Can You Paint A Metal Garage Door?

If you have a shabby steel or aluminum garage door, you might wonder if you can repaint it to freshen it up. 

The good news is that you can paint a metal garage door, but there are some things you need to do first. I recently repainted my garage door, so I researched before starting. 

Here’s what I found out. 

Is It Possible To Paint A Metal Garage Door?

Like the rest of your house, your garage door needs some TLC occasionally. 

Over time, metal garage doors will fade or get chalky. Alternatively, you can slap on a fresh new color. 

The good news is you can paint a metal garage door, but it takes more preparation, time, and effort than painting a wall. 

The only exception is if your garage door is galvanized. 

It is not recommended to paint over galvanized metal. Metal paint will not stick to galvanized metal efficiently and will start to peel off after a few days.

If you’re installing a brand-new metal garage door and want to change the color, all you have to do is paint. Most new garage doors come ready-primed. 

What Type Of Paint Do You Use On A Metal Garage Door?

All metals corrode or rust. To avoid rust from developing on your metal garage door, choose a primer designed to prevent corrosion and rusting. 

Select a good quality acrylic latex exterior house paint when choosing a paint. Acrylic latex paint does an excellent job of adhering to the metal. It can also better withstand the elements than other types of paint. 

Choose a semi-gloss or satin finish. These finishes dry hard, thus protecting the coat of paint from scuffs and scratches. Gloss finish is another option, providing low maintenance, water resistance, and easy cleaning. 

However, a glossy finish may look awkward on the exterior of your home. Use caution when selecting glossy paint. 

How To Paint a Metal Garage Door

For best results, take your time and follow these steps when preparing to paint your metal garage door. This ensures the paint will go on smoothly, adhere well to the surface of the door, and the end result will be a great-looking garage door.

Sand The Door

In order to get a smooth finish on your garage door, the door must be free from flaking, peeling, or chalky paint and other imperfections. 

Remove all hinges, locks, handles, and other hardware from the door. Lightly sand the door’s surface, removing all bubbling, blistering, or peeling off old paint. 

While doing this, spend a few moments to file away any imperfections or scratches on the door’s surface. 

Scuffing the door’s surface with sandpaper will help the paint adhere to the door more effectively. 

Clean The Door

Like all painting projects, the surface you want to paint must be clean and free from dust and grime. 

After sanding down the garage door:

  1. Wipe away all the dust, debris, and dirt.
  2. Use a sponge and soapy water to wash away grime and dirt.
  3. Remember to clean the edges and any hinges on the door. 

Prepare The Surface Area For Painting

Take some time to protect the parts of the door you don’t want to get paint on. 

Cover any handles, hinges, and hardware you could not remove using painter’s tape. Also, cover any other areas, like trimming, that you do not want to paint with tape. 

Apply A Primer To The Garage Door

Applying a primer coat is the final step in preparing your metal garage door for painting. A good primer will allow the paint to adhere well to the surface of the door and will create a smooth and polished finish.

Be sure that the door is completely dry before applying the primer. 


Is It Better To Paint With A Brush Or Roller?

Most metal garage doors are not entirely flat, so it is best to use a brush. 

This allows you to get into all the curves, panels, nooks, and crannies more efficiently, resulting in better coverage and a smoother finish.

Should Metal Garage Doors Be Painted?

Your garage door has a massive impact on your home’s curb appeal. Changing the color of your metal garage door will give your home a modern, updated look. Painting your garage door may be necessary if it looks dull, chalky, or the paint is peeling off.

Most garage doors have a baked enamel or powder coat factory finish. These finishes are durable and remain in excellent condition for longer than if you were to paint over them. Once painted over, you will need to do maintenance painting every five to ten years.

Wrapping It Up

Whether your garage door looks drab, is in poor condition with paint flaking off, or you just want to change the color, it is possible to paint a metal garage door.

You must prepare the surface of the garage door before painting. 

Do this by sanding away old paint and imperfections, cleaning thoroughly to remove dust and grime, and then applying primer to the door. Use good quality acrylic latex exterior house paint and ensure each coat dries thoroughly before applying the next one.

I recently published an article showcasing the best garage door paints – no matter what type of door you have. Check it out here!

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.