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How To Paint Metal Garage Doors

Are your metal garage doors in need of recoating? Paint flaking and peeling off your shutters, leaving an unsightly surface? Not sure where to start?

Painting garage doors and roller shutters may appear to be a daunting prospect, but it’s actually very straightforward, and will keep them protected and looking great for years to come.

Read on for advice on how to paint a metal garage door – application and preparation, and our products, or click below to be taken to the relevant section.

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Garage doors are found on more properties than just the place where you park your car at home and include roller shutters and sectional overhead doors on commercial and industrial buildings such as:

Commercial businesses:

  • Pharmacies
  • Supermarkets
  • Stock rooms
  • Vehicle repair garages
  • Gyms
  • Sports clubs
  • Sports centres


  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Fire stations


  • Warehouses
  • Loading bays
  • Factories
  • Workshops
  • Laboratories
  • Barns

Services need footfall to stay relevant in these times of tightening budgets; a welcoming-looking library increases footfall and the chances of visits from patrons that have not attended a library before, whilst tidy schools and universities please parents and attract new applications for the start of the school year.


For businesses, image is key even when premises are closed on evenings and weekends. Whilst shutters help protect glass windows and doors from burglaries and anti-social behaviour in the early hours, tatty peeling paintwork and flaking shutters look unsightly to passing traffic, harming your reputation as customers look to shop elsewhere. Even hidden away on industrial estates, premises that appear to be in disrepair can be an attractive for antisocial behaviour such as arson, graffiti and trespassing, which will disrupt the flow of your business and potentially increase insurance premiums.

Homeowners, particularly those looking to sell and move to a new area, benefit enormously with a freshly painted metal garage door. As well as making your home appear cleaner and aesthetically pleasing, it’s one less job for the new owners to do once the contracts are signed and they’ve moved in, and helps prevent your asking price being reduced.


“How do you prepare a metal garage door for painting?”

“Do I need to prime my garage door before painting?”

Preparation is key to painting a domestic or industrial metal garage door; you could just grab any old gloss and slap it onto the surface, but within days it will start flaking and peeling off.

Garage doors are, typically, made from galvanized metal, which conventional paints have trouble sticking to. When left out in the elements, these coatings have little protection and will soon yield, leaving the metal surface underneath exposed. They require adequate protection from all seasons and weather conditions:

  • In the summer, hot direct sunshine causes surfaces and substrates to expand, stretching and blistering.
  • Autumn winds blow abrasive sand, dust and dirt onto surfaces, creating pits and holes.
  • Winter brings cold temperatures that cause substrates to contract and become brittle.
  • Spring brings rain that lashes against paint, dripping and pooling to test its permeability and chemical resistance.

With the right preparation and application, garage doors should stay maintenance-free for years to come.

Before starting any work, ensure that floors are covered with a sheet to catch old flaky paints as they’re removed from the door, as well as drips from new coatings being applied. You may be thinking that your older garage and industrial floors need recoating – luckily we’re a specialist in heavy duty chemically-resistant, anti-slip epoxy floor coatings for commercial and industrial units, including factory and warehouse floors.


How to paint a metal garage door

“How to paint a metal garage door that is peeling”

For repainting existing doors, any existing paint/coatings need to be thoroughly abraded to provide a key and remove any loose and/or flaking material. Wash with appropriate detergents, providing a sound surface to coat. You can remove the old paint/coating entirely if desired using a paint stripper, but if sound and compatible our can be applied directly to existing painted surfaces, saving you the extra work.

New and bare steel should, typically, be washed down to remove contaminants from the surface using proprietary detergents. It is always recommended to read the appropriate data sheets for primer and topcoats as they will list compatible products that can be used.

Recommended Products

“What is the best paint for metal garage doors?”

“What kind of paint do you use for a garage door?”

Here at Rawlins Paints we have our favourite, go-to systems for industrial rollers, commercial shutters and domestic garage doors. This is because, other than performance, our recommended products are available in the colour and finish of the customer’s choice.

With over 400+ metal garage door paint colour choices from RAL and BS colour charts, customers can match and co-ordinate existing colour schemes, such as commercial and industrial cladding on warehouses, factories and workshops, and if you can’t find a satisfactory match, give us a call and we’ll endeavour to help.

Our large range of cladding paints for metal, plastisol and wood cladding also have 400+ colours to choose from, matching up and co-ordinating with metal garage door paint coatings, protecting cladding for up to 20 years.

Note: Always read the appropriate data sheets before buying and prior to applying paint products. We ALWAYS recommend a trial area is coated to ensure the product meets your requirements before use.

If you have any questions or queries, our technical team are on standby with expert advice – give us a ring on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or email us at [email protected], for help painting your garage doors.

Rust-Oleum CombiColor

Rust-Oleum CombiColor Original

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Features & Benefits:

  • Ideal for smaller jobs and tasks
  • Paint on using a brush or roller – can also be sprayed
  • Primer and topcoat in one (Use the appropriate primer below on bare mild steel, galvanised steel, zinc and aluminium substrates)
  • Quick drying – touch dry in 2 hours
  • Typical coverage 10.3 m² per litre

Providing years of protection in minutes, CombiColor has excellent hiding power and sag resistance, leaving no brush or roller strokes in the finish. It remains flexible and won’t become brittle or flake with movement, making it a great choice for use on metal garage doors and roller shutters.

Appropriate primers to use:

Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane

Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane

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Features & Benefits:

  • Single-pack – ideal for larger projects
  • Paint on using a brush or roller – can also be sprayed
  • Can be applied in low temperatures (as low as 5°C)
  • Suitable up to C4 environments (apply in combination with 769 and 1060/1080 primers)
  • Quick drying – touch dry in 2 hours
  • Typical coverage 10.5m² per litre

Providing the same protection in less layers than other alkyd-systems, Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane is a high performance anti-corrosion topcoat for old intact coatings or well primed metal surfaces. In aggressive environments it is advised to use an additional coat.

Appropriate primers to use:

As before, always read the relevant data sheets for paint products before purchasing and prior to application; our dedicated technical team are on hand to answer your questions and queries on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or email us at [email protected].


  1. Hi Please can you specify a painting system to repaint industrial factory finish doors to large hanger workshops these are now lamination and are in need of redecoration

    • Hi Andy,

      Thank you very much for your question.

      Provided the doors are either powder coated aluminium or galvanised, they would require the following preparation:

      Remove any loose and flaking finish back to a sound edge, any remaining finish would need to be abraded to create a key. The entire surface would then need to be cleaned and degreased using Rust-Oleum Mathys ND14.

      The surface should then be primed with Rust-Oleum 3202 Galvinoleum Primer and finished with 2 coats of Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane in any colour in either a Satin or Gloss finish.

      I hope that helps. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

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