How to Prepare and Paint Your Garage Door

Painting the garage door is a chore most of us never think about, but it’s important to keep your door looking its best. Your garage door can make up about a third of your home’s exterior face, so if it’s looking shabby, it greatly decreases your curb appeal. Fortunately, while painting the garage door is a time-consuming task, it’s not especially difficult.

  • Determine the material. Most garage doors today are made of aluminum, but many older homes have wooden doors. While latex paint is a good option for both aluminum and wooden doors, aluminum doors need an oil-based primer, while wood can take oil-based or latex.
  • Watch the weather. It’s best to paint when the weather is temperate, with low humidity, indirect sunlight, and temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees. Bear in mind that you’ll probably need three full days to complete the job, so make sure the weather will hold.
  • Wear protective gear. Work gloves, a dust mask, and safety goggles will keep dust, debris, and paint from being inhaled or splattering into your eyes.
  • Do your prep work. A wooden door with a flaking or peeling surface will require scraping and sanding before you apply the primer and paint. An aluminum door may have some rust spots or uneven places that can be scrubbed off with a wire brush and then sanded smooth. Finish preparing the door by washing it with all-purpose cleaner, a scrub brush, and a hose. Dry it with rags or towels, and let it dry completely before beginning to paint it.
  • Keep paint where it’s supposed to be. Put down drop cloths to keep paint from dripping where it’s not wanted, both inside and outside the door. Use heavy duty painters tape to tape off handles, locks, and trim around the garage door, in order to ensure precision in your paint job.
  • Apply the primer. To make it easier on your back, disengage the electric garage door opener and manually lift the door to a comfortable height, then begin painting from the bottom and work your way up. If your garage has inset panels, prime those first, with a 2-inch nylon bristled paintbrush. Wipe away any excess that’s made its way outside these panels, to create a smooth finish, before priming outer areas, using the brush or a ¾ inch roller. Allow the primer to dry for a full twenty-four hours before you apply your paint.
  • Apply two coats of paint. This might not be necessary on an aluminum door unless you’re going from a darker color to a lighter shade. You might want to use a large brush to paint the door, to save time getting the job done. If the door is wooden, you’ll want to go with the grain. If it’s aluminum, you have more leeway, but should try to apply the paint as smoothly and evenly as possible. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying the second coat, at least twelve hours. Once you’ve completed your second coat, remove the tape and let the paint dry overnight before opening the garage door.
  • Consider getting creative. You don’t have to stick to paint, or even a solid color. If you’ve got a wooden garage door, you can strip it down and stain it, for a unique look. With an aluminum door, you can paint it however you’d like: you’re limited only by your imagination, your home owner’s association or neighborhood regulations, and how good you are with a brush.
  • Know how to clean up properly. Once you’re finished, and you’ve finished taking down the tape and putting away the drop cloths, it’s time to clean your brushes. It’s important to clean brushes thoroughly because paint left in brushes will make them stiff and unusable. If you’ve been using latex products, you can wash your brushes out with soap and water. On the other hand, if you’ve used oil-based paint, you’ll need to use a solvent like turpentine or paint thinner. Dip the brush in a generous amount of solvent until all the paint has come out, and then finish cleaning it by washing it in a thick solution of liquid dish soap. It can be helpful to separate the brush with your fingers, looking at the rubber base inside the bristles to make sure you’ve gotten all the paint off of the brush.

You can make a big difference in the appearance of your door with a coat of paint. When it’s time to get a whole new door, though, it’s time to contact A1A Overhead Doors Company today. Our knowledgeable staff can help you determine exactly what’s needed, and complete your installation efficiently and professionally. Family owned and operated, A1A Overhead Door serves the entire metro Jacksonville area. In fact, we even go up to fifty miles into the outer countries. We are licensed and insured to cover both the client’s property and ours, and we’re proud to work with our clientele and will match or beat any competitor’s written estimate. For more information, you can call 904.579.1123 or contact us through our website.