How to paint a wooden barn
With Spring around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about painting your barn. A lot of guides can be overwhelming, so we have created this handy guide to be as concise and easy to follow as possible. Whether your barn is wooden or metal, feather edge or shiplap, we have the ideal paint for you.
Our Recommended Choice
Origin Ligna Paint is a new, tint-able barn paint set to take the UK by storm in 2022. It is the ideal decorative protection for all barn types and outdoor wooden constructions, available in a huge range of pastel and traditional colours. The paint provides an ultra-tough finish resistant to cracking, flaking and peeling as well as severe weather conditions. It is a multi-surface coating, so it is also suitable for concrete, brick, UPVC and galvanised steel. This paint is our number one choice for not just barns but all outdoor woodwork, including sheds, fences, gates, drainpipes, doors and windows. This product really is the must-have paint of 2022.
- Enormous colour range
- A true multi surface coating with high flexibility
- Prevents rot and algae build up
- Premium quality paint for a great price
Another great choice is Bedec Barn Paint
Bedec Barn Paint is again water-based acrylic coating, which is super easy to apply and offers resistance against mould and mildew. The paint can be applied to new timber, bearing in mind tanilised timber will need to be sanded prior to application. Bedec Barn Paint will even go over existing paint, stains, plastic, concrete and Creosote.
- Available in 4 finishes
- Super flexible – reduces risk of cracking and flaking through all seasons
- Apply with brush, roller or spray
- Supplied in 2.5l, 5l or 20l tins for ultra-versatility and ease of application
Which finish should I go for?
Black Satin is generally the recommended choice of finish for Barn Paint due to its increased longevity when compared to Matt Barn Paint. This is due to it shedding water more effectively. Semi-gloss will last the longest however as the super smooth surfaces will allow water to bead off, therefore reducing the chance that water may damage the wood.
Aesthetically if you are wanting to replicate the finish of Creosote, the Matt Barn Paint is the best option for you. Bedec is a slightly dearer but premium choice of finish, but you definitely get what you pay for!
With Origin’s extensive range of 144 colour choices, you will be sure to find a colour that suits. From classic whites and blacks for a timeless choice to muted pastel colours for a contemporary look, there is a colour for every style. Bedec’s colour range is much more limited, however the paint can be tinted to bespoke colours from ranges such as RAL and British Standard.
How long will the finish last?
If the paint is applied correctly, the finish will not need maintaining for years to come. We always recommend at least 2 coats of Barn Paint is applied for maximum performance and protection.
What are the advantages of a paint over a stain/oil?
- Paint provides a thicker longer lasting protective coating than a stain or oil will
- Paint will last longer without need for maintenance
- Barn paint is flexible and flexes with the substrate
- Barn paint prevents moisture ingress and fungus in the timber
- Bigger choice of colour possibilities
The painting process
Before commencing any painting works, it is of vital importance you check the barn is foundationally sound. Any structural repairs must be undertaken prior to painting. You must also check when the barn was last painted in case lead paint was used. Lead Paint was banned in 1978, meaning any barns painted prior are likely to have used Lead Paint, in which case you will need a professional to remove the paint and dispose of the debris safely. Lastly, check the weather is going to be dry and a minimum of 10°C.
Now you have checked the safety of the barn and are ready to paint in dry conditions, you are ready to start your prep work. If the barn is already painted in lead-free paint, we strongly recommend treating any green growth with a fungicidal wash. This will need to left for at least 24 hours. Now, the surface must be cleaned to remove any dirt, grease and airborne pollutants such as carbon deposits. (Please do not use washing up liquid to clean)
Power washing can help remove dirt and loose flaking paint. Any paint left must be sanded back to a sound edge, and any areas of bare timber should be spot primed with a diluted coat of Barn Paint.
Use a jet wash and fungicidal wash to thoroughly saturate the wood and clean the entire structure (do not rinse off the solution, leave it to fully dry instead so the solution will continue working overtime). Drying time should be a minimum of 24 hours before applying the paint.
Barn Paint can be applied by brush, roller or spray. Please ensure you do not attempt to paint at temperatures below 10°C.
Instead of purchasing a separate primer, you will dilute the first coat with 30% water to aid with absorption and adhesion. This will create a good bond, and this coat will be touch dry after about 2 hours, re-coatable after 4 hours at 20°C. Once this is dry, the second coat should be applied to provide a good weathering layer. Mostly 2 coats will suffice, however for new timber we do recommend a single diluted coat followed by 2 undiluted coats.
Painting Your Barn Doors
The barn doors can be painted in exactly the same steps as above!
How to paint a barn's roof
Now we have covered the walls and doors, it is time to paint the roof. Our recommended choice of finish is Bedec Super Flex Roof Coating – a flexible high build water-based elastomeric seamless waterproof membrane. Specially designed for roof tiles, corrugated asbestos roofing sheets, wood, felt, concrete, lead, zinc and copper. The paint is extremely easy to apply with a high degree of resistance to water damage.
For Asbestos, Asphalt, Felt, Bitumen, Concrete, Brickwork, Rendering, Slate: Prime with a first coat of Super Flex thinned with 30% clean water
For Plastics: Lightly abrade and apply directly
For Iron and Steel: Prime with an anti-corrosive metal primer (such as Bedec All Metals Primer)
For Lead, Zinc, Copper and Aluminium: Clean and apply direct
Again, please do not apply when air temperature is below 10°C.
If repair involves only small localised cracks or fractures, apply two full coats of Super Flex over the treatment previously outlined. Where the complete roof surface is to be weatherproofed, after necessary preparation as outlined, apply two full coats of Super Flex, allowing thorough drying between each coat.
In ALL cases, the Super Flex finishing coat must be brushed at right angles to eachother.
Roof surfaces: Super Flex finishing coats should be applied to a maximum of 2m2/l per coat. Apply by “laying on” rather than applying like paint.
Gutters: Normally lined with metal, asbestos or bituminous material. Failures will often occur through porosity or loss of fall. To rectify leaking gutters, thoroughly clean and apply sealer, then treat tracks, fractures and joints with tape and scrim membrane as previously specified. Apply two full coats of Super Flex, allowing thorough drying between coats. Do not apply to wet or damp surfaces, or where there is a likelihood of rain before Super Flex has dried.