How to Paint a Summer House
June 26, 2024

A summer house is a treasure to have in a garden – a relaxing retreat in which to while away the summer days, whether you’re reading a book on a garden chair or dining with friends. So naturally, you want it to look its best. Coloured summer houses, whether neutral in hue or bold and bright, make a standout feature in a garden and showcase your creative flair, so if ‘Paint summer house’ is on your to-do list this year, then rightly so. At Robert Dyas we have plenty of paint ideas for summer houses, thanks to our experts’ advice, so read on and learn how to paint yours like a professional.

Do I Need to Paint My Summer House?

You don’t necessarily need to paint your summer house, but it does have some strong advantages: It’ll not only make it look more attractive, but it can help protect it from the elements and prevent mould or fungus from growing. Painting a summer house can also allow it to blend into your garden design and create a more beautiful and cohesive overall look.

Choosing the best paint for a summer house involves some thought about the internal and external makeup of the structure. Paint for a summer house exterior should be water-based so that the timber can breathe. This way, moisture and air will be able to get into the pores of the wood but also get out again,  reducing the likelihood of rot setting in. 

If you’re painting inside a summer house, water-based wood paint is again a perfectly good option, especially if the building is single-skinned – i.e. a bare timber structure that isn’t lined or insulated. If it‘s lined and insulated then any regular home emulsion paint will work.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Summer House

Using a Wood Stain

If you don’t like the idea of painting your summer house, you can opt to stain the timber. Wood stain creates a softer, more natural look as it simply enhances the colour and natural grain of the wood rather than covering it. For more expert advice on staining a garden building, read our guide on how to treat a shed.

How to Paint a Summer House: Step-by-Step

To make sure you do the job well, be prepared with the right tools for the job. You’ll need: 

Make Repairs & Clean Your Summer House (If Necessary)

If you’re refreshing your old summer house it’s important to make essential repairs and clean it first. Painting over any dirt will affect the overall look of the summer house when the paint or stain is dried, so make sure to give it a thorough clean for the smoothest finish. 

Use a thick bristled brush to wipe away any grime first of all, and then grab a bucket and clean the building with a mild solution of soapy water and a sponge. Use a hose to spray away any remaining soap or debris.

If your summer house is brand new then you can skip this step!

Step 1) Cover Windows with Newspaper & Masking Tape

Cover the windows and glass doors of the summer house with newspaper and masking tape to prevent them from being accidentally painted, or splattered with paint, during the process.

Step 2) Apply a Primer 

Using a primer isn’t a crucial step but it can add an extra layer of protection for your summer house, making it better able to withstand the elements. It’s also a good step to take if you plan on painting your garden building a lighter shade than it currently is, as it will help to block out the original darker colour so that you get a truer shade of your chosen paint.

Step 3) Start Painting Your Summer House

The next step is to start painting! Start with the corners and trimmings and work your way in, using the brush or roller to apply a thick, even layer of paint. It’s also a good idea to work your way down from the top in case of any paint drips splashing down onto the work you’ve already done. Apply vertical strokes to the vertical areas to work with the grain of the wood and achieve a smoother finish. 

Try to complete the whole wall before taking a break to prevent any tide marks.

Step 4) Leave it to Dry 

Let the first coat dry and then start with the second coat. Most paints will require a second coat for full coverage and colour but not all do, so check the instructions on your paint. 

Leave your summer house to dry thoroughly before taking the masking tape off the windows. Once dry, you can add to its fresh new appearance with some attractive string lights to create a cosy atmosphere in the evenings and add a touch of extra style.

Do I Have to Paint the Inside of My Summer house?

If you don’t want to paint the inside of your summer house, you don’t have to! But a lick of paint or interior wood treatment can work wonders for the overall aesthetic. If your building is single-skinned, then using the same treatment you use on the exterior, in the same way, is a good idea. However, if it’s insulated then you can paint it as you would any room of the house, with interior emulsion paint. Read our guide on how to paint a wall in six easy steps and get the job done like a pro.

The Best Colours for a Summer House

The best colour for a summer house is whatever suits your style and garden the most. Greens like sage, and grey and white are timeless colours that complement any garden design, echoing nature’s hues. Bolder colours like pink, sky blue, pastel yellow and orange, on the other hand, are perfect for creating a statement, following current trends and showing your personality. 

Whichever paint colour you choose, there’s no right or wrong.

Think about what plants you’ll have in your garden – especially right next to your summer house – and use the colour wheel for maximum impact. Do you have some beautiful yellow displays? Try blue to make both the plants and your summer house stand out. Are the flowers nearby purple? Orange would make a stunning contrast.

If you’re now raring to go and get the paint on those walls, check our exterior wood care range and DIY essentials and get the job done. You’ll soon be able to tick ‘paint summer house’ off your to-do list and turn your cabin into a thing of beauty to enjoy both inside and out.