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How to maintain your shed

Sheds are a must-have for most gardens, and they have so many uses. You can store all garden gear in them, and if they’re big enough you can even use them to keep the kids’ bikes and toys tidied away. Some people even use their shed to house their own garden bar! No matter the use for your shed, one thing’s for sure, they all need regular maintenance to keep them lasting as long as possible. In this blog we’ll give you some easy tips and tricks that’ll keep your shed looking as good as new!

  • Clare - copywriter
  •  8min read
How to maintain your shed

Treat the wood regularly

Many sheds have already been coated in a layer of wood preservative before they’re delivered to you. However, you should still take this early opportunity to treat your new shed.

This is particularly important in the winter months as the harsh, wet weather will damage exposed wood over time. Once you get your shed, give it a paint as soon as you can – especially if winter’s around the corner. Once it’s painted, try to treat it every 12 months.

How to maintain a metal shed

If you’ve got a metal shed, it’ll need treating differently to a wooden one. Here’s our top three tips to give it the best shelf life:

1. Make regular repairs

Metal can dent and rust, so repair any damages as you go to prevent any damp or unwanted pests getting inside your shed. For minor repairs, all you need to do is clean the area and remove any peeling paint or rust. Then apply a coat of clear sealant and rust neutraliser to eliminate the rust. Next, prime and re-paint the problem area with paint for outdoor metal surfaces.

2. Let it breathe

Metal sheds can get very warm, leading to moisture build-up in the summer. So, when it’s sunny out, open the shed doors to get the fresh air circulating, it’ll help prevent rust.

3. Weatherproof the roof

Most shed manufacturers will weatherproof the roof to prevent rain getting through, but like everything, a little TLC will help its shelf life. Paint liquid rubber waterproof sealant across the entire roof with a brush, roller or sprayer. Give it a couple of coats – making sure to leave each coat to dry before applying.

How to maintain a plastic shed

A plastic shed will need less maintenance than a wooden or metal shed, and the best maintenance you can give a plastic shed is keeping it clean. What’s super important with a plastic shed, like metal ones, is ventilation. So, keep the air circulating when possible to prevent a build-up of mould and damp damage.

What should I paint my shed with?

Wooden sheds can be painted, stained or varnished to your liking. They can be oiled too with wood oil that’s formulated for outdoor use. If you’re not the original owner of the shed, it’s best to find out whether your shed has had been treated with oil or paint – as a mixture of the two will work against each other and will only result in your topcoat flaking off. If you’re not sure then try and sand back the wood and then use oil or paint to protect.

If you like the look of the wood grain, and want the natural look, then go for a clear wood preserver where the grain will pop through. Alternatively, if your shed is looking a little old and you’d like to cover it up but still maintain that natural look, then go for a brown wood-like colour. There are plenty of shades to choose from.

Want to make your shed sing? Then go for any colour of your choice! Go pink to match your peonies or green to match your grass – the opportunities are endless and will help turn your shed into a great garden feature.

Painting a metal shed? Make sure you choose paint especially designed for outdoor metal surfaces. Just make sure to sand off any flaking rust first.

There’s no reason you can’t paint your plastic shed either. You just need to go for paints and primers that are made specifically for plastic or resin sheds. Give the plastic a light rub down with low grade sandpaper beforehand to help the paint take to the surface as well as possible.

Painting shed

Preparing the shed before painting

Now you’ve chosen the paint for your shed, it’s best to prepare the surface before painting.

First of all, check for any loose nails and tighten those up. If you spot any damp panels, then it’s a good idea to replace them or treat them with wood hardener before painting - if not you run risk of rot setting in. How are your windows looking? If they’re feeling loose, then apply some putty in the corners to keep the window in place. Give the hinges a good spray with lubricant too.

Don’t forget to check the roof as well. This shouldn’t need painting or treating, but if the felt has weathered a little it’s best to repair or replace it as it any leaks can lead to damp in your shed.

Top tip – if it’s been very windy, remove any debris from the shed roof.

Next, check the weather forecast and go for a sunny day with no chance of rain to give the paint plenty of time to dry – you don’t want your hard efforts being washed away! Most paint should dry within two hours, but there’s nothing worse than seeing a grey cloud of doom looming above when you’re midway through an outdoor painting task!

Finally, give your shed a quick clean down, removing any dust, cobwebs and anything that will prevent the paint from applying well and looking its best.

Add style to your shed

If you want to make a feature of your shed, then there’s nothing stopping you from bringing a bit of ‘indoor style’ to it to really make it your own. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Hang bunting from the roof edge – this is perfect for garden parties and special occasions and can be easily taken down to preserve it
  • Pretty fairy lights will add a lovely touch to your shed and really help bring it to life.
  • Hanging pots are a great idea and will add personality with pops of colour with your chosen flowers.

Keep it organised

Sheds are a great place to store items, and when those garden bits and bobs are out of sight, they’re out of mind, but there’s nothing worse than going to your shed and being greeted with mess and chaos. Here’s how you can keep it nice and tidy:

Keep it in sections

There are loads of ways that you can keep your shed looking tidy. If it’s a multi-purpose shed with lots of uses, try to keep it in sections, with DIY, toys and garden each in their own accessible space.

Go for shelving

Shelves and boxes are a must – and clear boxes will help you find things much more easily. Keep nuts and bolts in handy, easy-to-reach trays in storage cabinets.

Go for storage

Place toys in large storage trunks so nothing’s left loose on the floor.

A heavy-duty shelf is perfect for all your gardening essentials like pots and compost. Why not pick up a storage basket for all those seed packets – and don’t forget to label them up for ease.

Wall-mounted holders are perfect for your garden rake, outdoor brush and hand tools and will help give you more floor space in your shed.

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