How to Install Wood Planks on a Garage Door Exterior

Old garage doors with peeling paint, dimples from hail damage and other unsightly blemishes are candidates for a plank finish.

Thin planks can dress up a blemished garage door.
This is effective when the exterior garage walls are finished with wood siding, or siding with a wood-like appearance. Use bevel siding planks or tongue-and-groove for a more finished appearance on doors that are not metal and do not roll up. .

Roll a roll-up door halfway up and measure from its exterior surface to the closest point on the header frame, using a tape measure. Compare the measurement to the plank thickness. If the clearance is not enough, use a thinner plank or stop. Installing plank will require changing the way the door is mounted, or modifying the door frame.

Hook the end of the tape measure over one side of the door and pull on the tape measure's body until it extends past the other side of the door. Read the dimension that lines up with the door's edge.

Hook the end of the tape measure over one side of the plank and pull on the tape's body until the number that corresponds to the door's width appears. Make a mark with the pencil. Lay the speed square's lipped edge over the plank's edge so it rests flat against it and align the square's side with the mark. Draw a line, following the side of the square. Cut the plank with the circular saw.

Place the plank against the bottom of the door and check that it lines up with both ends of the door without being short or extending beyond. Drill two holes with the drill and bit, one near the top edge of the plank and one near the bottom edge. Make sure the bit goes all the way through the door.

Push a carriage bolt through the drilled hole and give it a tap with the hammer to set the enlarged part just below the head into the plank.

Slide a washer on to the end of the bolt where it comes through the door and tighten a nut on to it with a socket wrench. Tighten snugly, but not too tight so you can still move the plank slightly. Push the other carriage bolt through the other hole and attach a washer and nut.

Drill two holes at the center of the plank and two holes at the other end of the plank in the same way as the first two holes. Insert the carriage bolts, add the washers and tighten the nuts. Tighten all nuts firmly.

Set the next plank on top of the first one and continue working upward until all are in place. Paint or stain the planks, using a paintbrush.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Speed square
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • ¼-inch drill bit
  • ¼-inch carriage bolts
  • Hammer
  • ¼-inch washers
  • ¼-inch nuts
  • Socket wrench
  • ¼-inch socket
  • Paint/stain
  • Paintbrush


  • Check with the garage door opener manufacturer to see if the garage door opener is powerful enough to raise the door with the additional weight of wood planks.
  • Use finishing nails or siding nails instead of bolts if the doors are made of wood.


  • Leave a slight gap at folding joints on any door that rolls up.