How to Paint a Garage Door?

The aesthetic value that a painted garage door can add to the exterior of your house only becomes evident after you see it painted, beautifully contrasting with the walls and roofs – it just gives your house a complete look. Not only is painting your garage door a great way to exercise your creativity, but it also makes for an enjoyable and rewarding outdoor DIY activity.

However, replacing the job of a professional is not easy, and therefore getting a flawless, finished look may require a bunch of tools and a step-by-step guide on how to paint a garage door. And that is exactly what we have shared below – let’s get started on this creative journey.

What You Will Need

To get the job done with perfection, without help from any professional, you will need a bunch of tools and instruments before you start painting your garage door. We have listed the essentials below:

How to Paint a Garage Door?

High-quality latex exterior paint

Latex exterior primer

Wire brush

¾ inch paint roller

Painter’s tape

Rubber gloves

2-inch paintbrush with nylon bristles

Fine grit sandpaper

All-purpose cleaner

Drop Cloth

Step 1: Planning and checking the weather.

Unlike other DIY activities around the house, this one will need the right weather conditions for the result to be flawless. You do not want to paint on a rainy day! Therefore, you will have to check the weather forecast beforehand and plan your painting endeavor accordingly. The ideal weather conditions for painting your garage door would include low humidity, a temperature anywhere between 50-75 degrees, and indirect sunlight.

Try to take out three consecutive days as close to these weather conditions as possible. Second, gather all your painting essentials – you do not want to realize that you are out of paint in the middle of a coat. Ideally, a gallon of paint will be more than enough for a two-car garage door. Just make sure you have everything before diving in.

Step 2: Cleaning the garage door before beginning to paint.

This step is crucial for a perfect matte finish. Clean your garage door by sanding, washing, and removing rust. First, make sure to put on all the protective gear: rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask for extra protection. Now, use a wire brush to scrub off any rusted or chipping spots.

Next, use fine-grit sandpaper to make the surface of your garage door smooth. Now, wash the door with an all-purpose cleaner to get rid of any leftover dust and residue – your garage door is now a smooth, clean, empty canvas for you to start painting.

Step 3: Covering and protecting spaces you do not want paint on.

Make sure you cover everything that you do not want to paint or stain while painting. To cover handles, windows, locks on the garage door, you will need heavy-duty painters’ tape. Similarly, to protect the insides of the garage and your driveway, spread out some drop cloth properly both inside and outside the garage.

Step 4: Setting the garage door on manual for ease of movement.

This is another thing you should do before you start painting your garage door – more for your own sake than that of the door. It will be much easier for you to adjust the height of the door as you paint along, so manually opening it at different lengths will be a great way of avoiding backache. Why lower down for the door when the door can do that for you? Hence, do not forget to disconnect the electric opening mechanism before you begin to paint.

Step 5: Priming the garage door for paint.

So, this is the stage where you finally get your hands dirty (not if you cared to wear your protective gloves). Before putting a coat of paint, apply an exterior latex primer for a professional end look. If you think this step is unnecessary, think twice. Priming your garage door will make the paint last longer and give it a finer finish.

First, prime the inset panels (if your garage door has any) with a 2-inch nylon bristles paintbrush. Next, prime the stiles using the same brush or the ¾ inch paint roller. Make sure to get in between the ‘lips’ of the horizontal panels as well. Lower the door as you keep moving bottom-up, priming the trim at the very end. You will now need to let it dry for at least 12 hours.

Step 6: Painting your garage door.

Now that your garage door is cleaned and primed, you can finally start painting your garage door. Follow the exact same sequence, painting the inset panels first, shifting toward the stiles, and finally moving up the door to the trims. Make sure to use high-quality latex exterior paint so that your effort lasts longer.

Step 7: Evaluating the final view.

Finally, stand back and look at the result of your creative efforts. Evaluate if there are any faded spots you would want to put a second coat on or if you’d want to do a different color on top to make the combined color more aesthetically pleasing.

If you see any patches, spots, or old colors are showing through – you may want to go for a second coat of paint. Just wait for at least 12 hours before going in again. Once you are satisfied with what you see, remove the painters’ tape, and let the paint dry overnight before opening the garage door.

Our Final Thoughts


While painting your garage door on your own is a brave decision to make, the result is super rewarding when you see a good-as-new garage door every time you have to drive your car or get something from the garage. It is a great way to unleash some of those creative juices and saves a great deal of money once you learn how to paint yourself. With our easy step-by-step guide on how to paint a garage door, we hope you are ready for your new DIY project.