In this guide we’ll take a look at the best shed paints for the UK market.
I’ve compared colour, quality, longevity and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What Is The Best Shed Paint?

  • Features
  • Great range of sophisticated colours
  • Easy to use and covers well – often in one coat
  • Provides long-lasting protection for wood.
  • Cost
  • Features
  • Cost-effective choice for fences and sheds
  • Covers well even on rough sawn timber
  • Protects wooden surfaces for two years
  • Cost
  • Features
  • Natural looking colours
  • Provides excellent protection for up to 5 years
  • Easy to apply with a brush or sprayer
  • Cost
  • Features
  • Gloss paint suitable for smooth wood
  • Comes in a range of colours
  • Offer excellent protection for wood
  • Cost

More Detailed Shed Paints

Cuprinol CUPGSWIL5L 5 Litre Garden Shades Paint – Willow

This Cuprinol 5 Litre Shed Paint comes in an amazing range of sophisticated shades that can transform outdoor structures and fences quickly and easily. The product is suitable for sheds and fences as well as garden furniture.

I found this is the best shed paint I’ve used, both with a brush and a sprayer. The coverage was excellent and transformed my tired summer house in a day, even though the wood was dark, stained and a bit mouldy in places.

The paint was quite thick and went on easily. I used two coats as my summerhouse has been a bit neglected and I wanted to get a really even, opaque finish. However, on well cared for wood, one coat may well be sufficient. The finish is a soft matt and allows the wood grain to subtly show through. I chose the Willow colour which is a lovely soft sage green and I am very pleased with the result.

The paint is water based making it easy to clean up after the job is done. The paint was also completely dry after a couple of hours. During a rain shower a few days later I noticed that the water just ran off the treated surfaces like water off a duck’s back – perfect!

I’ve used Cuprinol paints before and have found that they keep wood looking good better than competitor brands. In my opinion this is the best shed paint on the market.

Ronseal 5L One Coat Life - Quick Dry Garden Shed & Fence Paints 5 Litres - All Colours! (Red Cedar)

This Ronseal 5 Litre Shed Paint is suitable for sheds and fences. It covers well in one coat and in my experience will stay looking good for a couple of years. The paint goes on well, soaking in to even rough sawn timber fences and sheds and dries in a couple of hours on a reasonably warm day. It can be used with a brush or sprayer.

I chose the Red Cedar colour and found it came out a little more orange than I expected. This paint comes in other basic wood colours but does not have the range of subtle hues available in the Cuprinol range. However, the product is ideal for protecting wooden fences and sheds if you are not looking to provide a feature for the garden.

This Ronseal shed paint offers excellent value for money. If you are looking for the best shed paint on a budget this is the product for you.

Sadolin Shed & Fence Woodstain Grey Shadow 5 L

This Sadolin 5 Litre Wood Stain comes in a range of natural looking wood colours as well as a sophisticated grey. The product provides excellent weather protection for wood, helping it resist damage from rain, UV rays and frost for up to 5 years.

It is suitable for all rough sawn timber including fences and sheds and is easy to apply due to its non-drip formula. The paint is touch dry in a couple of hours and can be re-coated in 4- 6 hours depending on weather conditions.

I used this paint in Grey Shadow on a wood store and was extremely pleased with the stylish colour and even finish. This is another one of the best shed paint products on the market and offers protection for up to 5 years.

Dulux Weather Shield Exterior High Gloss Paint, 2.5 L – Conker

This Dulux 2.5 Litre Paint is a traditional exterior gloss paint suitable for use on exterior doors and window frames as well as garden furniture and trims on summer houses.

The product is oil based so you should take care to protect surrounding areas from spills and splashes. You will need to use white spirit or brush cleaner to clean brushes. Bare wood will need to be primed before use. The paint provides an extremely long-lasting finish to smooth outdoor wood surfaces such as doors and trims. It comes in a wide range of colours.

This paint covers really well and lasts for years even on exposed outdoor surfaces. This is the best shed paint to go for if you are looking for an oil based paint with a high gloss finish.

