How To Paint A Metal Garage Door

Your garage door is one of the first things people see when they come to your house. And if it’s old and worn, it can be an eyesore. Painting your garage door is an easy way to update the exterior of your home without spending too much time or money. So if you’re wondering how to paint your metal garage door, we’ve done the research and will gladly guide you!

The steps for painting a metal garage door are as follows:

  1. Prepare the garage door by scraping old paint and sanding it.
  2. Clean the garage door and frame.
  3. Protect handles or fixtures.
  4. Prime the garage door and frame.
  5. Apply paint coats.

This project is relatively easy and is a great way to improve your home’s looks without tearing it apart! So if you want to learn more about the detailed steps and additional queries concerning painting your metal garage door, please keep reading!

gray Garage Door - How To Paint A Metal Garage Door

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How To Paint A Metal Garage Door

Painting your garage door doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. But note that before doing the job, you must check the weather first! Rain or strong wind may disrupt the painting and drying process, so be mindful of the weather. By following these steps, your project will be a success in no time! 

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Painting the garage door - How To Paint A Metal Garage Door

1. Prepare The Garage Door

Preparation is an essential step before painting, especially for metal surfaces. Doing so helps the paint last longer and avoids the metal’s natural tendency to wear down. Preparation involves scraping and sanding. 


The old, flaking paint should be scraped off if the garage door was previously painted. Lay down some newspaper or a dust sheet and wear a mask or goggles for protection. Then, using a multi-scraper, remove all the chipping paint to achieve a cleaner and more even surface. 

Click here to see this paint tool on Amazon.


After scraping all the flaking paint, rub sandpaper on the metal door. For metals that have been painted before, 120- or 240-grit grit sandpaper may be used to create a better bond so that the paint will stick. If rust is present, sand it or remove it using a wire brush. 


Check out this 240-grit sandpaper on Amazon.

2. Clean The Garage Door And Frames

Once all the preparation is done, it’s time to clean the garage door! If you proceed with painting without cleaning the surface, the finish will be affected. There’d be bubbling and some bumps. The color may change too, especially if lighter paints are used. So clean the door thoroughly! Here’s the easy procedure:

  1. Wipe down your metal door and frame using rags, sponges, soap, and water.
  2. Ensure all dust, stains, and cobwebs are removed.
  3. Then, let the door and frame dry entirely. 

3. Protect Handles Or Fixtures

Protect the handles and fixtures by covering them with masking tape. You can also lay down a tarp or newspaper so the floor won’t get painted or dripped on. If there are plants nearby, cover them with plastic bags, or better yet, just place them away from the project site in the meantime. 

4. Prime The Garage Door And Frame

Primers are necessary to prevent rust and corrosion on metal doors. If still unprimed, apply a coat of metal primer to the door and frame.

You can either use paint rollers or spray. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions indicated on the can. Then, allow the primer to dry per coating. Depending on the coating thickness and humidity, the primer may dry in an hour or, in some cases, a day.  

Click here to see Rust-Oleum metal primer on Amazon.

Check out this Rust-Oleum metal primer spray paint on Amazon.

5. Apply Paint Coats

Once the primer is dry, next is the painting process. Remember to choose a paint that is suitable for metals and the exterior. Depending on your preference, you may use a brush, roller, or spray to paint the door. If everything is ready, follow these steps:

  1. Apply the first paint coat to your door. Note that it’s better to apply several thin coats of paint than one large thick layer, as thinner coats are quicker to dry and produce a better finish.
  2. Paint in parallel directions from the inner panels to outwards, from top to bottom, for a cleaner look.
  3. Reapply paint coats until the entire area is covered.
  4. Then, allow the paint to dry completely and remove the tape.

Red garage door

Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions accurately! And while working, wear masks or gloves for your safety. 

What Type Of Paint Is Best For Metal Garage Doors?

High-quality acrylic latex or oil-based exterior paint are the best choices of paint for metal garage doors. We summarized the benefits of each option to make it easier for you to choose: 

Oil-Based Exterior Paint

Oil-based exterior paints are recommended for painting metal garage doors. Here are some advantages of using oil-based paints:

  • They provide a more durable coating.
  • These paints don’t peel easily.
  • They have better adherence to metal surfaces.
  • Rusting wouldn’t be a concern because there’s no water suspension. 

Check out this Rust-Oleum oil-based semi-gloss white paint on Amazon.

Acrylic Latex Exterior Paint

Acrylic latex is an excellent option for exterior painting projects. Moreover, these paints are commonly available in stores. The benefits of using acrylic latex are listed below:

  • Most acrylic latex is environmentally friendly as they don’t require solvents. 
  • They emit less odor than other paints. 
  • The finish can be satin, glossy, high gloss, or matte. 

Click here to see this Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch latex paint on Amazon.

Always check the label before purchasing the paint. Note that your choice should be based on the condition of your home. The paint must be anti-rust, anti-corrosion, anti-fading, and UV resistant as much as possible. After the paint has dried, you may finish it with a clear coat for additional protection. 

What Color Should My Garage Door Be?

The answer to this will be based on your house’s style. It should be in harmony with your home exterior. Also, according to the homeowner’s personality, one may choose from a bold to a subtle look.

The top colors that suit various house styles are:

  • White
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Beige


White is the safest and most popular choice regardless of the house’s architectural design. It goes with almost any color. It also symbolizes cleanliness and purity. 

Front view of a new neat modern white low set single story family home with green grass and blue sky


For a more chic, classy, yet trendy look, grey is a go-to option. It’s softer than white and black and gives a subtle look if you’d rather your garage blend with the surroundings rather than pop. 

gray Garage Door


Indeed, black has its timeless appeal. So, if you’d like your garage to stand out against lighter colors, black is a perfect option. However, if you don’t want the crispness of this color, you may consider dark or soft grey instead. 

Two modern new garage doors (sectional doors) in a residential district


If you want a darker but still neutral color, beige is a good choice. It is a bit bolder than white but doesn’t clash with other colors in the spectrum.

exterior of a modern two story house with stucco. There is a two car beige garage with a concrete driveway. The house is in a development in the suburbs.

Note that the colors may also vary according to tone, warmness, and coolness. Ultimately, the choice is yours and should make you satisfied and happy with your house’s appearance. 

How To Make Garage Door Paint Last

A well-painted finish may last for up to 10 years. So, if you don’t want to change or repaint your garage door every year, keep in mind the following tips:

  • The doors and frames are properly prepared. 
  • Top-quality primer and paint are used. 
  • The paint is applied in even, thin coats. 
  • Immediately repair damaged areas. 

The paint and primer will be just as good as the surface they are painted on. To avoid bubbling, chipping, or cracking, a leveled, clean surface is very important.

The kind of materials used will also dictate the durability of the painted garage door in the long run. Conduct an inspection every once in a while to see any signs of damage. 

Final Takeaways

The preparation is just as necessary as the painting process for metal garage doors. High-quality materials such as primer, paint, and even brushes or tape will help increase the longevity of the paint.

Moreover, cleaning and maintenance will make your garage door last longer. So aside from its practical purposes, your garage door really completes your home’s exterior look. So, don’t forget to follow the tips and reminders we’ve shared with you! 

If you found this article informative and want to learn more, check out these posts about garage doors:

5 Types Of Garage Door Openers [Plus Some Need To Know Info]

How To Fix A Cracked Garage Door

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