What Color Should I Paint My Pergola? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If you love seeing a little bit of structure in your garden, a pergola is a good way to get it. Pergolas act as a nice way to get a little bit of well-deserved shade in the sunny part of your deck. It also tends to be the best way to give your morning glories a place to climb. Many people leave pergolas plain in wood, but some paint them. Ever wonder which paint colors are best?

Pergolas are often painted a crisp white to help them look well-maintained and to work with local HOA laws. However, other popular colors include a rich tan, a light grey, a light beige, or black. If your deck is stained a certain color, it also makes sense to make your pergola match your deck color.

The color of your pergola can make a big impact on how nice your garden looks. At times, it can even turn into a nuisance among your neighbors. It’s time to take a closer look at what are the smartest pergola colors out there.

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Before We Begin: Check Your Local HOA Laws And Building Codes

As much as we want to say the sky’s the limit with your paint options, this really is not the truth. If you live in an area with strict building codes (like New York City’s suburbs) or if you live in an area with a very strong HOA, your paint color options might be limited.

While you might want to paint your pergola a bunch of colors, your HOA might not like your taste. Choosing a banned paint will result in fines, liens, and a notice asking you to repaint it. Save yourself the trouble. Check with your HOA before you do anything.

The Best Colors To Paint A Pergola

Now that we got into that bit, let’s talk about some of the top pergola painting picks, plus the most obvious way to make your home look complete…

1. The Same Stain As Your Deck

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I know this is an article about painting a pergola, but let’s be honest. Stains are often the better pick, especially if you want an upscale look. When in doubt, you should always avoid paint and just opt for a rich stain that matches your deck. This is the easiest way to make sure that your pergola gives your home a sleek, unified, and classic look.

Here, we see a pergola that matches the outdoor table goods and the deck. The end result is something that looks like it was perfectly coordinated. Outdoor designers love it, and so do homebuyers. Needless to say, this is the best go-to on our list in our opinion.

2. White

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White is another classic go-to for almost any yard fixture, and that includes pergolas. Here, we see a dark brown deck paired with a crisp white pergola. Generally speaking, white is another safe choice. HOAs love it, it works with almost any garden color scheme you could come up with, and it’s always easy to touch up.

As a popular neutral color, it’s easy to make a white pergola look appropriate in almost any setting. This is particularly popular near the beach and in forest areas. If you are worried about white being a bit too stark or high-maintenance, don’t be afraid to get a nice off-white shade instead. It’ll have the same effect and might also look a little warmer.

3. Light Grey

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So, you probably have noticed that grey is one of the most popular paint colors of the century. It’s just amazingly popular as a neutral in almost any situation. Here, we see a grey pergola balanced out by bright red cherry wood. It looks amazing, and it still gives your design a sense of balance.

Grey is popular in suburban areas, forest-heavy areas, as well as beachhouse decks. It’s all about how you decorate the area around it. With a little elbow grease and creativity, this could be the local hangout spot for you and your family. We suggest adding bold red woods or adding a dash of crisp blue. It’s the contrast that makes it pop!

4. Black

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If you like the idea of grey but want something a little more starkly modern, then black is another good choice for a pergola paint color. This is one of the more popular colors for pergolas attached to modern or mid-century modern homes. The black color of the pergola helps bring out all the unique lines, giving it a very architecture-oriented feel.

Admittedly, black pergolas have a tendency to take in heat and sunlight. If you are worried about the temperature of your pergola due to high solar exposure, you might want to opt for a color that doesn’t absorb heat as quickly. Moreover, it can be a bit bold as far as colors, too. Even so, it’s hard to ignore how pretty black can be.

5. Blue

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In the fashion world, blue jeans are considered to be a “neutral” even if they are not totally neutral. They call it “bluetral.” This concept is starting to bleed into the world of outdoor design. Blue is a popular shade for home exteriors, and now, it’s starting to turn into a major statement color for pergolas.

Grey and blue, in particular, make a fierce pergola paint color combo. This combination is great for pergolas that have a beachy, spa-like ambiance. If you have a beach house or a garden that has a tropical vibe, then this color is a no-brainer. Of course, if you want a more traditional British or Greek look, you can always opt for a darker blue.

6. Sage Green

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It comes as little surprise that one of the most popular colors for pergolas would be a shade of green. More specifically, it’s a pastel shade of green that works with every season: sage green. I mean, green is the color you expect to see in gardens. You might as well match your pergola to your garden, right?

Sage green, especially, tends to add a touch of class to your pergola. This was a classic favorite for British cottages as well as Irish gardens. If you want to get a touch of European Victoriana, then this particular shade will be good. We strongly suggest it as a backdrop for climbing roses, grapes, or morning glory plants that climb up your pergola’s lattice.

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Related Questions

Can you use a wood stain on a pergola?

It depends on the pergola. If your pergola is like most on the market, then it’s made of wood. This makes it a perfect candidate for the right wood stain. However, not all pergolas are going to be made from wood. If your pergola is made of synthetic fiber, plastic, or metal, you cannot use a stain to change its color. It’ll slide right off.

How much does it cost to install a pergola?

Pergolas might be beautiful, but they are not cheap. On average, you will need to spend between $2,000 to $6,000 for a new pergola. If you have a luxury pergola with a removable roof or added lighting, then it could easily exceed a price tag of $10,000. DIY pergolas, on the other hand, can cost as little as $500 to $1,000 to make if you are especially crafty with wood.

Are pergolas easy to build?

“Easy” is definitely a relative term here. If you are brand new to woodworking, you might want to try a chair or a table just to get a good idea of what you will need to do. If you have constructed your own fence before, a pergola will not be that hard to build. In terms of DIY home projects, pergolas tend to be right in the easier-to-middle of difficulty levels for most people.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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