Should I Paint My Garage Door?

Your garage door is a big part of the overall appeal of your home. It’s only natural to think of ways to spruce it up when it starts looking shabby.

Is painting your garage door a good idea?

You can paint your garage door as soon as you feel it needs a new coat of paint, and this is especially true for wooden doors with dated or chipped paint. However, garage doors made steel, fiberglass, and aluminum can also be painted. 

The rest of the article will discuss some of the top scenarios where it makes sense to paint your garage door. However, if you want to find the best garage door paint, go check out this article.

When Should You Paint a Garage Door?

There are several scenarios where you should definitely paint your garage door.

Some of those reasons include:

  • If your existing paint looks worn out due to peeling or rust.
  • If you paint your house and your garage door’s color no longer matches.
  • You want to create some contrast to avoid having too much of the same color on your property.
  • You want to spice up the look of your house without painting the entire property.

Regardless of your specific reasons, It’s usually a good idea to freshen up your garage door.

Just pay attention to the basics, which you’ll find further down in this article.

Can You Paint Metal Garage Doors?

You can whip out the paint and get to work anytime if you have a wooden garage door.

It’s a bit different with metal garage doors, however.

Most metal garage doors have a highly durable finish known as “powder coat” or “baked enamel.”

Usually, this finish can last decades without wearing off. However, if you have one of these finishes and just want to change the color, you may set yourself up for more work.

Unfortunately, once you paint over one of those finishes, you’ll need to maintain or re-do that paint job every five to ten years to avoid chipping. Be sure to think about that when you’re considering painting your metal garage door.

What Is the Best Color for a Garage Door?

When it comes to choosing a color for your garage door, there’s no one correct answer. The best color is the one that fits your house.

OK, so that’s not the best answer, I admit.

You could choose a color that blends in with the house, so your garage door doesn’t stand out. Or, you could paint the garage door and turn it into a statement piece.

Most people paint their garage door to make it match their trim, roof, or windows.

As a general rule, if you want a color that stands out, choose a light option. Darker colors tend to blend into the background.

Another good tip is to always choose a color you already have on another part of your house.

For instance, if you have white trim on your windows and gutter, you can paint your garage door white. If the color on your eaves and fascia is black, then a black door is also a good choice.

One final tip, lighter colors reflect heat while darker colors absorb heat. If you struggle to keep your garage cool, giving it a lighter shade of paint may help lower the temperature by a few degrees.

How to Paint Your Garage Door

Once you’ve chosen the right color for your garage door, it is time to paint.

Here’s what you should do.

Prep the Door

The first step is to remove the chipped or flaky paint. Once it’s clean enough, clear the area. Tape off the areas around the door and cover your lawn to protect the plants.

Don’t forget to cover the ground around the garage door to avoid leaving paint residue on the driveway.

Degrease and Sand the Door

Before starting to paint, use a degreasing agent like Simple Green or a painting prep cleaner to clean the door properly.

This will ensure your new paint will stick better to the older surface. Once the door is clean, give it some time to dry. The next step is to sand the surface slightly using light grit sandpaper.

You don’t need the sanding process for metal doors that haven’t previously been painted. Degreasing is enough.

Prime and Paint

When buying the paint for your garage door, it helps to know something about the old paint on the door.

Is it water-based or oil?

For doors that have been painted with oil-based paint in the past, use an oil-based primer. For other types of paint, an acrylic primer and paint combination will work best.

You also need to consider your garage door material.

Is it made of metal, wood, or vinyl? If you have a metal or vinyl door, you’re going to need specific paints designed to work on those surfaces.

Knowing these simple facts can help you choose the right type of paint.

Finally, expect to need several coats of paint to ensure the perfect finish. Your garage door is constantly exposed to the elements, so you don’t want to skimp here.

Can I Paint My Garage Door With a Roller?

Most DIY experts agree that using a sprayer to paint your garage door is the best solution. However, if you don’t have one handy, you can use a light nap roller to apply the paint. 

Avoid using a bristle paintbrush for the bulk of the application. It will leave streak marks and lines on the door.

Pro Tips For Painting Your Garage Door

  • Don’t paint under direct sunlight. If your garage door gets a lot of sun during the day, consider providing some cover or painting under cloudy weather. The excess heat from the sun can lead to premature drying, thus ruining the final coat of your paint.
  • Protect your walls and floor. It’s challenging to remove paint splatters from brick walls, so you’ll want to protect your walls, garage floor, and driveway. Don’t skimp on painters tape and tarps. It’ll pay off in the end.
  • Check for lead-based paint first. Homes built or installed before the 80s could be using lead-based paint. This is why you should confirm if there’s lead paint before you start the scraping and sanding of the old paint. You need to take proper care to avoid lead paint contamination. It could lead to serious health problems, especially in young children.
  • Call in a professional if you need help. If you can’t settle on a color, don’t have the right tools, or just don’t want to be bothered painting your garage door, I recommend calling a professional.


Painting your garage door doesn’t have to be a big project. It can usually be done in an afternoon, even counting drying time.

The decision ultimately comes down to just how much a new layer of paint on the garage door can improve the look and feel of your property.

The hardest part of the process is picking the best color. Just remember that if you have a metal garage door, you’ll need to re-paint the door every few years because of the door’s finish.

Photo of author

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.