Painting Your Garage Door

You see it every time you pull into your driveway: your garage door looks disgraceful. The paint is flaking into big chips. In short, it's time to repaint.

If you leave a garage door untreated, the door can lose its shape as it is exposed to rain water and the heat of the summer sun. Once the wood sustains damage, it will begin to crumble and deteriorate. Before you know it, the entire structure of the door becomes weak and you end up having to replace the whole door.

Hefty Sum

But don't let that happen. Repaint the door before the elements can force you into shelling out a hefty wad of dough for a new one. Yes it's a lot of work, but a new paint job will give your garage door a bright new look and add to the value of your home.

Start by cleaning off all the dust and chipping paint. Some DIY'ers like to use a power-washer for this step since it is fast and quite efficient. Others prefer using a regular garden hose because the lower pressure means that the water penetration will be less of an issue.

Good Coverage

Next you'll want to prep the surface. You can buy a commercial exterior cleansing solution which is helpful for removing mildew and stains, or you can just make up your own mixture of one part bleach to four parts water. Take a wire brush and scrub off the flaking paint.  This is the hardest part of the job, but don't be tempted to skip it, since it is crucial to getting good coverage.

Now that you've prepped the surface with cleaning solution and scrubbed the chipped paint, leave the door to dry for a couple of days. If you've planned things just so, you'll have ascertained that good weather is predicted over the weekend with lots of sunshine.

Take a good look at the wood to seek out any cracks. Where you find them, fill them up with a quality exterior caulk and then sand until smooth. Now you can start painting with primer. 

In general, you may need to paint your garage door in steps in order to ensure coverage of the parts that become exposed while opening and closing the door. Does the door contain windows? This is the time to cover them with tape. It's true it's not so hard to scrape away the paint with a razor blade, but covering the windows will save you the time spent scraping away dribs and drabs of paint.

Exterior surfaces demand proper priming. Primer protects both the wood of the door and the paint you'll be applying to that wood. Wood is very absorbent and can tend to leech moisture from paint which then causes puckering and peeling. Using primer first will create for you a level surface that is waterproof. Paint will stick like a dream to a surface coated with primer.

Give the primer a full 24 hours to dry, assuming the weather is sunny. Check the primer. Does it feel sticky? If so then it needs more drying time.

Once the primer is dry, go ahead and apply your first coat of exterior paint. Give the first coat a day to dry and then add your second and final coat of paint. Voila! You're done.