Sheds and fences will have taken a battering this winter, blessed as it was with seemingly relentless high winds.

If they are still standing you may like to reward them with a coat of wood preservative or a fresh coat of paint.

The fence or shed need to be completely dry for a couple of days after painting so check the forecast. If you’re planning to use a paint sprayer then avoid a windy day!

Be prepared

As with so many projects, success lies in the preparation. It can be the tiresome part of the job but if this is done right the end result will be far superior as a consequence.

Clean the wood of dirt with a stiff brush and dip the brush in a household cleaner to scrub off any algae.

Take a good look at the wood’s condition as it dries. If you need to, make repairs or replace sections now. Do any rough sections or areas with flaky paint need sanding before painting? Are they small enough to do by hand or do you need to use a power sander?

You may like to lay some protection on the floor to protect from drips. If you’re using a paint sprayer it’s wise to cover as much as you can of anything you don’t want spotted in paint, whether plant or otherwise! If there are plants on the structure you’re painting, then tie them back as best you can.

Use masking tape to cover windows and fittings with newspaper.

Get painting

There are a few different ways of painting and which you choose depends on the size of the structure you’re painting and your own personal preference - you may prefer a roller and tray, brush and paint kettle or a paint sprayer.

Always work along the grain of the wood with even strokes and keep the paint thick while not overloading the brush or roller. Watch for drips and runs and catch them quickly before they set.

If you’re using a sprayer follow the manufacturer’s instructions and move your arm horizontally in long, sweeping movements with the nozzle about 15cm from the wood. Start at the top of the structure and work along its width. Each time you start the next strip, overlap it by half of the upper one.

Make sure the paint or preservative has totally dried before you consider whether a second coat is needed. If you’re in any doubt, do it, so that you can be 100% happy.

Once it has dried remove the protective coverings, clean up your painting kit and take a step back to admire the fence or shed with its fresh lease of life.

Safety first

Read and follow all product instructions.

Keep paint and preservatives out of reach of children.

Wear safety goggles and a mask when spraying.

Be especially careful if you are working at height.

Keep your mobile phone on you in case of an emergency.