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How to Paint a Garage Door in Five Easy Steps

If you want to give your home a fresh new look but don’t want to spend a lot of money, consider painting your home’s garage door. Painting is quick, relatively easy and it doesn’t cost much.

But wait…

Before you run out and buy some paint and slap it on your garage door, there is a right way and a wrong way to paint.

So, if you want to learn how to paint your garage door in five easy steps, keep reading.

CAUTIONARY TIP: Always wear gloves, safety goggles and a quality dust mask when painting. Doing so will protect your body from absorbing toxic chemicals and protect your eyes from project debris. 

1. Pre-Paint Garage Door Prep

The proper garage door prep is important. If you don’t perform the proper pre-paint preparation, your project probably won’t turn out as planned.

  • Cleaning the Door: Start by removing any dirt, grease, and grime from the garage door. Use a robust all-purpose cleaner and a rag, mop, or sponge. Ensure you cover every nook and cranny to avoid any contaminants remaining that could prevent the paint from adhering properly.
  • Rinsing Off Cleaner: After thoroughly cleaning the door, rinse it with a garden hose. It’s important to remove all traces of soap and cleaner, as any residue can interfere with the paint’s ability to adhere to the garage door. Make sure the water runs clear off the door before finishing this step.
  • Drying the Door: Allow the door to dry completely. This might take a few hours depending on the weather and air circulation in the area. Painting over a damp surface can lead to issues like bubbling and peeling paint later on.
  • Taping Off Areas: Once the door is dry, use painter’s tape to cover any hardware, trim, windows, and handles. This protects these areas from accidental paint strokes and ensures a neat and professional-looking finish.
  • Protecting Surrounding Areas: Lay down a tarp or drop cloth under and around the garage door area. This will catch any drips or spills, protecting your garage floor and driveway from unwanted paint stains. Make sure the tarp is securely placed and covers a sufficient area to catch any accidental splashes.

2. Stripping Your Garage Door

  1. Removing Debris and Rust: Begin by using a wire brush to scrub the surface of the garage door. This manual brushing helps remove flaking paint, rust, and any other debris that might have built up. It’s important to get the surface as clean and smooth as possible to ensure the new paint adheres well.
  2. Applying Chemical Stripper: Choose a high-quality chemical paint stripper suitable for the door’s material. Apply the stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically using a paintbrush or a roller. Allow the stripper to sit on the surface for the time specified by the product to effectively soften the old paint.
  3. Scraping Off Old Paint: Once the old paint has softened, use a paint scraper to remove it. Be thorough, and take care not to gouge the door material, especially if it’s made of wood. For metal doors, be careful around any edges or decorative details to avoid creating scratches.
  4. Sanding the Surface: After scraping, sand the entire door with sandpaper or a sanding sponge—use a medium-grit sandpaper for initial sanding. This helps smooth out any remaining imperfections and provides a good surface for the primer to adhere to. If you have access to a power sander, you can use it to make the job quicker and ensure an even smoother finish.
  5. Final Cleaning: Once sanding is complete, clean the door again to remove all dust and particles created by sanding. This can be done using a damp cloth or a tack cloth, which is specially designed to pick up dust without leaving any residue.

By thoroughly stripping your garage door, you ensure that the new paint will have a clean, smooth surface to adhere to, which can significantly extend the life of your paint job and improve its appearance.

3. Priming Your Garage Doo​​r

The first step in priming is to determine the proper priming product for your type of door. There are different types of primers for metal and wood. Once you’ve determined and purchased the proper primer, you can apply it with a paint brush, roller, or sprayer. You will need to let the primer coat dry for about 24 hours.

4. Painting Your Garage Door

Once you’ve chosen your paint color and sheen (semi-gloss is most commonly used because it’s easy to clean), you can begin painting. However, just remember the conditions should be right before you paint. You don’t want to paint if the temperature is going to be below 50°, if it’s too hot (if the surface feels warm to the touch), or if it’s raining or will be raining soon. And, you should never paint your garage door in direct sunlight.

5. Quick and Easy Clean-Up Tips

No one really likes clean-up; however, there are a few tips you can use to make things a little easier. Always use a tarp before painting so you can easily pick up the tarp and store it until your next paint job. And if you got some paint on any surfaces, a razor blade is great for scraping off freshly dried paint. Also, another great painting tip is if you have more painting to do and you won’t be doing it all in one day, rather than rinsing your paint brushes/rollers, you can put them in a plastic baggie and put them in the freezer until you’re ready to continue painting.


FAQs

Why should I paint my garage door?

Painting your garage door can refresh your home’s appearance at a low cost.

What safety gear do I need when painting a garage door?

Always wear gloves, safety goggles, and a quality dust mask to protect from toxic chemicals and debris.

How do I prepare my garage door for painting?

Clean the door with all-purpose cleaner, rinse with a garden hose, let it dry, then tape off trim, windows, and handles.

Is stripping necessary before painting a garage door?

Stripping old paint and debris is crucial for a longer-lasting paint job and can be done using a wire brush and chemical stripper.

What primer should I use for my garage door?

Choose a primer based on the door material (metal or wood) and apply it with a brush, roller, or sprayer.

What are the best conditions for painting a garage door?

Paint only when the temperature is above 50°F, not too hot, not raining, and avoid direct sunlight.

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Kristen Mangum
Kristen Mangum
2022-12-21
Friendly customer service. Bought a hard to find remote for an old garage door opener. Opener has 3 buttons so I can program both doors to it. Easy to find location right off 29th St.
Robert Ballinger
Robert Ballinger
2022-12-12
Great people
Betsy Chronister
Betsy Chronister
2022-09-13
I was given a very fair quote. A week later a tech came and installed. Then came back to install lock. Tech was very professional and polite. Spen time with me making adjustments to my liking. I totally recommend Overhead door to my fellow Okies.
Hendrix Morrow
Hendrix Morrow
2022-06-29
Overhead Door did a great job. They got me on the schedule the next day and fixed my spring in 30 minutes or less. Joe was great, professional, and courteous. Awesome service, and he didn't tell me I needed extra materials like the previous garage door people that quoted me $575. Overhead Door told me a price over the phone and it didn't change. I'd recommend them every time.
Sandy Molleda Molleda
Sandy Molleda Molleda
2022-03-22
A very good place for a new garage door and a new remote.
John Ehrhardt
John Ehrhardt
2022-01-28
Pleased with their services. Coil spring broke and door stopped working. Spoke to Ron, and less than 24 hrs later the technician had us up n running again. These guys did exactly what they promised to do, with no nonsense. I like that.

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