Your home's garage door is constantly exposed to weather and other elemental hazards. For wood and metal garage doors that have been painted, this can lead to a lot of chipping, fading and other damage. Over time, it may even cause your garage door to look old, weathered and unattractive. If you want to give your garage door new life, one of the best things that you can do is to repaint it. Not only will it freshen up the overall look of the door, but it may even allow you the opportunity to completely change the color scheme of your garage. Here are some tips to help you repaint your garage door successfully.
Choose the Right Time
When you're thinking about painting the garage door, you need to make sure that you pick the right day to do it. Watch the weather forecast closely for a day when the temperature will be warm, but not hot. If it's somewhere around 65 or 70 degrees, that's probably a comfortable range. You're also going to need a couple of sunny, dry and warm days both before and after the day you paint so that you have time to do the prep work and let the paint dry. Start the job early in the day so that you'll have enough time to get it finished.
Prepare the Door Surface
If you want the paint to adhere to the door and not flake or peel, you'll need to make sure that the door is properly prepared. Start by inspecting the door for any signs of rust, wood rot or other damage. Sand the whole surface with medium-grit sandpaper. This gets rid of peeling, flaking paint as well as any rust or other debris. Take your time working through this step so that you have an even, clean surface to work from when you're done.
Clean the Door
Once you've sanded the surface, you'll need to clean the door. Use a power washer set at low pressure or scrub the door with a stiff brush and a solution of water and dish detergent. This will clear away all of the dirt that's stuck to the door. Pay careful attention to the bottom of the door, because it's often one of the dirtiest areas. Let it dry completely for a few hours before you do any more work.
Protect the Surrounding Surfaces
Before you can start any priming or painting, you'll want to make sure the surrounding area is protected. The best way to do this is by covering the edges of the garage along the door with painter's tape. Then, cover the windows with brown paper, taping it up with painter's tape. Raise the door slightly so you can lay a tarp along the floor. That will protect the area from any excess paint drips.
Prime the Door
Whether you've got bare, exposed metal on the door or you're changing the color drastically, you'll want to apply a primer coat to the door before you paint. Invest in a primer that's created for outdoor use, because that will reduce the risk of weather damage, bubbling and flaking under the paint. Let the primer dry completely before you apply paint.
Apply the Fresh Paint
When the primer's dry, it's time to paint. Use latex-based outdoor paint for the garage door and apply it in thin layers. If you're comfortable with a sprayer, you may find that spraying the paint on gives you a thin, even application. It's also ideal for large surfaces, because you can cover a lot of area quickly. Use a small brush for any detail work or small corners. Then, let the paint dry completely before you apply a second coat. Once finished, let the door cure for at least a day before you use it again so that you don't risk gouging or smudging the paint.
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