I wanted to share with you several images of a finish Hubs put on some of our raised beds (we have 14 beds). He used a paint roller for the undercoat and then used a sponge to apply a variety of colors atop it. Doing so better mimics the color palette of the natural world, where monochromatic surfaces are almost never encountered (aside from, oh, maybe snow and sand).
Before Hubs tricked out the raised beds, they were fairly conspicuous. When you live in a cove in the middle of a forest, many human-placed things become incredibly visible, incredibly quickly. We love the use of colors that blend into the surrounding environment to look a bit more like we belong in the setting. These raised beds definitely achieve that goal. The paint also reinforces the wood, making it break down slower than an unfinished bed would. The paint, of course, is only on the exterior of the boxes, and doesn't extend down into where the soil is.
What about you? Do you use raised beds in your garden? If so, how do you bolster them? I'm so excited to have something that's both functional and subtly attractive in the garden. Time to dig in!