Barn Painting Guide

Posted on Categories:Painting guide, Barn Paint, Exterior Paint, shed paint, Wood paint
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Painting a barn is a tough job, and, unsurprisingly, takes a lot of paint!

If you’re spending weeks adding a fresh coat of paint to your barn or shed, the last thing you need is to learn you’ve used the wrong paint or missed an important step in the process.

Don’t worry, Paintmaster are here to help! We’ll explain the best types of paint for the job, and how to get the best results from the first coat to the last.

A wooden barn painted dark grey with a smooth finish
Quality barn paint can fill in imperfections in a wooden surface, making it look smooth even up close

What is Barn Paint?

Barns aren’t just supersized sheds. They shouldn’t be painted with normal wood paint or varnish. Most barns are made of a mix of wood, metal, and/or plastic cladding. This means you need a multipurpose paint that works well on all these surfaces.

When you need a specialist paint, Paintmaster have everything you need. We have oil-based barn and shed paint as well as acrylic barn paint, giving you plenty of choice in colour, finish, and longevity.

Unlike most types of paint, barn paint does not need to be used alongside primer. Instead, a diluted undercoat creates a smooth surface for the following layer(s) to cling to.

Types of Barn Paint

There are two types of barn paint: acrylic and oil-based.

Acrylic barn paint gives you bolder colours but lacks the toughness of oil-based paint. With such a large painting project, you want your paint to last as long as possible.

However, if you just want to spruce up your barn, acrylic paint is a lot cheaper in large amounts, so if you’d rather choose savings over longevity, you can’t go wrong with acrylic.

A barn converted into a house, it has been recently painted dark grey
A solid, low-sheen coat of paint always looks amazing on surfaces like these

Our oil-based barn paint is naturally water-resistant, helping keep the barn dry and the finish looking great. Older barns also have much rougher surfaces. A few coats of oil-based barn paint will fill in a lot of the imperfections in wood and metal, making your barn look years younger.

Our barn paint also comes in a wide range of colours:

Acrylic Colours

  • Light Grey
  • Mid Grey
  • Dark Grey
  • Rustic Red
  • Black & White
  • Mid Green
  • Dark Green
  • Brown

Oil-Based Colours

  • Light Grey
  • Mid Grey
  • Dark Grey
  • Rustic Red
  • Post Office Red
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Mid Green
  • Dark Green
  • JCB Yellow
  • Bright Yellow
  • Light Blue
  • Mid Blue
  • Dark Blue

Like most of our paint, Paintmaster’s barn paint is also available as part of our colour system. Enter any RAL or British Standard Codes and we can create the perfect colour you need.

How much Paint do you need for Barns?

Naturally, barns have a lot of surface area to cover in a fresh coat of paint. Even the biggest homeware stores won’t have enough, and the last thing you want is to buy from different suppliers. Unless you want your barn to be a mix of different shades that is.

Paintmaster’s barn paint is available in 20L and 205L barrels for those large projects, meaning you can get everything you need in a single order.

a metal barn painted dark green
There is a lot of surface area to cover, it’s important to get it right!

Some people choose wood stain instead of paint. On paper this looks a lot cheaper, but only if you ignore how long stain lasts. On average, even multiple players of wood stain will wear away in a couple of years. Layers of paint are much tougher, lasting to and beyond a decade, meaning it is much cheaper in the long run.

Also, wood stain does little to protect surfaces against water, meaning that algae and fungus can still grow. The extra thickness of paint prevents water from seeping in.

The UK’s Most Trusted Paint Supplier

Whatever paint you choose for your next barn painting project, Paintmaster has the perfect product for you. Everything we offer, from paints and primers to brushes and rollers is affordable and high-quality.

If you have any questions about our products or want to learn more about interior and exterior painting, either get in touch or check out our blog for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Do you have to prime a barn before painting?

Any wood surface should be primed before you start painting. The primer will add extra protection to the surface, create a barrier between old layers of paint and the new one, and make colours bolder.  

How do you prepare a barn for painting?

It’s important to clean your barn thoroughly before you start painting or priming. Any dirt or grime you ignore will show through even multiple layers of paint. If there is any damage or rot in the wood, you should repair or replace it before painting.

How long does it take for barn paint to dry?

On a warm, dry day, each layer of barn paint should be touch dry in 2 hours, and ready for the next coat after 4. However, drying times will vary, consult the paint tin for the manufacturer’s recommendation.  

What is the easiest way to paint a barn?

Due to the large surfaces you’re working with, a paint sprayer is best as it will cover the area quickly. However, a long-handled roller will still get the job done. Then a sturdy paintbrush will help you access the hard-to-reach areas.  

What kind of paint do you use on a barn?

The best barn paints for barns are acrylic barn paint or our oil-based barn and shed paint. These protect the wood surface against rot, damp, insects, as well as general wear and tear.