A super speedy garage makeover is easy as pie, especially if you have wooden or metal doors that do particularly well with a few coats of exterior paint. Our double garage has one big metal door (but it’s painted to look like there are two) so applying two coats of black semi-gloss exterior latex paint took no time at all- and only set us back about $20 for the paint.
We’ve always thought the maroon doors were a bit dated and a coat of glossy black would instantly update our almost 20-year-old garage. Sure enough, the crisp & classic black paint (Glidden’s Dark Secret) was just what the doctor ordered. Here’s the ho-hum before (we used large pieces of cardboard to keep from dripping on the concrete below the doors):
And now for the obligatory in-progress shot. John painted that odd diagonal stripe right before I snapped the picture… he’s such a rebel.
And here’s the crisp and clean after picture, thanks to little more than an hour or so of painting. We actually started this project at around 5:30 in the evening so we were racing the sun. And we’re happy to say that we finished well before it set (it would have been quite a messy task to be out there applying black paint in the dark).
We used a regular wool roller to apply the bulk of the paint (a foam roller is known to create more bubbles and inconsistencies so we stick to the wool/poly ones whenever we can) and a simple angled brush to get into all those cracks and trim out the edges. By the time we finished our first coat it was ready for a second, and the second coat did the trick (and of course went on much faster than the first). It’s really nice coming home to a “new” garage, and when we recently got the house appraised (stay tuned for those details) the guy actually asked if we got a new garage! Gotta love that $20 upgrade.
What about you guys? Do you have any painting projects on the horizon for spring? From adding color to your front door to gussying up some terra cotta pots, we wanna hear all about your hue to-do list.
heather s. says
I like that you aren’t adhering to the “garage door should match the front door” rule. Mine don’t match either. :) I just clicked over to your front door post and laughed since the beige is almost the color of my siding and I have black shutters and have been trying to decide what color to paint my front door. Red has the most votes so far on my blog but I’m thinking red/beige/black is too common around my neck of the woods so I may do something different. I just can’t decide! So, yeah, my painting project is to paint my front (and side and back) doors this spring.
I have a white house ,black shutters and a fun citrus green front door and I love it. My porch has 2 black rockers and in between is a bright red round table. On the walls are three different sized red stars. The front door has an adorable flower arrangement pulling all the colors together. It’s funn and happy…not boring or predictable, but yet flows all together. Hope this helps.
I kind of like the diagonal stripe…it reminds me of a DNA strand. Oh I’m such a science geek! :)
Garage Door Guy says
I’m with you. I think I would have made some cool designs. In all seriousness though you did a great job taking the over all look and feel of that door to another level!
Do your garage door sides sit flush to the sides of the garage? I would love to just repaint ours boring beige, but the hard part is from the seal to the outer edge.
Our garage doors do sit flush to the sides of the garage (the door actually swings out and up instead of rolling up like a normal door, so if anyone parks or stands too close to it they get smacked by the door that juts out about three feet as it opens or closes). As for the seal, I don’t know if you can easily replace that (do they sell strips of garage weatherstripping stuff in different colors that you can use? Otherwise, is it worth painting the doors and just ignoring the seal which might not always match the door’s coloring anyway (they can’t possibly make those seals in every color of the rainbow, right?). You can also ask the paint professional at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s since they might be able to tell you how to paint your seal (or gel stain it or something) so it blends in. Hope it helps! Happy painting…
You guys paint everything, and it always ends up looking professional! We actually are tackling two small paint projects right now and it’s not turning out so sleek & smooth. We’re kind of battling brush stroke lines in the paint and paint drips that are causing the wood to stick to the papered surface. Any ideas for curing these two problems?
The first project is a wooden boot tray to house our rain boots right when we walk in (we’re painting it black and after the first coat there were dried drip marks clumped up under the tray (we painted layed it on top of some wooden stakes to elevate it off the ground, mistake?)
The second project is just a basic wood block with anthropologie coral hooks screwed in to hold our bags, etc. Same thing, we laid the wood down on paper, painted it, and then the paint dried and stuck it to the paper, so when we picked it up we had paper to peel off the backside and it looks messy.
Eeks! The paper-sticking-to-the-paint problem is one we’ve encountered in our early days of painting… so we know how frustrating it can be! Now we paint things on plastic or we are sure to pick them up while the paint is still wet and move them around several times before placing them back on the cardboard to dry (they usually don’t stick if you move them around instead of painting them all in one place and leaving them there to dry). The key is keeping things moving or sliding around so nothing pools in one area which always invites the paper or the cardboard below to stick to the drippy mess.
