Your garage door usually represents about a third of the facade of your home.
Doing the job correctly from the beginning is essential for achieving a successful end result. When attempting any DIY project around the home, research the task first, ask questions and use the right products for the job.
Using quality products and following the manufacturers’ instructions will help you to avoid time-consuming and costly repairs at a later stage. Treating the outside of your home or the trimmings (such as window frames and garage doors) to a new coat of paint every now and again should form part of a routine maintenance plan. Staying on top of this natural rate of deterioration is a step towards peace of mind and a home that retains its appeal over time.
- paint stripper
- wood filler
- 60- and 100-grit sandpaper
- silicone sealant
- epoxy putty
- masking tape
- universal undercoat or wood primer
- UV-resistant exterior polyurethane varnish
- enamel paint or wood varnish
- 38mm and 100mm paintbrushes
- extension pole or stepladder (optional, but either will make reaching the tops of higher doors easier)
- orbital sander
- safety equipment (dust mask)
- sanding block
- drop sheets
- three-pointed scraper
- wire brush
- sharp blade
- enamel roller
- household rags (for wiping off excess paint, catching drips, cleaning up spills, or wiping off your hands)
- overalls or old clothes
Preparation is key
- Spend more time on the preparation process and for better results.
- Lay drop cloths down to protect your paving.
- Using a putty knife, fill all nail and screw holes and fine cracks with filler. Allow the filler to dry and then sand gently.
- Sand glossy surfaces lightly with sandpaper as this will help the new paint to adhere more easily. Wipe off any resulting dust before painting.
- Apply primer, especially on new surfaces. Use a universal undercoat or a wood primer for wooden surfaces.
- Previously varnished door with peeling varnish:
- strip old varnish using paint stripper to bare wood, sand lightly, revarnish (two coats)
- Previously painted door: change colour or repaint
- sand lightly, primer (optional, but recommended), paint
- Previously painted door: change to varnish instead
- strip old paint with paint stripper, sand well, varnish
- New wooden door: varnish – two coats
- New wooden door: paint – primer, two coats of paint
If you intend revarnishing a previously varnished garage door, start the refurbishing process at step 1. If you intend to paint over previously varnished or painted doors, proceed from step 3.
1 Use a good quality paint removal product (we used Henkel Nitromors) and apply a liberal coat of paint stripper to the garagedoor surface to remove any old, or peeling, layers of paint or varnish.Tip: Use an old paintbrush for this job.
2 Leave the paint stripper to work for a few minutes until the old varnish begins to bubble and lift, then use a scraper to remove as much of the varnish as you can. If more varnish remains, apply subsequent coats of paint stripper until you have removed as much as possible in this manner.
3 Use a colour-matched wood filler (we used Meranti-coloured Alcolin wood filler) to fill any minor cracks and blemishes. Smooth the filler into the gaps with the scraper and leave it to dry.
4 Use an orbital sander and 60-grit sandpaper to sand the doors, removing any remaining paint or varnish as well as smoothing over the areas that you filled in step 3.
5 Use sandpaper or a sanding block to sand hard-to-reach areas such as those around profiles.
6 Use a three-pointed scraper to remove any varnish or paint from hard-to-reach crevices.
7 Use a wire brush to remove excess paint or varnish in the hard-to-reach areas.
8 Seal any gaps with a silicone sealant. We used Alcolin Wood Mate to create a waterproof seal around all the wooden edges and joints as it can be painted or varnished over.
Should your doors have any damaged areas, such as dents or scuff marks, these need to be repaired before you continue with the painting process.
9 Use a sharp blade to remove splintered areas, such as the damaged edges of these wooden profiles.
10 Use an epoxy putty (we used Alcolin Fastwood) to rebuild any damaged areas. Work the putty into the areas while it is still soft.
11 Use a scraper to help to shape or scrape the putty, while it is still pliable, in order to re-create flat areas or sharp edges.
Paint your garage door
You can treat garage doors just as you would interior doors:
- Since you probably don’t want to paint the handles, locks and other exposed hardware, cover them with masking tape.
- If the door is flat, treat the painting of it as you would a wall but don’t forget to paint the sides of the door, as well as underneath it – you will see these edges when the door is open.
- You should coat both sides of a wooden door when you decide to paint or varnish it – this generally prevents the wood from warping or twisting.
- If you are painting your wooden door with enamel, first use a universal undercoat or a wood primer. We used a white wood primer (some are pink or grey in colour) to cut down on the number of overcoats. Follow this with a durable enamel paint (we used Plascon Velvaglo in white).
- If you are applying varnish to an untreated wooden door you do not need to use a primer. Instead, use a good-quality UV-resistant exterior polyurethane varnish (we used Alcolin Factor 30) to finish the doors. The same goes for doors that have been varnished before, although these need prior sanding or stripping.
12 If the door has panels, use the primer to paint the trim (profiles) first using a 38mm brush, then paint the panels and, finally, continue to paint the rest of the door using the 100mm brush.
13 After the primer has dried completely fill any remaining blemishes with wood filler. These will be more visible after you have painted this first coat. Use a scraper to remove any excess filler before it dries. Once it is dry, sand smooth using 100-grit sandpaper before proceeding with the final coats. Apply the second coat (of enamel this time) in the exact same way once the first (primer) coat has dried thoroughly.
14 Use an enamel roller for the subsequent coats of enamel paint. This will give a smoother and more even finish. If you are varnishing your door use an enamel roller or 100mm brush to apply the coats of varnish. Let the coats dry thoroughly before you apply subsequent layers.