Do Arbors Need To Be Painted Or Stained?
Jay Fencing can help bring your arbors ideas to life. We are a trusted contractor for arbors, pergolas, gazebos, and other outdoor structures in Toronto. Contact us here to discuss your project.Book an Appointment
Painting or staining your arbor will protect it from the elements so it can last and look its best for longer. Left untreated, wooden structures will fade from sun bleaching. Wet weather won’t be kind to the arbor either as it causes the wood to rot.
Both staining and painting are also effective ways of protecting your arbor from pests. The protective finish will not make the structure indestructible but it will prolong its life.
Some might argue that the arbor will look better if finished, though others contend red cedar wood, which is a popular choice for arbors, looks its best when it bleaches naturally.
Ultimately, though, we all want to get the best value for our money. And a good looking arbor with a long lifespan is the best return we can hope for. But what between painting and staining an arbor gets us that is the question we want to answer:
Let’s clear up the confusion:
Is It Better To Paint Or Stain A Wooden Arbor?
As a protective treatment, staining your wooden arbor works better. Stains absorb into the grain of the wood, treating it much deeper than is possible with paint, which sits on the surface of the wood. Staining also allows the wood to breathe and retain its natural beauty.
While paint can produce a glossy, shiny finish, it does not absorb into the wood. If it scratches or chips, the wood would be left exposed to pests and moisture, with all too predictable results.
Again, painted wood tends to expand and crack if exposed to moisture for long periods, which is bound to happen given Canada’s long and brutal winters. If the paint cracks, it lets in and traps even more moisture, which causes rot.
But not all stains will give you the level of moisture and sun protection that you can get with paint. Clear stains, which you may prefer for their ability to preserve the wood’s natural appearance are certainly not the most waterproof. Solid stains are less water absorbent and will give you better UV protection.
Paint finishes offer wider color choices
Aesthetically speaking, painting your arbor will give you more options to decorate your arbor. There is a greater variety of colors to choose from when you choose to paint your arbor.
Of course, stains also come in the brighter, pastel colors, but the finish isn’t the same as when you paint. So, if you are an aesthete, you may prefer to paint your arbor for the simple reason it gets you the color you want.
While paint sacrifices the grain of the wood for better waterproofing, that it is thicker means it works better for filling cracks and sealing the wood, which stops it from absorbing water.
But a reason why you may not want to paint your arbor is that painted wood is difficult to refinish. Once it starts to crack and peel, you can’t simply paint over it. You have to scrape off all the paint before repainting. Stains tend to fade off and can be reapplied with minimal preparation of the wood.
Jay Fencing can help bring your arbors ideas to life.
We are a trusted contractor for arbors, pergolas, gazebos, and other outdoor structures in Toronto. Contact us here to discuss your project.Book an Appointment
Whether You Paint or Stain, Consider The Environment
If you don’t protect your arbor with a paint or stain finish, you will lose it to rot and sun damage much earlier than you should. Your choice of finish will eventually depend on what look you prefer and, to some degree, what you are prepared to spend.
If cost is a concern, staining will be the cheaper option. But whatever finish you choose, make sure the paint or stain is environmentally safe. There are green options now available for both. And to protect our forests, consider recycled wood over freshly sawn wood. The more trees we have, the cleaner our air is.
An arbor will make a great focal point for your garden. What ideas do you have for it?