A large metal shed with two roller doors an side windows

What’s the Best Colour for a Shed?

It’s a question that’s been asked time and time again, by customers looking to buy a shed, and by the shed retailers who are helping them with their shed design. “What’s the best colour for a shed?” We take a look at the answer to the age-old question, from a few different perspectives.


The short answer is that it depends on what your priority is. From dirt visibility to sun exposure, and from heat retention to aesthetic appeal, the perfect shed colour depends on what’s most important to you.

The best colour shed for dirt visibility

Sheds and steel structures, of course, live outside in the elements, where dirt, dust and other environmental things are a factor. So if you’re house proud and care about dust and dirt showing up in your shed, this is a consideration for choosing the colour.


Darker colours can show dirt and dust more. People with black cars or dark coloured cars report similar. These colours seem to have a hard time staying clean for longer.


In general, lighter colour shades or brown-hued colours tend to show dirt and dust less. But it’s important to consider the specifics of what you’re dealing with in the area around your shed.


For example, if you live in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, or a location in Australia’s outback where the dirt is mineral-rich and therefore very red in colour, choosing a shed that is red (like COLORBOND®’s Manor Red®), brown or orange in its hue might be best. If you live in any of these areas, you already know what we mean.


If you have the standard brown dirt, and there’s a lot of dirt exposed around your shed, you will probably want to opt for a brown hue in your shed colour.


If your variety of dirt is more of a sandy variety, or you live in a very coastal area and are dealing with sand and saltwater sea spray, lighter colours of white, neutral and light tan will likely be your best bet.


If you don’t really have much exposed dirt, and dust will be your main factor, a white or lighter colour shed will be best; as dust itself is pretty light in colour.


You also might want to consider other factors, like any tree sap or debris from your garden which is likely going to cause your shed to cop a beating — and colour match accordingly to what is least likely to show up any marks.

A brown shed in a rural setting

Shed colours and sun exposure: what fades and what doesn't

Australia’s strong sun can cause some shed colours to fade faster than others. This is especially the case in the parts of Australia that get harsher sun than others.


Choosing colours that are resistant to fading is crucial for maintaining the shed’s aesthetic appeal.


It’s important to note though that this also depends on the material. COLORBOND® Steel for example is known for the longevity of their classic finish colours. Their range of colours, from white, neutral and light colours through to their greys, blues, red and black will all hold their colour well over time.


Generally speaking though, for colours in general, neutral toned colours like beige, white, cream and grey tend to be more resistant to exposure to the harsh sun and will absorb less heat, so may look vibrant for longer than their darker counterparts.

A C Section shed in a yard held up with metal beams

Heat retention: shed colours for hot and cold climates

The colour of your shed can have an impact on its interior temperature. So if you live in a hot part of Australia and spend a bit of time in the shed over summer, this is definitely something to consider. 


On the other hand, if you handle the heat pretty well and live in a colder part of Australia, you may want to pick a shed colour that helps keep things warm in winter. 


For hotter climates during summer, lighter shed colours are your best bet. Lighter colours reflect more heat, and dark colours seem to attract and absorb the heat more. Opting for a colour like Surfmist® from  COLORBOND®’s range can help keep your shed cooler in summer by reflecting sunlight


This of course means that if you want to choose a shed that is going to keep its warmth in winter months, you’ll want to pick a darker colour, like colorbond’s Night Sky®. 

A farm shed with an awning

Light reflection considerations

In the summer sun, lighter sheds can really reflect the sun into your house, even from a distance. It depends on whether the sunlight directly reflects onto any surface of your shed.


This is an important consideration if a glared reflection is likely to cause you drama.

Aesthetics: making your shed stand out (or blend in)

When it comes to choosing the best colour for a shed, aesthetic appeal can’t be overlooked. 


Most shed retailers will offer the colour range from COLORBOND® Steel. 

The  COLORBOND® palette offers a variety of colours that can complement different surroundings. 


For example, the COLORBOND® green shades of Cottage Green® or Pale Eucalypt® can blend nicely with a lush garden, while the blue-grey Deep Ocean® can add a pop of colour to a more neutral environment.


