How To Paint Metal Garage Doors: A Step-by-step Guide

Garage doors play an important part in upgrading the appearance of any house. A freshly painted, and good-looking metal door should be your top priority. Otherwise, a cracked, worn-out garage door will make your house look dull. So, now you might be wondering how to paint a metal garage door.

Painting a metal garage door is fairly an easy task. You just need to follow the right procedure and do it at the right time. Make sure you select the right paint and other necessary instruments for this.

In this article, we’ll guide you through every little step you need to follow to paint your garage door and give it a well-furnished look.

Types Of Paint For Metal Garage Door

The right selection of quality metal paint is the most important thing in this case. There are tons of options available on the market. But unfortunately, most of them are not suitable for metal garage door paint.

The paint particles must wrap around the metal particles well, resulting in a water and dust-resistant paint job. Glossy or matte paint coatings both work best for metal garage doors. Glossy paint comes off quickly and maintains relatively little in moist or rainy environments.

Always choose premium paint over cheap paint. For a wooden garage door or aluminum door, the options are different.

Here are two of the most used products to paint garage doors:

Oil-based door paint: 

Outdoor paints with an oil base are ideal as standard garage door paint. The properties of these oils contain linseed oil, and sometimes alkyds.

Oil-based door paint

This paint strongly adheres to the metallic particles and efficiently coats the door in only one stroke. You barely need to worry about rusting since the oil particles do not let water bind with the metal surfaces.

Oil-based paints do not usually fade away easily due to their UV shield. Additionally, when using the paint, one can achieve a clean and flawless coating. As a result, you might have a long-term advantage from oil-based paints’ longevity.

Acrylic latex outdoor paint: 

A high-quality outdoor-labeled acrylic paint can produce excellent results. Acrylic paints are notably rust-resistant. Before buying one, make sure the paint can reflect more than 50% of the sunlight. You can achieve different results from these paints, including a matte, glossy, or shiny finish.

latex paint
Sebastian Duda/Shutterstock

Even though they are water-based, they are adaptable to fluctuating temperatures. Consequently, the amount of splitting or blistering will be unnoticeable. Even after the color is completely dry, the paint still repels moisture.

The coating of the Acrylic latex exterior paint on your metal garage door won’t be harmed by washing it with detergent and soap.

Check out our recommended Acrylic latex door paint here

What You’ll Need

Before starting the process, make a list of things you’ll need. The wrong tools will completely ruin your door and make the process less comfortable for you.

The tools and paint products you need for this process are:

  • Leather gloves
  • Dustproof mask
  • Security glasses
  • Metal wire brush
  • Sandpaper with a fine grit
  • Garden hose 
  • Fabric rag
  • Tape for painting
  • Cloth rag
  • The primer according to the type of paint
  • Exterior latex paint or oil-based paint
  • 3/4-inch paintbrush
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Paint tray
  • Paint sprayer (if you are considering spray paint)
  • Stair step

Choosing A Color

The most difficult part of this whole procedure is choosing the right color to paint metal garage doors. It’s a decision that’ll stay with you till you decide to repaint your metal garage door or steel garage door.

However, there are a few things that you need to consider before choosing the color. Firstly, if you are applying the paint over an already painted door, choose a paint color that is pretty similar to the old one. 

If you want to change the color, choose the one that’ll complement your house’s brickwork, trims, moldings, entrances, windows, and other external features. Go for the basic colors. Vibrant and catchy colors may ruin the appearance of your home. Wrong colors will ruin the appearance of your garage.

Do Before Painting A Metal Door

Well, you can’t bring home some color and start applying it to your metal or aluminum garage door. To get a polished, solid result, there are some important measures you need to take. Believe it or not, they are more important than choosing high-quality paint.

There are mainly two major things to do: remove the old paint and cover the area where you don’t intend to apply the paint.

Remove old paint:

Before removing the old paint, take all the protective measures. You must wear a pair of goggles and a security mask. Do not forget to spread a dust sheet beneath the door.

Remove old paint

Wipe out the paint that is blistered, peeling, or popping out to get the best look on your garage door. Peel off the surface rust with a flat tool. It will ensure a smooth surface.

The 180 grit sandpaper works wonders to wipe off the remaining part of the paint. Do not forget the edges. Push the door open and properly remove the peeling paint.

