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garage door paint

Two Paint Options for Your Garage Door

Every few years it’s a good idea to give your garage door a face lift. A good cleaning, annual maintenance, and especially, a fresh coat of paint.

New paint not only makes it look better, it also helps prevent weather damage. There are 2 preferred types of paint for your garage door: Latex and Oil-Based.

This post takes a look at those two types of paints and what we recommend for your garage door paint job.

Latex Paint For Your Garage Door

Latex paints, surprisingly, don’t contain latex. Latex paint is actually made from synthetic polymers, which have similar characteristics to latex. Latex paint will not cause a reaction from anyone allergic to latex.

Latex paints are distinct in that they can be diluted with water, but when dry are water resistant. Latex paint is sometimes referred to as emulsions or acrylic paint. There are different levels of quality to latex paint, obviously the better quality is a higher price.

For garage doors, a balance between vinyl and acrylic resins present in the paint is best. The combination is a great balance between price and quality. Latex paint as you’d imagine is easy to clean, water resistant and adheres really well to your garage door. It’s also resistant to cracking, which helps the paint job last longer.

Latex paint also holds up well to alkali cleaners. This is important for garages that also double as a workshop. Alkali cleaners are great for getting out grease and stubborn stains. You can use these cleaners without damaging or cracking the paint.


Oil-Based Paints For Garage Doors

These are oil-based paints (ha!) that generally contain linseed oil. You can buy this type of paint in high concentration, and the thing it down during an oil based solvent. The most common solvent is turpentine.

Oil-based paints take a lot longer to dry than latex paint. They are also much smellier! If you are going to paint your garage door with an oil-based paint, it’s recommended you empty your garage before painting so the smell doesn’t stick on your things. Oil-based paints are hard to clean as well, so moving your stuff out is recommended also for this reason, to prevent any drops from ruining your belongings.

Oil-based paint despite the obvious cons, is really easy to work with. A thin coat will stick to the door well regardless of the material of the door (wood, aluminum, steel, etc). Don’t forget to use a primer if painting with an oil based paint. Especially if the door is made from metal, the paint can peel away after long sun exposure, so primer helps this.

Lastly, oil-based paints are affordable, and come in a lot of colors!


No matter which paint you choose, make sure to hire a good painter to do the job right!


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Paint Your Garage Door

There are several different reasons home owners decide to pain their garage doors. For some, it is a cosmetic decision and they have simply become tired of the old look. For others, it is maintenance and protection. It can prevent future damage and save money in the long run. The very first step is to decide between a water or oil based paint. Oil based paint is generally that which is chosen for exterior painting, while water based paint resists stains best. It is wise to purchase a primer and a finish as well. Some more expensive paints do not require one or the other.


  • Use a pressure washer to thoroughly clean metal garage doors and a garden hose for those constructed of wood. A pressure washer is not recommended for wooden doors as it may damage them. Use a stiff brush and mild detergent to remove tough dirt and/or stains. Use a scraper to remove any peeling paint and sandpaper to smooth the surface.
  • It is also best to sand any areas of metal garage doors which show rust. Use a paintable caulk and/or wood filler for patching and filling cracks. Be sure to remove any wood scrapes or splinters before trying to apply the paint.
  • Place cardboard and or drop cloths down to protect the garage floor and driveway. Masking tape and plastic sheeting or trash bags can be used to protect windows, trim, and/or siding.
  • Use a high quality brand paint to prime the garage door especially, if it is new and has never before been primed or if you are painting it a different color from the previous time. Ensure that it is the correct primer for your garage door’s material, whether wood or metal. Apply a thin coat of primer with a roller or sprayer. A brush can be used; however, it may show streaking, especially if the painter is inexperienced.

A Fresh Coat

  • Disconnect the garage door opener. This is to allow you to open the garage door manually from the outside and paint one panel at a time.

Tip: Avoid painting the rubber gasket on the bottom of the garage door.

  • Mix the paint thoroughly by shaking as well as stirring it with a stick. Pour a large amount into a bucket or paint pan and seal that which remains in the original paint bucket.
  • Apply a thin layer of paint evenly using a roller, sprayer, or wide brush. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. A second coat is recommended for the best results. Start at the lower portion of the door working upward one panel at a time.
  • Use a wide brush to apply two thin, even coats to the garage door trim as well. To gain extra precision angle your paint brush.
  • Remove and dispose of all of the plastic, cardboard, and tape. Use a flat razor to remove any paint from the window panes. Rinse the brushes, roller, and buckets or pans until the water runs clear for acrylic or latex paint. A solvent based cleaner will be needed for clean up if an oil based paint was used.


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How to Repaint Your Sectional Garage Door

GreenGarageDoorA tired paint job can be depressing to look at and doesn’t do a great job at keeping your sectional garage door protected from the elements. The good news is that repainting your garage door can be a quick and easy DIY project. The following guidance will help you to repaint your door the right way, making it a painless task and saving you from a paint-splashed driveway.

Tools and Materials

You will need the following items to repaint your sectional garage door:

  • Paint can opener (or a 5-in-1 tool)
  • A step stool
  • A drop cloth
  • Some rags
  • An old paintbrush for dusting
  • Sanding block
  • A stick for paint stirring
  • A 3-inch latex brush
  • Appropriate paint for the material of your garage door
  • Clean work bucket of 1 gallon capacity

Step by Step Repainting Guide

If you have an automatic door opener, disengage the door opener so you can open and close your door manually. Once you have done that, just follow the next steps.

1) First get rid of any oxidized paint, cobwebs, dust and dirt from your overhead garage door. The quickest way to do this is to go over the whole door with a sanding block. After giving the door a light sanding, use your old paintbrush or a rag to remove any loose dust from the door surfaces.

2) With the door partially raised, place the drop cloth on the ground across the threshold to protect your garage floor and driveway from paint splashes.

3) Open the can of paint and use the stick to give it a thorough stir. Then pour around a quart of paint into your work bucket.

4) Begin painting the door at the bottom. Apply the paint to the bottom most section only and don’t paint the gasket on the bottom of the door unless it has been previously painted. Paint this section with the door partially raised so you don’t have to stoop down.

5) Paint as far into the extreme ends of the door section as you can. You will get paint onto the surrounding door trim but that doesn’t matter, since you will be painting the trim later. It will be easier to paint the extreme panel ends if you raise the section all the way to the top of the door opening and use a step stool to stand on. This is where the tracks force the section back from the door edges to you have more space to get your brush in and paint.

6) While you have the door section at the top of the opening, the top edge of the panel you have painted and the bottom edge of the next section will be exposed. Now is the time to paint these edges.

7) After completing the bottom section, repeat the process for the rest of the panels. You will need to use your step stool for the higher sections. After you finish painting the top section, check the entire door for any paint runs or drips.

8) Finally, paint the trim around the top and side door edges. You can choose to paint this trim the same color as the door or use a different color if you prefer.

If you think your sectional garage door needs a second coat of paint you can apply it the same day once the first coat is thoroughly dry. Alternatively just wait for the next day with good weather for outside painting.

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