Building your own treehouse is every child and adult’s dream. If you’re lucky enough to have the space to build a treehouse in your backyard, then you might want to think about staining and painting the exterior of your treehouse. Once you’ve weatherproofed your creation, it’s time to decide on the best treehouse color so that you can enjoy it for many years.
If you want a unique and attractive appearance for your tree house, take a look at our treehouse color ideas, plus tips on how to stain and paint your backyard creation.
Best Treehouse Exterior Paint Ideas
A burst of color is a sure way of making your treehouse stand out in the backyard. Yellow is one of those energetic paint colors available in many shades.
This warm hue goes with lots of other color palettes so you can pick the lightest shade or the boldest yellow as you wish. We particularly like lemon, mustard, and banana yellow as they are a fun color scheme.
Gray to Match the Roof
The cool, neutral gray paint is a very trendy color for the exterior of wooden houses. If your home exterior is already painted this color, then why not expand it to your greenhouse.
Even if you have just chosen gray for the roof tiles of your home, an all-gray treehouse will go beautifully with your home. Gray is inspired by stone and blends very well with different textures. A light gray treehouse with a matching roof is sure to turn heads as per this example!
Green to Blend with Nature
Green is a color closely associated with nature and is available in various shades. This versatile color is a bold pairing with gray or brown roofs.
A treehouse painted in olive or mint green, for example, is a great companion to light yellow trim and other exterior accents. This warm hue provides a stunning contrast to wood.
For a more vibrant paint option, why not pick a light shade of blue like sky blue, which goes with the image of a treehouse being up in the trees.
This color makes an excellent exterior paint choice as it goes with most other secondary color schemes. In fact, any shade you pick for your wooden treehouse exterior will work.
As a clean and crisp color, white has to be the most popular hue for wooden exteriors. When it comes to painting a treehouse, you might want to pick white in order to put your treehouse in the spotlight.
This is the ultimate neutral hue that works perfectly with any other color. And since white pairs well with both bright and neutral colors, you can incorporate more than one shade into your exterior color scheme. The stark white paint serves as an accent backdrop just like in this example.
Light brown is another warm, earthy, nature-inspired paint color that highlights the wooden structure of your treehouse without taking away its neutral tone. This versatile color blends into the treetop as though the treehouse was always there. You may pick any brown stain or paint to show off your beautiful creation.
For an energetic and bright treehouse exterior, go for a rich, deep red hue to liven up your treetop creation. Cherry or ruby red look great on barn-style wooden exteriors.
For an even bolder choice, go for burgundy or maroon. These bold shades contrast well against other bright or neutral trim colors. You may also pair red with brown to further sharpen your chosen paint color.
An ultra-modern paint color for a treehouse exterior is sleek black. This sophisticated hue is increasingly gaining popularity as it goes well with many other neutral and bold accents.
If you want your treehouse to be the focal point of your backyard, then consider painting the entire wooden exterior black with white trim as a neutral backdrop. Other bright accent hues like red will also work with black, so you may add a red door to the black-painted treehouse.
Keep it Natural with Transparent Stain
What if you don’t like any of the paint colors we’ve mentioned? No problem! Just stain your wooden treehouse exterior with a transparent hue. This way, the natural wood color won’t lose its character and it can provide a warm contrast to the roof and trim.
A treehouse with red or brown roof shingles can be treated with a transparent stain to highlight the natural wood. This idea can lighten up the color scheme and keep the focus on the treehouse.
Note that transparent stain may look shiny, but it is more difficult to clean, especially when it has a glossy finish. What’s more, most people prefer using stain as the topcoat before painting the wood.
This is because, unlike paint, the stain isn’t permanent and it’s more likely to change in texture over time. This aging process is due to exposure to elements, thus it’s advisable to opt for transparent stain finishes that are UV resistant and require less maintenance. If you must go for colorless stain, make sure you select high-quality and waterproof products.
If you’re not sure how to apply the stain or paint to your treehouse exterior, keep reading for useful tips…
How to Stain and Paint a Treehouse
Staining and painting a plain treehouse can transform it into a homely hideaway among the treetops. This is a project you can get your whole family involved with: from priming to painting. If your treehouse is a little old, you must first prepare its surface by cleaning, scraping, and sanding it.
The staining and painting project can be completed within three to four days, depending on how many coats of stain and paint you wish to apply.
The wooden surface must be cleaned first. It is never a good idea to stain the wood directly without preparing it correctly. Use a wood cleaning solution to loosen the dirt before scrubbing or pressure washing the surface in order to thoroughly remove the grime from within the wood fibers.
Caution: too much water pressure can damage the wood so keep the pressure gauge low and don’t hold the nozzle too close to the wood.
Once you’ve cleaned the wood surface, you may apply a brightening agent to neutralize the wood and correct its pH balance. This helps brighten up the wood surface, open its pores and make it ready for staining. Note: you must allow the surface to thoroughly dry for several hours before applying the stain.
The best time to stain a wooden treehouse is when the outside temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, you should avoid staining the treehouse in full sunlight as the UV rays may alter the stain finish. Furthermore, there should be no rain for 24 hours after staining the treehouse, so always check the weather forecast prior to starting this project.
The best type of stain for a treehouse is a solid color, which is long-lasting and available in numerous shades. It is safer to stick with a neutral stain color as you’ll be painting the treehouse a brighter color later.
Now that you’ve stained the treehouse, it’s time to paint it a color of your choice…
Priming and Painting a Treehouse in 5 Steps
Step 1: Before any priming and painting project, protect the ground beneath the treehouse by placing a plastic cloth on the floor. This helps avoid any paint spills on the ground. You will also need a sturdy ladder to climb up the tree safely.
Step 2: Stir the primer well and apply the first coat on all the wooden surfaces.
Step 3: Let the primer dry for at least 5 hours or at the manufacturer’s recommended time.
Step 4: Once the primer has dried on the wooden surface, it’s time to paint the treehouse. Ideally, you should apply two or three coats for optimal results. Start with the lightest paint color and wait for a few hours for the paint to dry before applying the second coat. Repeat until all the paint colors have been applied.
Step 5: The final coat can be applied 24 hours after the last coat has been applied to the treehouse.
How Often Should I Stain My Treehouse?
While there is no specific timeline to re-stain your treehouse, you should ideally treat the wooden surface once every three years in order to protect it from the elements.
Note, a maintenance coat is only required if your treehouse has outdoor walls and is exposed to adverse weather conditions. Re-staining the treehouse every few years will help keep it in tip-top condition for decades so you and your children can enjoy this homely hideaway for many years to come.