Top 10 Outdoor Wood Paints & Stains

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Top 10 Outdoor Wood Paints

From fencing to cladding, outdoor wood can be a standout feature to your home, and common place in most gardens. Some woods are prized for their aesthetic appeal, but this can sometimes mean the durability of these woods is compromised, especially during the winter months.

But this problem can be easily solved with an outdoor wood paint or stain. Applying a paint or stain will allow you to use a maybe not so aesthetically pleasing type of wood and turn it in to your own custom design while disguising its potential flaws.
Outdoor wood paints and stains are specially designed to protect your wood from environmental stressors and increase they durability of the wood itself.

To shed some light on the benefits and specifications of these products, we have done some research and created a list of the top 10 wood paints and stains to give you a beautiful finish to your outdoor wood.


Johnstone’s Garden Colours

This particular wood paint has a protection guarantee of 4 years and is an ideal choice for many outdoor wood projects such as sheds, garden benches and fences.

A particularly advantageous quality of this and some other wood paints is the quite extensive colour selection. With a range of 20 colours, from muted tones to bright pops of colour, you can customise your project however you like. Whether it be an understated look with “Toasted Beige” or creating a tropical paradise with “Lime Burst” or “Paradise Petals”.

The water-based formula allows for the wood grain to still be visible over the paint to keep the natural pattern of the wood if you choose. This particular paint has a drying time of around 2 hours, providing a quick turnaround time even if you want to add a second coat for full opacity. This product is also fade resistant, making it extremely low maintenance during and after application.

The Johnstone’s Garden Colours is available in 1L and 2.5L cans to cover all projects, big and small.

Johnstone's Garden Colours

Everbuild Woodstain

Unlike wood paint, wood stain not only provides protection and extra durability, but enhances the natural beauty of the wood simultaneously.

This low solvent stain from Everbuild provides incredible resistance to water, moisture and UV, while also being resistant to structural and aesthetic damage such as cracking and peeling. This stain offers protection for up to 5 years and is touch dry in 30 minutes, with the ability to add an additional coat in 4 hours.

Due to this being a stain, the colour options are slightly more limited than the paint, but Everbuild still provide 7 true to wood colours, transforming your project to create an exterior wood structure that keeps the durable qualities of one wood, and the colour and finish of another.

The Everbuild Woodstain is available in 250ml, 750ml and 2.5L cans, preparing you for any staining and finishing project.

Everbuild Wood Stain

Cuprinol Ducks Back Fence & Shed Wood Treatment

This treatment is enriched with wax to provide a highly waterproof formula to prevent the common issues associated with water ingress. Just like the Everbuild stain, this treatment has a guarantee of 5 years, dries in 2-4 hours and is weather proof in 1 hour.

Extra advantages to this particular treatment include its understated odour and the formula being safe to use around plants and pets.

The colour options of this treatment vary from natural wood shades to slightly unique shades that still provide a rustic outdoorsy feel. It is recommended to pre treat the wood with a preserver to protect the wood from rot and decay for optimum durability. The treatment is incredibly easy to apply, the non-drip formula glides on perfectly with either a brush or roller.

The Cuprinol Ducks Back Fence & Shed Wood Treatment is available in 5L and 9L cans, the perfect sizes for larger projects.

Cuprinol Ducks Back & Shed Wood Treatment

Cuprinol Clear Decking & Furniture Wood Restorer

If you’ve been reading so far and thinking that your outdoor wood has already been weathered and damaged, this can be easily remedied with the help of this Decking & Furniture Wood Restorer from Cuprinol. This fast-acting gel restores worn down and weathered wood to its former beauty.

The process of restoring the wood is as simple as applying the gel with a brush, scrubbing if needed, leaving on for 15 minutes, then rinsing off. It is then advised to wait at least 16 hours to completely dry before applying any other treatment to your wood.

Use of this product will in turn increase the effectiveness of any oil or stain you apply to the wood after restoration. It is also important to note that this product should not come in to contact with grass or plants, as this will causing browning and death of the plant in most cases.

Furthermore, manufacturers do not recommend undertaking the process of using this product in temperatures below 5 degrees of if rain is likely during the completion of application.

Each litre of Wood Restorer covers approximately 8m². In practical terms, this should cover approximately 5 standard 6ft fence panels.

Cuprinol Clear Decking & Furniture Wood Restorer

Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint

As the name suggests, this paint from industry giant Ronseal provides 10 years of weatherproof protection guaranteed, with no need for a primer. This paint is extremely moisture resistant and can be rain proof in just one hour, with the drying time being up to 2 hours.

This makes this paint ideal for the majority of types of outdoor wood, including exterior doors and windows. However, Ronseal state that this paint is not suitable for rough sawn fences and sheds. This paint also claims to be crack resistant, for a long lasting and durable finish.

