Finding the perfect paint for a home project can be confusing. There are many options, and each type of paint is meant for different applications. So, what kind of paint should you use on a metal garage door?

The best paint for a metal garage door is acrylic latex exterior paint. You should also select a primer that is good to use on metal and is rust and corrosion-resistant. Lastly, the color of paint you choose should go well with the other colors on your house. 

Painting your metal garage door is a quick way to spruce up your home and even raise the value of your house. Read on to learn more about what type of paint you should use on your metal garage door and how to paint it for the best results.

Acrylic Latex Exterior Paint Is Best for Garage Doors

If you are painting a metal garage door, you’ll want to find something that adheres to the metal well, holds up in all kinds of weather, and looks great. Therefore, acrylic latex exterior paint is the best option.

Compared to oil-based paints, latex paints are:

  • Easier to clean
  • Easier to apply
  • Better for the environment
  • Dry quicker

All these factors make this type of paint a great choice for garage door projects.

Glossy vs. Matte Finishes

After you’ve selected the type of paint you want, you’ll need to decide on the finish. Paints come in various finishes ranging from glossy to matte, where high gloss means that the color will look shiny and have a polished finish, whereas matte means the paint will have a flat finish with no shine.

Regarding garage doors, high-gloss or semi-gloss are the best options. Not only do these finishes look great when the sun hits them, but they hold up well in all kinds of weather. The glossy finish will be easy to clean, more water-resistant, and help keep your door from rusting.

Choosing a Color for Your Garage Door Paint

Now it is time for the fun part. After you know what type of paint to buy, you get to pick the color!

While most people choose a neutral color, such as black, white, or beige, choosing a color that you love and works well with the rest of the house is essential.

Many will paint their garage door the same color as their front door. While that is a great option, feel free to branch out if you want to mix things up. However, you’ll want to make sure that the color you choose goes well with your:

  • Siding
  • Trim
  • Roof
  • Driveway
  • Other Doors
  • Garage hardware (such as handles)

The best way to ensure that your new paint will match is to get paint swatches for all the colors currently on your house. That way, you can see how everything will go together before committing to a color.

Keep in mind that while you may be excited to have a bright and funky color, a new buyer may not be. If you are considering selling your home soon, you may want to consider the impact that the color you choose will have on the resale value of your house.

How to Paint a Metal Garage Door

Now that you have your paint all picked out, it is time to paint! The process of painting a garage door is simple and can be completed over the course of a weekend. However, there are a few steps that you’ll want to follow closely for the best results.

Here is how you should paint your metal garage door:

1. Pick a Day With Good Weather

Before picking up any materials, you’ll need to check the weather. While it may be something you initially overlook, good weather is one of the most critical steps to a successful paint job.

Not only do you want to watch out for humidity, rain, or snow, but you’ll also want to ensure that it isn’t too hot or cold outside. For best results, you’ll want to apply acrylic latex paint when the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 21°C). Painting in non-ideal weather conditions can lead to peeling, requiring you to redo the paint job.

Here are a few other weather factors to consider when painting your garage door:

  • Avoid direct sunlight: While this may be difficult to accomplish depending on which way your garage is facing, you’ll want to do your best to avoid painting in direct sunlight. This is because the heat from the sun can cause your paint to dry too fast.
  • Ensure you have good weather a few days before painting: In addition to good weather on the paint day, you’ll need to ensure good weather leading up to the day. It may take several days for a metal garage door to cool down if it has been sweltering outside or to warm up if it has been too cold. Painting on a hot or cold surface can lead to cracking and peeling.
  • Make sure the weather is good a few days after painting: After painting, you’ll still want to watch the temperature to ensure your door has enough time to cure properly. Depending on the weather and the exact paint you use, this can take several days.

2. Switch Your Door to Manual Mode

Another step that sometimes gets overlooked is switching your garage door to manual mode. If you are painting the door, the last thing you want is for someone to accidentally open it. Turning off the automatic opener and switching it to manual mode will help avoid accidents.

3. Remove All Hardware From the Door

Next, you’ll want to remove all hardware from the door. This includes any handles, keylocks, hinges, and anything else you don’t want to paint. Removing these from the door is easier than painting around them, so you’ll want to do this before picking up a roller.

4. Sand the Door

After removing the hardware, you are ready to get the door ready for painting. Sanding the door is a great way to remove old paint chips or imperfections before applying the fresh paint. It is also good to scuff the door for better paint adhesion.

