A northern California back patio is transformed into a kid-friendly outdoor living space with the use of bright colors, flexible seating, storage, integrated lighting and multiple conversation areas for both children and adults.

By Kim Six

| The Kim Six Fix

back patio with pergola before and after pergola painted white

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empty patio with brown pergolaOur house’s previous owners installed a pergola over the sliding glass door and had painted it a dark chocolate brown, which resulted in a cave-like feel. The brown color was very dated, especially against the creamy color of the house’s stucco siding.

Another problem with the patio was that our air conditioner was housed right out in the open, next to the sliding glass door. It was loud and unattractive and so I also wanted to deal with that issue when I was addressing the pergola.

To deal with the A/C issue, I assembled a louvered screen to disguise the air conditioner using stock lumber and pressure-treated posts. I made sure to prime all the pieces with BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® Interior/Exterior Multi-Surface Primer and Sealer. I knew it would be easier to seal the boards before they were assembled.

The louvered design blocks the A/C from view while still allowing plenty of airflow.

Next, I primed the entire pergola with the same primer before painting both the screen and pergola with Behr Premium Plus Exterior Paint & Primer in One in New House White.

On your home's exterior walls, choose BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® Exterior Flat paint. It provides excellent touch-up to help maintain the look, and it can also be used on stucco, brick and other masonry, as well as on fences.

To complete the space, I re-trellised the wisteria vine onto the pergola and added some outdoor furniture and an outdoor rug.


A small bistro table is enough to accommodate all the adults in our household. To accommodate all of the kids’ toys, I built a wooden bench with crate storage, which also provides additional seating. You wouldn’t even know the toys were there if you didn’t know better, and the crates pull out for easy access by the kids. I added plants for color and to help block the irrigation and A/C utility panels from sight. On the other side of the patio, I also included a child-size table and chairs so the kids can have their own seating area.

Low voltage landscape spot lighting is installed on the pergola itself, in addition to decorative string lighting on both the pergola and fence. It is going to be a wonderful summer!

Tahitian sky
Small Behr logoS480-5
What sheen do I need?
8 Oz. Sample
1 Gallon
1 Quart
5 Gallon
The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project.
Required product
The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project. Only available in store at Home Depot.
Required 3rd party product
The 9 in. x 1/4 in. Polyester Adhesive Roller Cover has a hard texture, making it ideal for applying all types of adhesives to smooth surfaces. It can be used for stippling and applying sand paints.
The following product(s) is recommended when stripping is needed.
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