Painting garage doors

Garage doors are often overlooked but keeping them smart can really add to the overall appearance of your home and can make a great first impression.

When painting a garage door you need to use specialist paint for metal. It provides a tough durable finish and is highly resistant to flaking and discolouration.

  • Part 1: How to paint a garage door

    What you'll need

    • Protective clothing & dustsheets
    • Wire brush
    • Flat scraper
    • Household detergent & bucket
    • Medium & course grade sandpaper
    • Masking tape & newspaper
    • Ladders
    • Paint kettle
    • Small 2" - 3" paint brush
    • A large 4" - 5" paint brush or a fine finish roller
    • Door primer
    • Door paint
    • Brush cleaner or solvent

    Safety first

    Cleaning solutions and paint products may contain harmful chemicals. In addition, cleaning painted surfaces can create a lot of dust, so be sure to wear protective clothing including goggles, gloves, and a face mask at all times.

    Shop protective clothing
  • Step 1: Protect from splashes and spills

    Lay down dust sheets around the door to protect your driveway and paving.
    This will also help make clearing up easier. Be sure to protect
    yourself witha painting overall.

    A large tin of paint may be more economical, but it is cumbersome to work
    with. If your using a ladder to reach high up areas, use a kettle to
    store the paint and hang on the ladder, freeing
    up your hands to paint in a controlled and safe manner.

    Shop dust sheets Shop paint kettle

    Top tip

    It takes a lot of white spirit to clean oil-based paint from a kettle, so it is a good idea to use a throwaway lining of aluminium foil. Mould the foil into the kettle and if necessary use more than one layer to make sure it is fully leak-proof.

  • Step 2: Prepare the surface

    Use a flat scraper to remove any flaking and blistered paint.

    Sand the surface of the door with course sand paper or a wire brush, then finish with a medium grade sand paper to create a slight texture that the new paint will adhere to.

    Shake out the dust sheets away from the door as these will now have debris on from the sanding work.

    Wash the door with household detergent diluted with water to remove dust, grease and dirt. Leave the door to dry thoroughly.

    Mask off areas such as door handles and locks with masking tape and newspaper.

    Reposition the dust sheets.

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  • Step 3: Apply the primer

    You may need to use a primer on the door. This will depend on the type
    of top coat you are using. If you are changing the colour from a darker
    to lighter shade, a layer of primer will help enhance the final
    colour. Ensure the primer is dry as per the instructions.

    Start by opening the door and painting the edges and frame with the
    primer using a small 2" - 3" paint brush.

    When the edges are dry close the door and continue painting the front
    of the door. Start at the top of the door and work down using a paintbrush
    for the hard to reach areas and a fine finish roller for large flat areas.
    To avoid runs don't overload the brush or roller with paint.

    Aim to complete the door in one go to avoid noticeable lines on the paintwork.

    Follow the instructions on the tin for the number of coats required. Leave each
    coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

    Shop brushes, rollers & accessories Shop primers & undercoats

    Top tip

    Taking a break? Stop brushes or rollers drying out by wrapping them in cling film. If you make the wrap as airtight as possible, they will remain soft overnight.

  • Choosing paints

    If you have a wooden garage door make sure you use a paint that is suitable to wooden surfaces.

    Some paints are suitable for both metal and wood doors.

    You will also have to use a compatible primer.

    Shop garage door paint
  • Step 4: Apply paint

    Start by opening the door and painting the edges of the door in your chosen colour using a small 2" - 3" paint brush.

    When the edges are dry close the door and continue painting the front of the door using a paintbrush for the hard to reach areas and a fine finish roller for large flat areas. Start at the top of the door and work down. To avoid runs don't overload the brush or roller with paint.

    Aim to complete the door in one go to avoid noticeable lines on the paintwork.

    Follow the instructions on the tin for the number of coats required. Leave each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

    Shop brushes, rollers & accessories
  • Last step: Finishing up

    Remaining paints, stains and oils should be stored or disposed of
    according to their individual instructions. Do not empty down drains.

    Remove as much of the product from the brushes, rollers or paint pads
    before cleaning.

    If you have used water-based paints, simply wash with water. Work a little
    soap into them, rinse them clean and leave them to dry.

    If you have used oil or solvent-based paints or stains, simply clean with a
    solvent such as white spirit.

    Shop treatments & cleaners

    Top tip

    Resting brushes in a jar for any length of time is certain to ruin them, so suspend the brush, or use a specially designed cleaning tub.