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Helpful Tips When Painting Your Garage Door

red garage door

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If youre painting your garage door, it’s important to understand that this door is going to be used a lot and that you don’t want to put too many coats of paint in between all of these cracks. The reason is because it can cause your door to stick and malfunction. Don’t be afraid, it’s fixible….

Helpful Tips When Painting Your Garage Door

Wood Expands and Contracts

This garage door behind me is a traditional wood garage door. You see them in thousands of American homes and Canadian homes, and because these panels are completely independent of each other, they move, expand, and contract within the different seasons.

You can see each square is a panel, and each section is a panel unto its own. So what we did to clean up this old garage door was we sanded it down using a palm sander and manually scraped any flaking wood. Once it was done then, we applied a good coat of oil primer.

Wood has the tendency to expand and contract in different seasons and environmental conditions. During wet cool seasons, garage doors can “swell” making it difficult to close. In dry warm conditions doors tend to close better.

Pro Tip #1: Lighter tone colors have a lower heat signature, as opposed to dark blues, purples, greens or red colors. These deep dark colors have a higher heat signature on east, south or west facing substrates.

Oil Primers Are Still The Best On Wood Garage Doors

Oil primers stick into the wood grains, and it’s one of the better primers to use versus acrylic latex. Now don’t get me wrong, acrylic latex is good.

But just traditionally and generally speaking, oil primers tend to have better adhesion, and they soak into the wood panels a lot better, which allows your paint to adhere better and gives you a way better finish look at this door.

There’s a variety of oil based wood primers but the ones Trusted House Painter uses most are Zinsser Coverstain and Benjamin Moore Fresh Start.

More Paint On Garage Doors Isn’t Always Better

This garage door is beautiful. Now keep in mind that if you put two coats on the bottom edge and two coats on the top edge of each pannel, that’s four layers of paint that are being applied. And then when you close your door, those two sides touch, and when they touch, they sit for a long period of time.

And then what happens is that it can make the door stick and it can actually damage the actual mechanism that lifts your door so keep in mind you’re changing the color or if you want that coated you don’t want to apply too many coats in between each crack because it could jeopardize the closure and the durability of the door.

Protip #2 – After painting your garage door, keep your garage door adjar (half open, half closed). This will allow the paint to dry without the pannels sticking together.

If you have questions about your garage door, or about which paint you should use you can email Trusted House Painter at, or you can call us at our toll-free hotline at 1 866 PAINT-18 and we’ll be happy to help you answer any questions you have about paint.

And if you need a professional painter in your area and you’re tired of searching online and waiting for painters to call you, go to you can post your painting project, and get quotes fast.

Protip #3 – If your garage door continues to stick after the paint has cured (usually 20-30 days), apply vaseline to the areas that are rubbing. This may assist and lubricate the areas that are giving you grief.

Thanks again, my name is Paul, and I’m from Trusted House Painter.

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