload the brush with paint otherwise you will get drips. Also, when applying the paint it is a good idea to ensure that you don’t apply it too thickly otherwise you can end up with paint runs down the side of your shed 🙁

– The End Result

Job done! Have a look at the pictures of my completed shed below…

Should I Paint my Fence the Same Colour as my Shed?

Once you have successfully finished painting your shed you may find that you have caught the painting bug.

You can make a feature of your shed by opting to paint any adjacent fences in a contrasting shade. Conversely, painting the fence panels a similar colour to the shed will let it quietly blend into its surroundings.

Latest Update!

Since originally painting my shed I have carried out some further improvement work and have added a seating area. This has massively improved the look and functionality of my garden space! Follow this link to discover more about how to create a garden seating area on a budget.