How To Strip And Repaint A Wooden Garage Door Without Removing It

Posted on: 27 June 2017


Wooden garage doors add a very classic and vintage look to your garage. Unfortunately, they also require a lot of maintenance. After about five years, you will find that the paint is cracked and peeling from wind and weather. These doors are normally removed completely, stripped of paint, sanded, and repainted before they are reinstalled. You can, however, leave them as the are and still manage to strip, sand, and repaint. Here is how.

Use a High Viscosity Stripper

When the garage door is flat, you can use a low viscosity stripper like turpentine. There is little concern about it dripping everywhere, so it can be applied with a paint brush and allowed to do its job. Make sure you lay down a tarp underneath the drawn garage door before you start. Then "paint" on the stripper from side to side, top to bottom. Because it is much thicker in nature, it sticks to the vertical door. What drips do occur land on the tarp.

Use a Large Paint Scraper or Mason's Tool

Do not use a little hand scraper for trim or anything like it. Instead, invest in a larger paint scraper for industrial jobs. You can also use a mason's or bricklayer's finishing tool, which is a lot like a giant paint scraper. From side to side, top to bottom again, scrape away at the paint that has now softened and peeled because of the stripper. It should come off in rolls like rubber and fall to the tarp below. Continue until all traces of paint have been removed from view.

Wipe with a Rag and Sand It

Next, you want to remove any traces of stripper. Wipe the door down with a thick shop rag and note where the rag sticks a little. You will want to pay extra attention to these areas with the sander. When almost all of the residue is wiped clean, break out the sander and sand side to side, top to bottom, or with the grain of the wood, depending on how your door is constructed. Sand the rough, sticky spots a little more.

Wipe it down with a cheesecloth to remove dust. Then roll the door up to sand the edges of the door where the new paint will not be seen but still need an application. Roll the door down again to paint.

Paint It

Now your door is ready to paint. Paint with the grain of the wood, or side to side, top to bottom. You can sand between coats unless you get a paint that has very thorough coverage. Let it dry. Then roll the door up and paint the edges. If the door sticks in between the panels, use a sharp, thin blade to sever the paint between panels. Let it dry upright, and then you are all done!

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