The garage door takes up a considerable amount of your home’s facade, so it becomes a focal point and it can be pretty obvious when it is time for a new coat of paint. Though, painting your garage door does not have just aesthetic benefits. It also helps keep it safe from dust, sunlight, and inclement weather. So. Let’s get to it!

First, get your materials. You won’t absolutely need all of these, but for what we’re suggesting:

  • Exterior paint (A gallon is recommended, but aluminum doors need less paint than wood and repeating the same color requires less paint. So, use your judgement. And make sure the paint is for outdoor use.)
  • 3-inch latex brush
  • Stir stick
  • Sanding sponge
  • Dropcloth
  • Painters tape
  • Roller
  • Step stool
  • Paint can opener

Next, pick a good time to paint. When working outside, it is best to work out of direct sunlight in temperatures between 50º and 90º F and be confident it’s not going to rain right after you’re done. If you have an electric opener, disengage it, so you can move the door manually.

Clean the door thoroughly. There are specialty cleaning items, but you could just give it a good scrub with a soapy sponge and sand off any paint that is peeling. It doesn’t have to be nearly perfect, but it shouldn’t be grimy..

Protect the surrounding areas. Partially raise the door and lay down dropcloths underneath for your driveway and garage floor. Tape off areas that you don’t want painted. That will primarily be the trim surrounding the door, if you don’t plan to paint that the same color.

If you are not using a paint that has primer built into it, prime the entire area. Use the roller primarily, but a brush where needed, like in recessed panels. This is especially important if you are changing the color of the door – if you don’t prime the old color will likely show through.

Finally! We paint! Raise the door up manually, so you don’t have to stoop to paint and start with the bottom. Paint lengthwise, one panel at a time, using the roller and brush as needed. (Light colors may need a second coat.) Then, lower the door as you work up until you’ve painted each panel. To most easily access the extreme ends of the panels and the top and bottom edges where panels meet, use the step stool to paint them when they are just barely rolling up into the top of the door. There, you have access to the top and bottom edges and the sides will be free from the walls.

Then, check the door for drips, runs, and spots you may have missed. Remove the dropcloths and any tape that you used. And lastly and most importantly, go to the end of the driveway and bask in the beauty of your newly painted garage door!