Garage doors are often the first thing you see when you pull into your driveway. For this reason, you really want it to look great. Unfortunately, over time our Aussie weather does take its toll on the outside of our homes including the garage doors. If you are planning to have a professional painter spruce up the exterior of your home, make sure to factor in getting your garage doors painted if you can.
If you decide to do it yourself, here are five things to consider before you do:
1. Safety is important
Safety is extremely important when preparing and painting any parts of a house. Protect your face and eyes by wearing a dust mask and goggles when you are doing the prep work, especially if you are sanding off rust or peeling paint. It is crucial before you climb your ladder to ensure it is securely in place and it won’t topple over. DIYers are notorious for falling off ladders, so make sure you are not one of them.
2. Preparation is key to a perfect finish
If you do have any peeling paint or rust you will need to sand the area, followed by a thorough clean top to bottom, side to side making sure you get into all the corners. A soapy sponge or cloth is sufficient for this. There are cleaning products you can purchase but really soap and water are just as good, combined with good old elbow grease. Once you have rinsed it down give it another soapy wash. Rinse again drying it well with a towel (ensure your towel does not shed fibres as they will be left behind and end up in the first coat of paint). Cover the handles and any trimmings with painter’s tape.
3. Which paint should I choose?
Getting the right product for your garage doors is paramount. Failed paint jobs are common among DIY mainly because the wrong product was used. To get it right the first time consult a painting specialist and give them as much information as you can about the doors, such as:
- Are the doors metal or wood?
- Which direction are the doors facing?
- Do you know the make of the door? (You can search online and print out information on your door.)
- Whether you want to use a gloss or semi-gloss paint, acrylic or enamel
4. Check the weather forecast
Check out the weather forecast for a couple of consecutive days before you rush into any painting outside. Painting when it is too hot or too cold can affect the paint job big time. The ideal time is a warm and dry day. If the weather is really hot the door could expand and the paint won’t adhere to the surface. It’s also important to leave a good amount of time for drying between coats.
5. Brush/roller or spray gun?
If you are an experienced user of a paint spray gun go for it. You will know how awesome a sprayed surface can look. But just in case you have forgotten. don’t use it on a windy day. Those minuscule droplets of paint can travel a long way. For most of us average DIYers, it might be safer to stay with a brush and/or roller. Always start your painting at a joint or natural break in the door. When using a brush follow the natural direction of the door sections, this reduces the chance of brush marks. Raise and stop the garage door at a slight angle to make it easier to paint around the hinged corners.