Make sure that you’re not rubbing the door too hard when sanding. A light sanding should be enough to remove flaking and prepare the door for a new coat of paint. Sanding the door too much can lead to scratch marks that will show through your paint.

You might also want to read: How to Remove Paint From Metal Doors.

5. Clean the Garage Door Thoroughly

Once you have sanded the surface, you’ll want to thoroughly clean it with soapy water and a scrub brush. Cleaning the door will remove all the dust from the sanding and any dirt or debris that could get stuck under your new coat of paint.

Remember to wipe down the door with a dry cloth when you are done scrubbing. You’ll want to paint on a clean and dry surface so the paint goes on evenly and adheres to the door.

6. Prepare the Area for Painting

Now that your garage door is ready for painting, you’ll need to prepare the rest of the area.

The first step in preparing your area is to use painter’s tape to block off any areas you do not want to paint. This includes any trim around the door, windows, and hardware you couldn’t remove.

Taking the time to do this step can save a lot of headaches in the future. Even if you think you have a steady hand and can easily avoid these areas, it is better to go ahead and use the painter’s tape to avoid any drops or accidents. Using the tape will also help you achieve those crisp, clean lines on the edges of the door, making the paint job look more professional and well done.

7. Apply the Primer

It is almost time to paint! There is just one step left – priming. Like any other paint job, you’ll want to prime your garage door before applying your final paint.

Priming will allow your paint to adhere to the door and help you achieve a smooth finish. Primer can also help cover up the previous paint color, which is especially important if you choose a different color for this paint job.

Choosing a primer that will work well with your door is essential.

There are several different types of primer, but you will need to choose one that works well on metal. You’ll also want to choose a primer that inhibits rust and corrosion. The last thing you want after redoing your garage door is to have it flake due to rust. Selecting a good primer can help you combat that.

You’ll want to apply the primer in an even coat with either a roller or a sprayer. In most cases, you will only need one coat of primer before painting, but if you paint the door a lighter color than it was, you may need an extra coat.

Finally, allow the door enough time to dry before moving on to the final step. This may take several hours, but patience is the key to success.

8. Apply the Paint

Finally, it is time to apply the final paint! Now that your door has been cleaned, sanded, prepped, and primed, you are ready to apply that fresh new coat of paint.

You’ll want to use a roller or a sprayer to ensure you get nice, even layers of paint.

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If you have to apply multiple coats, let the paint cure completely before applying the next layer. Depending on the paint you choose, this could take up to 12 hours. Read the instructions thoroughly to understand how long you should let the paint dry between layers.

After the paint is fully cured, you can remove the painter’s tape and enjoy your newly painted garage door! Don’t forget to put the hardware back on and switch that door back to automatic, so you don’t have to open it manually when you go to work on Monday.

Why You Should Paint Your Garage Door

Painting your garage door is not overly complicated, but it can be time-consuming, especially if you apply several layers of paint and primer. You may find yourself asking why you should even bother painting the garage door. It is just a garage.

Well, there are several reasons why you may want to move this home project up the to-do list. Here are a few:

It Could Help Protect Against Harsh Weather

This was mentioned earlier, but metal doors are prone to rust. Having a metal garage door in an area prone to rain and snow can be tough to maintain. Painting your garage door with the proper paint and primer combination can help protect your door from the elements, leading to fewer repairs and a longer-lasting door.

It Will Make Your Home Look Nicer

The garage door is often the first thing people see when they pull up to your house. It is also usually visible from the street, meaning anyone who drives by will see your garage door.

Putting a fresh coat of paint on the door is one of the best ways to enhance your curb appeal. Not only will this look great for the neighbors and people driving by, but it will also look good to potential buyers if you plan to sell your home.

Not to mention, pulling up to a pretty house after a long day of work is a great mood booster for you and your family!

It Can Raise the Value of Your Home

Lastly, a newly painted garage door can also raise the value of your home. As mentioned above, a fresh coat of paint can enhance curb appeal, but did you know that a new garage door is actually one of the top home improvement projects with a high return on investment?

If you are interested in a do-it-yourself home project that will raise the value of your home without breaking your wallet, a new garage door paint is one of the best decisions you can make.


Painting a metal garage door is not only easy but also relatively cheap and an excellent investment for your home. Make sure to use a primer that works on metals and is rust and corrosion-resistant to better protect against all types of weather.

You’ll want to use acrylic latex exterior paint in a color that goes well with the rest of your house. This paint choice is easy to apply and clean and will look great on your home once you are finished!

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