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Old 03-31-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Painting old wooden garage doors


Howdo Proceed to paint old wooden garage doors.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:50 AM   #2
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Painting old wooden garage doors


What shape are they in? How pretty do you need them to be?

At the very least you need to scrape any peeling paint and at least spot prime with a nice primer. I would use Benjamin Moore, alkyd Fresh Start.

Then apply your finish.

If they are really dinged up or have layers of paint? Be mindful of lead abatement issues but strip them. I would use an infrared stripper.

Then sand prime and paint.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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Painting old wooden garage doors


First thing is to clean the doors either by pressure washing or scrub with soap, water and rinse.
Then follow sd's steps below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
At the very least you need to scrape any peeling paint and at least spot prime with a nice primer. I would use Benjamin Moore, alkyd Fresh Start.

Then apply your finish.

If they are really dinged up or have layers of paint? Be mindful of lead abatement issues but strip them. I would use an infrared stripper.

Then sand prime and paint.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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Painting old wooden garage doors


^^^^^^Good advice above. I will add that you can speed things along with a mini Whizz roller. It holds lots of paint and will really put on a lot of paint quickly. You can back brush through the paint if you want a brushed on appearance. Paint the inner part of the panels first and then paint the rails, etc. Raise the door to paint the bottom sections so you don't have to stoop. Used to hate painting garage doors, but, now, they're not so bad.

P.S. Don't paint the area where the panels meet if you don't have to as this usually causes the panels to stick together and makes it a royal pain to raise and lower the door.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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Painting old wooden garage doors


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Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
^^^^^^Good advice above. I will add that you can speed things along with a mini Whizz roller. It holds lots of paint and will really put on a lot of paint quickly. You can back brush through the paint if you want a brushed on appearance. Paint the inner part of the panels first and then paint the rails, etc. Raise the door to paint the bottom sections so you don't have to stoop. Used to hate painting garage doors, but, now, they're not so bad.

P.S. Don't paint the area where the panels meet if you don't have to as this usually causes the panels to stick together and makes it a royal pain to raise and lower the door.
Good point Gymschu. It is not customary, desirable, or imo, even acceptable to paint inside the joint area. You're only asking for problems. I painted a new one yeaaaars ago. It was a quality, well constructed door, so the joint was very precise. The guy insisted that I paint inside the knuckle, much to my disagreement and warning about what will happen. Like many people, he knew better than I, and he sort of acted like I was just trying to get out of the tedium of doing it, which is no big deal, really. So I did it, because he wanted it, and I so really wanted to give him what he wanted. And he got it. Apparently, the door sat unopened for a couple of days and fused together. He called me and said that when he opened it, he sat there and watched it strain to open, rattle as the fused joints were pulled apart, all the while making groaning and popping noises. He said there were shards of wood where it actually pulled away, talk about paint bonding. He expected me to fix it, because I painted it wrong. I told him he got exactly what I told him to expect, that he not only insisted but signed off, and that there was nothing I willing to do to help him. I told him to take some vaseline and rub it along all the knuckle edges and wished him luck. The reason he wanted me to do it in the first place was because he didn't want to see the slightly different colored factory prime tiny edges as the door opened. Mind your painter's advice.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Painting old wooden garage doors


Inge, disengage the door opener if you have one. Paint the top course panels, then raise the door and do the top and side edges off of a step ladder. Then lower the door until the second course is workable at standing height, paint the panels and the horizontals, then raise the door completely to do the side stiles from the top off a step ladder. Repeat until done. Since the door slides up and down without the opener engaged, wedge the step ladder under the door to keep it a workable height and hold it in place. Painting the sides from the top is the easiest way to get good coverage and avoid working around and getting paint on the rubber weather strip on the door's frame. Do inspect the bottom egde. It's not uncommon for the bottom edge, under the rubber weather strip, to be unprimed, bare wood. Some weather strips are removable without damage, so if you can, remove the strip and finish the bottom edge. The unfinished bottom edge of exterior doors is a wick that draws moisture up which then exits the front taking the paint with it. If you look at a lot of garage doors, the heaviest damage occurs at the bottom of the first course, that's why. The same with exterior door frames. The bottom edge where the frame meets the ground should be caulked and painted over to prevent moisture from getting under there. Have fun.

Edit. Inge, if the knuckles are previously painted, and you must neutralize the color somehow, get a spray can of a flat finish that approximates the door color. Spray lightly to hide the old color. A solvent based spray will not create sticking issues, and shouldn't add much to paint build up. That's another problem with painting inside the joint.
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Last edited by jsheridan; 03-31-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:53 AM   #7
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Painting old wooden garage doors


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Used to hate painting garage doors, but, now, they're not so bad.
So do not paint them. Always wanted a client willing to let me do something like this. Vinyl is not just for wrapping vehicles any more.

I worked in neighborhoods that would never put up with this though.







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Old 04-01-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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Painting old wooden garage doors


As someone who's worked on a thousand old garage doors I'd say the bottom section (under the rubber as mentioned above) is the most important part of the whole panting job!!

Pull the rubber off and all the old nails, prime and paint very thoroughly, replace rubber (from HD, Ace, etc) and reinstall with some new roofing nails.

The reason alot of the bottoms appear raw is because typically the bottom of a wood door is scribed to the floor......we just hang'em....not paint'em!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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Painting old wooden garage doors


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The reason alot of the bottoms appear raw is because typically the bottom of a wood door is scribed to the floor......we just hang'em....not paint'em!!
A mentor who taught me to pull important historic stuff would put you in the "Just Power Nail it Gus!" category

We painters love you guys.

Of course we can fix or disguise your mistakes.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Painting old wooden garage doors


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester
A mentor who taught me to pull important historic stuff would put you in the "Just Power Nail it Gus!" category

We painters love you guys.

Of course we can fix or disguise your mistakes.

The first company I worked for was a "git'er done and get out!!" kinda place.

After almost 20yrs in the industry....and wood doors a thing of the past.....my mindset is a bit different!!

When I have to weld a door to a jamb and the gap is caulked I vertical weld down. Technically its weaker then an "up" weld.....I save the up welds for the back side where nobody looks.....makes for a nice caulk joint when your weld and caulk look the same!!
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