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


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!

One doesn’t have to be an expert to create an impact at home! A few licks of paint in the right colour will give your home a new lease of life. ManoMano has a range of ideas for you: whether you want to fool the eye and make a room seem bigger, hide flaws or showcase some key features. So let’s get started on our new projects to transform your home today!


The most straightforward project to start with and add character to any room is with a fresh coat of paint. 

We recommend combining or contrasting colours in each room to create a mood that best suits your style and way of life. In a bedroom, for example, a warm beige wall will make the space extra cosy, whereas a moss green one will invite you kick back and relax. 

While dark colours generally make rooms appear smaller, adding one darker wall in a living room, for example, will open the space up visually. 

If you feel inspired to add even more colour, we recommend repainting your hallway or the often-neglected toilet room to set them apart from the rest of your home.

Why not try some of our wall decorating tips or consider making your own customer wallpaper with a DIY print roller for added creativity?

Wall painting inspiration & home interior inspiration


Grown tired of your coffee table? Or perhaps you want to keep that sideboard passed down through the generations, but it doesn’t work with your living room décor? There’s no time like the present for new projects to transform older pieces into a new contemporary design pieces.

  • A touch of magic: choose the right colour and finish to repaint your old furniture.
  • Another great technique is repainting shelves, so they stand out from the colour of your walls. 
  • Don’t forget the dining room! Give your table a fresh coat of wood paint.


You can create a headboard using only paint and a paintbrush.

Before you begin, mark out the space you want to paint. We recommend approximately 20 centimetres on each side of your bed and 1 meter above it. To make your bed really stand out, go for darker colours. 

And if you’re feeling particularly inspired, try playing with shapes and colours to create a more original headboard.

Tip: For clean lines, use masking tape to draw out your headboard; you can remove them once the paint has properly dried.

Paint your own headboard. Block colours.


As tastes in home décor change over time, mirrors are often left in the shadows. As luck would have it, there are lots of painting tricks and techniques out there to make sure your mirrors stay current. 

  • We recommend painting the frame in the same colour as the wall upon which your mirror hangs. This technique ensures your mirror is blends into the décor and it also helps make your room appear larger.
  • If vintage is your thing, opt for metallic paints in either silver or gold. 

Remember to protect the surface of your mirror with tape hard-to-clean paint traces will ruin the effect. 


Are you desperate for projects to transform your kitchen but not quite prepared to undertake major renovations? Consider repainting your kitchen, where the sky’s the limit: splashback, furniture and floors! 


While it’s common knowledge that children love drawing on walls, not every parent enjoys this creative outlet in the home. Consider transforming a designated surface or even wall into an endless blank canvas with chalkboard paint. Armed with some coloured chalk, kids can create to their heart’s delight: this paint is washable! 

Chalk paint to transform wall into chalkboard.

TIME TO PICK UP YOUR BRUSHES (and rollers) AND KICK START YOUR VERY OWN PAINT PROJECTS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME! Looking for painting materials? Visit manomano.co.uk to view our wide selection of paints & painting accessories.