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vabeachtime 04-22-2009 08:53 PM

need tips on painting a metal garage door
I have an Amar two car garage door that is factory colored almond (or somewhere in that color). We got our house rennovated which included new siding, so now we have the Norandex IVY color siding and the garage door looks funky now compared to the house color. It's a metal door and I need to paint it, is there anyone out there with tips on painting these things so it'll look good and be easy at the same time?
My particular point of interest is the outside edges of the door that get swept by the weather stripping, so I'm gonna have to paint the door while it's open, or at least that's what I'm thinking....but that is one reason for me posting this, you all might have some better ideas. Thanks in advance!

glennjanie 04-23-2009 03:29 PM

Welcome VABeachTime:
You could take the door panels apart, take them outside and spray them with an airless spray gun, like a Wagner. Use an enamel paint for durability and spray for no brushmarks. By taking the door apart and painting 4 or 5 panels, you can spray them laying flat and have access to all the edges too.

dakuda 04-23-2009 07:47 PM

I would encourage taking the panels apart as well. That ensures that you get the entire surface and all edges.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-23-2009 11:43 PM

If it wuz me, I would probably leave the door assembled and use a piece of sheet metal while painting each panel to prevent paint bridging between panels. That is, use the sheet metal to ensure you're only painting a single panel, and don't paint the adjacent panels until that paint is dry.

Brush marks can be largely avoided simply by thinning your paint. Thinning the paint both extends it's drying time and increases the rate at which the paint can self level. Thus, by thinning the paint you greatly increase it's ability to self level. Very many oil based paints, however, will have the wording "Do Not Thin" on the product. The story behind this is typically that the company is only meeting stringent VOC requirements by simply putting less thinner in the paint to begin with. With less VOC's in the product to begin with, less VOC's will evaporate out of it in use, and in this way the company can make it's products meet VOC requirements. So, that wording "Do Not Thin" really means: "We're can't thin it and still legally sell it, but you can." Where you see such wording, take a small amount of the paint and thin it and see if it works better. You'll normally find that it does, in which case, ignore the instructions not to thin.

The problem with thinning oil based paints with mineral spirits is that it will lower the viscosity of the paint and extend it's drying time, and that increases the liklihood that the paint will "sag" as it dries on vertical surfaces.

I've never used Penetrol, but it's basically a viscous thinner for oil based paints. It increases the drying time but doesn't lower the viscosity of the paint, so that the paint self levels better, but isn't as prone to sag on vertical surfaces.

I'd just do the perimeter of each panel with a brush using oil based paint thinned with Penetrol (which you should have not trouble finding anywhere that sells oil based paints). Then, I'd paint the panels themselves with a 3 inch wide paint roller sleeve.

I'd take the rubber gaskets off if possible while you're painting the door.

If it wuz me, I'd probably use an interior alkyd wall paint if you want good hardness to stand up to the odd bump or ding. Where you live always plays a major role in whether or not to use an interior paint outdoors. If you don't have a problem with mildew growing on paint outdoors, or paint chaulking from exposure to UV light, then I'd be more inclined to use an interior alkyd outdoors. If you do have problems with mildew and molds growing on paints, or chaulking, then I'd either go with an exterior alkyd or a waterborne enamel like General Paint's "Envirogard" paint.

The colour you choose will play a very important roll in both providing good hide and resistance to fading. Basically, inorganic pigments (which are the Earth Tones) like mustard yellow, reddish brown, chocolate brown, raw umber, black and white will provide better hide and less fade than organic pigments like red, yellow, blue and green.

If you're wanting to paint the door a white colour, then you'll be concerned about the white pigment in the paint IF you live in the southern latitudes where chaulking on paint is a problem. The white pigment titanium dioxide (TiO2) acts as a catalyst in the degradation of paint exposed to intense UV light. So, companies like DuPont have used coatings on their titanium dioxide white pigments to minimize the catalytic effect they have on paint deterioration. Other companies will use zinc oxide in their exterior white paints instead of titanium ozide. Zinc oxide doesn't provide as good hide as titanium dioxide, but zinc is a natural biocide, and so the zinc oxide white pigment in exterior paints help keep those paints free of mildews and molds growing on them.

