Paint Your Metal Garage Door Like An Expert

Are you looking for a super-easy way to boost the kerb appeal of your house? Painting your garage door is the answer! Especially if you have faded, peeling or cracked old paint on your metal door, you should grab a brush and start your project!

Hand use remote controller for closing and opening garage door

If you don’t want to hire a professional, it is easy enough to do it yourself. Do you need help with your DIY project? Keep on reading to find out a step-by-step guide to make your faded garage doors look brand new again!

Preparations before you start painting

The amount of paint you’ll need

Are you wondering how much paint you’ll need? You should consider the size of your garage door. Most standard two-car doors will need 4 litres of paint for two solid coats. Remember that you will need an extra amount if you’re painting over a darker colour with a lighter one.

Picking Out Paint

When choosing the paint that is best for your door, you should consider the material type and the colour that best suits your exterior design. For a steel door, you should use latex or oil-based paint. For aluminium, use acrylic paint. The colour you’ll choose should complement your home’s colour scheme to help the exterior look be balanced. You can achieve this by committing to one neutral palette and stick with a specific style for your hardware and other metal accents. 

close-up of two women choosing samples of wall paint

Materials you’ll need

  • Dust sheet
  • Mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wire brush
  • Bucket
  • Safety goggles
  • Flat scraper
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • All-purpose cleaner or sugar soap
  • Sponge
  • Garden hose
  • Masking tape or decorator’s tape
  • Cloth rags
  • Step stool
  • Painters tape
  • Metal primer
  • Metal exterior paint

Essential Tools for Painting paint rollers and tray, brush, masking tape, gloves, scissors

Look for surface imperfections and clean

In preparation for repainting, it is essential to remove all of the dirt from your garage doors

  1. Use your hose and clean the door by pressure washing both sides.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Use a putty knife to remove all of the loose residue and rust.
  4. When you are over-coating a previously painted door, use a sanding block and scrub down the entire surface for minor scratches so you can paint a smooth surface.
  5. Check for dirt in the hinges, sides, and sanding underneath.
  6. Protect the floor from any excess paint by laying down a drop cloth.
  7. If you don’t want to repaint the trim around the door, tape it up.

A hand of a man is seen sanding an old vintage car using a block of wood and brown sand grit paper

How to paint a metal garage door: step by step

Step 1: Do the preparation

As already mentioned, it is vital before you start painting to complete all the proper preparation steps. Be sure to check all the following:

  • Prepare the surface by removing any old paint and oily and greasy residue, scrubbing it with a TSP cleaner.
  • Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Mask off any windows and hardware by laying a drop cloth in the area you will be painting.
  • Sand the surface of the door.
  • Wipe down any excess with a damp rag.
  • Repeat the entire process on moulding or any PVC window frames.

Step 2: Get the paint ready

  • Pour mixed paint into a bucket.
  • Dip a quality 5-7 cm wide nylon/polyester brush into the paint.

 man holds brush in his hand ready to paint with white paint

Step 3: Apply the undercoat base with a paint metal primer

  • When any flaking paint is removed, and you end up with just the bare metal, you will need the primer.
  • Use a specific primer designed to protect galvanised steel from corrosion.
  • Open your door so that you can access the side and bottom edges.
  • If there are inset panels, use a high-quality 5cm paintbrush with nylon bristles or roller and prime these first. 
  • Wipe away any excess that may have sneaked outside of the panels.
  • Next, use the brush to prime the stiles and the horizontal panels
  • Prime the inside frame of the door, starting from the top to the bottom. For better results, use an up and down motion to get into every nook and cranny.
  • Wipe away any spills that may have overlapped onto the trim.
  • As you go, lower the door and stand on a ladder for the top portion.
  • Do the trim last. Starting at the top corner of the door, prime the trim’s side edge where it meets the wall. Prime all edges and its face and continue until the door trim is complete.
  • Let the primer dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Do the topcoat

Now that the primer has dried, it’s time to paint! Be sure to use high-quality garage door paint. The best choice is acrylic latex exterior house paint. Also, make sure you have taped any section you don’t want to paint, like windows or panels. You should apply your top coat of paint in the same order as the priming:

  • Start with the inset panels.
  • Wipe away any excess.
  • Work outward to the stiles and the horizontal panels.
  • Paint the inside frame of the door, starting from the top to the bottom.
  • Wipe away any spills.
  • Do the trim last.
  • Let it dry for at least 12 hours.
  • Take a look to see if it needs a second coat of paint.

