Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by lindseymahoney
If you’re looking to spruce up your backyard, painting your shed is a great place to start. With a little bit of time and effort, you can transform your shed into a beautiful and eye-catching feature of your outdoor space.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced DIYer, this guide will walk you through the steps to paint your shed like a pro.
Step-by-Step Guide to Painting a Shed Yourself
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For years we have talked about adding a shed to our backyard and this year we finally purchased one from Tuff Shed.
We considered purchasing one from Tuff Shed a few years earlier but the financing was not great.
Earlier this year we went to a local home and garden show and they had a much better financing offering for a limited time.
If you are in a similar situation, definitely ask Tuff Shed about upcoming financing specials that may work better for you and your family.
Initial Steps When Installing a Tuff Shed
Acquiring a Permit
Once we chose the shed design, we were required to get a permit from the city before it was constructed.
The process was pretty simple, we filled out a permit form and turned it in to the zoning office for our city. I believe it cost around $25.
Prepare the Location of the Shed
When we received the permit we sent it to Tuff Shed and scheduled the delivery of the shed. Because this shed would be used to store pool items (as well as a lawn mower and gardening items), we decided to tuck the shed behind our pool.
This location gave us a little more privacy from our neighbors as well since removing two large pine trees last year.
We prepped the foundation by laying down the paver base screening and tamping it down to make the ground level.
Tuff Shed Installation
Tuff Shed installed the shed in a single day and the exterior wood is already primed and ready for paint.
If you are a beginner when it comes to painting exterior buildings, having the shed primed already is a great perk and one less step you have to handle!
1 | Choose the Right Paint Supplies
Before you start painting your shed, it’s important to choose the right paint and tools for the job.
For the paint, you want a high-quality exterior paint that is designed to withstand the elements. Look for a paint that is specifically formulated for wood and that has UV protection to prevent fading.
I used A-100 Exterior Acrylic Latex paint from Sherwin Williams in the satin sheen to paint our shed. As for tools, you’ll need a paintbrush, a roller, a paint tray, and a ladder.
Supplies to Paint a Shed
- Angled paintbrush
- 9 inch roller
- 4 inch mini roller
- Paint tray
- Small paintbrush (I used my kids paintbrush)
- Wood filler
- Sanding block
After gathering tons of inspiration for the shed, I had a clear vision in my head. For the shed to blend in with its surroundings, we chose earthy green paint colors.
2 | Prep the Surface and Apply Primer
Before you start painting your shed, it’s important to prepare the surface to ensure the paint adheres properly and lasts as long as possible.
Start by cleaning the shed with a power washer or a hose and scrub brush to remove any dirt, grime, or mildew. Allow the shed to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Next, sand any rough or peeling areas of the shed to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Finally, use a primer to seal any bare wood or areas where the old paint has been removed.
Allow the primer to dry completely before starting to paint.
*If you purchased a pre-primed shed (like me) you will only need to fill the screw holes with wood filler and sand them smooth before applying paint.
3 | Paint the Shed Trim
When painting multiple colors in a room/building, I prefer to start with the lightest paint color. In this case, it is the trim.
For the trim, I primarily use a paintbrush, but the 4 inch roller can speed up the process on the flat surfaces.
I don’t worry about painting outside of the lines because I will be painting a darker color on the siding which will create a clean paint line.
We painted the soffit the same color as the trim, Ethereal White by Sherwin Williams.
Give the first coat of paint 1-2 hours to dry and then apply the second coat of paint to the trim
4 | Paint the Shed Siding
For the siding of the shed, I used a combination of an angled paintbrush and a 9 inch roller. Make sure to apply the paint evenly and cover the entire surface.
The grooves of the wood made it a little more challenging when painting against the white trim.
To paint the peak of the shed, I used a ladder and had to use a tiny paintbrush to get into the tight corners.
The larger paintbrush was too big and got paint all over the white trim.
When the first coat is dry, I applied the second coat of dark green paint.
5 | Paint the Shed Doors
This step is interchangeable with step 4, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter which one you paint first.
The third color I chose for the shed is Evergreen Fog, a gray green that blends in with nature.
A combination of an angled paintbrush and 4 inch roller got the job done within a few hours.
It took me an afternoon to apply two coats of paint to the two shed doors.
6 | Paint Touch-ups
It is inevitable that I hit the ceiling with the wall paint or drip one color of paint onto another while tackling a project like this.
After the shed had been painted, I went around with a paintbrush and cleaned up any of my errors.
Painted Shed Reveal
It fits in perfectly with the spruce trees around the pool and it looks like the painted shed has always been there.
The blue stone edging around the flower beds pairs perfectly with the dark green shed.
Painting the shed myself not only saved a lot of money, but it totally changed the look of it too!
This project took a few days to complete with one person. With two people, this is easily a weekend project. While it is time-consuming, it is an easy project that is a good option for beginners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I use a sprayer to paint a wood shed?
A paint sprayer is absolutely an option to paint a shed!
Personally, I get turned off by the amount of prep time it takes to use a paint sprayer and usually end up using a roller and paintbrush. For beginners tackling this DIY, I recommend the paintbrush and roller.
Can I paint outside in the winter?
It should be at least 50 degrees outside when painting the shed. Look for a day where the forecast for the next few days is dry without any rain.
What is the best paint finish for a wooden shed?
My preferred paint finish for a wooden shed is satin.
This specific paint sheen is durable and easily cleaned. It also doesn’t look too shiny, which can be distracting on the exterior of a building that you want to blend in.
What is the best color to paint a shed?
If you want your shed to blend in with its surroundings, I recommend choosing natural colors. Consider colors found in nature, like greens, blues, browns, and creams.
The main house is a great place to find inspiration and coordinate paint colors.
Choosing colors that complement each other creates a cohesive color scheme.
We are painting our house this year and plan to paint our doors the same color as the shed doors. The shutters will be the same color as the shed siding.