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Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your White Garage Door Black

Garage Doors

Oct 2022

You’ve probably seen this trend on TikTok: “Five things I would never do as an expert in my field.”

Here’s our take: One thing I would never do as a garage door expert is paint a white steel garage door black…without reading this first.

Painting Black Garage Doors
Clopay Canyon Ridge (4-Layer) garage door factory-painted black.

White house, black trim is such a popular exterior color scheme right now it even has its own trending hashtag and Pinterest following.

Painting your garage door black can turn your house into an instant scroll-stopper. But if you skip the instructions and use the wrong paint, you could end up ruining your garage door and voiding the warranty altogether.

Clopay was one of the first garage door companies to incorporate thermal-reflective paint into our factory-finishing process so that we could safely offer black as a standard paint color on most steel garage doors.

If you know you want a black garage (or another dark color), order it pre-painted so it’s done correctly and backed by a guarantee.

And if you are updating your exterior and have your heart set on painting your existing garage door black, do the following:

Read the manufacturer’s paint and refinishing instructions for your specific garage door model. Certain steel garage doors with overlays cannot be painted a dark color.

Clopay has a list of approved paint colors based on the Light Reflective Value (LRV). Light reflectance is given a value between 0 and 100. The lower the number, the darker the color. Black is usually close to LRV 0.

Check your door’s LRV requirements before you buy the paint.

Use a high-quality, 100% acrylic latex exterior grade paint with a bonding primer. Most homeowners prefer the look of a flat or satin finish. Never use oil-based or alkyd-modified paint on a steel garage door.

Gallery Door Black
Clopay Gallery Steel garage door in standard black paint finish.

Ask your paint store expert for a solar reflective formula that will reflect the sun and keep the door surface cooler.

No sanding is required to prep the surface of a steel garage door. Simply wash the door with a biodegradeable cleaner to get rid of dirt, oil, wax and mildew. Rinse with clean water.

Hold your brush and roller! A final step before you paint is to do a quick pre-test to make sure it will adhere to the surface.

  • Paint a tiny section of the door and check for blistering or peeling.
  • Apply masking tape over the painted test section and peel it back. Does the paint adhere to the door? Or are you left with a piece of painted tape?

If everything looks good, it’s time to paint. Follow these instructions for the best results.