Shed Preserver

Why use a shed preservative?

Buying a garden shed can be a big investment. It makes sense to spend a little time in treating the wood when putting the shed together, ensuring that all panel ends are well protected. After-all, its going to have to withstand the hottest and driest of summers and the wettest and coldest of winters for as many years as possible.


Applying a wood preservative to a garden shed helps to protect the timber against mould, algae and insect attack. In addition, many wood preservers also contain a small amount of wax which helps to protect the wood from water ingress and moisture.

Applying a quality shed preserver and a top coat of exterior wood oil will mean that your shed has the best chance of surviving for many, many years, potentially lasting decades if well maintained.

Types of shed preserver

Wood preservatives come in many guises but essentially, they all do the same job. Even those that are marketed specifically for sheds and fences are just the same as those that aren’t. Most brands produce both clear and coloured versions in either solvent-based or water-based formulation. Some types contain a small amount of wax whilst others do not.

Solvent-based vs water based shed preservers

A question often asked is are water or solvent shed preservatives best? Truth is that both types contain the same key preserving ingredients. Although solvent based wood preservers tend to have better penetration, water based preservers are more user and environmentally friendly. Both can be overcoated with an exterior wood oil or log cabin treatment to seal in the preservative and protect the shed structure from the effects of weathering.

What is the best wood preservative for sheds?

So which is the best wood preservative for sheds? This largely depends on what type of look or finish required. To keep the shed looking natural, use a clear wood preservative and overcoat with a clear exterior wood oil or decking oil for the best protection. Sheds can be easily stained or coloured by using a coloured wood preservative then overcoated with a clear wood oil of decking oil.

If looking to paint a shed with a water-based garden paint or shed paint, take care to ensure that any wood preservative used does not contain wax, silicon or oil as these will repel the paint from the surface of the shed.

Recommended Shed Preservers

Other shed treatments

Although wood preservatives are essential for protecting shed timbers from biological threats such as mould, algae and insect attack, for the best long term protection, it is recommended that sheds are first preserved then treated with a clear exterior wood oil such as Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment or a clear decking oil. Applying a wood oil over the preservative extends the effective life of the wood preservative and provides excellent weather protection. The oil also keeps the shed timbers nourished and supple, therefore helping to prevent cracking, splitting and warping over time. To maintain the finish, simply reapply a fresh coat of wood oil as and when required to maintain the sheds weather resistance and appearance.


Those of a certain age will remember when anything wood in the garden used to be treated with Creosote. The sale of Creosote is now regulated and can only be sold to farmers and for other industrial uses.

The good news is that there is a safer more environmentally version called ‘Creocote’. This oil based Creosote substitute is perfect for use on garden sheds and fences.

Shed Paints

The new look of trendy gardens, from pale blues and pinks to trendy grey and subtle green, shed paints are becoming more and more popular.

Shed Cleaners

Mould and algae can be a particular problem for garden sheds that are located in dark corners or surrounded with bushes and trees. characterised by black or green stains or the appearance of physical growth, mould and algae can degrade shed timbers if left untreated. Using a dedicated mould and algae cleaner can remove and kill the spores in the timber prior to applying a wood preservative.