Painting Garage Doors

Painting a Garage DoorWhen considering painting your garage door, there are some dos and don’ts that should be followed. In essence, painting a garage door is easy. Simply, put the door down, tape off the area you would like to paint, and paint the door.  However, a quick internet search will produce a plethora of videos and articles, many of offer terrible advice that will lead to problems with how the door opens shortly after painting.

Here are some tips from the point of view of garage door professionals:

Paint Selection

Most doors in production today are made of steel, not aluminum. Many DIY sites convey this fact incorrectly which may lead a consumer to purchase the wrong type of paint. Steel Garage Doors come from the factory with a baked finish. This means only certain types of paint, specifically, a high quality exterior acrylic latex, are recommended for use. The heat and UV Rays here in the Phoenix Valley of the Sun will cause low quality paints to prematurely fade and dull. Oil based or alkyd paints can react with the baked on finish causing issues with the bonding to the steel.

Wash the Door

The door must be clean for a good chemical bond to form between the surface of the door and the paint.  Sponge-wash the door with a mild detergent and warm water.  Rinse thoroughly and allow the door to dry completely before beginning to paint.

Apply Painter’s Tape to Contact Points

New paint will act like glue.  The paint gets hot during the day, becoming tactile giving it the ability to stick to whatever it is touching. As the paint cools over night it hardens whilst still being connected to any surface it is in contact with.  It is important not to get paint in between the sections or under the weather seal at the top and on the sides of the garage door.  Paint in these areas will cause the door to snap open when first used each day. In worst case scenarios, automatic garage door openers call pull the supports out of the door simply because the paint is sticking to trim and the sections are sticking together.  Besides taping off the rest of the garage from overspray, it is recommended that you apply painters tape under the weather seal and between the sections to keep the paint out of these areas.

Close the Door and Paint

A roller can be used to paint a garage door, but an airless or HVLP spray gun will deliver a superior finish.  Use caution and keep the paint out of the areas under the weather seal and between the sections.  Finally, let the paint dry and cure for an appropriate amount of time.

First Use

 Open the door manually the first time to verify the paint is not sticking and trying to hold the garage door down.  If the door does not move freely, find the areas where the paint is sticking and carefully remove the excess paint.

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