Hot Topics: Repainting Wood Sheds Hot Topics: Repainting Wood Sheds

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What's the best way to update and refresh these wood sheds? While the owner suggests paint, the forum has a different idea.

MiamiCuse Member

I have three lean-to wood sheds with paint bubbling in various spots. The previous owner told me the sheds were put up in 2008 and that's the original latex paint. Doesn't look like it's been primed.

I used a metal scraper and removed all the loose and bubbling spots a few weeks ago. After some sun and rain, I found more loose paint. So far, I've scraped it three times and each time I scraped off the loose paint until I couldn't anymore, but a week later I noticed the edges that I previously scraped started to come loose. I thought once I get all the loose paint off I can wash off all debris and then prime then paint—but if more is becoming loose, then I can keep going forever. Here are some pictures:

A row of sheds that need paint.

A close-up of sheds that need paint.

A close-up of sheds that need paint.

Here's some questions: Should I use a pressure washer instead? Is the paint peeling because I waited too long? Should I scrape and then wash and prime within a short time period? Should I take a sander and sand the edges of the paint I scraped off? When I do prime it, what would be a good primer on a partially painted wood surface? Would Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start be a good choice?

Marq1 Member

Don't know how it was prepped originally, but you need to get all that old paint off—pressure wash, scrape, sand—looks like a big job. But when it is clean, don't use paint. Use a solid color stain, which will work much better for outdoor wood!

marksr Member

I'd scrape again and then prime and paint it or use a solid latex stain. It's common for failing paint to keep failing after scraping if it's left exposed to the elements. A fresh coat generally stops the paint from peeling further. Ideally, you'd remove all the paint first—but they are just sheds.
MiamiCuse Member

I doubt I would be able to scrape all the paint off. That's impossible. I think if I really want it all off I would just get some new plywood and reface them.

My goal was to scrape everything loose and then prime/paint. I have only been working on it some nights and weekends; I would scrape and come back a week later ready to prime, only I see more places I could scrape. I thought maybe I wasn't very thorough the first time, so I did it again and decided to wait another week. Same thing. If this is common and a new coat will prevent further peeling, that would be good to know.

Why stain instead of paint? If there is still original latex paint there plus a coat of primer, why stain? Wouldn't the stain need wood grains to achieve its purpose?

Marq1 Member

The solid stain soaks into the wood while paint tends to sit on the surface. It's great for rough textured wood.

To date, I have never had to scrape (nor do I think you could) any surface that was "painted" with solid stain.

MiamiCuse Member

OK, but only if it's bare wood, right? In this case, I have old latex paint so I have to prime it with a primer. Would the stain still make sense if the stain is going on a primer?

marksr Member

An oversimplification of solid latex stain is that it's a thin paint. While it's best for all the existing paint to be removed, it's acceptable to apply latex stain over small amounts of paint. Light colored solid stains over wood with a lot of tannin need a coat of oil-based primer first. Personally, I'd either go with primer and house paint or just stain.

MiamiCuse Member

Looking at what I have now, I'd say I will have scraped off not more than 20% of the total old paint. So, would solid stain still be a good choice in that case? If I could use a stain, I only need to do one coat so that's only 50% of the work. But I'm not sure how the stain would perform if I have this much old paint left. These shed walls are 1X8 and there is caulk between each plank as well. Some I dug out, but some I didn't.

marksr Member

With only 20% of the paint removed, a solid stain wouldn't be a great choice and it would probably take two coats to make it look decent.

To read the rest of the thread, look here: https://www.doityourself.com/forum/painting-staining-all-interior-exterior-surfaces/587928-repainting-wood-sheds.html

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