As the warmer weather approaches and the outdoor painting season rapidly draws closer, the Promain technical team would like to share their knowledge and expertise regarding the painting of your shed, garden buildings and fences.
Painting your shed, garage, summer house or any wooden building is a quick way to refresh and revive the structure, adding years to the lifetime of the building. A new coat of paint can transform a drab or weathered garden building or fence. On top of this, it can provide further protection for the timber, sheltering it from the elements and the sun’s harmful UV rays (which can lead to greying and decay).
Protection and Decoration Combined
Promain lead the way when it comes to the vast range of high performance shed and fence paints and stains we offer. We stock the popular Bedec Barn Paint (a water based shed and fence coloured paint) and high performance penetrating wood oils from Owatrol (such as Textrol).
Textrol is a shed and fence oil which will give a natural untreated finish. Coloured fence and shed stains, such as the highly regarded, BBA Approved Solignum Architectural is a go to for architects (and in our opinion one of the best fence stains on the market today), available in a range of stock colours or made to order in most RAL colours.
We frequently receive inquires in the spring and summer months regarding the painting or staining of sheds and fences. With that said, we have taken the time to answer these frequently asked questions below:
How to paint or stain your fence
Generally most finishes, stains or paints are applied in a traditional manor, either via brush, roller or spray equipment, however the surface preparation and application can vary for different types of product.
Further into this article, you can find details regarding the various surface preparations and the application of various paints, stains and oils.
When is the best time to paint a fence or shed?
The best time to paint a fence or shed is in the spring or summer. Ideal conditions are temperatures above 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, relative humidity of less than 80% with no rain or fog forecast. Be careful not to paint in direct sunlight or when the sun has been on the surface. It can become hot and the paint will dry before it has had time to soak into the wood.
We want the paint to soak into the wood and would advise to thin the paint with water for water based paint. Use the correct thinner for your stain or paint when applying to bare timber. When paints or stains dry slowly it allows them to bind around the fibres creating a strong bond between the wood and the paint reducing the likelihood of flaking or blistering. Please check the manufacturer recommendation for your chosen fence paint, stain or coating before painting.
When coating new Tanalised / pressure treated garden timber with Bedec Barn Paint or Bedec Multi Surface Paint, we’d recommend the timber is sanded to create a key. Some Tanalised timber from a few Eastern European countries appear to react with their products.
Just to be clear, Tanalisation / pressure treatment are one of the same. It is an identical process and is carried out normally on pine and other softwoods for outside use as a rot protection. The main ingredient is copper with traces of other chemicals added. Copper offers excellent protection against rot and insects. The other chemicals (Biocides) protect against other forms of rot that the copper cannot protect against such as ‘brown rot fungi’. These substances are relatively harmless and can be used around animals and children, though fish may be sensitive to it. A good alternative to treat Tanalised timber is Sika 5 Star wood preservative.
With impregnated fence panels and other treated wood products, it can appear that salts form on the surface of wood. This is in fact resins in the timber that react and produce a translucent yellow/green colour. These stains will fade and eventually vanish over time.
What fence paint is best?
Promain pride themselves on only stocking high performance products. Our fence and shed stains, paints and oils are the best on the market. We have tested all the products we sell to evaluate durability and performance. Further down the page you will find the best fence paints and treatments available on the market today.
How much fence paint do I need?
The amount of fence paint will vary between products. To calculate the amount required, measure the length and height you need to coat and work out the area to be painted in square metres. You will need to determine if you are going to apply a thinned coat (required on new timber, refer to the manufactures data sheets) and how many further coats you will require. Then refer to the chosen product coverage rate to estimate the quantity needed. Alternatively make a quick call to technical team who will happy to work out the quantities required, as well as provide technical advice on the best way to apply the paint or finish.
Where to buy fence paint?
Promain are happy to offer advice on the different products available, as well application techniques when you purchase shed or fence treatments and paints.
Before you start a shed, fence or garden painting project, it is important the below factors are considered.
What is the condition of the timber shed?
Is the timber in sound condition or do you need to undertake any repairs or filling before painting? Is there any mould or fungi on the surface? If so, this will need to be removed and treated with a fungicidal wash such as GS36 before the application of any type of coating or paint. Additionally, you could also look to add some Owatrol VC175 Tropical Strength Mould Killer to the paint or stain topcoat to prevent the return of mould or algae. If you use a pressure washer to clean the timber, allow it to dry before applying any paint or stain. We would usually recommend leaving the timber to dry overnight when applying a solvent based product.
