Garden sheds are useful things. But they’re often butt ugly especially when they’re new, the wood looks raw and your plants haven’t had a chance to soften the outlines. There are some spectacularly fancy sheds on the market but they cost a lot more than a bog standard model. So how can you pimp your shed on the cheap to create a beautiful yet practical mini-building for your garden?
- paint it – I’m a huge fan of water based eggshell paint because it seems to stick fast to any surface on the planet including glass, and it’s tremendously durable. Make sure you buy the outdoor version. Or you can use coloured wood preservative. They come in all sorts of gorgeous colours including aubergine, green, navy and deep red
- decorate the glass in the doors and windows to obscure the ugly stuff inside. I used Tulip craft paints, which come in a tube so they’re easy to draw with, and Glitz It glitter glues. I got some Glitz It on a pair of jeans once. I’ve probably washed them a hundred times since, but it hasn’t come off…
- put curtains up to hide the contents of your shed and present an attractive face. Alternatively pin plain or patterned fabric tight from the inside with drawing pins
- paper over the windows from the inside with wrapping paper, using diluted PVA to glue it on. If it wrinkles, don’t worry – it should shrink back flat as it dries. Or stick cut-out flowers on the inside of the glass. Just remember to make sure the pattern faces outwards
Here’s our shed, below. It cost under £20 to buy the materials to decorate the glass and a tenner for a tub of deep brown wood preservative. I painted a basic design on the inside of the glass with Tulip craft paints and acrylics but also used craft paints on the outside of the panes, for no other reason than I find it a challenge to keep things simple!
I did the work six years ago and since then we’ve had three very cold winters with plenty frost and of snow. Plus extremely hot summer days and masses of rain. None of the materials I used have been damaged by the weather, nor have they worn off, which is quite remarkable – what amazing stuff!
If you don’t have an arty bone in your body you could always let the kids loose on it, creating a wonderfully splashy, uninhibited design. Or choose a very simple shape and make a cardboard template, for example a basic flower or heart.
I’ve let roses and vines creep over our shed so it blends into the background. The only thing is, when the roofing material goes, which it inevitably will, it’ll be a challenge to replace it. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!