Building the greenhouse – painting it

Why paint a cedar greenhouse? In my case it was mainly for aesthetic reasons. It fits in with the style of the rest of the garden and, I believe, gives it a more substantial look akin to the great classic Victorian greenhouses.

Arguably, it will also protect the timber and extend its life – I’m planning on upwards of 50yr lifespan, so every little helps. When you start considering carefully where water collects – at the edges of the glass, on the horizontal ledges and so on, the appeal of an extra protective layer makes sense.

Before you consider painting a greenhouse, however, think long and hard – the two images above hide the enormous task involved. There are thousands of surfaces and it takes days and days of patient and careful work. And then you realise despondently you need to do the second coat!

OSMO make some of the best garden paints and stains

The paint we used is an excellent product by OSMO called Country Colour White. We have used this (and the One Coat Only range) all over our house, inside and out. What makes these paints different to ordinary gloss or eggshell, and far superior in many situations, is that they never crack, peel or blister; They don’t need an undercoat and can be overpainted at any time without rubbing down or prepping first. So they are a truly low maintenance finish. Note, however, that they have a silk-matt rather than gloss finish, although OSMO offer other equally low-maintenance ranges if you prefer a gloss look, but I have not used them.

Greenhouse Construction details:

  1. Foundations
  2. Brickwork
  3. Erecting the framework
  4. Path and plumbing
  5. Painting it
  6. Glazing the roof

4 thoughts on “Building the greenhouse – painting it”

  1. Hello Keir, I am expecting delivery of a Gabriel Ash greenhouse any day! I too have decided to paint the cedar but with linseed oil paint, using the one coat method which leave a matte finish. Have you noticed any of the cedar resin leaching through the paintwork? Great website by the way! Tim

    • Hi Tim,
      No, we have had no problems with resin. The greenhouse has been great. In fact we are just going outside to give it it’s spring clean this morning! I’m interested in your linseed oil paint, can you supply a link? The one issue with our paint system is that it needs redoing every three years, otherwise it starts to look a bit tatty. Of course, being cedar, this is purely an aesthetic concern.

      BTW I’d love to see your greenhouse once it’s finished. Perhaps you could post a pic of it here?


      • Hi Keir,
        I intend to paint the greenhouse prior to assembly, removing any metal fixtures first, however, I see you painted yours after assembly. Was that problematic?
        Regards, Tim

        • Painting after assembly was no problem, although we did so before the glass went in. One advantage is that you don’t have to prop it up or hold it while you paint. As long as your ladder is good, you can reach all exposed faces in one go. Painting before assembly could take longer, waiting for one side to dry before turning over to do the other?


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