Whether you’ve just bought a new shed or have an old summer house that needs some love, painting it is a simple, effective and budget friendly way to turn something mundane or tired into a beautiful new feature in your garden. In this tutorial we will share how to paint your summer house in 7 simple steps. 

First up, you need to think about the type of finish you would like. Paint gives you a bright deep colour but it can cause issues as it doesn’t let the wood breathe. Varnish is great if you like a more natural look, however, like paint, it also traps moisture in and can cause problems going forward if it cracks or bubbles.

Using a stain ensures some of the grain can still be seen, however it is available in many colours these days, and most importantly, it lets the wood breathe, giving it the best longevity out of the different methods. On average, manufacturing companies tend to suggest you paint a stained shed or summerhouse every six years.

What you’ll need to paint your summer house or shed:

Paint / Stain

Sand paper

Sander

Jet washer (or a bucket and soapy water with plenty of elbow grease)

Wire brush

Wide paint brush for wood

Detail paint brushes

Decorator’s Tape

Paint your summer house or garden shed

Step 1: Prepare the woodwork

Clean the woodwork as best you can. Scrub away any mould or mildew, cobwebs or dirt that has splashed up over the years. You may want to use a wire brush to lightly remove any loose flakey paint.

Step 2: Sand it out

Once clean, inspect the paintwork and if it is still flakey, lightly sand your boards with 80 or 120 grit for a smoother finish. However, there is no need to do this if the previous paintwork isn’t flakey. Clean away any dust before painting.

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Step 3: Don’t forget the tape!

Use decorators tape to line the edges of your window panes so you can paint your frames more easily without getting paint on the glass.

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Step 4: Protect the surroundings

Protect surrounding areas with dust sheets, especially if you have a patio or decking. I found this stain to be slightly thinner than regular paint so it is quite drippy!

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Step 5: Time to paint!

Using a detail brush for the finer areas like corners and window frames, and a wider brush for the boards, paint the wood in the same direction as the grain. Try not to overload your paint brush and ensure you brush away any drips before they begin to dry. If you have any end pieces of wood, these will soak up paint profusely, so ensure to dab a generous amount of paint on these using the tip of your brush.

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Step 6: Timing is key

Make sure you adhere to the drying times as stated on your tin of paint.  Because the paint I used is an exterior paint, it cures and hardens overtime (to protect your summerhouse or shed against the elements,) so you may find you get a better finish if you don’t leave it too long before coats.  

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Step 7: Layer, layer, layer

Depending on the finish you desire, and the colour you are painting over, you may find that two coats isn’t sufficient. For instance, we were painting over dark orange and wanted a deep black colour, so we found in the end, three coats gave a better finish.  

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Top tip when you paint your summer house:

Make sure you check the weather before you start your project! Obviously you need plenty of drying time after you have painted, but it’s worth waiting for a few dry days before you paint too. If you paint on damp or wet wood, the paint may blister or flake as it dries out.  This is an ideal project for the warmer weather, your paint will last long and look better if it is left to dry in temperatures above 10C (both during the day and overnight.)

Now you’re done, you can move on to the fun part – styling it up!  

You could upcycle some old crates to use as window boxes, plant a climber in a pot to grow up a trellis or add some hanging baskets for instant colour. You could add pretty curtains inside (which also help with security if you’re storing tools inside) and solar lights to the entrance so you can admire all your hardwork in the evenings too.


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How to paint your summer house or garden shed written by Hannah Otto from @theottohouse
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Did you enjoy this article from @theottohouse on how to paint your summer house in 7 easy steps? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY solar lamp made from pallets or even our guide on how to repair your garden shed!

Are you painting your summer house too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

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