Beginning to Paint a Garage Door

I got started this week on a new project to paint a garage door to look like wood.  Actually I started the job on Friday with the prep work.  Ordinarily I do not take on a garage door in the condition this one was in.  This garage door had been painted to look like wood but whoever did the work used the wrong products and it cracked and peeled in less than a year.  This garage door is not a steel door it is a wood composite and so you can sand on this type of door which makes it feasible to remove the  oil based products that were applied to it.

That is why you need to use the correct products when painting on garage doors.  When you use the right products the work will last indefinitely.

Here is a shot of the garage door mostly cleaned up and by cleaned up I mean all the oil based product taken off it except for those 4 beveled areas on the panels.

Garage door painted to look like wood.

You can see how the oil based products are cracking and peeling up.  The whole door basically looked like that when I started.  In order to get it off I used a sander on all the flat areas which took about a half day.  Then I had to scrap and sand off the beveled areas around each panel.  That took 2 and a half days mostly because I had to hand scrap and sand because there was no way to get a sander in there effectively. As an example it took two hours to clean up the four beveled areas shown.

Garage door painted to look like wood.

So I finally got the garage door cleaned up and then primed the entire door.  You can see the nice light gray primer on the top two rows.

Painting a garage door to look like wood.

After the primer dried I applied the basecoat paint.  For this garage door I used a Sherwin Williams color called Tatami Tan.  You can see in the next picture how that looks.  Tomorrow I will start on the wood graining.

Garage door painted to look like wood.


  1. This one seems too have a much more honey/golden mid-toned wood finish than the other doors on your projects. Can you please troll me what base and top colors you used here? I am deciding what color to go with and this one is nice, if a bit light. I am not sure the darker, more red cherry would look right with our lighter pinkish terracotta brick. Thank you!

    1. Shannon, With this post I am just showing how I have cleaned up the door, primed and base coat painted it. I used a Sherwin Williams color called Tatami Tan as a base coat color. On the next few posts you can see the finished product. I used a SW color, Java for the first coat of brown, then a SW color called Turkish coffee the second but I have to say this is a real light treatment of both of those colors. In other words the client wanted a lighter looking door that I usually do I just applied a thinner coat of paint for each of the wood grain colors. Hope this helps.

  2. * TELL, can you please tell me.... silly phone.

  3. For some reason I posted my comment on this page instead of the finished product page. I did realize this one is in progress, I was actually asking about the finished product. So same as some others, tatami tan, java and turkish coffee just with a lighter application? Nice! Thanks!


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