A tired and worn-looking metal garage door can bring down the whole exterior appearance of your home. Painting it could add that extra finish your house needs to make it crisp and clean looking. And before the temperatures begin to drop and the nights get shorter it’s a good time of year to give it a bit of attention.

Some garage doors when new come ready primed, so if you are painting a new door it will be a matter of applying a metal or garage door paint on top of the primer coat with however many coats are recommended on the tin.

Other garage doors when new are galvanized. Normal metal paint will not adhere properly to galvanized metal and after a few days it starts peeling off in flakes. It is not recommended that you paint these doors. What follows therefore, is a guide for painting either pre-primed new metal doors or doors that have been previously painted.

Clean the Metal Doors and Metal Frame

First you need to give the metal doors a really good scrub with soapy water and a clean cloth.

Remove all stains from the doors as they may alter the color of the finished paint. After scrubbing the entire surface, wipe with a clean cloth to remove any residue that may remain from cleaning. Then degrease the door with sugar soap and allow to dry.

Preparation

If you are painting over a previously painted garage door then a light sanding is required along with the same degreasing process. It’s important that any flaking paint is well rubbed down and if you get back to bare metal, then the metal must be primed.

Priming

If the door has not been previously primed, then apply at least one coat of metal primer to the entire metal door and frame. Use the metal primer according to the manufacturer's instructions, which should be located somewhere on the tin. Allow the primer to dry before you continuing (this can take up to eight hours). If the door has been primed or it has been previously painted then you can skip this step.

Painting the Doors & Frame

It is not a good idea to put a top coat straight on top of a previous old top coat, so use an undercoat first. Remember the more effort you put into the preparation, the better the finish will be.

Ensure the paint used is suitable for metal garage doors – check with the experts at The Paint Shed for advice if required.

Open the paint tin and stir with a suitable spatula for about a minute to even out the colour. Metal garage doors can be painted by brush or by roller, but if using a roller, try and use one with natural fibers rather than man-made.

Re-apply several coats of paint until the metal is completely coloured, with no metal shining through. Make sure to allow each coat of paint to dry before you apply the next. You should use good quality metal gloss paint and allow enough time for completely drying between each coat. Remember that several thin coats are better than one thick one. Thin coats take less time to dry, produce a harder finish and look better too. For a nice finish after rolling, run over the paint with a good quality dry brush. This will soften any roller marks and give you a smoother shiny finish