Repainting Your Garage Door

repainting your garage door

Repainting your garage doors may be all you need to spruce up curb appeal and make a well-maintained garage door look like new again. Unlike a new garage door installation, repainting a garage door is a straightforward, low-risk, and enjoyable DIY project.

There are several tenets for adding paint to a garage door:

  • Use a paint that’s specific to the garage door material
  • Invest in the highest-quality, exterior paint you can afford
  • Take the time to complete each step thoroughly, so the job looks professional when you’re finished

If you have a touch-up can or container of paint left for you from your garage door installer or the door manufacturer, that’ great. Be prepared, however, for visible signs that the door was touched-up. As a result of sun, weather, and time, odds are the new paint patch will be noticeable.

If you are adding paint to address or cover up anything larger than a small nick or scratch, it may be worth your while to repaint the entire door. In many cases, it’s less time consuming than trying to create “invisible touch-ups.” This is especially the case for wooden doors, which may require additional attention – such as rot or mildew removal – before they can be painted again.

Repainting Your Garage Door If It’s Metal

If you have a metal garage door, you’re in luck because there is far less preparation involved than with a wood door.

What You’ll Need:

  • Old clothing
  • Safety goggles
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Paintbrush/roller and tray
  • High-quality exterior paint (marine-grade is even better)
  • Fine-grit sandpaper and wire brush (optional)
  • Dropcloth to protect the ground below

Before you start, we recommend disengaging the door from its automatic opener so you can manually open/close it. That way, you can open the door and set the lower panels at a comfortable height to paint. Then, slowly lower the door as you complete each panel.

First: Pressure wash the exterior of the door

Note: If your garage door hasn’t been maintained, cleaned or repainted in a long time, you may need to use fine-grit sandpaper and a wire brush to remove any rust, stubborn stains, chipping paint, etc.

Before you paint, you need to remove all of the dust, cobwebs, and general debris that accumulate on the door. There is no need to get up too close while pressure washing. In fact, if you pressure-wash too close to the door, the powerful spray winds up chipping off the existing paint. Standing a reasonable distance from the door is sufficient to clean it thoroughly.

Second: Tape off the trim

Once the door has thoroughly dried, use the masking tape to protect the door trim, surrounding brick or siding, and so on.

Third: Apply the primer

For the most professional and durable look and effect, apply an exterior paint primer designed for your door’s material. The primer should dry for at least 12 hours for the best effect – so consider this a two-day job.

Fourth: Start painting

Keep in mind that the weather will dictate how you paint. Ideally, it’s best to save the project for a warm-ish day (50° to 70° F is ideal), at a time when that area of the house is out of direct sunlight. That way, you can paint comfortably and efficiently – without the paint drying too fast on you.

Work little by little. Flat paneled doors are easier to paint, more ornate panels require extra time and attention around the details, borders, and raised areas. As you paint, make sure to get the “lips” of each panel (the surface at the top and bottom that separate and then come back together as it opens and closes. Once you’re finished, look at the interior side of the door and see if there are any areas where the old paint color shows and then repaint those as well.

Repainting Your Garage Door If It’s Wood

Ultimately, the process for painting a wooden garage door is the same as a metal one, but it may require more preparation work.

The list of what you need should also include a scraper and caulking material. If the door hasn’t had attention in a while and paint peeling or wood splintering is more severe, use an electric sander to smooth the entire surface. If mildew is an issue, you’ll need to use a degreasing cleaner and a mildew cleaner once the door is sanded. Apply these, remove evidence of mildew, spray the door with a hose to rinse it and then let it dry completely before applying the primer.

Wood is an organic material, so it’s more susceptible to wear and corrosion than metal garage doors.

Once you’ve pressure washed the door – inspect it carefully for:

  • Flaking, peeling paint
  • Rotted areas of wood
  • Cracks or nicks

All of these should be scraped away, and any rotted or cracked areas should be filled and sealed with caulk. Follow the caulking manufacturer’s directions in terms of process and drying time.

Now you can prime and paint the garage as indicated above. Some homeowners opt to use a paint sprayer to expedite the process. Just make sure to thoroughly clean the machine between the priming and painting steps.

Need A New GarageDoor?

Once your door is dry, you’ll benefit from a whole new look. Is your garage door beyond the help of a paint job? Contact us here at R&S of Vallejo and schedule a consultation. We’ll help you select a high-quality, low-maintenance garage door that compliments your current architecture and design.

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