DIY projects

Refresh an old metal garden shed

Do you have an old galvanised steel shed creating an eyesore in your garden? All it needs is a little TLC and refresh with Resene paint and it’ll look good as new in no time. In this Weekend DIY Fix video, qualified builder Chris Donnelly shows you how to clean, prepare, prime and paint a classic shed. 

Following these steps correctly and thoroughly will mean you’ll get the very best results possible, as well as giving your shed a fresh modern feel with an on-trend Resene paint colour. Chris chose to use Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen CoolColour in Resene Nero, a deep black with inky blue undertones, which looks great in an outdoor area as it creates an attractive contrast against the green of the grass and plants. You can go as bold or as subtle as you like in terms of hues, and using a Resene CoolColour formula is a great option if you go for a darker tone, as it helps keep the surface cooler. 

Refurbishing your old shed is a much better option than getting rid of it – you’ll save yourself time, money and hassle, and it’s an easy project that is suitable for all skill levels. 

Follow Chris’ simple step-by-step instructions to transform your old shed.

  • Sandblaster (if required) 
  • Leaf blower for removing dust (if required) 


Bust the rust

Remove the roof of your garden shed and place it somewhere you can easily work on it. Chris’ had significant rust, so he sandblasted it first. This is a highly effective and efficient method of removing rust, as it involves blasting a stream of abrasive materials under high pressure. 

If you do this, you’ll need to thoroughly remove all the dust afterwards – Chris used a leaf blower to make life easy.


Get scrubbing

Give the roof and shed a good clean with Resene Roof and Metal Wash. This is the ideal pre-treatment for painted and unpainted galvanised steel and for general cleaning of any previously painted surface. 

Put on your safety gear – gloves and goggles – and mix it in a spray bottle according to the instructions on the label. 

Spray it onto the surfaces and give it a thorough scrub with a broom, getting it into all the nooks and crannies. On any really stubborn rust stains, Chris’ top tip is to use a steel wool pad. Once you’re done, give everything a good rinse with the hose.


Prime time

Once your roof and shed are dry, it’s time to apply your primer. Chris is using Resene Galvo One galvanised steel primer, which is specially developed for direct application to new and weathered galvanised steel, and effectively welds itself to galvanised steel and stops zinc corrosion.

If you have red rust, remove as much as you can for the best finish and then spot prime with Resene Rust-Arrest before using Resene Galvo One.

Give the Resene Galvo One a good stir then decant it into a paint tray or paint pot. Doing this means that you won’t get any dust or dirt from your brush and roller into the main paint can, which can contaminate it. 

To apply the primer, Chris is using a paintbrush and a 100mm roller, which is the perfect size for this job. Once you’re done, allow the primer to dry.

Make sure you’ve placed a drop cloth under the area where you’re working on the roof piece!


Add some colour

Chris is using Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen CoolColour in Resene Nero. This is an ideal choice for exterior paintwork that needs to withstand the elements. 

Resene CoolColour formulas are different to normal paint as they are made with special pigment technology that reflects more heat and keeps the surface and your paint or stain cooler.

Stir your paint and decant it into a paint tray, then use the same sized paintbrush and roller to apply your topcoat to your shed roof and walls. Allow to dry before applying a second coat.


All done!

Once it is all dry, pop your roof back on and admire your refreshed shed.

Chris freshened up his old galvanised steel shed with a good scrub, Resene Galvo One primer and a lick of Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen CoolColour in Resene Nero.

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