Your garage door can cover a significant portion of your home’s exterior, making it one of the most important elements to address when you’re working on the house’s curb appeal. Giving your garage door a fresh coat of paint is a quick way to enhance your home’s entire appearance. A fresh color can update your exterior beautifully, allowing you to change the whole look of your house in just a few days.
You can paint your garage door any time you need a fresh look, but you should plan to tackle this job at least once every four years. Follow these instructions to successfully paint your garage door and update your home.
Time Your Project Right
Since painting your garage door is an outdoor project, it’s important to choose the right timing for this task. It’s best to tackle exterior painting projects when the weather is between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Low humidity and indirect sunlight are ideal. It can take up to three days to complete your project, so you should check the upcoming weather forecast.
Prepare the Door
Thorough prep work makes a dramatic difference with this project. If you fail to properly prep your garage door, you could end up with an uneven finish. To prepare your door for painting:
- Use a power washer to remove dirt from the surface of the door. Keep the pressure low so you don’t strip off the paint.
- Use a wire brush followed by 220-grit sandpaper to remove rust and smooth over chipped spots on a metal door. Use progressively finer grit sandpaper to smooth a wooden door and wipe off the dust with a tack cloth.
- Wipe down the door with an all-purpose cleaner. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry for at least an hour.
- Tape off the edges around the garage door with painter’s tape
Prime the Garage Door
The biggest difference between how to paint a metal garage door and how to paint a wooden garage door is in your primer. A metal paint primer helps conceal rust spots and dries to a flat finish that’s easy to paint on. A wood primer seals the porous surface of the wood so the subsequent paint application will stay on top.
You can apply your primer with a paintbrush and roller following the steps detailed below. Give your primer at least 24 hours to dry before you proceed with your chosen paint color.
Begin With Brushwork
Start with brushwork to tackle tricky spots like the edges and inset panels. Mix the paint thoroughly before you begin and pour it into a small bucket that you can easily hold. Use a 2-inch nylon paintbrush. Here’s how to paint a garage door with a brush:
- Dip the brush into the paint and wipe off excess on the rim of the bucket.
- Apply the paint or primer to the angled edges of any inset panels on your garage door.
- Paint the entire interior of the panel with your brush if the panel is too small to paint with a roller. If the panel is large, use the brush only for the inner edges.
- Use a rag to wipe away excess paint that’s gathered around the outer edges of the panels, known as stiles.
- Apply a 2 or 3-inch border around the entire outside of the door. Make sure the paint doesn’t seep past the blue painter’s tape.
You can adjust the height of the garage door as you work so you don’t have to bend down to apply paint to the lower half of the door. This trick can save you from a lot of discomfort as you complete this project.
Complete the Coverage With a Roller
A paint roller will help you finish the larger areas of your door more quickly. If you have small inset panels, you may want to select a small roller that will fit inside of these shapes as well as a larger roller for the areas of the door that are outside the panels. Complete the insets first and end with the larger roller.
A roller with a 6-8 mm nap is best for gloss or semi-gloss paint, while a roller with a 10-12 mm nap works well for flat or low sheen paint.
These steps explain how to paint a garage door with a roller:
- Remove fuzz or lint from new rollers. Dampen the roller slightly to prime it for painting, and remove excess water with a clean cloth.
- Pour well-mixed paint into a roller tray.
- Lightly dip the paint roller in the paint reservoir at the end of the tray, only covering half of the roller.
- Move the roller up and down the paint tray to evenly distribute the paint. Pick up extra paint from the reservoir if needed for full coverage. Move the roller up and down until it is coated on all sides, but not dripping.
- Gently roll paint or primer onto the garage door in long, smooth strokes, working from the bottom to the top.
Finish Up Your Project
Allow each layer to dry for at least 24 hours before the next application. Most projects require two layers of paint in addition to the initial layer of primer. Give the final layer 24 hours to dry before you remove the painter’s tape or open the garage door.
You may want to paint the trim around your garage door at the same time so you can give the entire area a fresh, clean look. You will need to apply painter’s tape to the door while you paint the trim, so you should wait until the garage door is completely dry to tackle this finishing touch. A darker-colored trim will set off the fresh shade of your garage door beautifully.
Make sure your garage door is working properly so you can utilize this beautiful paint job with ease. If you need garage door repairs, Overhead Garage Door can help. Give us a call for a fast fix to any garage door problem. If your door has reached the end of its lifespan, we offer professional garage door installations as well.