Garden Arbor – From Eyesore to Focal Point

We have an old wooden garden arbor in our backyard that had really become an eyesore. It was originally built into the fence, but most of the fence came down last year when we had some large trees removed.

The only thing left standing was one section of the fence and the gate with an arbor. This is what it looked like (very embarrassing).

garden arbor before

I’ve had some ideas to turn the weathered arbor into more of a focal point. The plan was to remove the last section of the fence, rebuild the garden gate, and paint it all. My friend and I were planning to build a taller gate for the arbor. We were imagining it to look more like a door, with an arched top.

However, when I went out to remove that last section of the fence and prep the arbor I realized the wood was so weathered that it was soft. I knew the arbor wouldn’t support a taller, heavier gate.

While that was very disappointing, I still needed to spruce this area up desperately. After I removed the old fence piece, I gave the arbor a light power washing in preparation for painting.

I used my Flexio 5000 sprayer to paint the arbor. It would have taken forever to paint the lattice with a brush. Even after power washing, it was in rough shape. The sprayer covers those rough areas much easier than a brush would.

setting up to paint, supplies needed

Usually, I do my outdoor projects in the spring before it gets too hot. However, due to my husband being sick with the virus, this project was very delayed. (You can learn more about my husband’s battle with the virus via my Instagram). My yard is like the Sahara desert in the summer and I was feeling it this day.

My daughter took this photo of me. If you look close, you can see how red my face was from the heat but I was determined to get this done. I didn’t want to look at that weathered wood anymore.

DIY backyard ideas

Even with the sprayer, this took several hours to paint. The wood was soaking up the paint like water, requiring several coats.

Once the garden arbor was painted, I added a new boxwood to the left of it. I did this to balance out the boxwoods on the right. I really considered swapping them out for different evergreens that grow faster and bigger, such as Bay Laurels.

In the end, I decided to keep it simple and go with what I already have. Once those boxwoods fill in, this will look much more charming.

how to paint a garden arbor with a gate

I also have a wisteria vine on order. Hopefully, that will grow up the arbor for some cottage charm. Imagine the arbor draped in wisteria and a wall of boxwoods on either side. That will be closer to my original vision for this area. I love cottage gardens.

Now that this project is finally done, the view when you enter our yard is much prettier. You can see more of the wheelbarrow planter here.

backyard ideas

Now I’m off to start adding tons of miracle grow to the boxwoods. Why do they grow so slowly?

cottage style garden arbor

I’ll be enjoying the view of our garden arbor from the air-conditioned house until the heatwave is over!

This post was in partnership with Wagner Spray Tech and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own, you can read my full disclosure here.


  1. Maria Brittis says:

    Looks like new now! Its a What paint can. Pretty now!

    1. Thanks, Maria. Paint really does work wonders!

  2. What a wonderful transformation! I love it.

  3. marilynn m turner says:

    such a pretty transformation. looks beautiful.

  4. Mary Evans says:

    It is so pretty. The before and after is unbeli evable. Great job with the wagner.
    It adds a great Depth to your yard.

    1. It does make the entire yard look better, I should have done it sooner! Thank you.

  5. Love what you accomplished!!! Your yard looks looks inviting and well maintained;. the paint and plantings add lots of visual interest to your yard. Hope your husband recovers soon.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. So sweet of you to say, Dee. Thank you! 🙂

  6. It looks wonderful. You might consider a less heavy vine than a wisteria though. It takes a really heavy duty arbor to support one. Your yard looks like heaven!

    1. I didn’t know that, thanks for the tip!

  7. You did great job! the Gate looks like new. actually, it’s really a nice garden gate.

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