How to Paint Metal Garage Doors to Look Like Wood

Perhaps you have seen those wooden garage doors while driving around, or maybe one of your neighbors has one. The garage doors themselves are no different than the metal one you have on your house. The difference is that they are wood-clad, meaning that strips of wood are adhered to the front.

Wood-clad garage doors are very expensive, sometimes as much as $15,000 for a double garage door. You can achieve a similar look with paint that will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

  1. Clean the garage door thoroughly using a mild soap. Use dish washing soap and a sponge to clean the garage door. Rinse with clean water and allow the door to dry completely.

  2. Tape off any areas that you don't wish to paint with low tack painter's tape.

  3. Use a palm sander and medium-grit sandpaper to sand the surface of the garage door. Sanding will help add texture to the metal door and will allow the primer to sink into the door, creating a stronger bond. Wipe away the sanding dust with damp rags.

  4. Apply a tinted primer to the garage door. Use a brown primer, tinted to match your paint color. Ask your paint store to tint the primer to match the paint. Use a brush and a paint roller to apply the primer. Use the brush to work into small crevices and roll back over the brushed areas to smooth out the paint. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  5. Paint on a brown base color using the same techniques you used to apply the primer. Cover the door completely with the base color. Allow the paint to dry.

  6. Mix your glaze. Glaze is a milky substance used to thin paint and make it more transparent. Using it over a base color will add depth and definition to the garage door, making it look more like authentic wood. Mix one part brown paint with four parts glaze in a large bucket. Stir the mixture well. Fill a second bucket with clean water.

  7. Dip one rag into clean water. Dip another rag into the glaze. Wipe glaze onto the garage doors with the rag. Wipe off excess glaze with the clean, wet rag. Continue wiping on and off the glaze until you get the look you are trying to achieve. Step back often to evaluate the paint job and determine if you need more or less glaze. Allow the garage door to dry.

  8. Tip

    You can use any shade of brown that you like. A deep brown will be the most convincing to imitate wood. Lighter shades of brown are more difficult to work with because they are less forgiving and will show all of your painting mistakes.