Best Paint for Garage Doors – Garage Door Painting Guide

Posted on Categories:Exterior Paint, Metal Paint, Painting guide, UPVC Paint, Wood paint
paint for garage doors

What is the best paint for garage doors? Giving your home a fresh paint job is the perfect way to increase kerb appeal and impress your visitors. Exterior walls and your front door are obvious places to start, but there’s one part of the exterior you shouldn’t ignore. Painting garage doors can add colour to the front of your home and give a tired-looking surface a new lease on life.

Key Takeaways

  • Painting garage doors improves the look of your home.
  • Garage doors can be metal, wood, or UPVC.
  • Using the right paint on the right surface is crucial to get the finish you want. 
  • Follow our guide for the best results!

Painting Garage Doors

Garage doors can be a range of materials, including wood, metal, and UPVC. These can all be painted but need specific products for the best results.

Another factor to keep in mind is what your garage door goes through each year. Even if it isn’t directly blasted by wind and rain, the painted surface is still exposed to the elements. This means that the paint you choose needs to be hardwearing, otherwise you’ll be repainting your garage doors much sooner than you’d like.

What kind of Paint do you use for Garage Doors?

As we’ve already mentioned, the best paint for garage doors depends on what material the door is made from. Let’s go over each type one at a time.

Paint for Metal Garage Doors

If you’re painting a metal garage door, you need specific metal paint for the best results. Metal surfaces will repel most types of paint, leading to a streaky finish at best, and sending you back to square one at worst. Using an adhesive metal paint that can bond to the surface is essential.

To increase the longevity of your paint, pairing it with a quality primer will ensure the finish looks great for a long time. Primer gives the paint a better surface to bond too, making the colour look bolder and the sheen stand out more.

Paint for Wooden Garage Doors

Although less popular on new homes, many houses still have wooden garage doors that create a traditional or rustic look. But as anyone with wooden outdoor furniture will know, wooden surfaces that are exposed to the weather need extra care and attention.

There are lots of paint options, as well as paint alternatives, for wooden garage doors. These include:

The last two options are great if you want to refresh your garage door without fully repainting it. Wood varnish enhances the natural wood look, whereas wood stains come in a range of colours. However, these won’t protect the surface as much as paint, and if the door is looking worn out, that will show through.

Multi-surface paint can be good, but we recommend using paint that is specifically designed for use on wood, to guarantee the best protection.  

Both water-based and oil-based wood paint looks fantastic, and the one you choose is often down to personal preference. Water-based wood paint is more beginner-friendly, easier to apply, and cheaper. Oil-based paint has higher durability, higher sheen, and offers slightly better protection.

Whichever paint you choose, pairing it with a primer will protect the surface from rot, as well as preventing wear and tear over time.

Paint for UPVC Garage Doors

UPVC garage doors are becoming much more popular on new builds. They offer superb security and are easy to maintain, with a surface that is naturally resistant to scratches and dents.

To make the most out of UPVC, using a paint that is as tough as the material itself is recommended.

Multi-surface exterior paints are as versatile as the name suggests. They’re great for garage doors but have a wide range of applications on metal, wood, and masonry surfaces too. Most are water-based, meaning they are easy to apply, and come in a wide range of colours and sheens.

How do you Paint Garage Doors?

Once you’ve chosen the perfect paint for your garage doors, use our guide to get the best finish. We recommend reading through a few times first so there are no surprises.

As this is an exterior project, you need to find the right time to do it. A couple of dry days with low wind will ensure no bad weather ruins your paint.

Here’s what you’ll need to paint garage doors:

*Wire brush for metal garage doors, sandpaper for wood or UPVC.

STEP 1 – Prep and Cleaning Garage Doors for Painting

First, make sure there is nothing blocking your access to the garage door.

Even if your garage doors are relatively new, you need to give them a thorough clean first. Any dirt and grime can show through even multiple layers of paint.

Some people choose to complete step 2 before cleaning but doing it thoroughly first and then a second quick clean after sanding gives you a better surface to paint onto. Soap, water, and a bit of elbow grease will get the job done on most garage doors.

Once the doors have dried, lay out your dust sheets. Exterior paints are hard to clean off any surface, so preventing splashes is important.

STEP 2 – Sanding Garage Doors for Painting

If you are painting a metal garage door, use a wire brush to remove rust and the previous layer(s) of paint. For wooden or UPVC doors, use sandpaper instead.

Trying to paint onto old paint is a bad idea, as it will cause the new layers to flake away easily.

Once the surface has been sanded, give it another quick clean to remove any dust and flakes.

STEP 3 – Priming Garage Doors for Painting

Priming your garage doors is essential to give your paint a better surface to bond to. It’ll also add durability, protecting your doors against the weather, scratches, rust, and general wear.

Apply an even coat of primer, being sure to overlap each stroke of the brush or roller to ensure complete coverage.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.

STEP 4 – Painting Garage Doors

Now for the fun part.

The number of coats you’ll need will depend on the type of garage door paint you’re using, but it is usually either one or two.

Start from the top of the door and work your way down. This will help you catch any runoff before it dries and keep the finish consistent. Once again, overlap each stroke.

If your garage door has a corrugated or uneven surface, be careful that you are applying an even coat. Sometimes rollers won’t reach into gaps, or won’t apply enough paint; consider using a brush for these areas.

Leave each layer to dry completely.

STEP 5 – Admire your work

Once the final layer of paint has dried, take a step back and admire your freshly painted garage doors. How do they look?

The surface will now be protected from the elements and will look great for a long time.

We always recommend keeping any extra paint for future touch ups, or to use for other painting projects.

The UK’s Most Trusted Paint Supplier

If you want to improve the look of your home, don’t neglect your garage doors. They’re one of the first things visitors will see, and if you paint them yourself it’s one extra thing to be proud of when you arrive home.

This is a simple painting project so if you’re new to exterior painting, it’s a great place to start or improve your skills.

We’re the no.1 choice for tradespeople, with large quantities of paint available at competitive prices, and we’re loved by domestic painters too!

Check out our blog for more information, advice and guides about all things painting. If you have any questions about any of our products, please get in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Do you need special paint for garage doors?

Regular exterior paint only works on certain surfaces and will run and wear away if used incorrectly. Garage doors need specialist paint that bonds to the surface, protecting it for years.  

How long does garage door paint last?

High quality paint that is designed for garage doors will last around 5 years before a fresh coat is needed. If you add a layer of primer before you paint, you can extend the lifespan of your garage doors for an extra few years 

Is it worth painting a garage door?

Painting a garage door doesn’t just improve the kerb appeal of your home. When painted with quality garage door paint they look great and will be protected from weather, damage, and general wear and tear.  

Should garage paint be flat or gloss?

A satin finish is the most popular choice for garage doors, but paint with a higher or lower sheen level looks great too. The material your door is made of should also be kept in mind before you order your paint.  

Should I brush or roller my garage door?

Most garage doors aren’t flat, with a corrugated or shaped surface. This means that a standard paint roller can’t get into the gaps and dents. A quality paintbrush will help you to cover the entire surface in an even layer of paint.  

What kind of paint do you use on a garage door?

The paint you need for garage doors depends on the material it is made of, which includes wood, metal, and UPVC. Each of these need specialist exterior paint that can withstand harsh conditions, regular paint won’t last as long as you need it to.