And, finally, if it was me, and you opt to paint with an oil based paint (interior OR exterior), I would choose a FLAT sheen. The reason why is that if you ever want to repaint that door, a glossier oil based paint will be hard for any paint to stick to, and you'll be advised to remove the gloss of the paint by sanding it. By using a flat paint, then you already have a rough surface, and you can simply spray down the door with a garden hose to clean it, allow time for it to dry, and it's ready to be repainted.

The only problem with having a flat paint is that the rubber of the door gaskets will likely going to rub off on a rough flat paint, possibly leaving black marks on each side of the door. These should normally be hidden by the gasket itself. However, if you want to avoid this, you might want to use a high gloss alkyd paint under the gaskets on each side of the door.

locknut 04-24-2009 05:19 AM

Nestor: Your writeup on paint was interesting and points up that there's more to painting than opening a can and slopping it on. There is an art and a science to proper painting.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-24-2009 09:05 AM


Every trade in the home center (carpentry, wiring, plumbing, etc.) has some science to it, just as paint does (and all coatings do).

The difference with paint is that it's not being taught anywhere like other trades are, and it's the resulting knowledge vaccuum that produces fertile ground for misunderstanding and misconceptions to take hold and spread. Typically, we turn to the people mixing the paint in the home center for advice on what paint to use where, and they don't know themselves. About the only "experts" they have to turn to are the sales reps that stock their shelves, and they know precious little and then only about the paints their company makes. It's very much a "blind leading the blind" situation.

You can learn more than you need or want to know about latex paints at:

Paint Information, Decorating with Paints, Paint Trends - Paint Quality Institute

This is the web site of the Paint Quality Institute, which was established and is funded by the Rohm & Haas Company who are the largest manufacturer of the plastic polymethyl methacrylate (also called "Plexiglas") in North America. Most people are unaware that quality paint is also made from tiny particles of polymethyl methacrylate (or Plexiglas) which fuse together to form a continuous film of plastic during the film formation process. Nothing about oil based or latex paints is hard to remember or difficult to understand. It's just that it's not being taught anywhere, so people don't know anything about it, and misconceptions and misinformation run rampant.

PS: You don't need to know the rest:

An example of a modern day misunderstanding about paint:

That word "enamel" as it applies to paint almost certainly originated when someone tinted a can of varnish in a paint tinting machine. Years ago, varnish only came in semi-gloss and gloss. Also, varnish, like the linseed oil based paints of the time, used dried plant resins (called "copals") to impart better hardness and durability in the varnish (or paint). The difference was that varnishes would use more of the best quality copals, which were the ones that imparted the most hardness and durability while affecting the colour of the coating the least. Consequently, if you tinted a can of varnish to make a real "enamel", the paint you got would be semigloss or gloss and would dry to a harder and more durable film than regular paint. So the word "enamel" came to mean a paint that would dry to a harder and glossier film than you'd otherwise expect.

In 1956, the Bayer Company (the Aspirin people) patented the very first urethane modified alkyd resin by adding something called polyisocyanates to the pot while making the alkyd resins. This caused urethane groups to form within the alkyd resins. Urethane groups are very strong, and they acted much like the roll cage inside a race car, making that alkyd resins harder if you tried to crush it and stronger if you tried to stretch it. The result was a harder and more durable clear coating for wood, and "polyurethane" soon replaced varnish as the clear coating of choice over wood. Since polyurethane has replaced varnish as the clear coating of choice over wood, you'd make a modern day "enamel" by tinting a can of polyurethane hardwood floor finish in a paint tinting machine to make "enamel" paint. And, those paints ARE made. They're called polyurethane floor paints, and they're quite common.

