Can You Paint a Steel Shed?

Jun 15, 2018 | Steel Shed

Steel sheds are built to last for decades and rarely need more than basic maintenance. However, many people ask if it’s possible to paint their old shed in order to give it new life or protect it from rust and corrosion. The answer? Of course you can paint your shed – but you should take steps to do it the right way.

Why Paint a Shed?

There are a number of reasons you might want to paint your steel shed or outbuilding. Some of the most common reasons people paint their steel buildings are:

  • Rust Protection – As steel sheds age, they can develop rust on areas exposed to frequent moisture. A coat of paint can help protect your shed against rust and prevent it from degrading over time.
  • Refreshed Appearance – Steel sheds maintain their appearance well over the years, but a coat of paint can help an older shed look fresh and new again.
  • Match Other Buildings – If you have a shed near your house or if you have multiple outbuildings, a coat of paint can help it match the rest of your property.

Steps to Painting a Steel Building

If you want to paint your shed, there are several steps to the process you’ll need to complete.

First, wash the entire shed to remove dirt, dust and debris. To wash your shed you can use either a garden hose and a gentle soap with a brush to scrub it down, or you can use a pressure washer on a gentle setting. In either case, be sure to remove as much surface dirt and debris as possible. A clean surface will allow you to paint your shed easily and ensure good adhesion.

Next, remove any loose paint, rust, and corrosion on the surface of the metal. Use a putty knife or a scraper to remove loose or flaking paint (some of it may come off if you pressure wash your shed as well). For rust and corrosion you can sandblast the shed or use sandpaper or a sander. Be careful not to sand away any undamaged metal, but also be careful to remove as much rust as possible.

If the shed has any significant dents or cracks, you can fill these with a dent repair product such as auto body filler. Once you paint, this product will be almost invisible and will help your shed look new again. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully for these products. Also, remember that fillers are not meant for structural repairs – if your shed has any cracks or rust on frame members, you should get them repaired by a contractor to ensure your shed is still solid.

Once the shed is clean and all rust and loose material is removed, you can prime the surface with a metal primer. Be sure to cover all of the bare metal surfaces with a good coat to prevent corrosion. A good coat of primer will also help your chosen paint adhere to the surface of your shed better and will help the color look even.

Finally, apply your chosen paint according to the manufacturer’s directions. Choosing the right paint for your shed or metal building can be tough – make sure you get one that is rated for outdoor applications. Acrylic and oil-based paints are good for outdoor use, but they’re a bit harder to work with and can give inexperienced painters some problems. However, you shouldn’t use latex paints on an outdoor shed, as they’re too prone to damage and chipping to last long.

There are several ways you can paint a shed, including with brush, a roller, or a paint sprayer. Brushes and rollers are slower and more labor intensive, but they also apply thick, even coats of paint. Paint sprayers are faster, but if you use one you will likely need to apply multiple coats of paint. You should also be careful of paint runs and drips that can ruin the appearance of your shed.

Of course, if your shed is too damaged or corroded, a coat of paint isn’t going to fix it. However, new steel sheds are surprisingly affordable and can last many years. Call Bargain Barns USA today at 405-872-0338 or visit our Facebook page to learn more about our steel sheds and other outdoor steel structures and get tips for installing and maintaining them.

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Call us today at (888) 607-4060. We will answer any questions you have & help you select an affordable, quality steel product.