Garden Shed Color
A poorly chosen shade for a garden shed can be just as unattractive as a bizarre color choice for a house. To avoid being embarrassed when visitors look out into your back garden, you must put careful though into selecting a paint for the outside of your shed. First of all, you need a good quality exterior paint. The shade should complement, not match the colors in the garden itself. Don't try to imitate nature by painting it grass-green (nature has an annoying habit of changing color as the seasons go by). Remember that coordinating the color of the shed with that of the house or, with other objects in the garden is also a valid choice.
Preparing To Paint
Don't rush to get painting as soon as you get your purchase home from the store! The exterior surfaces of a wooden shed require quite a bit of attention before painting can even begin, particularly if the shed is old and has already been painted, perhaps even more than once.
Cleaning - don't let cleaning the surface of the shed kill your enthusiasm for the task. It has to be done, and will make your end product look so much better. Make sure you get rid of all the dust, cobwebs, wood splinters, mud, birds' droppings, etc. Mix some bleach with warm water and use it to rub away any mold that's growing there. If you paint over these things, the result won't be pretty.
Sanding - your next step is to sand away any imperfections in the existing layer of paint (if there is one). This includes blobs of paint that have hardened on the surface (if a poor job was made of the painting last time round), and loose flakes of paint. You're aiming to have a flat, even surface to work on.
Sealing - use a caulk sealant to waterproof the areas around the doors and windows, and to plug up any cracks or joins in the wood. Then wait for the sealant to dry before treating the wood and using a primer to get it ready for painting.
Treating and priming - these are your last jobs before the painting can begin. Make sure you're wearing a pair of thick gloves. A spirit-based wood treatment is best for an outdoor job like this, and it will make the paint last longer. You should spread the treatment solution over the entire area to be painted and then leave to dry before putting on an oil-based primer. Wood treatments and primers are readily available in stores stocking home decorating products.
Painting The Shed
Finally you're ready to start applying color. The surface of a garden shed, even after all that preparation, is still likely to be a little rougher than a typical interior surface. This means that you'll need a long nap roller - these work best on coarse surfaces. You'll also need a large paint bucket with a roller screen (so that you can easily distribute the paint over the entire roller, ensuring a more even application).
When painting, make strokes that follow the grain of the wood. When the first coat dries, apply another for good measure - and that's it! Job done.