How to Remove Paint From Wood Garage Doors

April Dowling

Exposure to rain, wind and sunlight causes paint on wooden garage doors to eventually require removal. Excessive moisture compels paint on exterior wood to peel, while blistering paint is a result of extreme temperatures. Simply using improper painting techniques can cause paint to appear scaly and unattractive.

Wooden garage doors coated with old or dingy paint appear aesthetically unappealing. Thoroughly removing paint prepares wood garage doors for fresh coats of new paint. Fortunately, basic supplies can effectively remove paint from wood garage doors.


You can substitute a chemical paint stripper containing methylene chloride for the sandpapers. Read the manufacturer’s directions on the product’s label for proper application and safety hazards.


Most garages built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. Contact an environmental agency for proper paint removal and disposal for health safety purposes.

  1. Spray the garage door with water from a garden hose to wash away dirt and grime. Remove stubborn debris with a nylon scrub brush. Allow the garage door to completely air-dry.

  2. Lay a plastic tarp at the base of the garage door to catch falling paint chips.

  3. Scrape off any loose, chipping and peeling paint with a paint scraper. Follow the wood grain. Do not attempt to scrape intact paint, as the wood may become damaged.

  4. Sand the garage door with 30-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining paint. Rub back and forth, following the wood grain.

  5. Sand the garage door with 60-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and remove any scratches. Use the same sanding techniques as for the 30-grit sandpaper.

  6. Spray the wood with water from the garden hose to rinse away the sandpaper dust particles. Allow the wood to air-dry completely.