Of course sometimes moving things or sliding them around means getting a fingerprint or two on your pretty paint job (and getting a bit of paint on your hands) but you can always move things and immediately touch up that small area where you got a fingerprint and then leave it to dry (don’t do a whole new coat because then you’ll get stuck to the paper/cardboard again, the key is moving it and calling it a day!).
As for the drips and brushstrokes, slow and steady wins the race and two thin coats (or five) are infinitely better than one thick and gloppy one full of drips. We like to do super thin coats and then go do something else while they dry (letting things dry between coats is also key, otherwise you’re dealing with a gummy mess). Hope it helps!
SoBella Creations says
I plan to paint my pantry door with magnetic paint. Then paint over the magnetic paint with white paint. The pantry door is for my girls to hang their art work. Hopefully they will be satisfied with the pantry door and keep the refrigerator door clean.
Love the black garage doors. It looks so fresh!
We have a LOT of spring projects on the horizon. We just moved into a new-er (3 year old) construction in Midlothian, after spending 5 years living in an apartment in the Fan. We miss the architectural details, so we are planning on installing crown molding in our great room and dining room, and possibly bead board wainscotting in the dining room as well. AND, we are planning on installing a tile backsplash in the kitchen, along with a new porcelain single basin sink. AND we need to paint the downstairs half bath. That’s just inside… I’d also like to expand the back deck (it’s kind of awkwardly placed and small), but that’s near the end of the project list….
I love the before, during, and after shots that you guys do….. I need to remember to keep my camera close by to take those kinds of pics!
Hey! I love the new garage door! Also, I have a totally unrelated question. That lovely chandelier in your bedroom you two purchased at West Elm – I have a similar one from Pottery Barn. However, it comes with a cord kit, which involves running a cord along my ceiling to the nearest outlet. Is this what you two did with your chandelier, or did you hard-wire it? (And if the former, is the cord very noticeable? And if the latter, did you install it yourselves, or hire someone?) Thanks!
We hardwired ours by snipping the cord (cutting off the plug) to expose the two internal wires which could then be connected right into our ceiling fixture box. We didn’t have to hire anyone since the people at West Elm told us that’s how they hardwire everything in their store (they’re made to convert that way and in over a year we’ve had no problems with it). The key would be to confirm that in snipping the cord you’d be “converting” your fixture as it was meant to be converted. You don’t want a fire hazard on your hands! It’s definitely more seamless without the cord snaking up the wall and across the ceiling. Happy hanging…
Talk about perfect timing…as I was pulling out of my driveway this morning, I had this exact thought: “I wonder what steps I’d have to take to paint our garage door. I wish it were a darker color.” LOL!
Thanks for the timely post!
We have the exact same garage! I live in Bon Air, and that can’t be too far from you. Probably the same people installed our garages. Anyway, our door needs painting again. The whole garage is white, and I was thinking about painting the door either white or beige to match the house. There is no white anywhere on my house so the garage sticks out in a bad way. What do you think?
I think you should definitely paint your garage door white or beige to coordinate with your house! Our black shutters and black back door tie in with our new black garage door and it looks much more cohesive! Happy painting…
I have so many paint projects on my list i’ll be lucky if we get them all done this summer (mantel, a couple of cabinets,bookcase, front door, porch spindles, etc). I probably would have had more done by now but with a toddler it kind of gets a little tricky to steal a few extra minutes to do some painting.
The garage looks great, much better than the reddish color.
Dave and I repainted our garage doors last fall (black, too, actually). We have wood doors though so we had the super-fun task of sanding them first. On the plus side though, it was a really big pay off for only a few hours of work since we’re one of those town homes where the garage sits right in front, directly under the house.
We want a red door too, and are painting what will be the new baby’s room.
Your new garage door looks so much better. I love that it’s painted to look like 2 doors. Great idea, that.
The new color looks great!
My husband and I are teachers so our spring break next week is a great time to do some painting. We are going to take our kitchen table and chairs froms a scratched oak finish to a crisp white – if it doesn’t rain the whole week!
Sam & Jacci says
Looks great guys! :) Do we have any painting projects – chuckle, chuckle. A few. One of the first ones in the line-up is a recent addition to the to-do list… we have to seal the concrete floor with Kilz after the pee carpet comes up. We have a date for the Take Up & Haul now, by the way. April 7th. Woo hooee!!! Then, we’ll be painting nearly nonstop all spring and into summer. Cabinets, doors, wainscoting, walls, exterior door, shutters, and… you guessed it… the garage door! :)
Can you give any guidance as to when it’s necessary to prime exterior surfaces? We’re planning on priming our front door and our garage door. After reading your post, though, I’m wondering if it’s actually not necessary.