A slight downside to this particular paint is that it could need up to three coats to achieve the best finish, so could be more time consuming compared to other paints.

The paint is available in 17 colours, 2 of which (black and white) are available in either a satin or a glossy finish. Each litre of the Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint covers 12m² and is available in both 750ml and 2.5L cans.

Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint

Dulux Quick Dry Gloss Paint For Wood And Metal

One of the most well-known paint brands supplies a range of Dry Gloss Paint specifically formulated for application on wood and metal. This paint is suitable for both interior and exterior wood and is self-undercoating and wipeable, thanks to its high gloss finish. Like some of the other wood paints we have mentioned, this paint has very low odour levels, making it more enjoyable to use. The paint is available in 20 colours, from neutral tones to brighter colours.

It is advised that two coats of this product are applied to wood or metal and leave to dry for at least 6 hours, quite a bit longer than some of the other paints mentioned. However, this slight downside is evened out by the fact that a 2.5L can of this paint can cover 40m², much more than most other paints.

Delux Quick Dry Gloss Paint for Wood and Metal

Colours Timbercare Shed & Fence Stain

This shed and fence stain has a rather large advantage over most other stains, that being that a 5L can will cost you as little as £2.50! and customer reviews seem to conclude that it is worth its price and more. As well as this, just like the Ducks Back from Cuprinol, this stain is safe to use around plants and pets due to its low solvent levels, making for an easier and safer application of your stain.

The stain takes around 2 hours to dry and covers approximately 6m² with a 5L can, which is slightly lower than other paints, but for that low of a price, buying multiple cans won’t ruin the cost-effective nature of the product.

In fact, for the price of one can of the Dulux paint previously mentioned, you could buy 9 cans of this product and still have money left over and cover more m² in the process. It seems the only downside of this product is its limited colour variety, only stocking 3 colour options, but at that low of a price, it seems like something worth sacrificing.

Colour Timbercare Shed and Fence Stain

Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain

On the other end of the scale in terms of price, Sadolin provide a durable woodstain perfect for both softwood and hardwood. Sadolin state that this stain is best suited for joinery woodwork such as doors, windows and conservatories.

This stain has multiple resistant and repellent qualities, from moisture and UV protection, to resistance to peeling, blistering and flaking. This makes the stain perfect for exterior work, but it is advised that this product should not be used on decking or any area that is prone to heavy abrasion. This extra durability does come with a couple of disadvantages, including a longer drying time and its use of solvents in the product itself.

This stain is capable of covering 15m² per litre and is available in a wide range of 30 wood-based colours, giving you the ability to customise your exterior wood to your specific needs. This stain also gives you more options in terms of the size of can you are able to purchase.

It is available in 4 sizes: 500ml, 1L, 2.5L and 5L. All of these qualities and varieties come at a cost however, with a can possibly setting you back as much as £41.

Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint

Presenting itself in a different format to other paints mentioned, this paint is just as hardwearing and resistant as traditional forms of paint, but in a convenient spray can. This spray format can make for an easier and smoother way to paint small parts and detailing on woodwork.

This paint is suited to both interior and exterior use and is rust, water and UV resistant on most surfaces. Rust-Oleum also claim that the Painter’s Touch formula can over 50% more surface area than other spray paints on the market, due to their being a higher volume of paint in the can than other standard spray paints.

The paint dries in just 20 minutes and each can will cover just over 1m², making it better suited to smaller projects or finishing touches.

Each can contains 400ml of product and is available in a staggering 42 colours and 3 different finishes, glossy, satin and matte. It is also important to note that the can must be shaken thoroughly before use to avoid an uneven application.

Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Spray Paint

Tom’s Oil Eggshell Wood And Metal Paint – Little Greene

Little Greene pride themselves on being pioneers in “the socially and environmentally responsible production of high-quality paints” and their Tom’s Oil Eggshell variety is no exception.

This paint is designed to be opaque and durable just like any other wood paint, but with eco-friendly technology behind it, including being vegan and cruelty free across all of their products. Their products are made eco-friendly by virtually eliminating any traces of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) so the paint does not emit pollutants when it dries.

It is not just the paint that is being made efficiently and responsibly, their paint cans are made from 50% recycled steel and can be recycled again after use.

Toms Oil Eggshell Wood and Metal Paint

Which Outdoor Wood Paint Should You Choose?

Each paint we have discussed is high quality and will be useful for various projects.

The particular one you choose depends on the specific practical and aesthetic qualities you desire. All will provide exceptional durability and resistance, but the format in which your paint is applied and the colour variations will then favour some products over others.

All paints are available at UK stockists to ensure a speedy and simple start to your wood painting project.

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