How to Paint a Trellis

What You'll Need
Outdoor wood primer
Acrylic paint or stain
Sponge brush or nylon paint brush
Acrylic sealant with UV protection
Medium grit sandpaper

A trellis is a lattice of thin slats of wood set in a diamond or square pattern. This lattice is set in a frame and is used to decorate an outdoor area and can be accented with a climbing vine or other plants. Whether stained to look like natural wood or painted a nice color to complement your house or garden, a wood trellis needs protection from the elements. Follow these steps to ensure that your garden trellis lasts many years.

Step 1 – Preparation

Whether the panels are old or new, give them a light sanding to remove any dirt and to prepare the wood for the paint. Many raw panels are rough and will be difficult to apply paint thoroughly.

Step 2 – Applying Primer

Use the sponge brush or nylon paint brush to coat the trellis panels with the primer. This will help seal the wood pores, allow the stain or paint to properly adhere and help prevent peeling.

Step 3 - Set Out to Dry

Leave the panels in a shaded area and open to the air to dry. Read the label on the paint or stain packaging for drying times. If the primer is not completely dry, the next coat of paint might come lose or dissolve. This will cause uneven coloring and peeling.

Step 4 - Applying Paint

Use a clean and dry sponge brush or nylon paintbrush to apply an even coat of paint or stain over the entire panel. Work in small areas at a time and use smooth and even brush strokes. Finish each area before you continue to the next. Keep an eye for detail. If you are using a lattice of crossing pattern, make sure you coat all areas evenly.

Step 5 - Set Out to Dry

Again, let the panels dry completely. Otherwise, the second coat will peel away the first coat and leave lumps in the painted surface.

Step 6 – Apply Second Coat

Apply a second coat of paint or stain. Just as in Step 4, work in small areas and cover the area evenly. This second coat will provide better protection against fading and peeling and will give a longer-lasting finish.

Step 7 - Apply Sealant

After the second coat of paint or stain has completely dried, apply the clear acrylic sealant. Again, work in a small area before moving on the next. If the trellis will be in direct sunlight or where it will get constantly wet from water sprinklers, it is best to apply a second coat. As in all other applications, let the first coat dry completely before applying the second.

With the use of a good primer, stain or paint and a UV protective sealant, this trellis will be an attractive decoration to your garden and will give you many years of a low or no maintenance addition to your garden.