DIY Painted Garage Doors

I worked inside over the past year making this house into our home. I’ve tackled the majority of the rooms and I’m finally shifting my focus outside. It’s an all brick house to there is little maintenance.

I’ve been wanting to paint our garage doors for over a year. I noticed one of our neighbors had painted their garage doors black to match their shutters and front door. We have a similar home and I knew black garage doors would look good here too. I also love painting things black and this was the perfect time and place for it!!!

I stopped by Sherwin Williams to ask about the products needed. I knew our doors were aluminum (vs wood) but was unsure if they had been painted with latex or oil. It matters.

I used denatured alcohol on a cotton ball to rub across the surface. Some paint came off meaning that it was painted in a latex.

Returned to SW and this is the paint they recommended. My prep instructions were to make sure the doors we clean, dull and dry.


I used some mold and mildew remover on the weather stripping around the outside of the doors that were showing discoloration. Any old product would work that you may use for a shower.

Next, I used a pressure washer to wash off any dust or dirt. I’m sure a hose and scrub brush would do the trick too. I was pressure washing off the brick side walk so I did the doors too.


The next day I knew my doors were clean and dry. I placed a drop cloth along the bottom to protect the cement then closed the garage door. I used a microfiber cloth to wipe it down once more.

I have a paint sprayer but the idea of taping, prepping and spraying near our brick stresses me out. I felt like a brush and roller gives me more control.

The only concern I had was with the whole process was how to deal with the weather stripping. I know if rubber is painted it can crack later and look crappy. From the road it appears that our neighbor left the weather stripping alone and it’s still white. Why pull it off if it’s in good shape?

I normally use this wide tool for edging when I paint and I decided to wedge it under the weather stripping to lift it out of the way and edge as I paint. I also used it under the door as I painted the bottom.

Remember to stir your paint really well before you start for even color and gloss. I’m using a satin on my doors for a little sheen. I worked my way across each panel left to right. I painted the insets with a brush then rolled the flat areas. Watch for corner drips as you go – gravity happens.

One door down and one to go!! It took maybe one hour per door or less.

I painted the 2nd garage door and the little gate to the deck as well. I left the drop cloths in place and did not open the garage doors until evening. It was a little humid and took a long time to dry.

I planned to run a knife under the weather stripping seal to loosen any paint once it had dried before opening. I did that with one unopened door while it remained shut but someone hit the opener on the other do before I could do so…and apparently it’s fine. Thank goodness.

From this picture you can see our shutters are already black as well as our front door. Black hides dirt much better than white so I know these will look better long term. It’s LOVE painting things black and this is totally traditional and classy.


While the garage doors were up I cleaned any black paint off that got on the weather stripping. Then I touched up the wood trim around the garage doors with exterior white paint.

I bought this at Lowe’s but it’s a SW product. I used it on our deck railing out back and had it on hand to touch up the garage door frame. By painting while the doors are up I avoided getting white drips on the black doors. Bright white made the black pop even more.

Once that was done I put the doors down and did a quick, light coat across both of the garage doors to ensure even coverage.

Went out to see how it was looking and we had 4 admirers. I think they approve!

Overall this was an easy project. I think the black doors look classy and upgrade the standard issue aluminum doors.

Whether your doors just need a touch up or if you want to do something bold here’s everything you need to know to get started.

EDITED 9/8/2020

We moved AGAIN…. this time to Pittsburgh. Again we had the standard aluminum white garage door. Our front door and shutters are black like the VA house so painting the garage door to match was an easy choice.

The window frame inserts had yellowed over time, the door was looking dirty and had a few stains. I knew black serves as an excellent “hider” of all of the above so off to the paint store I went!

I caffeinated and got to it. Used the trusty 2″ angled brush to paint inside the recessed areas, around edges and windows. Other wise it was all roller.

Sooo much better.

This is the paint I used for the PA garage door in Iron Ore. It took 2-3 coats in some areas and about 2 hours.

And that’s a wrap!!! Super easy update for your garage door!

Happy painting ~Kristen

About Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

Making a house into a home one room at a time.

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