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

If you’ve got a plastic shed that looks a little tired or drab, painting it can revitalize its appearance. However, painting plastic can be tricky. The wrong products could lead to peeling, fading, and cracking, leaving your plastic shed looking worse than before.

Painting a plastic shed requires paint that is specifically designed for plastic. Acrylic latex paints are recommended for plastic surfaces because they bond well and provide a strong finish. Before painting plastic surfaces, it is essential to apply a plastic primer to enhance the paint’s adhesion and effectiveness.

In this article, you will learn:

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

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

1. Material Compatibility

One of the essential factors to consider when choosing paint for plastic sheds (often referred to as a Keter shed) is material compatibility. Not all paints are created equal, and some may not be suitable for use on plastic.

When selecting paint, make sure it’s designed specifically for use on plastic surfaces to ensure proper adhesion.

Avoid using oil-based paints as they can cause damage to the plastic’s surface. It’s best to use acrylic or water-based paints that are safe for plastic surfaces.

2. Color Retention

Another important factor to consider when choosing paint for a plastic shed is how long it will maintain its color.

Harsh UV rays from the sun can cause paint to fade quickly. Paints that offer UV protection are a must-have if you want your plastic shed to look good for a long time. Consider using paint that contains protective additives that help it resist chalking, cracking, and peeling.

3. Application Method

The application process is another critical factor when choosing paint for a plastic shed. Spray paints are often the easiest and most convenient option for painting plastic surfaces.

They’re easy to use, can cover large areas quickly, and can be applied in hard-to-reach places. Brush-on paints can be more time-consuming in the application but may provide better coverage. Always ensure that the paint is compatible with the application method you choose.

4. Environmental Considerations

Lastly, consider the environmental impact of the paint you choose for your plastic shed. Some paints contain harsh chemicals that can impact your garden’s soil quality, cause harm to wildlife, and contribute to air pollution.

Look for eco-friendly paints that are safe for the environment and your health. Water-based, or low-VOC (volatile organic compound), paints are safer options that produce lower harmful fumes.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic is made up of a synthetic plastic polymer and is the best option for painting plastic sheds. It is available as a brush-on and spray paint.


  • Adhesion: Adheres well to plastic surfaces.
  • Weather Resistance: It can contract and expand with the weather, making them suitable for outdoor applications like plastic sheds.
  • Forgiving: Acrylic paint is more forgiving; covering mistakes is easy.
  • Color Retention: Retains colors better than oil-based paints, especially in darker areas.
  • Durability: Adds durability to the shed, improving its lifespan.


  • Surface Preparation: Plastic is a hard and glossy surface, so it may require specific preparations for optimal paint adhesion.
  • Maintenance: Might require reapplications over time due to weathering.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is a type of paint that air dries to a hard, usually glossy finish. It is suitable for coating outdoor surfaces or areas subject to heavy wear and temperature fluctuations.


  • Durable: Provides a hard and glossy finish that can withstand harsh conditions.
  • Long-lasting: It retains its color and finish for a long time.
  • Glossy Finish: Provides a polished, high-gloss look.
  • Easy to Clean: The surface can be easily wiped due to its hard finish.


  • Requires Primer: For optimal adhesion, a primer is often necessary before applying enamel paint.
  • Longer Drying Time: Compared to other types of paint, enamel paint takes longer to dry.
  • Less Flexible: It’s less flexible than acrylic, so it can lead to cracking over time.
  • Difficult to Apply: It can be more difficult to apply evenly, especially without a sprayer.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

It’s important to choose a finish that looks great and withstands the elements. While several options are available, gloss and semi-gloss finishes are two of the most popular.

Gloss is a high-shine finish that provides a sleek and modern look to any surface. It is also incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, scuffing, and chipping.

While the reflective appearance of a plastic shed enhances its aesthetics, it can also draw unwanted attention and expose surface imperfections, making it a potential drawback.

This is where a semi-gloss paint finish comes in. It offers a compromise between the durability of gloss and the less reflective properties of matte finishes.

Semi-gloss is ideal for plastic sheds because it’s not as glossy as high-gloss paint, which minimizes the visibility of surface imperfections.

Furthermore, semi-gloss can resist dirt, moisture, and mold, making it ideal for use in environments where rain, humidity, or high temperatures are common.

Also, when it comes to cleaning, Semi-gloss is advantageous over gloss as it’s less likely to show water or soap marks after washing.

Although not as popular, a satin finish is also an option. It provides a subtle sheen that will make your plastic shed look more modern and stylish while providing adequate protection against moisture and dirt.

The Best Paint and Primer for a Plastic Shed

Best Paint

Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint is a top choice for painting plastic sheds. This spray paint is designed to bond to difficult surfaces, such as plastic, without sanding or priming.

Its best-in-class adhesion, durability, and rust protection make it an excellent choice for outdoor use. This means the paint will hold up against the elements and prevent the plastic shed from fading or cracking over time.

In addition to its functional benefits, it also offers a sleek satin white finish. With its subtle sheen, this color will add a neutral, cozy touch to any plastic shed.

The easy push big button spray tip allows for versatile application, including the ability to spray upside down, which saves time and effort during the painting process.

One of its biggest advantages is its quick-drying formula. It takes just 20 minutes or less for the paint to dry to the touch, and it does so without any runs, drips, or errors. With a 12 oz. (340ml) can of spray paint, you can easily cover up to 25 square feet (2.3m²).

Best Primer

Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer Spray has been specifically designed on plastic surfaces, making it the ideal choice for priming your plastic shed before painting.

One of its key benefits is its ability to adhere to hard-to-paint surfaces, including plastics made of polyethylene. This ensures that your paint job will stay fresh and vibrant for years, with no cracking or peeling.

Another advantage of using it is its versatility. This primer can be top-coated with any Rust-Oleum finish, giving you a wide range of options for selecting the perfect color and finish for your plastic shed.

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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