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Dealing with a garage door that’s seen its fair share of wear and tear? I totally get it – been there too. You know it’s time to take action when your once-reliable entrance starts flaunting stains, rust, or that annoying peeling paint. It’s like the door is sending out an SOS for some much-needed tender loving care.

But here’s the silver lining: with a bit of effort and a fresh coat of paint, you can turn that weathered look into a refreshed vibe in just a day. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the process of giving your garage door the makeover it’s been silently begging for. Ready to give your home’s first impression a boost?

Before Paint For Metal Garage Door

Can You Paint a Metal Garage Door? 

Yes, you can give your metal garage door a new look is easy with a fresh coat of paint. If it’s already primed or has been painted before, you’re in luck. Use garage door or metal paint. Just avoid painting galvanized doors to prevent peeling issues. Usually, one coat is enough, but check the results before deciding on a second layer, especially if you’re going from a dark to a light color. For a polished finish, go for gloss or semi-gloss paint – it’ll make your garage door look sleek and nice.

Perfect Paint For Metal Garage Door

People often ask, What kind of paint will stick to a metal door?

Well, selecting the right paint for your metal garage door is important for longevity and aesthetics. Acrylic latex exterior paint on metal proves to be a wise choice, offering easy maintenance, quick drying, and resistance to fading. It comes in various finishes, providing added protection against wear and tear. On the other hand, while oil-based paint boasts rust resistance, it may yellow over time and emits higher levels of VOCs. Despite its durability, the longer drying time and environmental impact make it less preferable. In the end, investing in quality acrylic latex paint is a prudent decision for a durable and visually appealing finish.

When opting for acrylic latex exterior house paint, prioritize quality over cost. The slightly higher initial investment pays off in the long run, requiring fewer coats and ensuring a lasting, attractive appearance. One coat of premium paint is often sufficient for a metal garage door, but assess the need for a second coat based on color transitions. This thoughtful approach not only saves time and effort but also results in a more cost-effective and satisfying outcome.

What kind of primer do you use on a metal door?

When priming a metal door, it’s vital to opt for a primer specifically created for metal surfaces. Identify whether the metal is ferrous (iron-based) or non-ferrous, such as steel or wrought iron, as different metals may require different primers. Opt for a high-quality metal primer with rust inhibitors and adhesion promoters to ensure proper adhesion and corrosion resistance.

If I talk about aluminum garage doors and old wooden doors, both have different needs when it comes to painting. Both can use latex paint, but aluminum doors require an oil-based primer, while wooden doors can go with either an oil-based or latex primer.

It’s important to keep an eye on the weather conditions for the best painting results. Choose the right combination of primer and paint to ensure a durable and attractive finish for your garage door.

Best Primer for Metal Garage Door

Rust is a big problem for metal garage doors, making them look bad. Luckily, there are special primers that can stop rust. For the best results, use a good bonding primer. After checking out different options, I found three top-notch paints for metal garage doors and a great primer to use

Kilz Bonding Primer

I like this one because it has a high-quality bonding formula that ensures a long-lasting finish and enhances metal garage door durability. Personally, I have also test this primer on painting brass door knob and its results are amazing.

Rust-Oleum Metal Primer:

I also tried Rust-Oleum 8781502 Stops Rust which is designed for protecting aluminum and galvanized metal surfaces. Its weather-resistant formula creates a durable coating, preventing rust effectively. I really appreciate its quick-dry feature, it covers 55-90 sq. ft. in 1-2 hours, providing a solid base for topcoats. The flat gray finish is versatile, allowing for various topcoat options. This primer is an excellent, user-friendly choice for preparing surfaces and ensuring long-lasting protection.

Corroseal Water-Based Metal Primer:

Corroseal primer functions as both a primer and a rust converter. It prevents further rusting and transforms existing rust into a paintable surface. I must say it is a comprehensive solution for metal garage doors.

Zinsser Metal Primer

High-performance, direct-to-metal primer bonding to heavily rusted and clean surfaces.

It guards against corrosion on metal surfaces.

BEHR Metal Primer

It excels at safeguarding metal surfaces from weathering. Ensures a durable and protective base for subsequent coatings.

If none of the mentioned primers appeal to you, then here are high-quality metal primers. Take a look at these alternatives for your consideration.

What is the best paint for metal Garage door?

When it comes to giving your garage door a fresh and durable look, choosing the right paint is key. I’ve explored various options, and here are some top picks that not only prevent rust but also provide long-lasting protection for a garage door that looks great. There are many paints out there, but these ones have always worked well for me.


  • This paint produces a subtle hammered finish with a metallic sheen.
  • The 3-in-1 formulation serves as a primer, undercoat, and topcoat.
  • It provides up to 8 years of rust protection.

