Garage Door Painting Guide

residential modern garage door

Your home’s exterior is a canvas for expressing your creativity and style by showing off your favorite colors. Because your garage door is a significant part of your home’s facade, it’s often the first thing someone notices from the outside. Although painting a garage door is a simple way of improving your property’s appearance, there are things to consider before starting a painting project.

Can You Paint a Wood, Vinyl or Metal Garage Door?

If all the components of your garage door are free from damage and functioning correctly, you can paint them, regardless of the material. While some homeowners paint to add a fresh burst of color, others paint their doors when the old coating is scratched, faded or damaged.

However, the factory-applied coating on your garage door will usually last decades with minimal maintenance. Once you paint over the initial layer, you can’t return to those maintenance-free features. Like most exterior coatings, you must usually repaint the surface around every five years.

Preparing to Paint Your Garage Door

Before you begin painting, take these steps. 

Choose the Best Paint

While the priming and painting processes are similar, different paint blends exist for various materials. If you’re painting a wood door, choose a primer and paint specifically formulated for wood. The same rule applies to metal doors — oil-based exterior paint is a good choice.

Check the Weather Forecast

Plan to start your project on a cool, dry day. Check the forecast to ensure at least two consecutive days of favorable weather.

Organize Your Tools and Materials

Compiling a checklist ahead of time ensures you have everything you need to complete the job, including:

  • Protective gear, like goggles, rubber gloves and dust masks
  • Primer and exterior paint
  • Rollers and brushes
  • Dropcloths
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Sponges and shop rags
  • A wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • A garden hose
  • A step stool

Prepare Your Garage Door and Work Area

After putting on your protective gear, use a wire brush to remove rusted or chipped spots and sandpaper to smooth the surface. Look for cracks or dents and repair them with the appropriate metal or wood filler.

Clean the entire surface with a sponge and an all-purpose cleaner and rinse thoroughly. Allow ample time for thorough drying — wood doors may require extra time.

Step-by-Step Processes for Painting Garage Doors

Follow these simple steps to complete your project:

1. Apply Tape

Use painter’s tape to mask off the areas where you don’t want paint, including the trim, windows, handles and locks. In addition, you can protect your garage floor and driveway with drop cloths.

2. Prime the Door

Priming is critical to achieve proper paint adhesion. You can use a roller for the uniform areas, but you may want to use a small brush for the panels and insets. Apply just enough primer to get a thin, uniform coating.

3. Apply the First Coating

Apply the initial coating of paint similar to how you primed the door. Best practices involve beginning with the inner panels and inlays and working outward.  

4. Apply Additional Coatings as Needed 

After letting your paint dry for at least 12 hours, apply a second coating using the same process. If uneven patches or the old color still shows through, apply additional coats as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Door Painting

Some of the most commonly asked questions from our customers about garage door painting include:

What is the best color to paint a garage door?

Homeowners often select a color that complements the rest of their home and property. For the best aesthetics, choose a color with the same cool or warm undertones as your home’s exterior. Explore other combinations around your neighborhood, or check out our residential garage doors for ideas. 

Do I need to prime a garage door first?

Priming your garage door allows the paint to adhere to the surface more consistently and evenly, regardless of the material type you’re painting. Priming also helps prevent premature flaking and peeling of the topcoat. In addition, primer is essential if you’re making a drastic color change over your previous color.

How long should I wait between coats of paint on a garage door?

Waiting at least 12 hours between each coat of primer or paint typically produces the best results, ensuring the coating is completely dry to ensure evenness and prevent smearing.

Discover More With Garage Door Specialists, Inc.

Sometimes, a new coat of paint isn’t enough. Whether you need a new garage door style or your current door is in rough shape, Garage Door Specialists, Inc. can help. We have a variety of overhead door styles and colors to suit homes and businesses throughout North Carolina. 

To request additional information about our residential or commercial garage doors, contact us online today.


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