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Deck and Pergola Color Options

Alright, let’s talk pergola and deck color options.

The original plan was to get this done in the spring/early summer but then it rained… and rained… and rained some more. But the wood needs to be painted and/or stained so it’s protected from the sun, rain, and snow.

I put together three color combination options. Now, allow me to make this disclaimer– I’m not formally trained in Photoshop. I’m entirely self-taught and it shows with these renderings.

And when I say “white”, I mean the same color as our white trim. And when I say “gray”, I mean the same color as our house. The spindles will stay black. Also, the colors aren’t going to be 100% exact in the renderings. So view the following with semi-squinted eyes.

And one last thing to note: the pergola and deck receive full sunlight all day everyday because it’s on the south side of our house.

Option One

pergola, privacy screen, and railings: white // deck base: gray // deck floor: stained wood toned

The first option is painting the pergola, privacy screen, and railings white with an exterior primer and paint. Then, the deck base would be solid stained gray and the deck flooring would be stained a wood tone. I think by painting the pergola white, it will really pop against the gray of our house. And the base of the deck would flow with the rest of the house, especially because the siding on the house and the horizontal deck boards are very similar. But to break up the white and gray and add some warmth, I’d stain the deck floor a wood tone. My only concern is too much brown in one space with our wooden dining table and our conversation set.

Option Two

pergola, privacy screen, and railings: white // deck base: gray // deck floor: gray

The second option is to paint the pergola, privacy screen, and railings white. The deck base and floor would be solid stained in gray to match the house. Going this route would be simple because I wouldn’t have to figure out what color of wood stain to use. Most places don’t offer stain samples so you have to buy a quart, which is $15-20. And some places don’t even offer quarts, you have to choose a color, get a gallon of it, and cross your fingers that you’ll like it. But I wonder if going with just gray and white will be too boring.

Option Three

pergola, privacy screen, & railings: stained wood toned // deck base: gray // deck floor: white

The third option is staining the pergola a wood tone, painting the deck floor white, and the base of the deck gray. While I like the look, I’m not entirely sold on this for a couple of reasons. One reason being that the white floors will show a lot of dirt and foot prints. Although I think our outdoor furniture will really pop on top of the white floor. I also worry about stain on the pergola holding up in direct sunlight. I really don’t want to have to re-stain the pergola every year or every other year.

Vote below!

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    I love option 2!

  2. Option 2! I don’t think it will be boring at all. You have color with the furniture, rug, and plants so I think it will look amazing.

  3. love the warmth of option 1

  4. Option 2 is my choice. You could stain the privacy screen to break up the grey and white

  5. I like option 2, but the white risers may get scuffed/dirty from toe kicks and splashback from the ground. Consider all gray on those?

  6. Another option 2 fan here!

  7. Christine says:

    We have a white pergola and although i love how it looks, it gets soooo dirty!!! Be prepared to powerwash it several times a season.

    1. I was thinking about that on the privacy screen – that it would get dirty and need washing. 🙂
      I prefer Option 1, but it looks like I am in the minority. I feel like staining the floor is easiest to maintain (paint would wear and require touch-up more frequently since the wood would be showing through. Wearing on the stain wouldn’t be as noticeable.)

  8. Option 2! Pops of color in flowers, or pots and cushions will be lovely

  9. Option 2 for sure! The white on the pergola, screen, and risers does pop, along with the trim on your house, and the gray floor, stairs, skirting flow with the house. It will look very cohesive. The wicker and wood furniture provide a beautiful contrast, and texture. It will be gorgeous!

  10. I think option 1 looks best. Option 2 is too much grey. I think you need to keep the wood tone on the floors for contrast. It looks really nice up against your home.

  11. Jessica Leymaster says:

    I voted for option 2 but would have selected stained pergola and gray deck floor if that had been an option 🙂

  12. My friend’s deck is painted a darkish color and it gets really hot to walk on (especially for kids). This is at a lake where we are barefoot a lot, but it’s a factor I’d take into consideration!

  13. Leave the wood color for now (stained) then in a few years you can aways do white.. because nothing will last forever! I think its hard to go from white back to wood color.. just a thought!

    And I love stained wood look on wood – let it look like wood!

    1. Completely agree with this! Stain first, paint later. Because once you paint it, you can never go back. 🙂

  14. Mary Kaiser says:

    Go to Home Depot and get the solid white stain for the areas you want to do in white. If you use paint it will eventually flake off. I used Behr fence and deck stain in solid white on my deck rails and window boxes and it has been on for 10 years and it looks like paint but has Not flaked off. It has held up beautifully. I would only use that on the pergola and Not on the floor. Behr Premium Solid Color Waterproofing Stain and sealer-Tintable white Number 5011. Soap and water clean up 1 gallon covers 400 square ft. Labor day will bring on rebates of 10 off of a gallon. Trust me on this one, I have proof.

  15. I like option 1, but I’m tempted to say do the pergola, screen and railings in white and the deck and deck base wood stained. I love the gray, but I think it’s too much too add to the deck with the color of the house, the wood stain and white would be a killer accent on the back of the house.

  16. As a fellow Indy area homeowner I want to share our experience with you…we painted our deck railings and spindles and stained the deck boards. We primed and painted with exterior grade Porter paints. So not cheap or low quality products. It looked great for a 3-4 years and we LOVED LOVED LOVED it. It looked amazing. Then the paint started to wear and we had to start to contemplate scraping, sanding, repainting. And then we so very much regretted painting. Restaining is not a fun process…but it’s a lot easier than dealing with paint on all the nooks and crannies of a deck. It’s pertinent to note that we had painted our home trim at the same time with the same paint and that held up for 10+ years, but the deck required attention substantially earlier.

    Also, my inlaws painted their deck flooring (though I would not call it a quality job 🙂 ) and the main traffic patterns showed wear quickly.

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