How to Attach Greenhouse Plastic to a Wood Frame

on September 22, 2023

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Greenhouses are invaluable tools for gardeners and plant enthusiasts, providing a controlled environment for year-round cultivation. One crucial aspect of greenhouse construction is attaching the plastic covering to the frame. Properly securing the greenhouse plastic to a wood frame is essential for insulation, structural stability, and ensuring the longevity of your greenhouse. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps involved in effectively attaching greenhouse plastic to a wood frame. From choosing the right materials to the final sealing and maintenance, we've got you covered.

Materials Needed

Before embarking on your greenhouse project, it's essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Below is a list of the essential items required:

  1. Greenhouse Plastic: Selecting the right greenhouse plastic is fundamental. Look for high-quality, UV-resistant greenhouse plastic that suits your local climate and specific needs.
  2. Wood Framing: Ensure your wood framing is sturdy, treated for outdoor use, and precisely cut to the required dimensions.
  3. Fasteners: Choose appropriate fasteners such as staples, nails, or greenhouse clips to secure the plastic to the frame.
  4. Tools: You will need a set of essential tools, including a staple gun, hammer, measuring tape, saw, sandpaper, and a utility knife.

Choosing the Right Greenhouse Plastic

Selecting the right greenhouse plastic is a pivotal first step. The quality and characteristics of the plastic can significantly impact your greenhouse's performance. Consider the following factors when choosing your greenhouse plastic:

  • UV Resistance: Greenhouse plastic should be UV-resistant to protect your plants from harmful ultraviolet rays. Look for plastic labeled as UV-treated or UV-resistant.
  • Thickness: Thicker plastic provides better insulation and durability. The thickness of greenhouse plastic is usually measured in mils, with 6 mils being a common choice for durability and insulation.
  • Insulation Properties: Depending on your climate, you may require greenhouse plastic with specific insulation properties. Some plastics are designed for better heat retention, while others focus on diffusing light.
  • Climate Suitability: Consider your local climate conditions when selecting greenhouse plastic. Different regions have varying requirements for UV resistance, insulation, and wind resistance.

Preparing the Wood Frame

Properly preparing the wood frame is the foundation of a successful greenhouse construction project. This involves the following key steps:

  • Measuring and Cutting: Begin by measuring and cutting the wood frame components to the desired size and dimensions. Precision is crucial at this stage to ensure a snug fit for the greenhouse plastic.
  • Sanding and Smoothing: After cutting the wood framing components, it's essential to sand and smooth the surfaces. This step helps prevent rough edges or splinters that could potentially damage the greenhouse plastic. Additionally, a smooth frame improves the overall appearance of the greenhouse.

Attaching the Greenhouse Plastic

Once you've prepared the wood frame, it's time to attach the greenhouse plastic. Here are the steps involved in securely fastening the plastic to the frame:

  • Securing the Plastic: When attaching the plastic, it's best to start from one end and work your way to the other. Secure the plastic to the wood frame using staples, nails, or greenhouse clips. Ensure that the plastic is taut and free of wrinkles. Tightening it evenly is crucial to prevent sagging.
  • Ensuring Tension: Proper tension across the plastic is vital. If the plastic is too loose, it may flap in the wind, accumulate snow and water, or be more susceptible to damage. Conversely, if it's too tight, it could stress the frame. Achieving the right tension is a delicate balance, and adjustments may be needed as you progress.

Sealing and Fastening

Effective sealing and fastening are critical to creating a weather-resistant and insulated greenhouse. Follow these steps:

  • Sealing Joints: To prevent drafts and maintain insulation, seal the joints and seams of the greenhouse. Use specialized greenhouse repair tape or sealants designed for this purpose. Creating a tight, weather-resistant barrier is essential for temperature control within the greenhouse.
  • Fastening Edges: It's essential to securely fasten the edges of the plastic to the wood frame. This not only enhances stability but also prevents wind from getting underneath the plastic. Thoroughly anchor all edges to ensure they are firmly secured.


Attaching greenhouse plastic to a wood frame is a critical step in greenhouse construction. When done correctly, it ensures proper insulation, stability, and the longevity of your greenhouse. By choosing the right materials, properly preparing the frame, and securing the plastic with care, you can create a functional and durable greenhouse that serves your gardening needs for years to come.


1. What type of greenhouse plastic is best for my project?   

The choice of greenhouse plastic depends on various factors, including your local climate and specific requirements. Look for UV-resistant plastic, consider the thickness (usually measured in mils), and select plastic with suitable insulation properties for your needs.

2. Do I need to use treated wood for the frame?

Yes, it's highly recommended to use treated wood for the frame, especially if it will be exposed to outdoor elements. Treated wood is more resistant to rot, moisture, and pests, ensuring the longevity of your greenhouse.

3. How do I ensure the plastic is evenly tensioned across the frame?

Achieving even tension is essential to prevent sagging or excessive stress on the frame. Start by securing one end of the plastic and work your way to the other, tightening it gradually. Make adjustments as needed to distribute tension evenly.

4. What should I use to seal the joints and seams?

To seal joints and seams, consider using specialized greenhouse repair tape or sealants designed for this purpose. These products create an effective barrier against drafts and weather, helping to maintain proper insulation.

5. How do I ensure proper ventilation in my greenhouse?

Proper ventilation is crucial for regulating temperature and humidity. Plan and install vents or access points strategically. Ensure they can be sealed when needed to control the airflow effectively.

6. How often should I inspect and maintain my greenhouse?

Regular inspections are essential to catch and address issues early. Depending on your local climate and conditions, aim to inspect your greenhouse at least once a season. Replace damaged plastic, tighten fasteners, and address any structural concerns promptly.