How To Paint a Wooden Trellis


This trellis has a story. Luke bought this poor thing on discount at Tractor Supply probably back in 2011. I can’t even remember what was wrong with it, but I remember rolling my eyes and telling him we didn’t need it. He brought it home and painted it, and wouldn’t you know this old trellis has moved with us five times now! It’s been beat down by the weather, scratched by cats, faded, chipped, and a million other things but still it stands. Repainting this trellis was one of the first DIY projects we did at our Ivy Farmhouse. In this post, we’re going to show you how to paint a wooden trellis and get it ready for another season!

How to paint a wooden trellis.

How To Paint A Wooden Trellis with Lattice

To begin, you need to sand your trellis. Sanding the trellis will allow you to buff out any scratches or dings and will provide a roughed up surface for the paint to adhere. Once you have sanded your trellis, you’re ready to prime and then paint.

How To Sand Latice

The easiest way to sand lattice is with 80 grit sheets of sandpaper. If you use an electric sander, it will create more stress on your lattice than you need. Sheets of sandpaper make it easy to get in between the grooves.

Make sure you go with the grain when you’re sanding. Going with the grain creates less resistance and results in less scarring on your wood.

It’s a good idea to sand in between coats of paint. You’ll just want to lightly rough up the paint so that your next coat of paint will bond well.

What is the best way to paint a trellis?

The best paint to use for a trellis is spray paint. After you have sanded the trellis, you’re going to prime it. We used Kilz spray paint to prime our trellis. The primer also helps the paint adhere to the lattice and the wood on the trellis.

Sawhorses are a great tool to have when painting a trellis. The sawhorses will allow you to prop the trellis so you aren’t on the ground trying to paint or trying to spray paint above your head or at your face level.

Best Spray Paint for Wooden Lattice

Once your trellis has been primed, you’re ready to paint. We used Rust-Oleum satin enamel spray paint. It’s a great product to use for outdoor projects. We wanted to keep a rustic look to our trellis, so our goal was to keep some of the grain even after sanding.

We spray painted the top first since the top of the trellis would be constantly exposed to the elements. Make sure you shake your can before spraying. We waited a little over an hour in between each coat of paint. We did one coat of primer and two coats of paint before staking our trellis in place.

Sealing your trellis is an option if you would like to maintain the color for a longer time, but make sure you do a test in an inconspicuous place to make sure you like the way the sealant affects your paint.

And that’s it! You have a nice trellis!

How To Paint a Wooden Trellis

How to paint a wooden trellis.

Learn how to easily paint a wooden trellis or wooden lattice.

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 2 hours
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 5 hours


  • Wooden trellis or lattice
  • Sawhorses
  • Sand paper
  • Primer spray paint
  • Spray paint


  1. Set trellis against sawhorses so you can paint at an angle and get corners.
  2. Sand the trellis to rough up the edges so that paint will adhere.
  3. Spray with primer.
  4. Wait one hour, lightly sand, and spray with paint.
  5. Wait another hour, and repeat sanding and painting.
  6. Allow trellis to dry and then place trellis where you want it!

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