How to Paint a Metal Shed

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you have an old metal shed that needs sprucing up or you just want to match your shed to your outdoor decor, painting a metal shed can dramatically improve its appearance. Plan to do this painting project over a weekend to allow the primer and coats of paint time to dry properly. Look for outdoor paint and primer that is formulated for metal. For the best results, paint your metal shed on a cool, dry day in spring or fall.

Empty the shed, if necessary.

Mix 0.907kg. oxygen bleach with 1 gallon of hot water until the granules dissolve.

Rinse the entire metal shed using a garden hose. Scrub the shed, including the roof, with the oxygen bleach solution using a large sponge. Rinse again with water.

Scrape off any loose paint. If there is any rust on the shed, remove as much as possible with a commercial rust remover, following the manufacturer's instructions. Rinse and allow the shed to dry.

Pour metal primer into a roller pan. Coat the roller with primer and apply it to the surface of the shed, rolling the primer on in long, overlapping strokes. Use a paint brush for any areas that can't be painted with a roller. Let the metal primer dry overnight.

Wipe the surface of the primed shed with a dry microfiber cloth.

Paint the shed with metal paint using a roller and brush in the same way you applied the primer. Allow the first coat to dry for an hour, or as directed by the manufacturer, before applying a second coat. Dry and apply a third coat, if necessary.


Look for metal paints designed for marine vessels for high outdoor durability.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Sponge
  • Paint scraper
  • Rust remover
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Ladder
  • Paint roller and pan
  • Paint brushes
  • Metal primer
  • Metal paint
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About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.