When you begin to notice the paint on your garage door is chipping and flaking apart, it is time for a new paint job. If left untreated, a garage door exposed to the elements can take on rain water and become warped from the hot sun. When the wood is compromised, it deteriorates. Soon the entire door structure weakens and replacement will become necessary. Though it is a fair amount of work, repainting your garage door can save you a lot of money down the road. Plus a new paint job brightens up your garage and adds to the overall value of your home.
The first step is to wash off the dust and paint chips. Some people prefer a power washer for this part because it is quicker and very efficient. Other people prefer using a hose to keep water penetration down to a minimum. The door will need some surface preparation. There are many types of exterior cleaners available that will help remove the stains and mildew. At the very least, a 1:4 solution of bleach and water should be used. Use a wire brush to remove the chipping paint. This is probably the most labor intensive part of the job but it is very important. The new paint needs a firm surface to adhere to otherwise it will quickly flake and peel off. Allow the treated and scrubbed surface to completely dry. A weekend with sunny weather should do the trick. Now inspect the wood for cracks. Fill the cracks with a good, exterior caulk and sand them smooth. Now you are ready to start painting.
When painting the door, you may need to do it in steps to cover the edges and other parts exposed when the door opens and closes. If your garage has windows, now is the time to cover them. Though removing paint from glass is easy with a razor blade, this step can save time later. Primer is very important in any paint job but even more so on exterior surfaces. Primer protects not only the wood, but also the paint itself. Wood is a highly absorbent material. If it leaks moisture from the paint, the paint will pucker and peel. Primer creates an even, waterproof surface for the paint to stick to. Allow your primer at least 24 hours in sunny weather to dry properly. If the primer feels sticky, it is not dry. If it is dry, apply your first coat of paint. Allow this to dry for at least 24 hours. Now you can add your final coat of paint and you are done.