Best Shed Paint Reviewed 2021

best garden shed paint

The humble shed is the lynchpin of many gardens, whether people realise it or not. Especially for a lot of modern builds that don’t have space for something like a garage or even a utility room, the shed becomes an ideal and relatively inexpensive addition to the garden. The benefit of creating space to store your tools, bikes, gardening equipment etc to stop it from occupying valuable household space is huge.

But, like anything out in the garden, sheds are exposed to the elements. Wind, rain, frost, snow (and probably all of the above in a single day, knowing British weather) are things for sheds to contend with. After all, you store stuff in the shed to keep it out of the way, but it’s vital that the shed is proofed against the elements as well – nobody wants damp power tools.

Good shed paint has two notable advantages – firstly, the aforementioned elemental protection, but secondly making your garden look good. You could have a luscious garden but a damp and dusty shed brings the whole thing down. That’s where our lowdown of the best shed paints available for you to buy comes in – read on to find out what’s out there.

NameProtectionCoverageDry TimeCost
Johnstone’s Woodcare One Coat Shed & Fence3 years6 m2 /l2 hours£
Cuprinol Garden Shades6 years10 m2 /l1 hours££
Johnstone’s Woodcare Garden Colours4 years6 m2 /l2 hours£
Ronseal One Coat Fence Life2 years6 m2 /l4 hours£££
Cuprinol Ducksback5 years6 m2 /l2 hours£££

Johnstone’s Woodcare One Coat Shed & Fence

Johnstone’s Woodcare One Coat Shed & Fence

Johnstone’s offer up a high-quality specialist outdoor wood paint with all the quality you’d expect from the household brand. The paint itself can be bought in 4 different colours to match most gardens, and is enriched with wax to maximise weatherproofing, especially against rain and damp – perfect for keeping your shed contents dry. It also promises sun protection, ensuring that it won’t fade even after prolonged exposure.

One coat is intended to be enough with this paint, which itself dries very quickly. Also coming in with a guaranteed 3-year lifespan, as well as being sold in a very large 9 litre container, this represents really good value for money in the long run.


  • Great value
  • Good lifespan
  • Colour options
  • Quick drying
  • One coat application


  • Thick formula

Cuprinol Garden Shades

Cuprinol Garden Shades

The Garden Shades paint from Cuprinol is an all-purpose solution for outdoor applications, being suited to brickwork, stone and terracotta as well as wood. It also offers a tremendous 6-year weatherproofing guarantee to help with your peace of mind that your shed, among other things outside, will stay protected for longer.

It’s also surprisingly good value for such a long-lasting paint, capable of covering a fair amount of surface area. The range of colours is also a big positive for the Garden Shades, with 6 different options that switch between more classic garden colours and shades that stand out a little more. The matt finish to the paint is designed to enhance wood’s natural grain, bringing a little extra prettiness to your shed. It’s also water-based to help keep it safe, ideal for an outdoor paint.


  • Colour choices
  • Long guarantee
  • Versatile application
  • Reasonable value


  • Potentially flat colours

Johnstone’s Woodcare Garden Colours

Johnstone's Woodcare Garden Colours

Available in a frankly astonishing 20 different colours, the Garden Colours paint from Johnstone’s Woodcare range is a great choice to really inject some life into your garden. With some truly vivid hues (check out Lime Burst), this carries and almost wildflower-like quality ensuring your shed may be as popular with the bees as anything else is. It does have a matt finish that works with the existing wood grain to help it refrain from being too over-the-top, however.

Massive colour range notwithstanding, Johnstone’s have also formulated this to have the quality to back it up too. The paint is fade resistant and promises around 4 years of protection. It’s also a one-coat application for all but the most worn-out sheds, needing only a couple of hours to dry. Value for money is another big plus, as with many Johnstone’s paints, and with a water base is safe around plants and animals too.


  • Good value
  • Lots of colours
  • Long life
  • Safe to use


  • Several coats needed for bold colour

Ronseal One Coat Fence Life

Ronseal One Coat Fence Life

Ronseal’s offering into the world of specialist shed paints is this long-lasting and quality one-coat product. You’re given a choice between five different colour options, and all 5 feature high-opacity matt finish for long-lasting bold colour. Their range also ensures that you’ll find a hue to match your garden.

