August 20, 2018

Refurbishing An Old Shed: A Guide For Metal, Plastic, and Wooden Sheds

Refurbishing An Old Shed: A Guide For Metal, Plastic, and Wooden Sheds

Looking for tips on refurbishing an old shed? If sheds are not properly maintained over the years, they can sustain a lot of damage. However, that doesn’t mean your old shed is a lost cause! Whether you have a metal, plastic, or wooden shed, this article will provide tips for refurbishing and fixing common problems for each shed type. If you have decided that your old shed is beyond repair, contact the experts at Dutch Country Sheds to learn more about buying your perfect brand new shed!


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Refurbishing An Old Shed

Metal, plastic, and wooden sheds are very different and require different methods for refurbishing. However, the following two steps will be necessary no matter what type of shed you own!

Steps for refurbishing any kind of shed:

Step 1: Remove Items From Shed

You’ll want to remove all the items you currently store in your shed before you begin any repairs. Put your items in a safe place, as your refurbishing project may take longer than anticipated. This is also the perfect opportunity to organize your belongings and purge any old, unneeded items.

Step 2: Inspect Your Shed

You may have already noticed a few missing shingles, that one rotting corner, or the rust stain on the side. However, there may be other less obvious problems you did not see.

Now that your items are out of your shed, you’ll be able to get a much better look at your shed as a whole. Inspecting your shed ahead of time will help you better prepare for your project and reduce the number of surprises you face!

Guide For Refurbishing Wooden Sheds

Refurbishing a wooden shed

A properly maintained high-quality wooden shed can literally last a lifetime. However, when left alone for long periods of time, your wooden shed may begin to rot, become home to termites or other pests, or show signs of weather. Once you complete the generic steps 1 and 2 listed above, see below for information on restoring your old wooden shed back to its beautiful, original shape!

1. Clean Your Shed

A simple clean will make a world of difference for your shed. You may not realize it, but lots of dirt, grime, and debris can build up inside your shed if you do not regularly clean inside. Old leaves, cobwebs, dead grass and plants can all pile up in corners or cracks in your floorboards. Give your shed a thorough cleaning, both inside and out.

It’s a good idea to sweep out all debris and then power wash anything leftover. Wash your windows, clean hinges and door handles, and wipe down your shelves and walls. You may want to take some time to wash your shed by hand, which may take a while, but will ensure a thorough clean. You can check out this guide from to read about cleaning & maintaining your shed in more detail.

2. Fill in Cracks & Protect the Wood

Have you noticed any cracks in the walls or floors? Your wooden shed can develop cracks over time. These cracks will generally start out small and are not a big deal unless left untreated. Fill in minor cracks with epoxy and wood dust, and you should be good to go! Keep in mind that larger or more serious cracks will not be permanently fixed with this solution. You may need to call in someone to make the repairs for you; or it may be time to consider purchasing a new shed. You can check out this great video on using epoxy to fix defects and cracks in wood below:

Once any small cracks are filled and sealed, you will want to prevent any further cracks from occurring. You can do this by protecting the wood with waterproof coating. If you notice a section of your shed’s wood has rotted beyond repair, you will need to entirely replace that section. Click here to learn how to replace rotting wood on your shed.

3. Fix Your Shed’s Floor

A shed’s floor can make all the difference. A rotting or damaged shed floor can make it difficult to use or even become a tripping hazard. Depending on how serious the floor’s damage is, some homeowners choose to completely replace the floor instead of just repairing it. The good news is that when it comes to wooden sheds, you have lots of options. Click here to view this extensive guide on repairing shed floors from Zac’s Garden.

4. Repaint & Re-shingle


Repainting can bring an old dreary shed completely back to life! Once you’ve cleaned your shed and made necessary repairs to the structure, you may want to consider repainting as well as re-shingling.

Re-Shingling Your Wooden Shed

Re-shingling will be a necessary step if you find yourself with missing or damaged shingles. However, you can choose to re-shingle even if they are still in okay shape. New shingles can bring a new look to your shed. That may be just what you need if you are tired of its old look! Not sure how to re-shingle your shed? Click here to learn more!

