Arched Garage Doors

I recently completed painting two arched garage doors to look like wood.  They started out white but after the job was completed they look like real wood.  The first photo shows the completed doors.

When I start a garage door project I always wash the door really well with soap and water first.  Then I prime it. I use a pretty dark gray primer.

After the primer dries I apply the base coat of paint.  The color of the base coat of paint is important because it will determine the tone of the wood or what type of wood I am attempting to faux paint on the garage door.  In this case I am going to match the front doors and they have a very almost rosewood look.  So I used a muted orange for the base coat of paint.  In the next photo you can how orange the base coat is as it goes on.  When it dried it was more muted.

The challenge in creating a wood look for this set of garage doors is the arched top of the door opening.  That arch covers a lot of the top row panels.  The only way to paint them in and have them look good is to paint them when the door is fully open.  In order to have access to the surface I had to paint off a ladder and lean in to reach the entire surface of the panels on the top row.  I have to say it was pretty hard and it took about 3-4 times as long to paint in that top row as it normally does to paint a row.

The next photo shows the bottom two rows of this door taped off and ready to paint like wood.  The area between the panels is taped off because that area gets a vertical wood grain pattern and the center of the panels gets a horizontal wood grain pattern.  Just look at the previous photo to see what I am talking about.

The next photo shows two rows with the center panels taped off and finished painted to look like wood.  I typically work on two rows at a time.

After the center of the panels is painted to look like wood with a horizontal grain pattern then I re -position the tape so I can paint the area between the panels with a vertical wood grain pattern.

The next photo shows the panels of the two rows completed.

The following pictures are of the garage doors after the completion of the job.


  1. Hi Robert,

    Great work! I have never done this type of painting before, and had a couple questions:
    1. How many days did you spend to complete the door? I noticed your comment on working a couple panels at a time.
    2. What brand and colors of paint did you use for this project? Primer as well?

    Again, great work and I would love to try this some day!

  2. I work on two rows of panels at a time not just two panels so the whole job took a week.

    I use 'the gripper' primer bought at Home Depot or Glidden store. I use SW exterior acrylic paint, base coat color for this door is true penny, then the first coat of wood grain is fiery brown and the second coat is turkish coffee.

    I sell a complete tutorial with text, still photos, and video on how to paint your garage door to look like wood. You can purchase it here on the this site for only ten dollars. It will answer all and any questions you will have.


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