How To Paint A Garage Door?

Garage Door
Garage Door

Like all exterior parts of a house, the garage door is constantly exposed to elements such as dust, sun exposure, and rain. This ongoing exposure can cause chipping, peeling, and fading of the garage door’s paint. To extend the life of your garage door and improve the curb appeal of your home, give your garage door a makeover with simply a new coat of paint.

Start your painting project early in the day to allow for enough daylight time to finish each step of the project. Be sure not to paint when the weather is too hot or cold and avoid painting in direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for painting is between sixty and seventy degrees with low humidity.

A good quality painting job starts with thorough preparation of the work surface. Begin by cleaning off dirt and dust with an all purpose cleaner and scouring sponge. Then rinse off the garage door using a garden hose.

Removal of the old paint is necessary before painting. If new paint is applied on top of an unstable surface, the new paint will not stay adhered to the garage door. Any loose paint can be removed using a wire brush, and rust can be removed using a paint scraper. Apply a chemical paint stripper to the garage door and use a sanding sponge or electric sander to remove the remainder of the old paint. Safety goggles should be used during this step.

Once the garage door has been cleaned and stripped of any old paint, use painter’s tape to mask trim, windows, and any other parts of the garage that you do not want to be painted. Finally, lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor from paint drippings.

The next step in your painting project is applying the primer. This should be done within twenty-four hours of preparing the garage door. An exterior grade paint primer should be used. You can choose what type of primer to use based on your garage door type. A latex exterior primer will work for both metal and wood doors. Apply the primer onto the flat sections of the garage door with a paint roller, and then use a paint brush to reach the remaining areas. If you choose to use a paint sprayer, use a piece of cardboard to shield the trim and surrounding areas from being painted, and use long strokes to create a thin, even coating. Allow twelve to twenty-four hours for the primer to dry before painting. Refer to the recommended drying time by the paint manufacturer.

Application of the paint is done in the same method as the primer. Different types of paint can be used based on your preference. Acrylic exterior paint is flexible and won’t chip with the movement of the garage door. Oil-based exterior alkyd paint is top quality and will dry hard and smooth. Latex exterior paint can be easily cleaned with warm soapy water but may develop tackiness in warm weather. Whichever paint you choose, make sure to use an exterior grade. A semi-gloss sheen is recommended for easy maintenance. Apply the paint to both the inside and outside of the garage door. If you choose to paint a second coat, wait twenty-four hours for the first coat to dry.

The last step is clean up. Wash all brushes and rollers, and pick up the drop cloth from the floor. The painter’s tape should be removed from trim and windows at a forty-five degree angle to avoid peeling paint. If any paint got onto the windows, it can be removed using a razor blade.


Author: Kelly

Kelly Sperber has been a professional writer for 5 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2011. Kelly enjoys skydiving, attending fashion shows, and gardening in her spare time.

4 thoughts on “How To Paint A Garage Door?”

  1. I worked as a garage door installer for several years and just a recommendation for anyone intrested in painting a door. Be careful when painting the seams between the panels as when the paint dries it can cause the panels to stick to one another. If your door is a hollow steel door this can damage the door very seriously, both after priming and painting the door disconnect the door from the operator using the manual release cord (usually a red rope). Then manually open the door and leave it in the open position till the paint dries but be sure the chain of the operator doesnt sag and contact the fresh paint (chain sag is a good indicator that the operators drive gear is stripped out and needs replacing). Good luck and hope this was helpful.

  2. That was very useful information Faught 1440!  Do you have any recommendations as to which paint and primer works best on hollow steel doors?

    Kelly, do you have any suggestions as to how a person can avoid painting a garage door in direct sunlight while still painting it during daylight hours?  Many garages aren’t located in shady areas, and if you’re not supposed to paint on a humid or rainy day, it might be difficult to avoid direct sunlight.

  3. Hi All- I will be painting two old but sturdy paneled wooden garage doors. They have MANY layers of paint on them that are peeling BADLY. I am planning on power washing them and then hand scraping the rest. I think the power washing will be okay since they are in direct sun all day. Any advice on brands of primer and latex vs. oil for this type of Sahara Desert situation? Thank you.

  4. Whenever using a razor blade on glass, use only a brand new blade and spray first with soapy water to prevent scratching the glass.

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