Did you ever consider that the garage door could represent a large portion of your home’s façade? It could be almost half of the “face” the house presents to the street. So, if the color is faded or the paint in need of an updated, now’s the time to do it! Yet, do you even know how to go about painting a garage door?
First things first, if the door is wooden (either stained or painted), it is best to discuss updates with a paint expert. For metal doors, both non-insulated and insulated, however, this blog can walk you through the process.
Preparing to paint
One thing to know is that you will not be able to purchase oil-based (alkyd) paints in most of the big box stores, or even local shops. This has to do with laws relating to lead, and it is only professionals allowed to use oil-based paints. So, you need to find water-based (latex) paints and can opt for famous brands like SICO, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, DULUX, Behr, and others.
You will also want to always select a semi-gloss or matte coat for the top coat as these hold up to weather and are easier to clean. Though we won’t make any suggestions about color, as this is entirely personal, you should consider the orientation of the door. If it gets a lot of southern exposure and direct light, skip the darker hues. They attract UV rays and heat, which can lead to contracting and expanding, peeling and shorter life span on the paint.
Getting the right amount of paint
In addition to getting the right paint, you’ll need the right amounts. This is calculated by measuring the door. For instance, a double garage door will need about 1 gallon (4 liters) of paint. Yet, it also depends on the age of the door. If it is old, we recommend applying a coat of primer to get the best adhesion of your top coat(s).
Get the right tools
In addition to the right paint, invest in good tools. These include:
- A high quality, 4‑inch (10‑cm) paintbrush made of synthetic materials like nylon or polyester
- A woven fabric roller, about 5 inches (15 cm) wide and with a short-pile (around 3⁄16″ or 5 to 6 cm)
- Trays and containers for using and storing paint
- Drop and wipe cloths to both prevent and clean the door, catch spills and clean drips or messes
- At least one sheet of fine (220‑grit) sandpaper
- Masking tape for windows or areas that should not receive paint
Prepare the door
Whether or not you use primer, the following steps are essential to a good outcome:
- Wash the surface with a trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to eliminate residues, grease, oil and any powdery accumulations from dirt and dust, then rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow to dry.
- Use a fine grit sandpaper to roughen up the surfaces to be painted as this will allow primer and paint to adhere to the door properly. Don’t use steel wool. Wipe the door with a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner to eliminate any dust.
- If you have PVC window frames or PVC decorative molding, proper cleaning is the key to success, and the steps above should be used on these areas, too.
Primer or base coats
No matter what you are painting, one of the keys is preparation. Then, base coating is the next step to success. That is why we recommend primer. A layer of zinc phosphate primer will do just fine, but allow it to dry at least 16 hours before applying your top coat.
The top coat
Once priming is done, just roll on the top coat you have chosen, and if needed, a second coat. Be sure the first dries fully before applying any further coats.
Can a professional do better?
In a word: yes. A qualified painter, or company specialized in painting will apply industrial-quality primer and paint and often under the protection of a temporary shelter. This results in a flawless finish.
Need to know more!
Contact us at 860-666-9315 and we can discuss your needs, show you the products in your budget or just send you a quote by email. Feel free to pop into our showroom or visit our online Design Centre to choose the garage door style or color best suited to your home. You can also look at the image gallery to get lots of ideas.