Painting a Wooden Arbor

What You'll Need
Exterior Paint
Paint Brushes
Drop Cloth
120 Grit Sandpaper
Wood Putty
Small Putty Scraper

A wooden arbor is a garden addition that will not only add tremendous form, but also function and value. Building a wooden arbor is a satisfying project that any do-it-yourself person can do. Depending on your skill level, you can build a simple arbor to a more elaborate one. However, after the build is complete, there is another step.

You will need to paint your arbor. Painting the arbor is important to the longevity of it as it stands outside in the elements year after year. When there is no protection on the wooden arbor, the sun will dry it out, the rain will cause mildew and rot, and ice can crack it, causing it to lose its strength. A couple of coats of exterior paint will help protect the wooden arbor from any problems with the weather.

Step 1: Prepare for Painting

Before you can put brush to paint, there are some things you are going to have to do to prepare the wooden arbor. Paint is a covering, but it will also enhance. If there are any holes, cracks or other problems with the wood, the paint will not only show it, but will put it on display.

Carefully sand the arbor with an orbital sander and 120 grit paper. This is to smooth out the wood and open up the wood pores to accept the paint. When you come across any cracks or holes, fill them in with wood putty. Spread it over the damaged area and work it tightly into cracks and holes. After it has dried, use the sander to make it flush with the wood. Continue sanding it until the entire surface is smooth.

Step 2: Spread Out Drop Cloth

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they paint anything is that they neglect the drop cloth. This will help keep the area clean of any paint drops, and also keep the wooden arbor clean from any dirt that might be kicked up.

Step 3: Mix Paint

Pry off the cover of the paint can and mix it with the paint stirrers. Stir the paint for about a minute to get all the paint a uniform color and consistency. Pour the paint into a shallow rolling pan.

Step 4: Paint the Arbor

Start at the top of the wooden arbor and begin painting. Move the brush from the middle outward and keep the brush strokes even and with consistent pressure. Make sure you get enough paint on the brush to cover, but not so much that it will run and drip.

Step 5: Wipe off Drips

Use a damp cloth and wipe up any drips that run down the arbor. Continue working your way down until it's completely painted.

Step 6: Paint Second Coat

Once the first coat has dried enough to be tacky to the touch, then paint the arbor with a second coat. This should be the finish coat. However, if you find that it's still soaking into the wood, add another coat.