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How to Repaint Garage Doors

Updated February 21, 2017

A good-looking garage door can enhance the look of an entire home. Keeping a garage door looking its best, however, is not always easy. This is because most doors are constantly exposed to the elements, which inevitably take their toll. Garage doors are also prone to dents and scrapes caused by distracted drivers. Whatever the case, you can improve the look of your garage door with a fresh coat of paint.

Position a large dust sheet beneath the garage door. The dust sheet will protect the pavement from drips while you paint.

Remove loose or flaking paint from the garage door. Use a plastic scraper and wire brush to remove all loose paint. If the old layer of paint is rough, go over the surface with fine-grit sandpaper. A small orbital sander will make the job easier. A sanding block or sponge can also be used.

Clean the garage door. Pour a mixture of dish detergent and hot water into a bucket. Use the solution to thoroughly wash the door. A nylon scrub brush will help remove all dirt, dust and remaining flakes of paint. Rinse with clean water, using a garden hose, and allow the door air dry.

Apply painter's tape to any area on the garage door you do not want to paint. If the door has windows, for example, tape around the edges of the windows. Also tape around any trim you do not want to paint.

Apply an oil-based or alkyd exterior primer to the garage door. Use a paint roller to apply the primer on the open, flat areas of the door. Use a small angled paintbrush to apply primer to the edges and any other areas requiring detail work. Allow the primer to dry for approximately 24 hours or the time indicated on the label.

Apply exterior acrylic paint to the garage door. It is better to use acrylic paint, as it is more flexible and stands up to the constant use and abuse that garage doors take. Apply the first coat of paint in the same manner you applied the primer, using a roller for large areas and the paintbrush for detail work. Allow the first coat to dry for 24 hours or the time indicated on the label before applying the second coat of paint.

Remove the painter's tape slowly and carefully. Pull the tape off of the door at a 45-degree angle to prevent damage to the new paint. If any paint accidentally dripped onto the windows, scrape it off with a razor blade. Paint the inside of the door in the same manner, if you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Large dust sheet
  • Plastic scraper
  • Wire brush
  • Fine-grit sandpaper, if necessary
  • Orbital sander or sanding sponge, if necessary
  • Bucket
  • Dish detergent
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Painter's tape
  • Exterior oil-based or alkyd primer
  • Exterior acrylic paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.