There are several different reasons home owners decide to pain their garage doors. For some, it is a cosmetic decision and they have simply become tired of the old look. For others, it is maintenance and protection. It can prevent future damage and save money in the long run. The very first step is to decide between a water or oil based paint. Oil based paint is generally that which is chosen for exterior painting, while water based paint resists stains best. It is wise to purchase a primer and a finish as well. Some more expensive paints do not require one or the other.
- Use a pressure washer to thoroughly clean metal garage doors and a garden hose for those constructed of wood. A pressure washer is not recommended for wooden doors as it may damage them. Use a stiff brush and mild detergent to remove tough dirt and/or stains. Use a scraper to remove any peeling paint and sandpaper to smooth the surface.
- It is also best to sand any areas of metal garage doors which show rust. Use a paintable caulk and/or wood filler for patching and filling cracks. Be sure to remove any wood scrapes or splinters before trying to apply the paint.
- Place cardboard and or drop cloths down to protect the garage floor and driveway. Masking tape and plastic sheeting or trash bags can be used to protect windows, trim, and/or siding.
- Use a high quality brand paint to prime the garage door especially, if it is new and has never before been primed or if you are painting it a different color from the previous time. Ensure that it is the correct primer for your garage door’s material, whether wood or metal. Apply a thin coat of primer with a roller or sprayer. A brush can be used; however, it may show streaking, especially if the painter is inexperienced.
A Fresh Coat
- Disconnect the garage door opener. This is to allow you to open the garage door manually from the outside and paint one panel at a time.
Tip: Avoid painting the rubber gasket on the bottom of the garage door.
- Mix the paint thoroughly by shaking as well as stirring it with a stick. Pour a large amount into a bucket or paint pan and seal that which remains in the original paint bucket.
- Apply a thin layer of paint evenly using a roller, sprayer, or wide brush. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. A second coat is recommended for the best results. Start at the lower portion of the door working upward one panel at a time.
- Use a wide brush to apply two thin, even coats to the garage door trim as well. To gain extra precision angle your paint brush.
- Remove and dispose of all of the plastic, cardboard, and tape. Use a flat razor to remove any paint from the window panes. Rinse the brushes, roller, and buckets or pans until the water runs clear for acrylic or latex paint. A solvent based cleaner will be needed for clean up if an oil based paint was used.