Paint a Garage Door to Look Like Dark Wood

I completed my last garage door painting project last week and it is the darkest wood color that I have attempted so far.  Looks great though and the clients love it and so does their designer.

Let's take a look at how the door came out.  This garage door came out great and I got a lot of really nice comments on it from the neighbors as they passed by.

paint a garage door to look like really dark wood

This home is undergoing a really big remodel.  That stone work around the garage door was just completed the week before I began my painting.

The assignment was to paint a really dark wood look on the garage door.  To get there I first applied a basecoat of paint that is darker than the usual basecoat of paint I use on my garage door projects, I used a Sherwin Williams color called Terra Brun.  To get the dark wood grain I needed a really dark brown but not black.  So I mixed SW Black Bean with Black at about 40% Black to 60% Black Bean.  Really gave me a dark, dark brown without going black.

I used that mix to paint the wood grain.  Then once that was dried I thinned down a SW color called Turkish Coffee gave the whole door a very light glaze.  I mean I really thinned it down too but it darkened the base coat that was showing through the wood grain and really tied it all together.

After the whole garage door was painted to look like wood, I applied the crystal clear 100% acrylic UV coating.

The next two photos give you a closer view.

garage door painted to look like dark wood

garage door painted to look like wood

This last photo shows how I handle the area hidden under the weather strip that goes around the door.
If you don't paint that area, when the garage door opens you can see a white vertical stripe there.  It doesn't bother most people but it bugs me so I go the extra mile and paint that in.  I can't wood grain it but no matter, when the door is opening I just don't want to see a white stripe there.   So as you can see in the photo indicated by the read arrows I put some of my low tack tape on the door.  I do this when the door is closed and make sure at the seams I cut through it with a utility knife, if I didn't the tape would rip apart when the door opened.

The top red arrow shows how I have painted in that white area and the lower red arrow shows where you can still see the white area behind the weather stip still needing to be painted.  I raise the door a little at a time to get those areas. I used the very dark brown paint I had mixed for the wood grain.

The green arrows are showing the weather strip that I painted in later with the same dark brown paint mix.  The upper green arrow indicates the soffit area above the garage door which was about 8 inches in width.  I also painted that in with the dark brown paint.  The painting of the weather strip and the soffit really picture framed the door and it looks great.

paint garage door to look like wood

A last look at the garage door painted to look like a dark wood grain.

paint garage door to look like wood


  1. I really like how your project turned out! I am planning to paint our front door using these techniques and colors. Could you tell me how you painted the wood grain with the Black Bean & black paint mixture? Did you thin it down and drag a brush through? Thanks for helping me!

    1. I used a SW color called Terra Brun for the basecoat color then thinned down a mix of about 1:1 of black and black bean. When I thin the paint down I get a little on the brush and and press fairly hard on the door to open up the bristles on the brush to get the wood grain look.
      I have a tutorial on how to do this on site that I sell for ten dollars. Check the top menu tap for Garage Door Tutorial. It is 132 pages and has over 2 hours of short videos covering all aspects of the project. Hope this helps.

  2. This is beautiful! I bought your tutorial and am getting ready to start my front door and garage door. I do have a question. You’ve mentioned that you mixed Black Bean (65%) and Black (35%) for the 1st grain look layer. But when replying to Diane, you said ratio was 1:1. Can you please kindly clarify that? I really appreciate all you do. You are very talented.

    1. Juliana, Thanks so much for the purchase of my tutorial. I didn't realize I had that discrepancy for the ratio, thanks for pointing that out to me. I would start with the 40% black - 60% black bean on the sample board to see if it's dark enough for you. If it's not dark enough for you go to the one to one but after that the mix is going to look too black for my tastes. I am going to change that ratio in the text post.


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