Pergolas Staining

Pergolas Staining

Pergolas are very popular outdoor wood structures that add character and beauty to any landscape. To keep the structure looking beautiful, proper finishes should be applied. To do the project it will take some planning ahead. Do it right the first time to enjoy your outdoor structure for years to come. Here are some tips to get the project done correctly.

Tools & Materials

Like any project, you will need the right tools and supplies to do the job right the first time. Because the sooner you finish the sooner you can get on with well, anything you want.

Drop Cloth

Screw driver


Replacement boards


Safety glasses

Pressure Washer



Touch-up brush

Extension cord


Preparing and cleaning the surface is one of the most important parts of the staining process. Follow these simple steps to ensure your job looks great and lasts for years to come.

Step 1 - Surface Prep

Beginning any staining or painting project it is important to have a good prepared surface. Proper preparations make the biggest difference in finish and durability. For staining a pergola, make sure the surface is free of dirt, dust, mildew, mold, etc. Also check for dark yellow or gray wood, which are signs of UV damage.

Step 2 - Repair

Check over the boards that are damaged and may need to be replaced or repaired. If necessary, make any fixes.

Step 3 - Prep Work Area

Remove all the furniture, flowers pots, barbecue grill, tables etc. that are near the pergola so working area is clear. Close all windows and doors on that side of house. Are there plants or vines growing on the pergola? Consider the best time of year to work on the project, as not to damage the plants.

Step 4 - Pressure Wash

Pressure wash the surface of the pergola and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Examine all the wood and make sure it is clean. Hand sand areas that need additional attention.


Now that you've completed the prep work, you're ready to begin staining.

Step 1 - Choose Stain

Choose a quality stain. Determine how much you will need for the project and what color will look the best. Understand if you want an oil or water-based product. They provide equal protection, but will have different clean-up procedures to consider, along with the price of the products. In general water-based products will go on thinner and may need additional coats to get the same protection as oil-based products.

Step 2 - Protect Surfaces

Cover all areas of the house and make sure no stain will get on the siding or on the deck/patio. Using a spray shield or piece of cardboard will block any stain from getting to unwanted areas. Selecting a Wagner Control Spray will provide superior control and low overspray and deliver quality results.

Step 3 - Spraying

Start spraying on cardboard or scrap wood to get a feel for the sprayer and flow settings. Once you are comfortable, work in a consistent pattern and cover the surface. Clean up the sprayer and properly store any remaining material.

Step 4 - Maintenance

Maintenance saves you time and money, in the long run. Check your outdoor structure twice a year – in the spring and fall – for wear and fading of the stain/finish and maintain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most quality outdoor stains will require a maintenance coat every 2-4 years. Performing easy routine maintenance where it’s needed, when it’s needed will extend the life of your structure and keep you from doing more work than is necessary.

Product Options for this Project

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