Everything You Need to Know About Painting Your Shed
A fresh dose of color can breathe new life into this outdoor storage spot.
Your shed needs a fresh layer of paint every once in awhile. Fortunately, this job is a much smaller undertaking than re-coating a larger structure, like a house. With that being said, painting your shed will still require careful attention to detail and expert workmanship, which is why we talked to a professional painter about successfully executing this project. Consider this a handy guide to painting your shed; put in a little legwork now, and it will look as good as new before you know it.
Choose your paint.
When it comes to painting any exterior space, use the same type of paint you would on the outside of your house, says Terry Koubele, the owner of Five Star Painting of Federal Way and Tacoma, a Neighborly company. The formula is important, since your shed's paint plays more than just an aesthetic role. "The real purpose is to protect the structure from moisture and other weather-related impacts," he says. Since many of these structures lack protection from the elements, Koubele advises using a paint with a satin sheen. "The darker the color, the higher the product level should be," he adds. "Higher-end products tend to have more color fading resistance technology built into the paint."
Prep your shed.
For the best results, do a little prep work. Koubele recommends gathering your materials (like a brush for oil priming, a nine-inch roller for painting the body of your shed, a mini roller for the trim, masking tape, and plastic or a tarp to place on the ground below the siding). "If there are any raw wood areas, these should be primed with an oil-base primer," he explains. You should also tape off any windows, door handles, hinges, and hardware before you begin the coating process. "Your paint can will indicate the size of the roller you need," Koubele adds, noting that a nine-inch roller with a 3/8-inch nap is standard.
Consider the grounds.
Your shed isn't the only area that needs some attention before you get started—Koubele says you should also protect the plants and structures around your shed. "Always cut back any plants about one-foot from the building," he says. "They carry moisture and can damage your paint." He also suggests placing paint cans and trays on a tarp, to avoid spilling product onto your lawn or the dirt around your shed. "Getting paint into your soil makes it very difficult to clean up," he notes.
Avoid French-cutting the trim.
Koubele says that many homeowners like to start painting along the edges of their trim—this is called French cutting—but it's not a method he recommends. "Painting the sides' trim looks nice, but is time consuming. It can be difficult to create straight lines," he says. "As a standard, trim is only painted on the face of the trim board. French cutting calls for a professional painter, since the edge must be cut in with a brush."
Your shed is the perfect place to get creative, says Koubele. "Paint your door a different color than the rest of the shed," he suggests, adding that you should still stick with hues in the same family or use the manufacturer's recommended trim and accent shades. "Typically, sheds match the color scheme of the house, but they don't have to." After all, he says, it's just a shed—if you don't like the color, it's easy to paint again.