Garage doors are sturdy and robust, keep your car protected and provide an additional level of security to you and your loved ones. However, over time, they might start showing signs of all the wear and tear that they have withstood over the years.
Provided you don’t take notice and let the signs of damage fester, they might end up affecting the integrity of the door. It is, therefore, essential that you know how to paint a garage door. You can also hire a professional for the task, but it’s so easy painting the door that you can do it on your own.
Need proof to believe in this claim? Then check out this video before scrolling down. It will preview all the stuff we’re going to discuss in this article. You might also learn a few tricks from the video that might help you when you’re painting the door.
Choosing the Paint for your Garage
Before you roll up your sleeves and start painting your garage door, it’s important to determine what type of paint will work best in your scenario. You’ll be able to answer this question based on the material of construction of your garage door.
- If your garage door is made of wood or steel: Choose a latex- or oil-based paint. Its increased resilience helps this paint withstand environmental pollutants for long.
- If your garage door is made of vinyl: Go for a paint that contains a bonding agent and a latex-based primer. As vinyl doors need paint that will adhere to their surface.
- If your garage door is made of aluminum: You can choose either a 100 percent acrylic exterior paint, or you can go with oil-based exterior paint and an oil-based primer.
Choosing the Color
The answer to this question depends on how much you want your garage door to stand out. If you want the door to stand out, select a color that contrasts with the rest of your house. If you want a paint that will make your house look bigger, its color should be the same as that of your home.
Here are some tips based on the looks you might want:
- For a subtle and soothing look: Use a monochromatic approach – that is, to select the same color for your door as you’ve already used on the house’s walls. A variety of shades of green, blue, soft yellow, and lavender will also portray a subtle look.
- For an elegant look: Choose a neutral color such as white or beige. Both these colors will not only add elegance to your garage door but will also make your home look more spacious. The same is true for shades of garnet, mahogany, and rust colors.
- For a vibrant look: Paint your garage door with multiple colors of different contrasts and varying hues. Some of the combinations that come to mind include a combo of black and red or gold and orange.
Choosing the Tools
You have three options when it comes to tools using which you can paint your garage door.
- Brushes: They are relatively straightforward to use and are best for doors with innumerable nooks and crannies. On the flip side, painting with a brush is pretty time consuming, and you’d have to apply extra effort to get a smooth, professional finish.
- Rollers: They are ideal for garage doors that have large, flat surfaces, such as sectional models. You can count on them to give a smooth finish on a relatively large area in less time. However, you’ll have to use rollers in conjunction with brushes to cover cracks and edges.
- Spray applicators: They offer one of the quickest ways of applying paint – but are extremely wasteful and expensive. As long as you aren’t going to use spray applicators to paint a lot of exterior surfaces, the combo of roller and paintbrush will work fine.
Selecting the Day
Google the weather forecast for your area before you start painting. The optimum temperature for painting lies between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with indirect sunlight and low humidity. Make sure that at least three days fit this criterion, as you’ll need 72 hours to complete the job.
What You’ll Need?
Here’s a list of all the tools and equipment you’ll need:
- Rubber gloves
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
- Wire brush
- Garden hose
- Painters tape
- Drop cloth
- Exterior primer
- Exterior paint
- 2’’ Nylon paintbrush
- ¾’’ paint roller
Step-by-Step Guide for painting garage door
Follow these steps to paint your garage door:
Step 1: Thoroughly clean the garage door
Soak a sponge in soapy water and gently wipe away any dirt, dust or grime from the door’s outer surface. Scrub from side-to-side and top to bottom. Don’t forget the corners.
Once you’re done with the cleaning, give the garage door a thorough rinse with your garden hose. Afterward, use a clean towel to blot it dry as you should never apply paint to a wet surface.
Step 2: Lay down a protective drop cloth
The area on both sides of the garage door (inner and outer) needs to be covered before you begin painting. You can also use a plastic tarp if you cannot find a protective drop cloth.
Apart from preventing stains on the floor, the protective cloth will catch dirt and debris falling from the door.
Step 3: Cover areas you don’t want to paint
Use a painter’s tape to cover the areas where splashes of paint might spread accidentally, such as the edges of the door. This little caution will save you from a lot of scrapping later on if the project gets messy.
Start lining up the tape at the top and apply it all the way down with accuracy. Make sure you get a painter’s tape with wide rolls. This will give you the maximum margin of error.
Step 4: Apply the primer to the garage door
There are two crucial reasons why you need to apply the primer before the paint. Aside from providing a flat base for the paint to which it can easily stick, the primer also increases the paint’s durability.
Simply use a painter’s brush to apply one thin coat of primer over your garage door. Give the primer at least half a day to dry before you move on to the next step.
Step 5: Start painting hard to reach areas
Use a handheld brush to paint recessed, hard-to-reach portions of the door’s panels. The maximum control and narrow width offered by the brush will allow you to cover depressions and crevices easily.
Depending on the pre-existing condition of your door, you might have to apply several coats to get a solid finish. Make sure that by the time you’re finished with this step, all the thin or bare spots are covered.
Step 6: Start painting the door
Use a roller to cover the outer surfaces of the door. Start by painting the home-facing side of the door and move on to the road-facing side afterward.
The reason why we recommend that you use a roller for this step is that it guarantees a consistent finish. Rollers also have the ability to not leave any seams or visible strokes behind.
As long as you aren’t covering a pre-existing dark color with a lighter one, one coat of paint will be enough. However, if you’re painting a bolder shade, you might have to apply several coats for the color to show up.
Pro Tip: Before you start painting the door, set its action to manual. This will allow you to raise or lower the door as needed to paint a particular area. This, in turn, will save you from the trouble of crouching and stooping repeatedly.
Final Step: Let the paint dry for 12-24 hours
Twelve hours should be enough for the paint to dry if the outside weather isn’t too humid. During this time, you should forbid everyone from coming near the door and touching it.
During the time that the paint is taking to dry, keep cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and every such stuff at a safe distance. You may also have to park your car outside during the time that the paint is drying.
Q: How often should I paint my garage door?
A: Provided you live in a dry, temperate climate, you can go for as long as five years without feeling the need to re-paint the door. However, if it frequently rains in your part of the woods, you may have to paint once every 3 years.
Q: How much paint will I need to cover my garage door?
A: Use this formula to calculate the number of liters you’ll need:
Liters of paint = (Height of the door / Width) / (16)
You might have guessed by now that painting a garage door isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is select the right paint, the right color, the right day, and the right tools for the job, and you’ll have a sparkling new-looking gate within three days.