How to paint your garage doors

Taking up nearly 1/3 of the front-facing exterior of the average home, the appearance of your garage door has a significant impact on curb appeal. A new coat of paint not only helps protect it from the elements but can refresh the look of your entire house.

Here are the 6 simple steps to giving your garage door a fresh new finish:

Step 1: Check the weather

You’ll need three days of mild weather between 50°F – 75°F with low humidity. When choosing your painting time, plan to work when the door isn’t being exposed to direct sunlight.

Step 2: Gather your materials

The most important purchase for this project is obviously your paint and primer. Select your coatings based on the substrate (material the door is made of), performance (weather resistance, durability, etc.), finish (level of gloss), and color. Keep in mind, most modern doors are aluminum, but some older doors may be made of wood.    

One gallon of paint/primer is enough to cover a two-car garage door with some left over for touchups. If you are painting a larger surface or putting a light color over a dark color, you may need more. Ask for help at your local paint store if you’re not sure what you need.

Other tools and supplies:

  • Sponge
  • Garden hose
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Wire brush and sandpaper
  • Clean towels or rags
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint brush and roller
  • Step stool or ladder

Step 3: Clean the surface

Using an all-purpose cleaner, thoroughly remove all dirt and dust then rinse any residue from the door with your hose. If there are rust spots, you may need to remove them with a wire brush and sandpaper.

Step 4: Prepare your door and work area

Note: Don’t forget to park your cars outside the garage, and remove anything you know you’ll need that day before getting started.

After the door is completely dry, carefully tape off handles, hinges, windows, edges, etc. with painter’s tape. Place one drop cloth on your driveway to protect it from drips, and one inside your garage to protect the floor. If you’re painting the trim and frame a different color, tape it off, too, and paint that last.

Step 5: Prime

It’s easiest to work on the door from the bottom up. To do this, disengage the electronic opening mechanism so that you can move the door manually, then raise the bottom to a comfortable height so you don’t have to stoop. As you work, carefully lower the door in sections so you are always painting at a comfortable height.

To get a nice even coat, work from the inside of any inset panels to the outside of each section using a brush on the panels and slanted insets, then a roller on large, flat surfaces. Carefully wipe away excess as you go. Let your primer dry for at least 12 hours before applying your paint.

Step 6: Paint

Paint from the bottom up again, using the same method that you used for primer. Allow your garage door to dry for at least 12 hours before painting the frame and trim.

Looking for a completely new look (and new garage door)? Contact RCS Garage Doors to learn more about the styles we offer!

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