Painting Garage Doors Tutorial

If you’re reading this post, it probably means that 1) your garage door needs a little update, 2) you want to change the color of your garage door completely, and/or 3) you REALLY don’t want to spend the money hiring a painter.   Am I getting close?  Painting Garage Doors Tutorial

But….you still have some concerns and are wondering:

Can YOU take on this project?  How much will IT COST to paint the garage door yourself? 

How LONG will it take to paint?  and….. What is the best PAINT for metal garage doors?

Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN do it!!  

And how do I know this, because…..this was my first time EVER to paint a garage door TOO.  So, I had all of the same concerns.  And I have to admit that it was super easy to do!!

I’ll show you how to paint your garage door the easy way, and that you can have a freshly painted garage door in only 2 days!  BAM – Problem solved!!   Girl Power πŸ™‚  So, let’s get to it!


Here are a couple of before and after pictures of the garage door so you can see what I was working with.  






I always like to give a little background information on my projects because each job has a different end result.  And I feel it’s important to address the problems first, so we know how to find the  best solutions – right?


So, you can tell from the pictures that I simply did a little updating on my garage door – no color change.   Basically, I was just touching up and refreshing the garage door, not doing a full makeover.


This is not my garage door at our home.  I was painting this door for a relative.  Therefore, I had to treat the project a little differently because it basically was for a customer.


This was a beach house garage door, so I had to choose paint that was appropriate for the weather conditions – like salt air.   You can tell from the picture below that I also had to address the “rust” issues. 

So, just don’t forget that climate in your area is an important factor when painting exterior items.

Here’s a closeup picture below.

***Note*** This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase something from these links.  Please see my privacy and disclosure policies below for more information.  Thanks for your support. πŸ™‚


Here is a list of the supplies that I used for this project.  To see each picture and link to each individual item, scroll to the end of the post. 



The biggest question/concern for most people will be “what kind of paint did you use to paint your garage doors?” or what is the best paint to use for the metal garage doors?”  Right?

I used Rust-Oleum High Performance Paint – Oil-based White Gloss. 


Since these were beach house garage doors (on the Gulf Coast), rust and salt air were my main concerns.   So, I knew that this project called for a “rust prevention” type of paint.

I chose oil-based paint because in my opinion, it adheres much better than latex paint.  And since the garage doors and trim are outside and metal, I knew oil-based paint was the right choice for me.   Plus, using this paint wouldn’t require for me to prime it first.  Win-win!

Just a FYI – the paint I chose comes in 13 colors (in case you were looking for a different color other than white), and 3 sheens (flat, semi-gloss, and gloss). 

***I would honestly pick semi-gloss*** if painting the garage doors at my own house.  But since I know that the salt air mixed with direct sunlight (at this beach house) will eventually dull out the sheen over time, I chose gloss.   

***AND*** I LOVED this paint so much, that I would definitely use it to repaint our garage doors at home!!  It really made this entire project so much easier – really!!


I spent $82.95 for the supplies that were purchased (but I already owned the paint roller handle, ladder, and optional scrubbing Libman brush).

This was for ONE SINGLE garage door (- 9ft tall x 8 ft wide), and ONE GALLON of paint.   I recommend 2 gallons for double garage doors.

***NOTE*** I forgot to measure the one I painted -sorry!  This garage door was taller than my single garage door at home – (which is 7ft tall x 8 ft wide) – just an fyi.  I will update as soon as I get the true measurement.  


STEP 1:   Gently sand, scrub, or wipe down your garage doors.

***NOTE*** You will not need sand paper if your garage doors and metal trim are in good condition.  You can use the scrubbing brush to scrape off loose particles, dirt, etc….. and then wipe down with a damp (not wet) rag.  Then let dry.  

For this project, I used a 120-grit sandpaper block to scrape off  loose rust on the garage doors and for peeling paint on the metal trim.   Then I used the scrubbing brush to remove any remaining dirt and loose particles, and wiped off with a rag.

***TIP*** The cleaner your garage door is, the better your paint will stick.  The better your paint will stick = less time painting.  Glad we got that all cleared up – LOL!! πŸ˜‰



See picture below.  Make sure to sweep off the loose particles and dirt into your dust pan, and dump into the trash.  You don’t want anything “loose” to blow into your wet paint.


STEP 2:  Tape Area  

***TIP***  Start with taping the garage doors first, and then plastic or canvas dropcloth last.

Take your painter’s tape and begin at left top corner of the garage trim.  Tape garage siding on the top portion of the trim first.  Then follow that down the right side of the garage trim.  Then go back and tape the left side.

***TIP*** Make sure to use 2 layers of tape.  This really helps in case you have a OOPS moment – trust me!

Taping will take more time than painting, but really makes the clean up process so much easier.  Plus, you don’t want to have to go back and do touch ups on your garage siding!!


Tape around the bottom at the jambs (don’t know the technical term – ha!), and along bottom of the door itself.  See picture below.

***TIP***  Make sure to tape the black rubber part of the garage door also.   See Below.

It should look something like the picture below when you’re finished taping around the garage door itself.  If you feel like you still might “accidentally” get paint on the garage siding, just use cardboard (cut and taped) around the perimeter.

OK – you’re not quite done yet with taping – sorry!!  

STEP 3:  Prep Area

Now it’s time to add your plastic or canvas dropcloth – taped down. LOL!!

