The humble garden shed. A useful storage space? Man Cave? Kids’ den? Workshop, office, summerhouse? Whatever you use your shed for, the chances are, over time, this little timber box of potential can become overlooked. Many of these quirky wooden structures stand shabbily at the bottom of our gardens, ungroomed, uninspired and let’s face it, unloved. So now that summer has arrived (supposedly) and we are spending more time in the garden (hypothetically), it might be a good opportunity to think about reviving your beloved shed and releasing the potential within!

Giving your shed a lick of paint will not only revitalise its style and charm, but it will also help to protect it from the effects of weathering. Here in the UK we would all agree that we have our fair share of rain and snow can actually cause splits and cracks in wood. Even UV rays (when they choose to show up) can, over time, cause discolouration. So whatever the weather, it’s imperative that you provide your garden wood with the protection it needs to withstand everything a British winter (and summer) can throw at it!

So let’s get imaginative – your garden shed can be so much more than just sensible, spiritless storage.  Think of it as a blank canvas on to which you can imprint your sense of creativity and style. Whether you want it to blend in with your garden colour theme, to show sophistication and prestige, or you desire it to stand out, you can be bold and inventive in your approach.

Maybe you could keep to classic, neutral tones on the outside, whilst using a vivid colour on the interior walls or create elegance on the inside.  It could be that you tie in with the colour scheme of your decking or other pieces of garden furniture, but then add a splash of vibrancy in the form of brightly-painted eaves, door and window frames.

However you choose to brighten up your garden, the Cuprinol ‘Garden Shades’ range will colour and protect all your garden wood for up to four years, giving it natural coverage as the texture of the wood grain shines through authentically. With countless colours to choose from, you certainly won’t be stuck for inspiration, and the helpful ‘Colour Selector’ found on the Cuprinol website gives you a great idea of what a particular shade will look like once applied. From earthy, forest tones such as ‘Ground Nutmeg’ or ‘Somerset Green’ to deep, warm teracottas reminiscent of the Mediterranean, there is bound to be a shade that will set your shed apart. Why not couple the cool, blue hue of ‘Coast Mist’ with a crisp white to create a subtly nautical look which would fit beautifully in with a seaside-inspired garden?

Whilst some may prefer the Cuprinol Garden Shades water based paint, an alternative option is Sadolin Beautiflex Opaque Woodstain Colours.  This is a long lasting oil based paint that offers 7 years of protection. An advantage of going for this option is that its suitable for all timber surfaces, so it can be used on your decking as well as your shed.

Once you’ve selected the right paint and colour, follow our step-by-step guide on painting your shed. Here goes!

  1. Clean the shed – wipe away any debris, dirt or mould and clean out any cracks.
  2. Remove splintered or chipped wood and repair any damaged areas using a good quality exterior wood filler. Smooth down any filled areas so they lie flush with the surface.
  3. Mask off any hinges and handles with masking tape. Prime any bare areas with the wood stain. This will provide the wood with a uniform layer of protection and make the overall appearance on completion more even.
  4. Once the primed areas are dry, you can apply your first coat of stain. It’s important to wait for dry conditions, ideally above 5 degrees but at the same time remembering that painting in extreme heat can also have a negative impact on the finished look. It’s a good idea to test the colour on a small, concealed area first to ensure it’s exactly what you had in mind as sometimes the colour can be quite different once dry. Also, if you’re using more than one pot of paint, remember to mix it all together in one large container to ensure colour consistency.
  5. Stir the paint and then apply the paint by a brush in the direction of the wood grain.
  6. Apply a second coat once the first is fully dry (check the drying times on the manufacturers tin). Once your second coat is dry you can use your shed again.

As you can see, in six easy steps you can take your shed from shabby to striking. Whether a stand-out garden feature, or cleverly blended in to its natural surroundings, you will have a smart shed you can be proud of! All you need now is a little sunshine!