Shed Paint Buying Guide

When it’s time to smarten up the garden, nothing makes more impact than a coat of paint on outdoor structures and woodwork. Even tired old sheds and summerhouses come up like new with a coat or two of good quality paint.

Whether it’s tidying up a scruffy shed or making a stunning feature of a summer house or arbour, a fresh coat of the best shed paint can transform your garden from tired and drab to bright and stylish in an afternoon.

When choosing the best shed paint for outdoor surfaces it is wise to do some research. Cheaper products often fail to cover in one coat, so you can end up using more and spending a lot more time on the job. I have also found that the wood colours in cheaper brands can be quite garish and not very natural. In addition, the best shed paint will protect the wood for longer making your fences, sheds and summerhouses last for years.

When choosing the best shed paint for your garden, you should check that it is suitable for the surface you are painting. Rough sawn wood such as fences and sheds need a different formula from smoother surfaces such as garden furniture.

The best paint for sheds will cover better, create a better finish, look better for longer and protect wood for several years, so if you are painting wooden structures it is worth investing in the best product you can. Cheaper products will often need more coats and will need re-finishing more often so are not necessarily as good value as they seem.

Most garden paints are water-based and easy to clean, however, do check. Exterior gloss paint comes in water and oil-based formulas. Oil-based formulas are extremely hard wearing, but they can be messy, and spills can be virtually impossible to remove. You will also need to clean brushes with white spirit or brush cleaner after using oil-based paints.


I have just moved into a new house that has a rather old shabby shed in the garden. I don’t want to pay out for a new shed if I can help it so how can I make the old shed look good and help it last a few more years?

There are several steps required to renovate an old and neglected shed.

First, check that your shed is structurally sound. You should check that the roof doesn’t leak and re-felt it if necessary. Also, fill any large cracks in the shed structure with a silicone-based caulk to keep out rain and snow.

Once your shed is structurally sound, give it a good clean before starting to paint it. Remove any debris, cobwebs, mud, mould and moss with a wire brush. If the shed is very mouldy you might want to wash it down with a fungicidal wash.

If the shed has not been repainted for some years it is worth applying an oil-based primer first. This will nourish and protect the old wood, making the shed last longer. It will also make it easier to apply a stain and give you a more even finish.

This may seem like a lot of work, but the preparation is key to getting a good finish and making your shed last longer.

Once you are ready for painting, choose a product that is formulated for rough sawn timber. Use a good quality shed paint as this will give you a better finish and last longer than cheaper products.

Apply your paint in dry conditions when the temperature is above 5°C. You can use a brush or a sprayer, but if you use a sprayer be sure to protect surrounding areas and windows before you start.

You will probably need to apply a second coat once the first is thoroughly dry.

What type of paint should I use to re-finish wooden garden furniture?

There are two main options for painting wooden garden furniture. The first is to use a garden paint such as Cuprinol garden shades or other product that is suitable for smooth timber. This will be easy to do, simply clean the furniture, make sure it is completely dry, give it a light sand if there are any rough spots and then apply the paint. Using this kind of paint will give you an opaque finish which allows the wood grain to shine through. If the furniture has been previously painted with an exterior gloss rather than a stain, then you will need to completely remove all traces of this finish before you can apply a wood stain.

Alternatively, you may use an exterior gloss paint. This is a more complicated job as the wood will need to be primed first if it has not previously been painted. If your furniture has previously been painted, you will need to scrape off any peeling paint and give the furniture a good sand before applying a fresh coat.

What are the best conditions for painting a shed?

It is essential that the shed is completely dry before applying paint so choose a warm day after the shed has had a chance to dry out from previous showers or heavy dew. Paint should not be applied in very cold conditions as this can prevent it from drying effectively. The temperature should ideally be above 10°C. However, you don’t want to paint the shed in very hot weather either as this could result in the paint or stain drying before it has had a chance to soak into the wood. In addition, if you are using a paint sprayer you should complete the job on a very still day, as even a light breeze can blow the paint around causing damage to surrounding areas such as patios, plants, cars and bikes and even washing.