Take your plastic dropcloth and spread out completely on the ground around your garage door area.  Make sure to go past the actual sides to give you a little wiggle room for accidents.

***TIP***  When you line up your plastic at the garage door, add A LAYER OF TAPE and then simply attach your plastic right to it. 

Remember how we already had 2 layers of tape?  Well, now you’ll just have 3 layers of tape, with plastic attached.  See Below.


This way you can just simply fold the plastic at the corners, and simply adhere to the existing tape.  Why is this a big deal? 

Well, because it makes sure that the plastic is taped to another piece of tape instead of the driveway.  Sometimes tape doesn’t stick so well to a gravel driveway, and will lift up.  

This is just a secondary precaution so you don’t get paint on the driveway – which is extremely difficult to clean!


Once you get your plastic taped securely at the garage door area, you can now tape the rest of the plastic down to the driveway.

***TIP***  I like to tape mine down in perpendicular angles – not directly on edge – for the remaining plastic.  This way, air can go under the plastic and then can leave the plastic on the other side!!

If you tape it down directly on the edge, the entire perimeter, air will get trapped inside.  And then will lift the entire plastic covering right off the ground.  

See pictures below.



It should look like this when done.  I always use extra paint cans or supplies to hold down the outer corners.  Once again – just extra precautions to keep that plastic dropcloth from blowing up, and into the painted garage doors!

Wow – can we finally get to the painting tutorial already??  Hahaha!!  I mean really – how much prep can go into this right?

Well, I’m here to tell you that the painting portion is soooo easy.  Once you get to this point, you are basically home free πŸ˜‰

STEP 4:  Paint 


You will start in the LEFT TOP corner again and paint all of the trim edges first.  Use your 2″ (angled) brush to paint the area of the trim where it butts up to the garage siding, and any areas where your roller brush might miss. 

Do this all around the trim (outside and inside) of the entire garage door.




Now, use your roller brush and paint on the top portion of the trim.  The roller brush will add the TEXTURE you need so that it matches the existing paint job.

Can you see the “textured” area (picture above) on the top portion where I painted with the  roller brush versus the bottom portion where I painted with the paint brush? 

This textured area will match the coating that was originally painted on the trim, plus it blends perfectly with the textured garage door.

The picture below shows the trim only painted, and the door not painted.



Now, take your paint brush again and paint sides and top of the garage door.  This is the perfect time to do touch ups on the under side of the trim area also.

I know that this part is a little time consuming, but helps out tremendously in the long run.

Don’t forget about the bottom of the garage door, and around the handle area.  Both of these areas will be difficult to cover completely with the roller brush.

In the picture below, you can tell where I painted at the top and side portions (using the paint brush).


After you have painted the perimeter of the garage door with your paint brush, go ahead and begin painting the remaining area with your roller brush.

***TIP*** I first tried to paint the grooves with my paint brush, but figured out a little system to be able to use the roller brush!!  Game Changer for speeding this up!

Just use a little pressure when rolling the paint in those grooves, and it will cover it ALL.  


I rolled everything around the grooves first, and then painted the grooves last.  It really made it so much easier to paint this way.


I chose to paint the handle to save money, and also because I knew it would just rust again πŸ™‚  Here it is with the first coat done.

Let Everything Dry Overnight.  This paint will actually dry to the touch in about 4-6 hours, but go ahead and let it dry overnight.

Paint 2nd coat and pull off the tape immediately.   ***TIP*** This will help make sure that if you have too much excess paint on the tape, it won’t melt or stick onto your siding. 

Just make sure that you don’t let the tape or plastic bump into your wet paint.



*** Check out my new post – just in time for back to school Top 10 Best Desks for Students (Under $150).  More Back to School posts coming soon! ***

Have a Great Summer!!

Love & Hugs πŸ™‚

Looking for more outdoor projects or inspiration? 

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Trimming Hedges & Shrubs:  Yard Work 101

9 Affordable Ways to Update Your Outdoor Living Space

DIY Painted Flower Pot Tutorial:  Blue Top

10 Ultimate Outdoor Summer Party Essentials

33 Stunning Outdoor Seating Inspirations

33 Best Outdoor Seating Options:  ALL Under $500



Painters Tape or here                                                                                                   Plastic dropcloths

3M ScotchBlue 1.41 in. x 60 yds. Original Multi-Use Painter's TapeHDX 9 ft. x 12 ft. 0.7 mil Drop Cloth (3-Pack)







Sandpaper block or here                                                                                      Libman Scrubbing Brush

3M Pro Grade Precision 2-1/2 in. x 4 in. x 1 in. 120 Grit Fine Block Sanding Sponge







Paint Brush Set                                                                                                 Roller Brush Set or here

2 in. Flat Cut, 3 in. Flat Cut, 2 in. Angled Sash Polyester Paint Brush Set (3-Piece)9 in. x 3/8 in. High-Density Polyester Knit Paint Roller Cover (3-Pack)







Roller Brush Handle or here                                                                                           Paint Tray or here

9 in. 5-Wire Heavy-Duty Roller Frame9 in. Plastic Roller Tray







Rust-Oleum White Paint (13 colors), 2-pack                                                                        Paint Stir Sticks

1 Gal. Paint Mixing Craft Sticks (10-Pack)







Paint thinner                                                                                                                                Ladder 

Klean-Strip 1 gal. Paint ThinnerWerner 6 ft. Fiberglass Step Ladder with 300 lb. Load Capacity Type IA Duty Rating












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