Choosing the Best Shed Paint: A Guide to Oil-Based and Water-Based Options

a 5 litre can of barrettine wood protective treatment in summer tan

Adding a fresh coat of paint to your shed not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also provides essential protection against the elements. When it comes to shed paint, the choice between oil-based and water-based paints can be crucial. In this guide, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts of selecting the best shed paint to ensure longevity, durability, and a stunning finish for your outdoor structure.

Oil-Based Shed Paint:


  1. Durability: Oil-based paints are known for their robust and durable finish, providing excellent protection against harsh weather conditions, including rain, sun, and snow.
  2. Smooth Finish: These paints offer a smooth and even finish, making them ideal for hiding imperfections on the shed’s surface.
  3. High Gloss Options: If you prefer a glossy appearance, oil-based paints often offer a higher gloss level than water-based alternatives.


  1. Strong Odor: Oil-based paints tend to have a stronger odor during application and curing. Ensure proper ventilation when using these paints.
  2. Longer Drying Time: Oil-based paints generally take longer to dry than water-based options. Be prepared for a more extended waiting period before applying a second coat or moving items back into the shed.

Water-Based Shed Paint:


  1. Low Odor: Water-based paints have a milder odor compared to oil-based alternatives, making them a more user-friendly option.
  2. Quick Drying Time: Water-based paints typically dry faster, allowing for quicker application of multiple coats and a faster overall project completion.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: These paints are considered more environmentally friendly as they have lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).


  1. Less Durability: While water-based paints have improved in durability, they may not provide the same level of protection against harsh weather as oil-based paints.
  2. Thinner Consistency: Water-based paints can be thinner in consistency, potentially requiring more coats for complete coverage.

Do’s and Don’ts:


  1. Prepare the Surface: Properly clean and prepare the shed surface by removing any dirt, mildew, or loose paint before applying a new coat.
  2. Choose Quality Paint: Invest in high-quality shed paint to ensure better durability and longevity.
  3. Consider Primer: Use a suitable primer before applying the paint to improve adhesion and longevity.


  1. Ignore Weather Conditions: Avoid painting in extreme temperatures or high humidity, as this can affect the paint’s drying and curing process.
  2. Skip Surface Preparation: Skipping proper surface preparation can lead to peeling and reduced paint longevity.
  3. Forget Protective Gear: Whether using oil-based or water-based paint, always use appropriate protective gear, including gloves and a mask, to ensure your safety.


Selecting the best shed paint involves considering factors such as durability, drying time, and environmental impact. Whether you opt for oil-based or water-based paint, following the do’s and don’ts ensures a successful and long-lasting shed painting project. Prioritize quality products and proper surface preparation to enjoy a beautifully painted shed for years to come.

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