What Paint Finish Is Best For Garage Doors?

Garage doors are a feature that is often overlooked in home maintenance. They rarely need attention, let alone a makeover. However, if the time has come to give them a fresh coat of paint, you have a few decisions to make. One of the most important of which will be what finish to use in painting your doors. Fortunately, we have done extensive research to determine what finish will work best on your garage doors. 

Garage doors need paint that can withstand weather as well as significant use. The best finish for garage doors is a gloss or semi-gloss finish. Both of these finishes dry hard and are not easily scratched. Additionally, glossy paints hold up well to humidity and can be cleaned with ease. Although gloss and semi-gloss finishes tend to highlight imperfections, they are still the best overall finishes for garage doors.

While gloss and semi-gloss finishes are usually the best choices for garage doors, there may be times when this is not the case. Keep reading to find out more about what finish is best for your garage doors.

What are the different types of exterior paint finishes?

A big dark black colored garage door, What Paint Finish Is Best For Garage Doors?

If you've shopped for interior paint, you know that there are many different sheens to choose from. In contrast, exterior paints are usually limited to four basic finishes. Different manufacturers use different terminology for their specific paints, but you will find the four categories below.

  • Flat (or matte)
  • Satin (or eggshell)
  • Gloss (or semi-gloss)
  • High Gloss

Why Does The Finish Matter?

Paint finishes can seem very confusing, and you may be wondering why there is such emphasis on choosing the right one. Every finish has different qualities. They will give different results, and the finished products can vary greatly depending on what you choose.

Get our FREE 7 design style cheat sheets
Subscribe for home design tips & inspiration
Get your free gift: Downloadable design style cheat sheets
Thank you for subscribing!
Light gray classic garage door with arched windows

Some finishes blend better, some hide blemishes, some are bolder, and some are softer. Some offer more UV protection and withstand the elements better. Your quest to find the best finish for your garage doors is an important one.

Best Overall Finish For Garage Doors

As we have mentioned, gloss and semi-gloss finishes are typically the best choices for garage doors. These finishes both have a high sheen that reflects light and is highly moisture resistant.

While light reflection generally is a good thing, there is a downside to it as well. Shiny, reflective surfaces will reveal dents and imperfections more than finishes with a lower sheen. If your garage door has a significant amount of nicks and dings, a high gloss paint finish may not be for you.

Click here to find this white, exterior semigloss paint on Amazon.

What Paint Finish Hides Imperfections?

Maybe your garage door isn't in great shape, and you don't want to advertise that fact with a shiny finish. Some finishes offer more concealment for your dents and dings. Let's look at the exterior finish that is best for hiding the blemishes on your garage doors.

Light gray colored garage door

Satin Finish

Paint that has a flat finish is notorious for its ability to help hide blemishes. However, an entirely flat finish is very porous and not always suited to the outdoors. An eggshell finish is a good compromise, as it is slightly glossy yet matte enough to absorb light.

Huge white colored garage door

Additionally, it does not draw attention to imperfections under the surface, as glossy finishes do. Although eggshell is easier to clean than a flat finish, it does not clean as easily as gloss.

Click here to buy this black satin exterior paint on Amazon.

What Paint Finish Stands Up Best To UV Rays?

UV rays can inflict a lot of damage on paint, causing fading and deterioration. The amount of time that your paint job will last is directly correlated to the amount of absorbed UV light. You will want to consider this when choosing your paint finish. Ultimately, the higher the gloss, the more light will be reflected, the less UV light will be absorbed. Therefore, semi-gloss and gloss finishes will hold up best against UV rays.

Should you paint your garage door?

Of course, paint adds aesthetic value to your home, but it does more than that. Paint protects and preserves the surface on which it is applied. Typically, garage doors made of metal have a very durable finish, right from the manufacturer. These finishes will long outlast any paint that could be applied, but there are situations when you should apply a new coat of paint.

When should you paint the garage doors?

When you are deciding whether or not to paint your garage door, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the appearance of my garage doors detracting from the beauty of my home?
  • Is the appearance of my garage doors detracting from the value of my home?
  • Are my garage doors exposed to the elements due to cracked, peeling, or damaged paint?

Do you need to prime the garage door before painting?

Yes, you should prime your garage doors before you paint them. Primer acts as a binder, helping the paint to adhere to a surface properly. Additionally, primer helps to seal the surface being painted, ensuring a smooth and even finish free from streaks and blotches. When painting garage doors, be sure to choose a primer appropriate for the surface of your garage doors. Example: Aluminum doors may require a different primer than wood doors.

Click here to find this multi-surface primer on Amazon.

What should your garage door match?

Painting your garage can be the finishing touch to your home's exterior. However, you may be stumped when choosing the color. What element, if any, of your home should your garage doors match? There are a few different routes you could take.


If you want your garage door color to match some aspect of your home, the front door may be the best choice. However, if your garage opens to the front of your house, be careful in your color choices. If your front door is painted a bright, bold color, it may be best to let the front door steal the show and choose a more neutral tone for the garage. However, matching white or black doors can be very attractive.

A huge white colored garage door with blue painted trims

If you're interested in matching your front door, you may find this article helpful: Should The Garage Door Match The Front Door?

Coordinating, but not matching

Another option is to choose a color that coordinates with the rest of your home's exterior. Find a complementary color that does not draw attention to your garage doors. Perhaps you could look at paints that are different shades of your siding color.

Make a statement

Maybe your home's exterior is dull, and you're looking for a way to add life. With the right background, a tasteful yet bold garage door can undoubtedly pop! Contrasting colors are often used effectively to add aesthetic diversity and brighten up an otherwise bland home.

In closing

If your garage doors need a new coat of paint, choosing the right finish and color is essential. We hope that the information contained in this article helps you in selecting the right paint for your doors.

Before you navigate away, you may find these articles helpful:

Can A Garage Door Be Wider Than The Opening?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Garage Door?

A beautiful residential gray home garage on bright sunny day, What Paint Finish Is Best For Garage Doors?

Share with a friend -

One comment

  1. I had a satin paint mixed for my metal garage door had a primer as well clean d the door beforehand put 2 coats on it now it looks awful when the sun is on it in dull weather it looks perfect can I put a Matt paint to cover it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *