14 Garage Door Painting Tips

Garage door painting, plus other considerations (like the type of garage entry door to install), can impact your home’s function and curb appeal. Many garage doors need a fresh coat of paint every few years. It not only looks good but can also protect the door. Whether you’ve never painted a garage door or it’s been a while since you last did, here are 14 garage door painting tips to help you along.

  1. Move Your Vehicle Outside: It doesn’t directly affect the paint job, but you should move your car and other items out of the garage. Decluttering the space protects valuables from stray paint droplets and gives you more room to work.
  2. Wait Until a Cool Day: When planning to paint your garage door, check the weather forecast. A temperature between 50℉ and 75℉ is best for painting. Also, plan the project for a three-day window when there’s low humidity, and try to time it for when you can work out of direct sunlight.
  3. Prep the Garage Door: Wear work gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask. Use a wire brush to remove any rust. Then use fine-grit sandpaper to sand any rough areas. This will create a smooth base to work with when you start garage door painting.
  4. Clean the Garage Door: The best paint job is on a clean, smooth surface. To clean your garage door, use a sponge or cloth that’s been soaked in warm soapy water. You can then rinse the surface clean with a garden hose. Avoid using a pressure washer. Using clean towels or rags, dry the garage door and wait an hour for it to air dry.
  5. Protect Anything You Don’t Want Paint On: Place drop cloths under the door to avoid getting paint on the floor or your driveway. To protect doors, you can use masking tape and paper to create a type of awning. To protect windows, trims, locks, and handles, you can use heavy-duty painter’s tape.
  6. Set the Garage Door in Manual Mode: Disconnect the door from the electric garage door opener. You can then move the door manually, raising and lowering it as needed to avoid straining yourself while painting. 
  7. Find a Paint Primer Suited for the Material: Check the product label for details on the material it’s suited for. Use an exterior paint primer. When priming inset panels, use a 2-inch paintbrush with nylon bristles. The stiles can then be primed using the brush or a ¾-inch roller. Paint the trim last. 
  8. Work from Bottom to Top: Now that your door is in manual mode, you can start painting it from the bottom, starting with the inner panels and working outward. Lower the door as you go, until you reach the top portion.
  9. Purchase a Protective Paint: A garage door paint that is UV-, rust-, and moisture-resistant will last longer, making your effort worth it.
  10. Consider Using a Spray Paint: Spray painting your garage door is a faster process. It also makes it easier to reach tight areas, which can be more challenging with rollers and brushes. When spray painting a garage door, go from left to right, then up and down. Use a small or medium brush to paint the trim.
  11. Let the Door Dry in the Lifted Position: Once the door is fully coated, lift it so it’s facing toward the ceiling. This protects wet paint from insects and speeds up the drying process. But first, make sure the ceiling is free of dirt and dust.
  12. Fill in the Gaps: To be as thorough as possible, fill in the gaps after the paint dries. To paint the gaps between each section, lower the door section by section to access one space at a time. When the seam is open, you can paint between the segments and leave the door partially open until these areas dry.
  13. Wait at Least 12 Hours to Apply a Second Coat: If the paint is uneven or the old color is showing through, let the first coat dry for 12 hours and then apply a second coat. Remove any tape you applied and let the paint dry overnight.
  14. Use an Oil-Based Primer and Paint for Aluminum Garage Doors: Wooden garage doors are easier to paint. Since steel and aluminum doors are already coated, paint jobs need to be redone every few years. An oil-based primer and paint should be used. While more difficult to clean up, the paint can help match a repainting job on your home’s exterior, add a contrasting color, or replace a worn baked enamel or powder coat.

Schedule Garage Door Repair or a Free Estimate

Mesa Garage Doors installs and repairs garage doors in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Factory-trained, our technicians can provide any garage door service you need. For a free repair estimate, advice, or more information on garage door painting, call (800) 893-1107 or email us at info@mesagaragedoors.com