How to Paint a Steel Garage Door

Fresh asphalt driveway and double door garage
  • 5-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Scouring pad
Acrylic primer
Acrylic paint
Spray gun
Masking tape
Drop cloths

Having a steel garage door can be very useful. You won’t need to perform much maintenance and it will give you good service for years. It will need painting periodically. You’ll know when because the old paint will begin to peel a little. Make sure you repaint before bare metal shows through as that can lead to rust.

Step 1 - Cleaning

Before you paint your steel garage door, you need to clean it. To do this, begin by using the spray attachment on your hose and washing off all the loose dirt. Apply detergent to the door, then rub with a scouring pad-you might need more than one to do a thorough job on the garage door.

Not only do you remove all the dirt this way, but you also scuff up the surface of the paint. This will help the paint that you apply adhere more solidly and last longer. When you rubbed the entire very thoroughly, rinse the door off and allow it ample time to dry. Depending on the weather, this could take several hours.

Step 2 - Primer

Use masking tape to make sure you don’t paint the area around the door. Have plenty of drop cloths handy, both to cover the ground in front of the door and to the sides of it, on the garage itself. Start by putting a coat of primer on the garage door. You should use acrylic paint and primer. This offers a better surface that’s more elastic and less likely to chip and flake over time. It will also keep its color well.

Pour the primer from the can into a bucket and mix very well. Ideally, you should use a mixer attachment on a hand drill. When the paint has been fully mixed, pour some into your spray gun. Don’t overfill it.

Spray in long horizontal strokes, going from the top of the steel garage door down to the bottom. Make sure you cover the entire garage door. If you have any drips or run as you paint, clean them up immediately with a damp cloth, before they have a chance to dry. After you’ve sprayed the whole door, leave it to dry fully before moving ahead.

Step 3 - Paint

Clean the spray gun thoroughly. Mix up the base coat of the paint just as you did for the primer, ensuring you take time to mix the paint properly. You shouldn’t need to thin the paint. Spay horizontally, in long strokes, going from the top of the garage door to the bottom, then leave to dry.

Step 4 - Finish

To finish the door, you need to apply a final thin coat of paint with the spray gun. This will give extra protection to the steel garage door and keep the color strong. When you’ve finished, allow 24 hours before opening the garage door. Remove the masking tape and the drop cloths. You have a repainted steel garage door.