DIY Guide To Painting the Shed

Sheds need to be painted roughly every five years but rely on your own eyes instead of a statistic. If you think your shed could do with a new coat of paint, go for it. You’ll be amazed at how much more vibrant your entire yard will look once the shed has been painted. On the other hand, you may then start looking at everything else in the yard with a critical eye, so you may end up with new patio furniture as a consequence of your painting rescue mission.  


  • Exterior paint 
  • Primer
  • Airless paint sprayer 
  • Brush or small roller for trim (unless you use the sprayer) 
  • Ladder 
  • Paint pail to carry up and down the ladder 
  • Pressure washer 
  • Sandpaper and block 
  • Painter’s tape and paper 
  • Safety glasses 


  1. Before you go to the store, do some measurements and figure out how many gallons of paint you will need. Usually, one gallon will paint 400 square feet but ask the professionals who are working wherever you buy your paint. They will be able to help you decide exactly how much paint you need. 
  2. Rent the equipment that you need from Northside Tool Rental. Don’t be afraid to ask for demonstrations or advice. We have been providing quality equipment to Atlanta contractors and homeowners for over six decades and are committed to getting you the right tools and equipment for the best price possible.  
  3. Thoroughly clean the outside of the shed. You could scrub and rinse by hand, or you could save time and effort and use a pressure washer. As well as saving you valuable time, a pressure washer can easily get into nooks and crevices.  
  4. Once the walls are dry, sand them using sandpaper and a block. You aren’t aiming for perfection; you are just making the surface a little rough so that the paint will have something to grip onto. If your shed is covered in old peeling paint, use a paint scraper to remove it – but again, don’t aim for perfection. 
  5. Now use the pressure washer one more time to get rid of any dust created by the sandpaper.  
  6. When the walls are dry, it’s time for that fun activity known as “painter’s prep.” Everybody knows that the fun part is the painting, but preparation is what makes everything go smoothly. Use paper and painter’s tape to cover any windows, vents, or hardware. Some people may opt to remove the shed door and hinges at this point. Other (equally worthy!) people leave the door where it is and tape over the hinges. If your shed is on full display when you host backyard barbeques, you may want to spend more time on it and avoid shortcuts. If it is way down at the back of the yard and you’re the only one who sees it close up – well, life is short. We won’t tell if you don’t.  
  7. You may want to throw down some plastic, cardboard, or a tarp on the ground so that you don’t get paint there.  
  8. If you are painting the trim a different color, you will paint it first. If there is a lot of trim, you may opt to use the airless paint sprayer to paint it, but if you have one tiny window surround and not much else, you may as well use a brush.  
  9. Once the trim is dry, you can use painter’s tape and paper to edge or cover it before painting the walls. 

If you haven’t used an airless paint sprayer before, we have posted a video explaining the procedure on YouTube and on our website. The steps are also included here: 

  • Plug in the airless paint sprayer. 
  • Make sure the prime switch is in up/down position. 
  • The suction arm should be in the paint bucket. Let it suck up paint and spit it back out into the bucket until there is a steady flow.  
  • Then flip the switch to spray. This will build up pressure in the hose. You are ready to paint.  
  • When you are finished, turn off the switch.  
  • Squeeze the lever to release all of the paint in the hose into the bucket (as you do when you are finished with your garden hose).  
  • Flip the switch back over to prime.  
  • Replace the paint bucket with a bucket of hot water. Run it until the water is clear coming out. (You may even need 2 buckets of clean water.)  
  • Flip the switch to spray and continue until it runs clear- this is removing and washing out all paint from the hose. 

 10. You will begin with a primer coat. Begin with a low spray width at first to cut in around the trim and then switch to a high spray width and paint the walls in a steady sweeping back and forth motion. Follow the direction (back and forth or up and down) of the planks. Remember to overlap your    paint rows or columns as you would when mowing the lawn. This is to avoid any semblance of striping. Everything should be covered evenly and completely.  

11. When the primer is dry, you can use the actual paint color.  

12. Now you get to take care of the second most fun part of the process (after the actual painting itself): peeling off the painter’s tape!  

Your shed is now freshly painted; you probably have an overwhelming urge to take pictures and post them on social media. Don’t fight that urge – go ahead and show off your beautiful “new” shed. You should be proud!