If you have a brand new wooden shed or your existing shed is showing signs of weathering, then its time to whip out the paint brush and put some stain on it. There are a number of excellent exterior stain colors and finishes to choose from. Not only can you provide essential protection to your wood shed, you can make a design statement as well.
Consider the type of finish you'd like to have and what is available. Solid stain is the longest lasting and hides wood grain. Semi-solid stain offers good UV blockage and hides most of the wood grain. Semi-transparent stains let the beauty of the wood grain show through but offers the required protection over bare wood.
Know your oil-based stains and their pros and cons. Oil-based stains are good for harsh conditions, penetrates wood the best and is very durable. The drawbacks are that oil-based stains take a long time to dry, are flammable, encourage mildew growth and harm the environment.
Consider the safe alternative of water-based stains. They're mildew resistant, provide longer-lasting color, produce less fumes and odor, are non-flammable and an excellent choice to cover rot-resistant type of wood. The bonus is ease of cleanup with soap and water and water-based stains are an all-around environmentally friendly choice.
Prepare the surface by removing any previous paint, stain, mildew, sand, dust and debris. Sand the surface if needed, then wash the surface using a power washer designed to clean wood surfaces.
Allow ample time for the shed to dry completely before beginning to stain the deck. It's best to power wash the deck on a hot, sunny day and the shed will dry much faster.
Apply the stain going with the grain. Use a foam brush, staining pad or nylon paint brush. Work quickly over one entire wall of the shed, covering it evenly. Be sure to finish one entire wall of the shed before taking a break to ensure flawless coverage and no over-lapping lines.
Repeat the process over the entire shed until it has been completely covered. Apply a second or third coat as necessary for optimal protection from the elements. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for best results.
Be a little creative and add a contrasting color of stain to the shed doors.