Has there already been a fence or shed paint or stain applied?
If there has been a coating applied, is it in good condition? If the coating is peeling or flaking it will need to be removed and abrading back to a sound surface. Additionally, if you would like to apply a penetrating oil, such as Owatrol Textrol for a natural look, any stain or paint will need to be completely stripped off the existing surface coating before applying this type of finish.
What type of finish/look would you like?
Is it a gloss or satin painted finish or natural oiled timber look you require? Or are you looking for a translucent finish that allows the grain to show through? In any case, Promain offer a vast range of shed and fence paints, stains and oils in a large range of colours that can achieve most types of finishes.
Once the above factors have been considered and finish or paint has been chosen, you could then look to purchase the desired coating in the quantities required. Below you will find details of how to prepare the surfaces and how to apply a few of our most common shed, fence and garden building products.
Bedec Barn Paint
Bedec Barn Paint is a water based acrylic paint formulated for painting exterior cladding, fencing and garden sheds, to name a few. It is available in large choice of colours, in semi-gloss, matt and satin finishes. Wood colours are supplied as a semi-transparent wood stain. Barn Paint offers a good coverage rate of up to 13-15m2 per litre (on smooth planed timber, less on rough saw timber) and dries to a high quality, water resistant finish.
If applying directly on top of an existing paint finish or coating we first need to ensure that the surface is clean of any dirt or vegetation and any lose or flaking paint is removed. Then the surface will need to be abraded to produce a key for the paint to adhere to. The final step in surface preparation would be to thoroughly clean and degrease the surface to remove any dust before application of the first coat.
Before we rush ahead and apply the first coat it is advisable to check the weather first. The ideal conditions for applying Bedec Barn Paint are temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius, relative humidity below 80%, with no rain or fog forecast. Check that the temperature is not going to drop below 5 degrees over night. Having confirmed we have the weather window, we can begin to apply the coating.
Using either a brush or roller, apply the first coat. Allow the first coat to cure for a minimum of 4 hours at 20 degrees Celsius before applying the second coat. Barn paint generally only requires 2 coats on pre-painted timber.
If the surface is particularly porous you should dilute the first coat by up to 30% in volume with clean fresh water to kill the porosity. If the shed or fence is un-coated (bare timber) we would prepare the substrate in the same way, followed by the application of 2 coats of Bedec Barn Paint.
Owatrol Textrol Penetrating Oil Finish
Owatrol Textrol is a penetrating oil. It protects the fence or shed by being absorbed into the timber driving out the air and moisture. It will protect the shed or fence from the elements whilst providing the natural timber aesthetic. Owatrol Textrol has a theoretical coverage of up to 5m2 per litre, this can vary dependent on the application method, type, texture, age and porosity of the timber.
This type of finish will require a different type of surface preparation for painted and unpainted timber which I will describe in further detail below.
If the shed, fence or garden building is constructed of new or pressure treated timber, you first need to remove the mill glaze (a hard shiny film produced from milling). The easiest way of removing mill glaze is to treat the timber with Owatrol Seasonite Protection for New Wood and then allowing the timber to naturally weather for 6 months. Whilst the timber weather Seasonite provides protection from the elements for the entire 6 months.
After allowing the timber to weather we would expect to see some colour change such as greying of the timber. The best method for restoring the natural colour of the timber is to treat the surface with Owatrol Net-trol Wood Cleaner & Colour Restorer. Net-Trol will clean the surface, restore the natural colour and ensure the timber is at the correct PH level for application of Owatrol Textrol.
Net-trol is an easy to use product. Simply wet the timber surface with fresh clean water, then, using either a synthetic brush or roller, apply the Net-trol to the surface. Once the surface is coated, scrub into the timber using a stiff nylon brush. Following the first step, allow it to work for between 10-20 minutes, do not apply in direct sun light or the Net-trol will dry to quickly. If the surface begins to dry dampen with a moist application of water.
To remove the Net-Trol, rinse with clean fresh water whilst scrubbing with a stiff nylon brush. Allow the timber to completely dry before application of Textrol penetrating oil. Generally, in favourable conditions, this will take between 2 and 3 days.
If the shed in question has already been painted or stained, this finish will need to be removed prior to application of Textrol. The quickest and easiest way would be to use Owatrol Prepdeck Stripper Cleaner. To use Prepdeck, simply apply to the surface and allow to work for 15-30 minutes. Then using a stiff nylon brush scrub the surface whilst rinsing with lots of clean fresh water. After the Owatrol Prepdeck has been removed treat the surface with Owatrol Net-trol Wood Cleaner & Colour Restorer, as described previously.
