Update your pergola with a fresh coat of paint to achieve maximum curb appeal.
Do you dream of transforming your outdoor space into a cozy and inviting area? Painting your pergola can be a great way of achieving that perfect touch. It’s often the most cost-effective outdoor improvement you can make. With the right approach, you can make this process a breeze. In no time you’ll have the perfect spot to entertain or just relax and unwind.
As part of our outdoor house painting project, we spent a good amount of time devoted to our attached pergola on the front of our home. With a new coat of paint this painted pergola became the focal point of our home. This was a big paint project, but spending the extra time to do it right will ensure the paint lasts a long time.
Although this painting project is time consuming, I saved much more money doing it myself instead of hiring professional painters.
I've included the video and DIY instructions below. The same process can also be applied towards a detached pergola.
The Best Tools to Paint a Pergola:
- Pressure washer or putty knife to scrape off old paint
- Sander or sand paper
- Paint and sprayer, brush
- Frog tape
- Cardboard, old sheets, painter's paper or plastic to cover unwanted paint areas
How to Paint Wooden Pergolas
The first step is to be aware of the weather. You'll want to find a length of time where your weather is dry and rain or snow won't interfere with your painting project.
The condition of your pergola can be deceiving if it is in desperate need of a new paint job. It is still a good idea to check your outdoor structures for rot or any other damage that may need to be fixed before painting the exterior.
Prepping wood for paint is an area you don't want to skimp on and will give you the best results. I found the most effective way is to use a power washer to remove all of the loose, flaking paint on the entire pergola. If you choose to power wash, let the wood dry out for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
A putty knife can also be used to scrape off excess paint if your deteriorating paint is minimal. For larger projects it is best to use the power washer to speed up the process.
The top of the pergola was the worst as the uv rays and rain are the hardest on it.
Once the wood has dried, use a sander and sand paper (in this case I used my Orbital sander and 100 grit sand paper) to sand any remaining loose paint off. Since I painted latex paint over latex paint, it wasn't necessary to remove all the paint off. Use a cloth or an air compressor to remove any lingering dust or particles.
Tape and Cover
Tape and cover anything you do not want painted. I taped around the base of my columns and then added sheets of cardboard to cover the porch. Covered anything that you don't want to get overspray on. Using drop cloths is great for this.
Prime the Pergola
Next, use a primer to seal up all of the raw wood. Using a primer on your wooden structures before painting not only seals, but it will also help create a smooth and even final coat. Allow time for the primer to dry.
Paint a DIY Pergola
Before painting, wipe down your surface to remove any dust or dirt. Because it is outside, dust and dirt particles can quickly collect in places. This helps to create a clean surface for new paint to stick to, and will allow for a smooth finish.
There are so many different colors for exterior painting. I kept things simple using Sherwin Williams Exterior Duration paint in Pure White with a satin finish. I have found this to be the best product when painting exterior wooden surfaces.
When painting with white paint, after the first coat of paint is applied it is easy for the wood to look terrible. But rest assured, after the second coat is applied your surface will look amazing. To paint a pergola you can use a small roller or a small brush, but a paint sprayer is an easy way to get the job done fast. Use longer strokes for even application.
The Graco Magnum x7 paint sprayer is a great option for adding a fresh coat of paint to a pergola. It can also make painting so much easier and faster!
I applied 3 coats of paint to get a good even coverage. Make sure to allow drying time in between multiple coats of paint.
A Beautiful Painted Pergola
Painting your wood pergola can be a rewarding endeavor and add some much needed curb appeal. It requires diligent preparation, choosing the right materials, and being aware of weather conditions. All these steps will create a beautiful, long-lasting outdoor pergola that you can enjoy for years to come, knowing that you’ve done it yourself. Now that you have a beautiful outdoor living space it is time to pull out the outdoor furniture and enjoy.
Don't want the maintenance of a wood pergola? Check out this aluminum option.
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