Protecting Garage Doors with Paint

Garage doors take a lot of abuse.

Getting knocked into and dented. The wear and tear of going up and down all the time. Being exposed to nature’s elements. Garage doors experience wear and tear on a daily basis. They are also the entry through which very many people enter their homes at. But for all this, garage doors are often overlooked where maintenance and the look of the garage door is involved.

Most steel garage doors need a fresh coat of paint every few years to protect them from wind, rain, and sun. Even without peeling, paint layers break down over time and garage doors need to be repainted every few years. This also offers a convenient opportunity to change colors and create more curb appeal.

It is imperative that the door be cleaned and dried thoroughly before any painting begins. Using a hose, an abrasive cleaner, and a rough scrub brush, clean the entire side of the door that is to be painted. Make sure to get any oil or grease that has collected entirely cleaned off; otherwise the paint won’t stick and there will be bubbling and peeling problems. It is okay for the surface of the garage door to be slightly abraded during this process as it will allow the paint to stick better.

Once the door is clean and dry, use an oil based exterior paint primer to prepare the door for the color coats.  Follow the directions on the primer label carefully to avoid problems like tacky paint that never dries properly, peeling, or bubbling. The primer can be applied with a roller and brush that are designed for oil based paint.

Allow the primer to dry according to manufacturer directions. Once the primer is dry, apply even coats of oil based paint in the selected color. Use this opportunity to add curb appeal to the house by choosing a color that coordinates well with the existing color scheme while adding some excitement. Allow each color coat to fully dry in between coats, and follow manufacturer directions on finishing and cleaning up.

Recent restrictions on ingredients in paint have limited the availability of oil based paint. Exterior latex paint may be used to paint garage doors, but is more prone to bubbling and peeling, especially on metal doors. If appropriate exterior oil based paint cannot be found, consult with the local hardware store to find the best alternative. Many garage door services also offer painting, and using such a service may ensure that the finished results will last for years and added beauty and garage door protection.

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