Designed for: Metal surfaces

Pros: High performance, specific to metal, long-lasting rust protection

Cons: May have a strong odor during application.


  • Water-based for adhesion to stainless steel and non-ferrous metals
  • Suitable for galvanized aluminum, chrome, brass, and copper
  • It dries quickly, with surfaces becoming a touch dry in just 30 minutes.
  • It ensures long-lasting protection for both interior and exterior use.

Designed for: Stainless steel and non-ferrous metals

Pros: Quick drying, versatile for various metals, long-lasting protection

Cons: Limited color options; available only in red.

3. Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior/Exterior Latex Paint:


  • 100% acrylic formula.
  • Suitable for wood, metal, aluminum, or vinyl garage doors.
  • Better expansion and contraction for temperature fluctuations.

Designed for: Wood, metal, aluminum, or vinyl surfaces

Pros: Versatile for different garage door materials, better temperature resistance

Cons: Relatively higher cost compared to some other options.

How do I choose a paint color for my metal garage door?

Finding the ideal color for your garage door involves considering various factors. Start by examining the main color of your brick and selecting a complementary shade from the color wheel. For instance, if you have red brick, consider a sophisticated navy blue for a bold statement, or choose a soft sage green for yellow brick to create an appealing exterior.

To create a sense of unity and make your house appear more spacious, match your garage door color with the rest of your home. Alternatively, if you’re aiming for a standout feature, go for a contrasting color. For instance, if your home is a warm beige, a deep burgundy garage door can make a striking impact.

People often select neutrals such as grey, tan, white, or beige are popular choices for a timeless and versatile look.
Ultimately, the key is to choose a color that resonates with your personal style and enhances your home’s overall aesthetic. Use these guidelines as a foundation for a well-considered decision that elevates the curb appeal of your property.

How to Paint a Metal Garage Door?

Revamping your garage doors with a fresh coat of paint is a manageable weekend project. Follow these steps for hassle-free garage door painting:

Step 1: Check the Weather

Check the weather before starting. Choose a day with moderate temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees for optimal paint drying. Avoid extreme weather conditions like high heat, rain, or strong winds, as they can disrupt the drying process.

Step 2: Clean Metal Doors and Frame


Give your metal doors a thorough cleaning. Use soapy water to scrub away stains, rust, and grease. Ensure a dry, dust-free surface.

Step 3: Prep Work


For surfaces with existing paint, light sanding is needed to remove any flaking, loose or peeling paint. Wipe down the surface to eliminate any dust or debris after sanding. Use sturdy painter’s tape to mask off areas you don’t want to paint, and consider laying a tarp for added protection. If your garage door is automatic, unplug it and switch to manual operation.

Helpful Resource: Check out the step by step for removing paint from metal surfaces.

Step 4: Apply Primer

Use a paint sprayer or roller for primer. If your door has inset panels, start with them. Allow the primer to dry before painting for impressive results.

Step 5: Painting Time

using Wagner Control Pro 170 to paint metal garage door

Here I was upgrading my garage door using a Wagner Control Pro 170 sprayer with Benjamin Moore low luster premium exterior latex. I like to spray with Wagner 170 because the setting up was a breeze; I secured the paint bucket in a larger one for safety. Opting for a vertical spray with a 50% overlap made for a quick single-coat job. I appreciate its HEA technology, honestly!

paint spraying up-down direction

Apply high-quality exterior paint, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Begin with the inner panels and progress outwards. Assess the coverage, and if necessary, apply a second coat after waiting at least 12 hours. Only remove the tape after the door has thoroughly dried overnight.

Step 6: Paint Finish

Once you’ve completed painting your metal garage door, consider adding an extra layer of protection with a clear sealant. This will help guard against moisture, air, and water, increasing the door’s overall lifespan. Ensure the paint finish is completely dry before applying the clear coat.

You can select a satin, gloss or semi-gloss paint finish for your garage door, as these finishes dry hard and provide excellent protection against scratches and scuffs.

Check out the final look after painting metal garage door with control pro 170. Here is the picture below;

After painting metal garage door

Should I use a roller or a brush to paint my metal garage door?

You can use a roller, brush or even paint sprayer to paint your metal garage door. Rollers work well on large surfaces, giving a smooth finish, while brushes are great for edges and details. For the best results, use both: a roller for the main panels and a brush for corners and intricate parts. This ensures a professional look with complete coverage.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, painting your metal garage door is an easy and practical way to make it look better and shield it from the weather. Applying a new coat not only enhances its visual appeal but also acts as a guard against rust and damage. This affordable do-it-yourself project not only boosts your home’s overall appearance but also ensures your garage door stays in good shape for a longer time.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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