We totally should have primed our front door for the simple fact that it took five coats of red to get the job done (over black paint- yikes). Tinted primer would have helped with the coverage (resulting in 2-3 coats instead of 4-5) but we did save some money by skipping that step since it would just have been a shortcut but wasn’t necessary for bondage or surface prep in that case (since exterior latex paint sticks easily to other exterior latex paint). When it came to the garage, since we were going from maroon to black, we knew the coverage would be just fine without tinted primer (two coats did the trick) and because we were using exterior latex paint on metal, we knew it would cling like crazy, so there was no need for primer in that case.
It’s definitely something that should be evaluated on a case by case basis, but any surface that’s not super lacquered, polyurethaned, or veneered is probably OK without primer unless you’re worried about anything bleeding through (if you have an oil smear on the garage door for example, oil-based primer is the only way to go). In short, the garage door and the front door will probably be OK without primer, while a lacquered table, veneered TV stand, or polyurethaned kitchen cabinets definitely call for a coat of oil-based primer! Hope it helps! Happy painting…
Wow, that looks really great, and is an idea that never would have occurred to me. Our garage door is probably 30 years old and silver metal (which goes with NOTHING else on our house). It’s in need of replacement, but since those aren’t so cheap and it technically still works (weird former owners bought a brand new mechanism and track thing, but left the old door – who does that?) it really can’t be a high priority at the moment. This might be just the ticket to help it look nicer until we eventually get a new one. I’ll have to go inspect it now and see about it’s painting possibilities. ;)
Thanks for the great idea!!
curious: how do you prevent paint chipping? sealing it?
When it comes to painting a kitchen table or something that you want to be super durable and wipe-able, using two thin coats of polyurethane can help to seal the paint and create a glossy, durable shell to keep that piece of furniture looking fabulous for the long haul. But when it comes to painting large items (kitchen cabinets, garage doors, front doors, armoires) semi-gloss paint, or even gloss paint, should do the trick without sealer. For example, we didn’t use anything other than latex exterior paint on our front door and our garage door and they should hold up for years, and even decades! Hope it helps…
Looks great! I really want to paint my front door a nice glossy black but I haven’t yet convinced my husband… As with several other projects in the house, the “ask for forgiveness” tactic may be the way to go on this one… ;o)
East End says
Who’d have thought painting those doors black would make such a difference! But then, there is always a can of black paint in my house. I paint constantly, the standing joke is that I’ve decreased the square footage of the house because there are so many layers of paint on the walls. Paint is the easiest and cheapest fix for almost anything, including my mood……
It’s amazing that something as simple as painting those doors black would made such a difference. Your garage looks fantastic.
Thanks for the tips, we’re sanding them down and starting from scratch. Hopefully this time without the messiness. Thank you!
When we repainted the exterior of our house a few years ago, we worked alongside a professional painting crew, who had us use Behr Premium Pluss (with the very impressive-sounding “nanotechnology”) on our metal garage door. The door was still factory enamel (dark brown) at the time, so we worried about whether paint would stick, but the paint they reccmended was self-priming! Went on like a dream and has withstood 2 Wisconsin winters this far. LOVE IT! (We ended up using the paint on metal storm doors too!). There’s no reason for your garage door to detract from the overall exterior scheme!
oh, good move! It looks so crisp and clean. Next up on my painting to-do is a vanity I scored on craigslist and a wooden office chair from the goodwill. very excited!
Sam & Jacci says
Thanks for the tips, guys :) Hopefully, I’ll have some decent pics to send your way if our painting works out well!
Kimberly Pinkerton says
My husband and I purchased a 1968 colonial house a year and a half ago. The style is not unique at all but the house is in a great neighborhood and school district! My husband painted our house a greyish putty color last year and we installed black shutters. The color looks much better than the multiple shades of blue that were on the house when we bought it. We installed two Smith and Hawken iron and copper (brownish in tone) window boxes on our second story windows, landscaped the entrance, and changed out our front door to an 1800’s dark walnut six-window-pane door ($35 at Habitat for Hummanity). Half the front of our house is our two-door garage. What are your thoughts about painting the garage the same color as the house? Right now they are the factory white color with four-window-pane-windows at the top trimmed in white. The small amount of trim we do have on the house is white also. It would be amazing if they were wooden garage doors because then I would just stain them to match our dark walnut door. Advice is welcome!
Ooh yeah the wood doors stained to match the garage sound heavenly, but painting the garage doors the same color of the house is also an option since replacing those doors with wood ones would certainly cost a mint. You could also go with a slightly lighter or darker putty color so they coordinate with the house without being exactly the same tone. But then again painting them the exact same color will certainly make the house feel unified and more expansive (which can be a great thing!). You might want to do that squinty thing when you stand back at the curb and hold up a few paint swatches in front of the garage doors and squint to see what the doors would look like in those colors. It may look strange to the neighbors but it might solve the dilemma in a heartbeat. Hope it helps!
