Painting garage doors is a major step in changing the overall curb appeal of your Madison area home. Even without new paint, regular cleaning should be a staple of a routine garage door maintenance program. A garage door is the largest single architectural element in your home after the roof. It’s a major factor in making a first impression.
Prep for Painting Garage Doors
No matter if your garage door is steel, aluminum, wood or another option, before it can be painted it must be clean. Here are several suggestions on steps to take in preparation for painting a garage door:
- Wash the door – no matter where you live or what kind of garage door maintenance program you have, every door gets dusty and dirty inside and out. A garden hose and mild soap (dish washing liquid or soap recommended for washing cars is perfect) is all your need.
TIP FROM A PRO — Even though it seems like a perfect tool, DON’T USE A PRESSURE WASHER to clean your garage door. The hard, concentrated spray can damage the surface of prefinished metal doors and some softer wooden doors. Use a good sponge and garden hose combination instead – no abrasives.
- Wash the windows – if your garage door has windows give then special attention, inside and out. The interior side of the window frames isn’t likely to be water-tight so be sure to do then carefully by hand.
- Clean garage door tracks – Leaves, debris and dirt can collect in the garage door’s tracks and this detritus can cause the door to jerk or stick. Resist the urge to add oil or grease, these will just make the surface stickier and hold debris.
- Clean the photo eye sensors – every modern garage opener has a photo eye system and keeping it in working order is a major element in garage door maintenance. Make sure the line of sight from one eye to the other is unbroken and clean the lenses on each. Be especially careful not to knock them out of alignment.
- Clean weather stripping – the weather stripping at the bottom of the garage door keeps all manner of debris and harsh weather outside. Regularly cleaning it makes sure it is working as planned and lengthens the life of the rubber component. Clean it by hand – using a broom or other large tool can loosen it and create cracks where wind, water and debris can enter.
- Wax off – while using a wax product can protect the garage door’s finish, wax has to be removed prior to painting garage doors. Once the new paint project is finished, a wax product can be applied – using a non-abrasive material approved for delicate automotive finishes works.
Garage Door Maintenance for Wood and Metal Doors
Whether you plan on painting garage doors or not, metal and wooden doors deserve a regular maintenance routine. When it is time to paint – to refresh a worn surface or add a new color – there are key elements to consider. First, examine the surface for blemishes and weak spots:
- Metal doors – look for scratches and lightly buff any that are not deep enough to uncover bare metal – use fine sandpaper or steel wool. To prevent rust treat any deep scratches with a high-quality metal primer before painting.
TIP FROM A PRO — Don’t overdo the sanding because paint doesn’t stick to a really smooth surface as well as it does to a rougher one. Be especially careful if your garage door has a textured surface designed to look like wood grain, stucco, etc. Too much buffing can make it worse, rely upon a good primer instead.
- Wooden doors – remove dirt, chalky buildup and any signs of mildew with a good washing solution and rinse well with good, clean water – allow it to dry completely before doing anything else. If there are serious cracks or chips in the wood, prime them with a high-quality wood primer before attempting painting garage doors.
Painting Garage Doors is Easy
The actual painting process isn’t difficult. Once the surface has been properly cleaned and prepared – and allowed to dry thoroughly – paint can be applied in any of the conventional ways. Depending upon the texture of the surface you can use a large paint brush, rollers or sprayers.
Most door-makers recommend using a high-quality acrylic latex exterior paint applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. They don’t recommend using any oil-based paints or rust-inhibitive paints.
TIP FROM A PRO — No matter what kind of paint or how your plan to apply it, never attempt painting garage doors is direct, bright sunlight or when the door is warm to the touch. The paint won’t adhere well and lap marks are more likely to show. And, avoid getting paint on any seals between door panels.
Rely on Professionals for Garage Door and Door Opener Advice
The trained professionals at Northland Door Systems provide the latest in garage doors with complete installation and service throughout Southern Wisconsin. Call Northland Door Systems at 608-251-3627 or email us for professional assistance to create a garage door maintenance plan and tips for painting garage doors in Madison.