Garage Door Painting Tips

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A peeling or faded garage door, whether it is constructed of wood or metal, can have a negative impact on the look of your home's exterior. The garage door sees a lot of wear from daily use and constantly being in the weather. Painting your garage door is not difficult, but it does need to be done properly.

Clean the Door

  • The garage door is out in the elements collecting dirt and grime throughout the seasons. Before painting, wash the entire surface of the garage door. Metal and wood garage doors are cleaned and prepared the same way. Begin by spraying the door with a garden hose. Scrub it thoroughly with phosphate trisodium and a scrub brush. Phosphate trisodium can be purchased at most hardware stores. Rinse the garage door thoroughly, and let it dry.

Sand the Door

  • For both wood and metal garage doors, you must sand the entire door. If you skip the sanding, the paint won't stick to the door. Sand each individual surface panel with a medium-grade sandpaper. If the metal door shows rust, use a heavy-grade sandpaper. After sanding, clean the panels with a vacuum or tack cloth. Do not use steel wool. If you accidentally remove the enamel during sanding or if there is any rust on the metal door, you will have to prime the garage door before you paint it. Apply a zinc primer, and then wait at least 16 hours to paint the door.

Select the Paint

  • Oil-based paints do not work well for metal and wood garage doors because they show a lot of flaws and imperfections. It is best to use a latex exterior sash and trim paint for a wood garage door and a metal paint for the metal door. While you are buying the paint, pick up a roller, paint tray, a standard-size brush and a contour brush.

Paint the Door

  • Roll the paint on the wood or metal garage door. Paint from the top to the bottom of the door, all the way across. Overlap each section by a few inches to make sure the entire garage door gets covered. Use the standard-size brush to trim around the edges of the door. Use the contour brush to smooth runs from the roller and to touch up corners and edges. After the first coat of paint has dried, apply a second coat of paint in the same manner. Do not use the garage door for a day while the paint dries.

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