We purchased a home nearly two years ago. The previous owners had just added thin strips of wood and painted the garage door to look like wood. It was gorgeous…then summer came. The paint began to “bubble” away from the garage door, the wood pulled out. So, needless to say, I am very suspect on the idea of painting garage doors. Perhaps the previous owners used the wrong type of paint? Have you seen any evidence of the paint pulling away during intense heat?
The key to repainting your garage doors is just like painting the rest of a home’s exterior: whatever you use has to be outdoor safe so it can weather changes in temperature (contracting, freezing, precipitation, etc). It sounds like the thin strips of wood that they used wasn’t outdoor-safe, so they expanded in the heat of the summer and caused the paint to bubble as the wood stretched. We would suggest sticking to outdoor safe paint (any exterior-grade latex paint will do) on your original doors to change their look, since adding pieces of wood or any other false facade can end in disaster as you experienced. But you’ll be amazed how slapping on a few coats of paint on a wood or metal garage door will look eons better! Ours still looks flawless and we’ve had some super hot days. Hope it helps!
So…what exactly should you use to paint the garage door black? We are building and wanted a black garage but the supplier no longer has black! So angry…I live in Arkansas – summers and winters are horrible! Got to make sure its durable!
Applying two coats of black semi-gloss exterior latex paint will do the trick. See more details in the post above! Hope it helps.
Do you know if it is possible to paint a garage door that isn’t metal or wood? Our garage door is made from some kind of plastic material…
It is pretty old – probably from the 50’s and it’s a dingy cream color. I want to replace it but I’m hoping paint will be a cheaper fix! What do you guys think?
We would ask around at your local home improvement store to see if they have anything that will work. Good luck!
Love coming to your site each day! We purchased our red brick home last year – more of a traditional looking home in a bland neighborhood. I have been trying to come up with different color otions for the front door and am very inspired by European front doors that have a bold color choice. Right now we are leaning towards a rich dark, shiny blue. The only concern though – should your garage door match your front door? Ours is on the side of our house (we have a corner lot) and while I would love to have a blue garage door, I’m wondering if the design world would think it too tacky (leave it black). Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
We definitely don’t think your garage door and front door have to match (our front door is lipstick red and our garage door is onyx black) but they certainly can, especially if they’re not right next to each other competing for attention. As long as they complement each other and work with the big picture of your home there really aren’t any rules. So a shiny dark blue door on both your garage and house would look lovely. Hope it helps!
This looks AMAZING, but the main thing I took away from this post was “they painted the front door red? How did I miss that?”
Its amazing the difference a drop of paint can make – well done!
I’ve only recently discovered your blog and have on ly praise for you guys. There’s a great sense of community about it, and you’ve perfectly balanced the personal element with riveting renovations.
Keep up the good work!
What kind of paint did you use on your garage door? I’ve read that acrylic paint is the best because it “bends” and isn’t as likely to chip off the metal door.
We used exterior latex paint and it worked like a charm. Years later (and after tons of rough weather) it still looks mint.
Angie K. says
First of all, LOVE your site! Second, I too have a detached double-car garage (well, almost – I close on my house this week). Until funds allow for something nicer, I plan on putting one metal roll-up door on it & painting it. How did you paint your door to make it look like two garage doors? I would love to try that trick on mine!
We actually had that strip of metal running down our door to begin with, so when we repainted we just followed the shape that was already there. You could add a strip of metal or wood to yours to mimic the look or just try taping it off to “cheat it” if you’d like. Good luck!
Garage Flooring Guy says
Great job on the new floor. It’s amazing how just a little color can spruce up a boring garage.
We have a house and garage with wood shiplap vertical siding. It also has a green metal roof. I currently have the front door painted green to match the roof–but it is really rather ho-hum looking. I am thinking that maybe a red door would look good, but not sure if it would be too Christmasy. I am also wondering what color we should have the garage door. I’m thinking maybe the garge door green, and the front door a deep red. What do you think? You can see pic’s of our house at: Infotube.net/201838 Although there are no pic’s of the garage since we are building it right now!!
How about uploading a pic to our facebook page and asking over there so lots of folks can weigh in?
I’m sorry but I have no idea how to do that! I had a friend help me with loading the picutes on there when we had our house for sale a couple of years ago–and it took all day as we had only dial-up. Any other ideas as far as curb appeal (or otherwise!!) would be great.
Hmm, I’d just recommend bringing home paint swatches and holding them up to see what you like. You can also get test pots of paint for a few bucks and paint a piece of posterboard and hold it up on your house to see what you like!
luv it :) buying paint as soon as lowes opens lol