Today we’ll cover preparing an existing garage door for new paint.
Timing is key: choosing a calm day will prevent dust or leaves blowing onto the clean door or into the fresh paint. You’ll want paint to cure at least twelve hours before getting wet (just because it feels dry doesn't mean it’s completely cured!), so it’s best to plan a time with no rain in the forecast for a day or two.
Use a flat scraper to remove any loose or peeling paint from the old door. It’s worthwhile to be very patient with this step since any loose paint on the door can chip off into your new coat and leave unsightly bumps and flecks in the surface. After the loose paint is removed, rub down scraped spots with steel wool until the edges feel smooth. Give any rusty places a good rub with the steel wool or a wire brush to remove whatever loose material you can.
Rinse the door and wash it with dish detergent and warm water. Rinse again and allow to completely dry. It’s important to remove any dirt or shavings from sanding and scraping because debris can cause the new paint not to bond to the old.
Carefully protecting any attaching components (trim, siding, cement beneath the door, handles, hinges, windows, etc.) will save a lot of headaches later. Remove anything you can, but cover everything else. Being meticulous with masking paper and painter’s tape pays off in the overall quality of the finished project. A neat application of painter’s tape is especially important because that line will be the edge of your new coat of paint. If you’re planning to spray the door, thorough masking is much more important than for rolling or brushing and you may want to consider even covering components like coach lamps since the overspray can float a long way.
It’s not always necessary to apply primer, but it will give you the best chance at an even, professional-looking coat of new color. Oil-based primers like Kilz cover pretty much anything and offer a good base to apply your final coat of that perfect color.
Next: Choosing an application technique.
Previous: Choosing a paint type.
About the Author: Lauren Turner is a former construction contractor turned wife and mother of two (so far). Her daily collection of duties and pleasures range from diaper duty to researching experimental concrete surfaces and everything in between. She is delighted to discover there is a place for her blogging skills and hopes her own garage benefits from all she learns.
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