Full water/shower resistance comes in just a couple of hours after applying the paint, which as mentioned should only be a single coat. Ronseal also promise a lifespan, at least for the colour, of around 2 years, but the rain and weather protection should last even longer. The paint is a good consistency allow you to paint without fear of drips and is very low odour, making the process nice and straightforward.


  • Decent value
  • Quick drying
  • Colour options


  • Hard to remove

Cuprinol Ducksback

Cuprinol Ducksback

The Ducksback outdoor shed and fence paint from Cuprinol has its name for very good reason. A very high level of water-repellency offers an almost-unrivalled level of weatherproofing, thanks to a wax-enriched paint formula. This has also been designed with the unpredictability and harshness of British winters in mind, with sturdy frost protection on top of the waterproofing.

Cuprinol offer the Ducksback in 5 different deep, natural-looking hues to give you a good range of options to match your garden. Each variety dries to a deep and bold matt finish, which is showerproof in just an hour. While it does need up to 3 coats, with about 4 hours between each coat, the 5 years of protection promises to pay you back for your efforts in the long run. Equally important for outdoor paint is an environmental impact, which Cuprinol address by designing the paint to be safe around both plants and pets. It’s easy to apply, and with a lasting quality finish, will help your shed look fantastic.


  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Colour variety
  • 5-year guarantee
  • Environmentally sound


  • Expensive

Which Shed Paint To Go For?

You’d be surprised at just how many options are out there for shed paint, and how varied they can be. With differences in weatherproofing, colour and value, it can be a little tricky comparing one for the other to know which is the best option for your shed. Well, we’ve done the hard work for you, condensing the above products into the absolute best paint for sheds, as well as the best value selection.

Best Shed PaintCuprinol Ducksback is hands-down the best paint for your shed. An unmatched water-repelling formula will have even the heaviest of downpours beading off the surface, inherent frost protection and with 5 years of life guaranteed, it’s undoubtedly the best choice. Plus, there’s a good selection of colours too.

Best Value – The Johnstone’s Woodcare Garden Colours is the best value option on our list. You get a lot of colour choices, a nice 4-year guaranteed lifespan and ultimately a good quality paint for a pretty slim investment.

Shed Paint FAQ

How to paint a shed

Once you’ve addressed any structural issues (more pertinent for older sheds) and cleaned the surface up, chipping away any old or flaky paint, you may need to address any existing gaps or holes. These can be caulked up, but no matter how waterproof your paint is, it can’t stop water getting in physical gaps. Once the wood’s ready and primed, you can begin. Use masking tape and something simple like newspaper to cover any windows, and coat the shed evenly all the way around. You can use a brush or roller, but in some cases paint sprayers might be the better choice, especially for massive sheds.

What colour to paint my shed

The colour you paint your shed is a very personal choice. Try and pick something that reflects you and the aesthetic you’re aiming for with your garden. Lots of wildflowers? Maybe yellows, blues or even pinks will work for the shed. Want it to blend in a little more? Try and go for more traditional ‘garden’ hues with darker greens or browns – you could even try and match it to the fence if you want it really subtle.

How to paint the inside of a shed

Approach painting the interior of a shed in a similar way to the exterior, albeit with some modified steps. Firstly, empty the shed out of any clutter. Next, consider the colour you might need for the interior. If it’s mainly for storage, you can use a more neutral brown or even just wood oil, to hep damp-proof it. However, if a shed is more an extension of the house then a brighter colour might be good. Also make sure the interior is well-ventilated, and then proceed by cleaning the wood surface, priming and then painting. It’s not advisable to use a paint sprayer for shed interiors, however.

Which paint to use on a garden shed

Whatever you choose, shed paint needs to be at least slightly water resistant, as the majority of sheds are built from wood that can be prone to damp and mould with prolonged exposure to the elements. You might consider something wax enriched for bonus levels of protection, but ultimately look for how much protection a paint offers as a good yardstick for choosing shed paint.

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