Good Start To Painting Garage Door To Look Like Wood In Tampa, FL

I really like to start my garage door painting projects on a Friday.  That way the primer and base coat of paint have a few days to really dry and cure before I start to paint the garage door to look like wood.  It seems to me that after a couple of days of drying when I do a brush stroke the brush glides across the surface of the garage door more easily as opposed to working on top of an overnight dry.

So Friday was a good day (but a hot one) as I got the door cleaned up really well.  This door was a little chalky.  By that I mean that the door had been previously painted with house paint.  When I ran my hand over the garage door I got a small amount of 'chalk' residue on it.  So the first thing I did was scrub the door with mild soap and water and a green scotch brite pad.  I tried to get every square inch of the door scrubbed good.  When I rinsed the garage door during that process I could see the chalky residue being washed off.

After I scrubbed and washed the doors I then mixed ammonia in some water and I really but the ammonia in heavy, not quite one to one but almost that.  I took a long handled scrub brush and really scrubbed the door hard with that solution.  I use the ammonia because it has the ablility to cut the chalk off the door really well plus it will get off any grease or other stuff the soap missed.   After the doors dired they were chalk free.

So after that I primed the doors and then applied the base coat of paint which in this case is SW Toasty.  When I got there the doors where a light green color.  In the first photograph you can how I have finished with the single door and starting on the double.  I have my shade tarp up.  It was about 1:30 at this point and you can see the doors finally got in the shade but all morning they were getting direct sunlight, hence the shade tarp.

The next photo is after I finished the base coat and got the area cleaned up.  A good start on painting these garage doors to look like wood.  Monday I wll start the wood graining process.


  1. I scoured your blog and download for info on what to do if you already committed the oil stain sin and couldn't find anything. A few years ago, I undertook a huge project of turning all my embossed and buff colored steel entry doors and two chocolate brown oversized garage doors into faux wood. I contacted the manufacturer of the entry doors and they strongly recommended Zar wood stain because of the heavy pigment, followed of course by the Spar Urethane. I went dark walnut and was relatively happy with the results. BUT the two south entry doors looked like chocolate milk within three months, as if the urethane was made of water. It flaked off easily and was supposedly the "best UV protectant out there". Then the north facing garage doors started to flake and peel in spots as well but the color held. I had very lightly sanded the factory finish to reduce the gloss but not to expose the metal and cleaned everything very well. Now I believe after reading your site that it didn't matter my prep; the stuff was never going to last anyway. So now how to I fix it to be able to use your method with paint? Can I lightly sand down the peeling and just prime it, or do I have to totally remove the expensive, worthless, time consuming product I put on down to factory finish or bare metal?

    1. I meant Spar polyurethane. sorry.


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