Repainting Your Wooden Shed

When it comes to painting, you will be faced with many options and colors to choose from. Painting may seem like an easy task, but it does require a bit of know-how to ensure the color lasts and to prevent peeling.

You will need to buy the right kind of paint, such as exterior paint. You can ask an expert from your local hardware store which brand would be right for your shed. You will also want to ensure you use the right technique to ensure your shed comes out looking better than ever! If you need some help with your painting technique, check out this guide now!

5. Enjoy Your Shed!

Let your paint dry and your new floor settle, and then your ‘new’ old shed is ready to go! Remember that is a great time to organize your shed, add new additions like shelves or hooks, and get rid of old items you just don’t need anymore. During the process, you may also discover that your shed’s damage is much more extensive. If that’s the case, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. The time and money it will take to repair a significantly damaged wooden shed may not be worth it.

Guide For Refurbishing Plastic Sheds

refurbishing a plastic shed

One of the reasons why plastic sheds are so popular is because they require such little maintenance. They do not have as long a lifespan as a wooden shed, so if your plastic shed is falling apart, it’s time to buy a new one. However, there are still some things you can do to fix up an older plastic shed that just needs some love.

1. Clean Your Shed

Just like with any other type of shed, your first step will be to simply clean it once it is empty. Cleaning a plastic shed is the easiest out of the three shed types. You will likely only need some soap and water as well as a good sponge or cloth. If you run into difficult dirt or grime, you can use a bristle brush to get those tough spots off. Overall, the cleaning process should not be too difficult as plastic is generally easy to clean.

You should focus on your shed’s walls, floors, and even the roof! Plastic shed roofs are often forgotten as they do not have shingles. However, they require attention too! You will likely need a ladder to properly reach and clean. You can also use a hose to help you spray down the walls and distribute water. Sweeping the floors and dusting or wiping down the shelves will also help improve your shed’s appearance. Click here to learn more about cleaning and maintaining your plastic shed.

2. Fix Cracks


Just like wooden sheds, a plastic shed can crack. You can fix a small crack by using a new piece of plastic (either from the shed itself or by purchasing the same type of plastic from a hardware store) and welding it onto the damaged area.

As this method does require high temperatures, you will need to take all safety precautions before attempting it. You may also want to hire an experienced professional to do it for you. To learn more about fixing a crack in a plastic shed, check out this guide.

Plastic Shed Image from WhatShed?

3. Paint Your Shed

Yes, you can paint a plastic shed! Though plastic sheds do not require regular painting, you absolutely can paint them if you want to help bring your old shed back to life! If you go to your local hardware or paint store, you can ask an expert what paint they carry specifically made for plastic. From there, you will likely have many options to choose from! Click here to check out this guide for painting a vinyl shed!

Guide For Refurbishing Metal Sheds

refurbishing a metal shed

Metal sheds are usually the least expensive type of shed, and can be a bit more difficult to work with. However, if you have an old metal shed, don’t fret. There are many things you can do to fix it up and help it last longer.

1. Clean Your Shed

Yes, like every other type of shed, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean your shed! Now that your metal shed is empty, it’s easy to sweep and even wash the floors. Check to see if any liquids have spilled in corners or against the wall. You’ll want to wipe up and contain any spills as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew growth. You can wash the outside of your shed with water and detergent to help get rid of stains and dirt that have built up over time. It’s a good idea to use your hose with a strong spray to ensure dirt and debris come off easily. To learn more about cleaning and preparing your shed for refurbishing, click here.

2. Fix Rust Spots & Paint

It’s best to regularly maintain rust spots before they get out of control and cause further damage. When you notice small rust spots on your shed, the first step is to clean the area (which should be partially done already from step 1!) While cleaning, work on removing the rust and damaged paint until the spot is bare. After that, you will need to buy some clear sealant as well as rust neutralizer. Apply both of these products to the spot(s). Depending on the damage, you can choose to apply two coats instead of one. Check out the awesome transformation video below to see how much a simple coat of paint can completely transform an old rusty metal shed.


