Can you paint vinyl siding? Yes. There are self-priming exterior paints made specifically for this purpose, providing excellent, long-lasting coverage. I gave my backyard shed a makeover several years ago and it still looks freshly-painted today.
For more ideas also see 50 Creative Garden Sheds From Home Gardens.
Garden Shed Makeover
When we bought our current house, I was so happy to finally have a garden shed. After years of gardening without one, I would finally have a place to stash tools and garden pots.
But wow, I can’t tell you how ugly our shed was in real life.
I don’t know if it comes through in the photo but the siding was originally a light yellow that the sun faded into a light glow-in-the-dark greenish yellow. Yuck.
So, cheers for having a shed but I could hardly stand the look of it. However, it was still in good condition so it was worth painting instead of replacing the siding.
When I finally painted it, I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I had no idea paints made for vinyl siding are so good.
The one we used applied easily, covering almost everything in one coat, and still shows no signs of wear several years later.
Tips for Painting a Vinyl Garden Shed
If you have plants growing next to your shed, you’ll need to protect them from paint splatters and accidental stomping while you’re working.
Large cardboard boxes work nicely.
Use them upside-down or placed like tents over the plants.
Before painting, the shed walls must be clean and mildew free. Don’t skimp on this step. We used diluted liquid dish soap and water and then rinsed thoroughly.
You could also use a pressure washer too, of course. We didn’t own ours yet when I did this job but it would have made this step much faster.
One way to simplify the color selection process and give everything a polished look is to make your shed match your house. Or at least have some correlation between the colors.
These are the colors I used.
- Shed and Trim: Benjamin Moore CW-715 Bone Black
- Shed Door: Glidden Jazz 30BB 10/337
4Paint the Vinyl
We used Benjamin Moore Aura – Waterborne Exterior Paint for the shed walls and aluminum trim.
This is a self-priming paint suitable for wood, hardboard, vinyl and aluminium siding, shingles, unglazed brick, concrete, stucco, cinder block, and primed metal.
It dries to touch in 1 hour. Can be re-coated after 4 hours.
My shed only needed 1 coat. Woot!
I’m sure other top brands also make a similar paint.
Because the shed is the focal point of the garden, I like to change up the decorations depending on my whims and the seasons.
This is the shed right after we painted it.
I used my outdoor plate collection to create a spiral on the wall. This shows how to make low-cost plate hangers.
This shed does not have windows so I made a faux window on the door using a mirror. There are more details here: How to Use Mirrors in the Garden.
Later that fall I had enough garden art pieces to really dress it up.
The decor items include an old metal gate, garden tools, a plate holder with doll carriage wheels, horse from a weather vane, window box, birdhouse, and the word DREAM.
As I’m updating this it is several years later and the paint still looks perfect. Great product! And cheers for not seeing the original colors any longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you paint vinyl shed? What kind of paint do you use?
Yes. I used Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Exterior Latex Paint. It’s primer and paint all in one and made specifically for surfaces like this. Other top paint brands will likely have a similar product. I was thrilled to find my shed only needed one coat for complete coverage.
How long will my vinyl siding last if I paint it?
If your siding is in good shape when you paint it, and you cleaned it first, the new coat of paint will last for years.
After nearly 10 years my shed still looks the same as the day I painted it. There is no chipping, peeling, or fading.
Is it cheaper to paint vinyl siding or replace it?
This will depend on where you live, costs of materials, and how accessible the siding is.
We painted our vinyl shed, which is approximately 12×10 feet, and it took one can of paint ($50 at that time) and about a day (two people) including washing the shed and protecting the plants.
Replacing the siding would have been far more expensive.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