Following the above surface preparation, allow the timber to completely dry before applying Textrol. As with most finishes and paints, Textrol will also require the correct weather condition to be successfully applied. Ideally temperatures will need to be between 5-35 degrees Celsius with no rain or fog forecast for 2 days, also avoid applying Textrol in direct sunlight or on to hot surfaces.
Before application, thoroughly shake or stir the Textrol container, then using either a brush or roller apply a coat of Textrol to the sheds surface and allow it to penetrate the timber for 15-30 minutes. After allowing the first coat, apply the second in the same way, do not allow the timber to dry out between coats however, as Textrol requires ‘wet on wet’ application. Continue to apply coats until the Textrol is no longer absorbed into the timber, remove any excess with a clean lint free cloth.
Solignum Architectural Opaque Wood Stain
The most common type of coating for garden structures such as shed and fences is a wood stain. A stain will achieve a coloured, matt finish which will allow the timbers natural grain to show through.
An excellent product for achieving this type of finish is Solignum Architectural water based wood stain. Solignum is a go to stain for architects and has approval from the BBA.
Solignum is a penetrating coating available in a large range of colours in both solvent and water based versions. It is microporous so allows any moisture trapped in the sheds timber to escape as a water vapour, it also has a high resistance to the sun’s harmful UV rays as well as containing a biocide to reduce green growth.
Solignum is extremely easy to apply, it can be applied to both new bare timber, sawn and planed, as well as previously wood stained timber. It will transform any shed, old or new, and protect it from the elements for many years to come. Solignum Architectural Water Based has theoretical coverage of up to 12 m2 per litre, which can vary dependent on the porosity of the sheds timber.
As with the previous coatings the weather conditions will need to be ideal for application. The type of conditions required are temperatures above 8 degrees Celsius, with no rainfall forecast within the first three hours of drying.
Prepare the sheds timber surface by wire brushing, ensuring any dirt or loose particles are removed. Following wire brushing you will then need to thoroughly clean the surface and allow to also completely dry before undertaking application of Solignum.
Using a brush or roller apply an even coat to the timbers surface and allow it to cure for a minimum of 2 hours at 20 degrees Celsius. Once the first coat has sufficiently cured, apply a second coat in the same way as the first. Generally, 2 coats is all that will be required when using Solignum, however it is advised a third coat is applied to any horizontal surfaces such as window sills.
Fence and shed treatments
CentreCoat GS36 Fungicidal Wash is a concentrated water-based surface biocide which destroys mould and fungi. Fungicidal treatments are often over looked by many people when preparing a shed or fence for painting or staining. Failure to properly treat the timber surface can lead to mould, moss and algae spores being trapped under the coating. This can lead to failure of adhesion and in some cases the paint film can split expelling a green slime. GS36 is extremely easy to use and very economical. A 240ml bottle of GS36 concentrate can treat up to 40 m2.
To use GS36, simply dilute with clean water at a ratio of 20:1. Once diluted, apply to the surface using either a watering can with sprinkler or back sprayer and leave to dry. Ensure the shed or fence surface is completely dry before application of paint, oil or stain.
Owatrol VC175 Tropical Strength Mould Killer
VC175 Tropical Strength Mould Killer from Owatrol kills and prevents mould and algae and provides long lasting protection. If mould or algae is an issue in your garden, it can be prevented from forming on the surface of shed or fence by using VC175.
VC175 can be added to most shed and fence paints and stains, both water and solvent based. To use, simply combine your fence stain or paint at the applicable ratio and mix thoroughly. Always try a small test sample to confirm compatibility.
SikaGard Universal 5 Star Wood Treatment
If you have a new unpainted shed, fence or weatherboarding, it would be worth considering a treatment of SikaGard Universal 5 Star Wood Treatment, it protects wood from dry rot, wet rot and wood boring insects. To use, apply by brush, spray or dipping. Apply a minimum of two coats if brushing or spraying. The second coat should be applied after the first coat has dried. Pay attention to thoroughly soaking the end grain. Where possible, for maximum protection, dip the end grains of the timber for a minimum of 3 minutes. Once Sika 5 Star is completely dry it can be over coated with shed and fence paints or stains.
Each of the above systems will transform and protect any shed, fence or wooden cladding old or new. If you have a shed or summer house you would like to transform and require any advice, please do not hesitate to contact our technical team on 01462 421 333.