But, because of continual improvements in the binders, rheology modifiers and other additives used in paints, EVERY paint dries to a harder and smoother film than the same paint did a decade or two ago (save for the dead flat paints), so EVERY paint can be argued to be an "enamel" cuz it dries to a harder smoother film than you'd expect if the last time you used it was in 1968. And, now, some companies (like Behr) have come to calling every dam paint they make an "Acrylic Enamel". In this case, the meaning of the word "enamel" changes slightly to: "Hey you. Yeah, you. Buy me." The truth is that the paint in the can is no different than any competitor's "paint". It's just that the word "enamel" is being used as a racing stripe to suggest to the consumer that it's a better paint (cuz it's an "enamel").

Have fun with it. Take the tinted Behr eggshell back for a refund because it says "enamel" on the label, but it's really just ordinary paint inside, and so there musta been a mix-up at the factory. Or, demand to test the "enamel" against a normal "paint" before you buy it to make sure it really is an enamel (cuz the last time you bought "enamel" it turned out to be ordinary paint). Be creative, and have fun. ;)

locknut 04-24-2009 12:55 PM

Nestor: I'm ready to paint the bedroom. What brand do recommend? Hopefully, one that doesn't cost a king's ransom like some brands a local store sells. People I know refer to this place as if its a status symbol. I've, however, been quite satisfied so far with S-W and Behr. The advice I've been getting at both these sources has been trustworthy so far. Thanx and regards

Nestor_Kelebay 04-24-2009 01:54 PM

I use Pratt & Lambert Accolade in the F4790 high hide satin tint base on my walls, and F4090 high hide velvet tint base on my ceilings.

But, I fully expect that Mr. Sherwin Williams and Mr. Benjamin Moore's top-of-the-line paints are equally good.

I've heard nothing but good things about Benjamin Moore's top-of-the-line "Aura" paint.

Similarily, if you live near a Lowe's, the people whom I've talked to who have tried Lowe's "American Tradition" paints have been very pleased with them.

Probably the very best house paint I know of is Benjamin Moore "Aura", but I expect it's quite expensive. If you're looking for the best value, and if you live near a Lowes, I think you'd be very happy with American Tradition.

How well the paint you get hides an underlying colour depends mostly on the colour and gloss of the paint you buy rather than the name on the can. All things being equal, the higher the gloss of the paint, the easier it will be to keep the paint clean, but the lower it's ability to hide an underlying colour. Also, if you purchase an "Earth Tone" colour, (which are all iron oxides except for black and white) you'll get better hide and less fade due to exposure to UV light than if you purchase an organic pigment (like red, blue, yellow or green and all the colours you can make by mixing them, like orange, purple, magenta, etc.)

If you read my posts, you'll learn more about paint pigments (which are the solid particles that provide opacity and colour to paint), but for the mean time, maybe just tell me what approximate colour you want to paint the bedroom and what gloss level you're thinking of, and I'll see if I can give you any further advice.

GBR 05-16-2009 02:41 PM

If you do take the door sections apart, please use caution!! The torsion springs above the door on the shaft are wound tight with hundreds of pounds pressure. Do not attempt this yourself! I would carefully remove the weatherstripping or buy new white, and replace it after a few weeks till the new paint has fully hardened. Be safe, G

Rusty68 09-06-2010 11:00 AM

I have a Wayne-Dalton 2 car garage door with the same problem. I plan to paint the side edges with the door open and then when that dries, I'll close it and paint the front. I don't think I can paint the entire door while open as it is too close to the ceiling. From information I've read, I plan to use an oil based thinned primer and then an alkyd exterior paint. The door is brown and it gets direct sun and becomes extremely hot. I painted the front door a lighter color and it did help with holding a lot of heat. The door is flat with a texture to the surface so it should be easy to use a roller. I'll remove all the trim first including the rubber bottom. Rusty

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