Five Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Your Garage Door

Posted on: 6 March 2017


If you want to give the exterior of your house a bit of a change, you may want to paint your garage doors. This is an effective way to boost your curb appeal without having to paint your entire house. To ensure the job goes smoothly, you may want to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Don't Use Interior Paint

If you have extra interior paint, it can be tempting to put it on your garage door, but unfortunately, interior paint does not work well in the great outdoors. It simply isn't designed to withstand the elements. Instead, use exterior paint, but also make sure that the paint you select works with your doors. For example, if you have wooden carriage doors, you need paint designed for use on wood, but if you have aluminium garage doors, you can use exterior paint designed for aluminium siding.

2. Don't Forget to Test the Colours

The colour on a sample strip often looks different when it's actually on your garage door. The light outside can make an especially large difference to how the colour appears. Before settling on your final choice, paint a sample bit of paint on your garage door. If possible, paint the sample near the edge of the garage door so you can see how it looks next to the frame of the door. Most paint supply stores sell small cans of paint for sample work so you can do this relatively inexpensively.

To get a clear sense of the colour, consider painting two coats and letting it dry fully before you assess the colour. Alternatively, do a layer of primer between the old coat and the new sample. Both of these options help to ensure the old colour doesn't show through the new colour.

3. Don't Skip the Prep Work

To ensure the paint sticks to your garage door, you need to spend some time prepping. Ideally, you should wash the door. If you use a hose or pressure washer, start from the top. Then, finish the job with a small brush or a rag, and make sure that you have removed any dirt or debris that has built up in the crevices along the panels of your garage door. Once the door is clean, go over it with a coarse-grit piece of sandpaper. That helps to remove any leftover debris, and it also "roughs up" the old paint so that the new paint holds on more effectively.

4. Don't Force Awkward Painting Positions

Usually when you paint a wall, you have to crouch to do the bottom. Luckily, with a garage door, you can avoid those uncomfortable positions and save your back from potential aches or strains.

To make painting easier, disengage the automatic opener on your garage door, and put it into manual mode. Then, raise the whole door. Pull down some of the door until the bottom of the door is in a comfortable position to paint. Then, continue to pull the door down slowly and continue to paint each section as you go along. You may need to use a step ladder for the top of the door.

5. Don't Overlook Primer

If you are painting a light colour over a dark colour, you need to use primer. This paint is white, and it helps to cover the old colour so that it doesn't bleed through. In many cases a coat of primer and a coat of paint gives you a more professional-looking finish than two coats of paint.

For more tips on painting or repairing garage doors, contact a garage door expert at a company like Best Doors. If you decide painting isn't a big enough change, these experts can also help you find a new garage door.