Cover up anything: 

Well, painting jobs are messy, aren’t they? To make the post-painting part easier for you, cover up the surroundings properly. Make sure your car is not inside the garage while you paint.

Make sure you do not put paint on the frame of your doors accidentally. Use old drop clothes or plastic wrappers to avoid paint stains. Wrap the door locks, handles, and windows with plastic.

How to Paint A Metal Garage Door  [Easy Steps]

The process might frustrate you a little bit. But we got your back. Follow our instructions below to paint your metal garage door comfortably.

Paint metal garage door
  • Step 1: Consider the Weather

The optimum temperature is the most significant thing you need to make sure of. If the weather is too hot, humid, or too cold, postpone the process. Have a close look at the week’s weather forecast.

The optimum temperature should be somewhere around 50 to 75 degrees Celsius. If you are considering applying spray paint on the door, make sure the weather isn’t windy. A rainy and wet environment will not allow the paint particles to bind correctly.

  • Step 2: Clean Metal Doors and Frame

 Getting the garage door all cleaned out makes painting easier and more durable. Before cleaning the door and the frame, wear your protective gear. Start it off with sandpaper and clean the surface with a sponge, cleanser, and rag. Always have a closed eye to remove old paint from the garage door.

 After all the grit and bubbling paint have been eliminated, give the door a thorough garden hose rinse. Dry the door in sunlight or manually leave it for at least a couple of hours. 

  • Step 3: Preparation
    • You need to do some light sanding to apply paint to an already-painted door. It will remove all the flaking. You can use heavy-duty painter’s tape to protect the unintended areas.
    • Make sure you have followed the instructions given above to properly wrap the external parts of your home. Do not use an automatic door opener as it may cause some interruption in the painting process. Use manual methods to adjust the garage door gap.
  • Step 4: Priming
    • Use a quality metal primer on the inset panel first, using a premium nylon-bristled 2-inch brush. Remove any debris that has possibly gotten inside the panels’ “slats” or outside them. This will guarantee an incredibly polished look.
    • The stiles should then be primed with a paintbrush or a 34-inch roller. Don’t forget to reach the “lips” of the parallel panels as well. Start applying the primer from below and gradually lower the door, or use a ladder to reach the top of the door. 
    • Also, put primer for the interior paint.
    • Lastly, do the trim.
    • Leave the primer for at least 10 to 12 hours.

Apply the first coat of paint

The first coat of garage door paint is the most important one. Make sure you’re following the same procedure mentioned in the case of the primer: Starting from the bottom and gradually making your way up to the top. Interior paint is as important as exterior paint. 

In most cases, only one coat of paint is enough if you’ve done it right. But sometimes, there is a necessity for two coats of metallic paint.

  • Step 5: Painting

Start painting from the inside outward. If you think the first coat of paint wasn’t done properly, consider applying the second one as finishing paint. Make sure there is no peeling paint visible. There should be an interval of 12 hours between both coats to let the first paint dry.

The procedure is the same for a steel garage door.


Why Hire Five-Star Painting?

Five-Star Painting provides convenient, trustworthy service to give your metal garage doors an amazing look. They have vast experience and skilled personnel to get your job done.

Does Paint On A Garage Door Last?

If you apply the right paint properly, your garage door paint will last for at least a decade.

Is it better to paint a garage door with a brush or roller?

Both the brush and roller are necessary to paint a garage door. Use a 9-inch roller for the average garage door surface and brushes for the edges.

How to Paint Galvanized Metal?

To paint galvanized metal, clean it with warm water and dry it out. Then apply ammonia to polish it. Then apply primer and paint after 12 hours.


A painting garage door is not that complicated if you have the right knowledge about it. So are you still wondering how to paint a metal garage door? To summarize, pick the best premium paint and color, select a good, sunny day, take all the protective measures, and apply the primer followed by the paint.

So, pour some paint into your paint tray and get started. If you do not want to do it by yourself, you can get professional help.

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I am Ramiro Garcia, founder and author of Garage Ever with a love of all things space. I have created this blog to share resources everything related to auto care and garage. I have a garage and parter with my friend and we started this as a hobby and now it’s our full-time job. I love what I do and enjoy sharing that with you.

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