How to Stain Pergola


A pergola is an open-air covering for a patio or other outdoor area, with four support columns and a series of beams across the top on which plants can be trained to grow. Having a pergola in your yard adds a very Tuscan feel to the outdoors. You can train jasmine, honeysuckle or other fragrant vines to cover the pergola, so you can add a pleasant scent to your outdoor living space. Add a stain to the wood before the plants get established to assure years of care-free enjoyment.

Things You'll Need

  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Bucket of water
  • Fill in any holes or cracks with wood putty. If the pergola has been previously painted, remove all old paint with a putty knife.

  • Sand each surface of the pergola with 80-grit sandpaper. This will open up the cells of the wood to accept the stain.

  • Apply a high-quality oil-based solid or semi-solid stain with a brush or sponge. Follow manufacturer's directions for the best application.

  • Wipe off any excess stain with a dry cloth, after allowing the stain to soak into the wood for several minutes.

  • Soak all used cloths and brushes or sponges in water before you store them away or throw them out. Oil-based stains and finishes can spontaneously combust if not diffused with water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work on well-dried wood only. Don't apply the stain if there is dew on the ground, or if it's recently rained.
  • Don't apply the stain in direct sunlight. The best weather for staining is a dry, warm, overcast day.

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  • Photo Credit pergola image by titi78430 from
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