Painter Cutting In With A Brush to Paint Garage Door Frame

Step 5: Apply a second coat

  • Be sure the first coat dries before you apply the second coat.
  • Cover any uneven patches or spots where the old, flaking paint shows through.
  • When you are done and while the paint is still fresh, remove the tape.
  • Before opening the door, let the paint dry overnight and then open it.

Some extra painting tips

Painting your garage door is like painting any other surface. Here are some painting tips to help you out.

  • Use slow and long strokes.
  • After covering an area with a single coat, let it dry before applying another.
  • While you paint, stop at the hinges every time to paint just one lengthwise panel at a time.
  • When you paint the ends of the panels, slide the door up until the hinge separates to give you room to manoeuvre.
  • Reach the panel ends using a small step stool or ladder.
  • You can use gloss paint if you want the finish to be super shiny, or satin and a semi-gloss finish for less polished results.
  • Use exterior paint so it will hold up to the elements.
  • Prefer to use high-quality latex paint.
  • If you want to even out the finish and ensure it’s nice and smooth, you can go over the paint with a dry brush once it’s been applied.
  • Avoid painting early in the morning.
  • Paint when the weather is comfortable and dry and avoid painting at temperatures below 10°C.

Color brush with paint pot

Keep your garage door clean

Keeping your door clean is vital for its lifespan and for keeping the colour at its finest. If your garage door is still under warranty, you must clean it regularly to maintain the contract’s terms. Since it is exposed to the weather elements daily, even the highest-quality door can become dull and eroded over time. Leaving dirt and grime on the door over long periods will speed up the finish’s erosion. You should wash and then wax your door at least twice a year. The best time to do so is once in spring and then in the fall.

How to wash your garage door

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and squirt in a bit of dish detergent or laundry detergent.
  2. You can also use your hose and soapy water.
  3. Clean your door from top to bottom with a sponge or cloth.
  4. With gentle circular motions, wipe on the door’s surface, moving across the door from left to right.
  5. Make sure to clean behind the stop moulding on the sides and top of the door.
  6. When you reach the opposite corner, wipe across the door in the opposite direction, from right to left.
  7. Use a bleach/water mixture to clean tough stains.
  8. Scrub the weatherstripping and trim around the door.
  9. Brush down any cobwebs on the outside and inside of the garage doors.
  10. Use your hose to rinse the door off.
  11. Dry with a microfiber cloth or towel.
  12. You can also let it air dry, but this will take more time.

young woman or girl cleaning garage door pvc

Wax after cleaning

  • Use liquid wax. Never apply paste wax.
  • Follow the wax manufacturer’s application instructions to make sure you wax it properly.
  • Apply wax to the steel portion of the door.
  • Be sure to wax any surface that may be exposed to elements such as salt.
  • Wax the interior of the bottom section of the door, too.

What not to do

  1. Don’t use a pressure washer; this can damage the integrity of your door.
  2. Don’t use abrasive sponges; they can cause damage to your door.
  3. Don’t forget to clean all parts of the garage door. You can avoid problems down the road and save money if you are not hasty.
  4. Don’t mix cleaning solution and bleach. If you need to apply a bleach solution to a difficult stain, wipe off all cleaning solutions in that area of the door first.

How much does it cost to paint a garage door?

If you are wondering how much it will cost you to paint your garage door, the answer is that it will for sure be less expensive than hiring a professional to do it. Generally, the cost per square metre is between £1 and £3. A typical range cost to paint a garage door is anywhere from £150 to £400. Of course, the price will vary depending on the garage’s size, its doors’ number and the type of paint, primer, and other supplies you choose to use.

Big garage with gray doors, brick wall and asphalt driveway

This project is way easier and less time consuming than you may imagine. You can have your old door looking brand spanking new in just a weekend. All you need is a dry day, patience and your best painting clothes. Talk about an easy way to enhance your home’s exterior! Follow our guide for the best results and happy painting!

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