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How to Sand and Paint a Shed

Updated July 20, 2017

A shed is a small structure, usually on the property of a larger house and near the main house, used to store large items used outside such as lawnmowers, snow shovels and bicycles. Sometimes sheds are built and decorated in the same architectural style as the house so that both buildings match. But if your shed has not been maintained as diligently as your house has, its exterior may require painting and sanding to restore it back to its original state. You can get your shed looking good again by sanding and then painting its exterior.

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  1. Choose a location to start sanding, for example, the bottom corner of a wall or at a door or window. Use this point to start every stage of sanding and painting to avoid going over the same spots twice or missing any areas.

  2. Work off any old, flaking or thick layers of old paint with a random orbital sander. Use 60 grit sandpaper to remove the paint and start preparing the surface.

  3. Switch the sander to 120 grit sandpaper to erase the marks left by the first wave of sanding. Use a palm sander to get into any hard-to-reach locations where the orbital sander doesn't fit.

  4. Clean away any dust from the sanding and deep dirt in the wood using a power washer. Leave the shed to dry for 24 hours after you've washed it before moving on.

  5. Apply a thin, even coat of primer on the shed using a paint sprayer. Hold the sprayer 12 inches away from the shed and move up and down the wood by overlapping each row of primer by half.

  6. Wait for the primer to dry and apply the first thin layer of paint to the shed. Use the same pattern of overlapping each vertical row by 50 per cent.

  7. Check the colouring and coverage of the first coat of paint. You will probably have to apply at least one more layer of paint, but continue to apply thin coats until the shed is the right colour and the primer is completely covered.

  8. Tip

    You can rent power washers and paint sprayers from home improvement or painting supply stores if you don't own these tools yourself.


    Do not sand or paint any wooden surface while it wet or the weather is very damp. The wood will not take well to the treatment.

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Things You'll Need

  • Random orbital sander
  • 60 grit sandpaper
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Palm sander
  • Power washer
  • Primer
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint

About the Author

Cheryl Macman

Based in New York, Cheryl Macman has been writing health and weight loss articles since 2003. Her work has appeared in "Weight Watchers" and "Better Health" magazines. Macman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rutgers College.

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