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How to Easily Paint Your Garage Door

For many homeowners, their garage door faces the road and is often one of the first things visitors see when pulling into the driveway. An aging garage door can be an eyesore. However, painting your garage door can improve your home’s curb appeal.

The results of this simple project might surprise you and are often worth the time it takes.

So sit back, and we’ll show you how easy it can be to paint your garage door. This just might be your next DIY weekend project.

Is It Easy to Paint a Garage Door?

Painting a garage door is not a difficult task. Even someone with minimal DIY skills can check this task off their to-do list. This is typically a one-person job that you can tackle in a single day. However, getting fantastic results requires having the right supplies and taking your time. 

Besides having the right tools, you also need to consider the weather. You want to do this project on a cool, overcast day to get the best results. This allows the paint to dry smoothly and evenly.

Pro Tip: Don’t have a garage door to paint? Paint your RV instead! Find out What We Learned From Painting Our RV.

Woman painting metal garage door
Paint your garage door with ease with a few simple tips and tricks.

What’s the Best Way to Paint a Garage Door? 

Painting a garage door isn’t rocket science. Take your time, and your like-new garage door might be the talk of the block. Let’s dive in.

Clean the Door

Before you dip your paintbrush in any paint, you need to clean and prepare the surface. A mild detergent like dish soap will do a great job, but a spray-on house cleaning agent gives the best results. Use a soft-bristle brush to get into the cracks and crevices on the door’s surface. It’s a good idea to wash the door the day before you intend to paint it. If that’s not possible, use plenty of beach towels to dry it.

Lay Down a Protective Drop Cloth

It seems that paint will drip no matter how careful you paint. Lay down a cloth or disposable drop cloth to protect the ground. However, we’ll share a tip or two later to minimize drips. You don’t want to spill a bucket of paint on your driveway.

We also recommend taking other protective measures to avoid accidentally getting paint where you don’t want it. Use painter’s tape around windows and door edges and cover hardware. You can keep these areas clean and get a smooth, professional look when finished.

Apply Primer

Depending on your choice of color, you may need to apply a layer of primer to your garage door. Create a smooth base layer for the paint to dry and easily adhere to the surface. A base layer of primer helps avoid needing multiple coats and ensures your door looks good for years.

Primer and paint brushes in paint tray
Always prime before you start painting your door!

Paint the Door

The next step is to start applying the paint. You should use a paintbrush with angled bristles at least 2” or 3” wide. This will make it easy to get into any indentions and shapes unique to your door.

Start at the top and paint the entire top panel. Partially open the door to raise the top section and work your way down. By opening the door, you limit the chances for drips to run vertically down the door.

To do this, you may need to disengage the garage door opener. This typically requires you to pull a lever on the door to unlock it. Then continue to work your way down until you reach the bottom.

Let Dry

Once you reach the bottom of the door, leave the door open for several hours to give the paint time to dry. Then close the door and inspect the results. If you need to apply second coatings, give enough time between them.

To achieve a professional look, use a razor blade to cut off any paint that tries to dry between the panels. Come back the next day and use a piece of sandpaper to smooth out the surface for a sleek look.

Man holding clean paint roller at the camera.
Keep in mind, the paint you choose will depend on what material your garage door is.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Garage Door?

When choosing paint for your garage door, you’ll want to consider what type of door you have. If you have a vinyl or wooden garage door, use high-quality exterior latex paints. However, if you paint a metal door, use oil-based exterior paint for the best results. However, exterior latex paint will get the job done.

You want to purchase a brand you trust, no matter what type of door you have. Trying to save a few bucks by choosing a cheaper paint may not get you the results you wanted, or it may not age as nicely.

Pro Tip: Are you considering moving to a sticks and bricks house? Find out Why Do People Quit RVing?

Is Painting Your Garage Door on Your Own Worth It?

Painting your garage door can provide a tremendous return on the investment. Depending on the supplies you need to buy, this project may only cost you $50 to $100. This is an excellent weekend project that can provide tremendous results and freshen up the look of your house. And it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new door. Your neighbors may see the results and ask for tips to spruce up their garage door.

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