Painting an Aluminum Garage Door

Aluminum Garage Door

How to paint an aluminum door?

Painting aluminum is often asked about since aluminum or vinyl siding and trim has been installed on so many houses in the past couple of decades. It has proven to be an excellent choice for many situations. Painting aluminum doors is relatively simple. You can use any color of paint, but the primer must be oil-based paint.

However, painting aluminum is a slightly different process than painting an interior or exterior wall, so use paint designed to adhere to aluminum.

Preparation: A properly prepared surface will greatly increase the success of this project. Wash your aluminum door with soap (or detergent) and water. Use a scrub brush and sponge. Be sure to remove all dust, mildew, loose paint, and other debris. Let it dry for 24 hours.

Sand Lightly:  Using sandpaper, lightly sand the aluminum storm door to make it really smooth. After you are done sanding, dip a clean cloth in alcohol and wipe the sand from it thoroughly.  

Primer for Aluminum: Is a primer needed for aluminum? The answer is: YES. Apply a coat of thinned-down oil based priming paint (Mix together 1 gallon of oil-based primer with 1 pt. of paint thinner). Allow the primer to dry for 24 hours.

Painting:  The finish coat of paint should be acrylic exterior grade paint. Better grades are more durable, resist fading, cover better and are often easier to apply. Apply an exterior coat of paint in the color of your choice. An eggshell or satin finish will probably be the best choice. These have a pleasing look without much glare caused by higher gloss paints. Where exposed to rainfall they will naturally wash off better than a flat paint. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. Use small 3 to 6 inch roller foams for this job.

Maintenance of Painted Aluminum Door: Painted aluminum should not need no more maintenance than any other painted surface. A light washing with detergent should be enough to renew its appearance. It is a good idea to preserve some extra paint. Proper storing will extend the life of the paint which will come in handy for future touch-ups.