What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for a Metal Shed?

Whether you want to use it for storage or as a workspace, a metal shed requires care and maintenance to ensure it looks great for years. Painting and priming your metal shed is a great way to add protection and give it a nice look. But what paint and primer is best?

An acrylic-based paint is the best choice when painting a metal shed. It is designed to withstand UV rays, won’t fade as quickly as other paints, and is also resistant to cracking and peeling when exposed to extreme weather conditions. An acrylic primer should also be used to ensure the paint adheres better. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider when choosing paint for a metal shed
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for a metal shed

The 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for a Metal Shed

1. Paint Type

The type of paint you choose will depend on the conditions your shed is exposed to. If your shed is exposed to harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, or high humidity, you should choose a weather-resistant paint that can withstand the elements without chipping, fading, or peeling. 

Epoxy and urethane-based paints are ideal for metal sheds because they provide excellent corrosion resistance and are long-lasting. Look for a paint designed specifically for metal surfaces and resistant to rust, corrosion, and mildew.

2. Coverage

When selecting the paint for your metal shed, consider how much coverage you need. If you need to paint a large area, you’ll need a paint that provides good coverage and is easy to apply. A paint with a high solids content will provide excellent coverage and require 

fewer coats.

3. Application

The application method of the paint is another crucial factor to keep in mind when selecting a paint type. Some paints can be brushed or rolled on, while others require spraying.

The application method can affect the cost, durability, and time needed to complete the job. Generally, spray application provides the most even and consistent finish but requires special equipment, skills, and techniques.

4. Cost

Lastly, the cost of the paint can also be a significant factor in choosing the right one. Some paints may be expensive but offer superior protection and longevity.

Others may be more affordable but not last as long or provide the best protection. Consider the long-term value and benefits of the paint, as well as the upfront cost, when making your decision.

What Type of Paint Is Best?


Acrylic paint is a water-based paint that contains acrylic polymers. It is a versatile and popular choice for painting metal sheds due to its durability, fast drying time, and easy use.


  • Resistant to weather and fading
  • Dries quickly
  • Available in a wide range of colors and finishes
  • Easy to clean up with soap and water
  • Environmentally friendly and non-toxic


  • May require multiple coats for full coverage
  • Can be difficult to achieve a glossy finish
  • Not as durable as oil-based paints
  • May crack or peel over time if not applied properly


Latex paint is a water-based paint commonly used for painting interior and exterior surfaces. It is also popular for painting metal sheds, especially in areas with varying temperature and humidity levels.


  • Quick drying time
  • Easy cleanup with soap and water
  • Low odor
  • Resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling
  • Environmentally friendly 


  • Not as durable as oil-based paints
  • May not adhere well to certain types of metals
  • Requires a primer in some cases for optimal adhesion

What Paint Finish Is Best?

While there are various finishes, gloss is the superior choice due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

A gloss finish is known for its high shine and smooth surface that reflects light, making it a popular choice for metal surfaces.

This type of finish creates a barrier resistant to moisture, rust, and corrosion. The durability of gloss paint makes it ideal for metal sheds, especially those exposed to rain, snow, or high humidity.

In addition to its protective qualities, gloss paint offers a sleek look that can enhance the visual appeal of a metal shed. This finish is available in a wide range of colors, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your style and preferences.

It’s worth noting that gloss paint is not foolproof, and proper preparation is necessary to achieve optimal results. Before painting, cleaning the metal surface thoroughly, removing any rust or debris, and applying a primer are important. This ensures that the paint adheres well and provides the desired protection.

The Best Paint and Primer for a Metal Shed

Best Paint

Behr Marquee Exterior Exceptional Dirt & Fade Resistance is ideal for painting a metal shed. This paint provides effective protection from mold and mildew on the dried paint film and offers exceptional dirt and fade resistance. 

Its tintable formula allows for a full range of color options, giving your metal shed a fresh and vibrant look. This paint can be applied in temperatures as low as 35°F (2°C), extending the painting season and allowing for a longer time window to complete your project.

It also boasts a paint and primer formula, eliminating the need for a separate primer before painting. This saves you time and ensures that the paint adheres well to the metal surface.

This paint has been MPI-approved in all sheens, meeting commercial specifications performance and environmental requirements. As a bonus, it has low VOCs, meeting the most stringent VOC regulations nationwide.

With its one-coat hide feature, Behr Marquee Exterior Exceptional Dirt & Fade Resistance saves time and labor, making it the best option for painting a metal shed.

Its exceptional durability and resistance to dirt and fading ensure that your metal shed will remain fresh and vibrant for years.

Best Primer

Behr Multi-Surface Stain-Blocking Primer & Sealer is the optimal choice for painting a metal shed. This premium primer is versatile and can perform triple duty as a stain-blocker, adhesive, and sealer, making it an excellent all-in-one solution for interior and exterior surfaces. 

Formulated with 100% styrene acrylic and low VOCs, this primer offers an environmentally friendly and safe low-odor option. The special formula is designed to resist medium to heavy stains, providing optimal coverage and protection on metal surfaces.

Additionally, it works particularly well on aluminum and old oil-based paint, making it the ideal choice for renovating older sheds.

The tintable property of this primer allows users to create a palette that uniquely suits their preferences, with the flexibility to achieve a color change that’s perfect for their metal shed. The primer dries with a non-reflective sheen, which helps to minimize the appearance of minor surface imperfections.

Coverage is never a concern, as this primer gives excellent coverage of 250-400 square feet per gallon (6-10m² per liter), ensuring you’ll get the job done right, no matter how big the shed. Behr Multi-Surface Stain-Blocking Primer & Sealer adheres beautifully to uncoated and previously painted surfaces.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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