Once the spots are dry, you’ll want to repaint your shed. You can choose to just repaint the small areas, or, if your shed is in pretty bad shape, you can use this as an opportunity to repaint the entire thing! Painting a metal shed is simple as long as you use the right materials. Once again, if you aren’t sure what type of paint to use, make sure you ask an expert at your local hardware or paint store. Click here to learn more about metal shed painting.

3. Add Ventilation

One of the main reasons why metal sheds tend to form rust so quickly is because they generally have poor ventilation. Lack of ventilation leads to poor air circulation, which can lead to a build-up of condensation. That condensation can quickly turn to rust! Metal sheds often do not have windows, so you will need to add your own source of ventilation in order to keep your metal shed lasting longer. Not sure how to ventilate your shed? Check out this guide on ventilating any kind of shed now!

4. Fix Sliding Doors


Metal sheds, unlike plastic and wooden sheds, often have sliding doors instead of pull-out doors. Sliding doors are convenient, especially when you have limited space in your yard! However, they can become damaged, break, or even completely fall out of place!

Sliding doors work by gliding along the top and bottom of the doorway using small plastic parts that keep it in place. If your shed is old, it’s likely that these plastic pieces are beginning to break or have already. If that’s the case, you will want to replace the doors.

You can always replace the plastic parts or the track that your shed doors sit in if you do not want to replace the entire door. This can be done by purchasing replacement parts. You can check out this great guide for replacing sliding door glides on a metal shed here!

If you want to completely replace the doors, you may have to call in the experts. Or, you can go to your local hardware store and find all the parts (including the new doors) yourself or by asking for guidance.

Image of sliding shed doors from

Refurbishing an Old Shed Vs Buying Brand New

Many homeowners get stuck at this question – should we fix up or old shed or just buy a brand new one? The choice is completely up to you. Fixing up an older shed can be a fun project, especially if you are attached to your old shed! You can even turn it into a family activity, getting everyone involved in reorganizing and painting it together.

Refurbishing an old shed is generally the more cost-effective choice if it only requires maintenance and small repairs. However, if your old shed is completely falling apart, it may be better to buy a new shed. Though it may cost a bit more upfront, fixing a severely damaged shed can still cost quite a lot – and it won’t last nearly as long. Here are some more benefits of buying brand new:

  • Less work – Buying a brand new shed is significantly less work than fixing up an old one. It also does not require any additional kn0w-how when it comes to construction or tools and materials.
  • Peace of mind – It can definitely feel frustrating when things don’t go your way. Fixing an old shed is not a guarantee it will work exactly how you planned. However, when you buy a new shed, you will get the peace of mind that your shed is everything you hope it would be.
  • Added safety – Older sheds can eventually become a safety hazard. Jagged rusty edges, uneven floorboards, cracked windows and more can become a safety concern for you and your family.
  • Custom options – When you buy a new shed, you can choose to completely customize it any way you want! Your old shed may not suit your current needs. Or, it may have already existed on your property from previous owners – customized perfectly for them, but not so much for you.

Interested In A Brand New Shed Instead?

If your old shed is beyond repair, you need a new shed, or have any questions about finding the right building for you, contact Dutch Country Sheds now to learn more! A storage shed can be the solution you’ve been looking for.

We even have a Rent-To-Own option to make it easy for you to own your very own shed today! Dutch Country Sheds is committed to both affordability and high-quality structures.

We take the time to listen to our customers and help them choose the best design for their particular needs and budget. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

We are so confident in the high quality of our product that we offer a 5-year blanket warranty.

Our 5-year blanket warranty covers any defect in workmanship, lumber, and products, including the function of the product. Dutch Country Sheds are made to last – we guarantee it with our 5-year warranty!

“I appreciate being treated as if I were your only customer,
allowing as much time as needed to reach a decision.”

– Russell J. Murrary, a Classic Buildings Customer – More Testimonials Here!



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