Is your garage door a white rectangle? Most doors are, and although there’s nothing wrong with a simple solution, some homes simply don’t look as good with a white door. Maybe your home’s exterior is better suited for a wooden door, or a door colored in a less traditional tone. Some homes can match the styling of their door’s glass windows to the styling of their entry door or nearby exterior windows. Some homeowners choose to make their door pop by painting it red, blue, green, or painting it with a bold pattern. Even just changing the hardware on your door’s exterior to emulate a carriage house door. Basically, if you’ve got an older door or a plain door, you might be missing out on one of the best ways to express your personality on the outside of your house!
There are tons of ways to change up your home’s appearance, and chaining your garage door is just one of them. The simplest way to upgrade is painting your door yourself. This method will take time, and the different paints, caulks, brushes, rollers, and other tools you might need can still end costing you, but it will usually be cheaper than other options for sprucing up a door in need. We’ll walk through how to do all the important steps, and it never hurts to do thorough research of the job beforehand so that you know about any potential pitfalls that your particular situation might present.
Look at your home’s exterior color palate and see if your garage door is complimenting the other colors or dragging them down. If you can’t see right of the bat, take a walk or drive around your neighborhood and observe how other people’s doors look, and make note of anything distinctive about your friends doors when you visit their houses. Choosing to upgrade to a colored door might seem like a big step, but if you have a spare weekend day to spend painting, you might be able to update your door without the fuss of replacing it completely. Once you identify the general color you want, visit a home and garden store and find a paint swatch that matches your vision. It can be beneficial to take a quick drive home and check the swatch against your home’s siding, shutters, and trim, to make sure that you like how it looks “in action.”
If your door was once bright white but now has faded to an off-yellow, a coat of renewing paint might be your best option. Not every home or family fits a bright door, but even basic white, brown, and grey doors each look distinctly different. When you consider how large your garage door is, it isn’t hard to see how simply changing the color of the doors to another neutral shade might make an enormous difference.
No matter what color you’ll be painting your door or why you’re painting it, the steps are the same. Begin by cleaning the entire door and the surrounding bit of your home. A hose is the easiest tool to accomplish this. After spraying the door clean, wipe it dry with a rag. Then, remove the rubber seal or weather stripping between your door and your home’s exterior. Most weather stripping will shrink in colder months, so if you don’t paint underneath it now, your door will suddenly show a frame of its old color come December!
Removing the weather stripping shouldn’t be too difficult, although if it is solidly caulked in place you might need to use a spackle or X-ACTO knife to remove the old caulk. A crowbar can pry the sheets of weather proofing away from the wall with ease.
Once you’ve exposed the entirety of your home’s doors, prepare your brush and roller. If your door’s panels have recessed sections, like many common residential doors do, you will need to brush paint into these depressions, but could still use the roller for larger flat areas. If your panels are flat all the way across, this job will go much more quickly. General tips for exterior painting apply here, and if you’ve never done exterior painting before it is a good idea to search for some pointers.
You may have to apply several coats, keeping in mind that your paint will look different once it has dried. Once the exterior face of the door is complete, it is time to paint the gaps between the panels. If you do not know how to operate your garage door safely, consider calling a professional for consultation. Ideally, you want to be able to open the garage door in increments, painting each gap as it opens towards the top of the door, then pause for long enough that the paint has a chance to dry. Once each gap dries, raise the door further until the next gap opens.
Avoid putting any part of your body or anything valuable underneath your garage door, especially if you have an older door or have not tested the auto-reverse recently. If you do not know how to operate your door safely for the painting process, do not gamble with your life. Call a professional. Even if you choose not to employ their services, they should be able to guide you through the process.
Let everything dry overnight once you’ve finished painting the gaps. The next morning, hammer the weather stripping back into place and caulk the joints, especially if your garage door borders brick walls. If you want to paint your weather stripping, this is a perfect time to do it – just make sure that you raise the garage door so that it is out of the way.
This update can help many homeowners improve the appearance of their home, but if you still find that you are unhappy with your door, it might be time to replace it with a newer and more carefully-selected model. Most people never think about replacing their door and leave the same door on their home for the entire time that they own it, but for a relatively modest cost you can truly transform the look and feel of your exterior spaces, while adding new safety and comfort features to your home and increasing your eventual resale value. If you are dissatisfied with your garage door, call a professional today so that you can install a door that improves your life!
To see more awesome doors and get inspiration for your own home, check out our Door Inspiration board on Pintrest!