To find the best colour shed to match your aesthetic, first consider where your shed is going to be located, and what is around that area. 


If your shed is near your home, you’ll want to pick something that complements or matches your home’s colour — whether it’s your roofing, external structures or the general colour palette. The same goes for if your shed is going next to your pool area, carport, pergola, or any other structure in your backyard.


Also consider the colour of your fence, especially if your shed will be right next to your fence. Keeping in mind you can probably paint your fence, you just want to make sure that your shed either blends in with or compliments the colour of your fence. 


If you have a lush garden, a large backyard, or your shed will be located smack bang in the middle of your garden, you might want to consider a shade of green, or something that will complement the green in your grass, trees and foliage.


Generally speaking, neutral shed colours like cream, beige, white or grey often look minimalistic and blend in. Examples of these in the COLORBOND® range include their Dover White®, Surfmist®, Southerly®, Shale Grey®, Classic Cream® and Paperbark® colours.


Greens and sometimes browns (depending on the colours of your garden and the shade of brown) blend nicely with your garden, and the black, red and blue colours stand out a bit more and provide more of a statement piece. Black can also fade out a bit more when it is positioned behind other things in your background, like your garden and foliage. If your shed is black or charcoal in colour, (like the  COLORBOND® Monument®, Ironstone®, Woodland Grey® or Night Sky®), any plants or flowers you put in front of them will really stand out, with your shed as a backdrop to make them ‘pop’.


It all depends on what is around the shed though, so do be sure to consider the various colours of your home and backyard landscape. Then decide whether you’d like to contrast against these, or blend in with them.

An outdoor shed taken from an inside view on the ground

The most popular shed colour Australia

In Australia, the most popular shed colours in recent years have been greys and neutrals. The colorbond range for sheds has 22 colours in its classic finish, and 15 of those 22 could probably be best described as varying shades of grey, neutral and tan/brown. As colorbond steel is one of the most popular steel choices in Australia for sheds, it goes to show that these colours are in demand.


Greys and neutrals look minimalistic and blend in well with most surroundings. These colours are also pretty timeless, don’t hold the heat as much (for the lighter varieties anyway) as their dark colour counterparts, and don’t show up dust as much (again, more for the lighter shades of neutrals and light greys). If you’re still on the fence about what colour to choose, a neutral, light colour or light grey is probably a pretty safe bet. Darker greys can be more of a statement piece, which lighter greys tend to blend.

COLORBOND®’s range of shed colours

Most shed retailers in Australia will offer colorbond steel, which comes in the range of colorbond colours. COLORBOND® steel’s range of colours include 22 COLORBOND® steel core colours, and 6 premium Matt finish colours.


Whether you’re after a subdued colour like their neutrals and greys in Surfmist®, Paperbark®, Classic Cream®, Southerly® or Shale Grey®, or a more contrasting colour like their blue Deep Ocean®, black Night Sky®, Cottage Green® or red Manor Red®, there’s plenty to choose from.

Choosing the Right COLORBOND® Finish: Classic vs Matt

COLORBOND® offers two types of finishes for their steel: classic and premium Matt. 


The classic finish, with its low sheen aesthetic, is designed to withstand Australian conditions and is available in a wide range of colours. 


The matt finish, on the other hand, diffuses light for a textured, designer appearance. Colours like Shale Grey® and Basalt® are available in both finishes, allowing for versatility in aesthetic and functional choices.


If you’re unsure which is best for you between the two, and to see the difference between the finishes, it’s best to take a look at the colorbond colour chart and swatches, to see it first-hand. The shed retailer who is helping you with your shed order will likely have one of these on-hand.

So, what’s the best colour for a shed?

So it’s probably pretty clear by now the answer to ‘what’s the best colour for a shed’ is not a simple one. It really depends on your priorities, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. 


The choice depends on various factors like the climate, reflection, surrounding features and your personal preference. But if you write yourself a little pros and cons list and narrow it down, considering all these features, we’re sure you’ll make the best choice.


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