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How to Paint & Maintain Your Custom Carriage House Garage Door

Instructions for Painting and Maintaining Your Best Custom Wood Carriage House Doors

To the Homeowner:

Please note that our custom wood doors are made to our high standards with top quality products. We DO NOT provide a finish on our custom wood doors. The finish warranty is the responsibility of the painting company you choose and the finish should match the quality of our doors to maintain the beauty and integrity of your investment. Below are instructions that we recommend to you, the homeowner, to pass on to your painting contractor. We recommend that you NOT use dark stains or colors. These absorb heat and can cause excessive cracks and bows in the wood.


Best Overhead Door, LLC warranties our custom wood doors for one-year parts and labor. We DO NOT warranty the finish. That is the responsibility of the company YOU choose to finish your door. We require that each custom wood door is completely finished to the standards below before we will install the door. Not doing so voids the warranty on the door entirely. Delays in finishing that allow the wood surfaces to be exposed to moisture or contaminants, improper storage or transportation or allowing the surfaces to be damaged or exposed will void the warranty.

Some coatings are NOT recommended. Oil paint, Alkyd paints, Wood Shake or Wood Shingle paints, Vinyl acetate acrylic co-polymer, Vinyl acetate (PVA), or Vinyl Acrylic paints.


Preparation is a critical step when you paint a garage door. Whether or not you know how to repaint a garage door, before you start, all surfaces must be clean and free of any dust, oil or other contaminants. Any scars, scratches, etc. that occur while the doors are transported or after storing or handling must be properly sanded out to the original condition. A light sanding of all surfaces with a very fine grit sandpaper is recommended to ensure the best finish possible. If you try to repaint a garage door without the proper preparation first, the paint will not go on evenly and will not look right.


All surfaces must be primed before applying the finish coats. These include the interior and exterior surfaces and all edges, six (6) surfaces in all. Certain woods require special primers/paint to prevent tannin stains from bleeding through the finish coats.

Please consult with your painter or paint company when selecting your paint products for the appropriate products. Remember, you have an exceptional door that deserves an exceptional finish. It may be tempting to attempt to paint without priming, as it can be very time-consuming, but there is no point in trying to refinish a garage door without priming first. The paint may not adhere to the door, and you may damage the surface of the door in some cases as well.


Painting is the most important stage of this process, so it’s important to take great care to make sure you do it correctly. We recommend a high-quality exterior grade 100% Acrylic Latex finish Paint. Apply primer. Then apply an exterior grade, paintable clear caulk around the edges of all trim boards. Then, apply 2 (two) finish coats according to manufacturer’s label and allow proper drying times between coats. Please follow the paint and primer manufacturer’s label instructions exactly. Both your paint supplier and your garage door dealer can help you determine the right color and type of paint for your garage door. Make sure you have a paint you are confident you will be happy with so you will get the custom garage door you want in the end.

Finishing with Stains or Clear Coats:

Even if you know how to refinish a garage door, you’ll want to take special steps if you are using stain instead of paint. This is because you may find using the wrong stain can be a problem much more difficult to correct than using the wrong paint. For stains, select stains that are appropriate for the type of wood used for your door. Be sure to consult your painting professional or supplier to determine if the stains and varnishes are compatible with the woods used. First, stain all 6 surfaces of each panel (if using a stain) and allow proper drying time according to manufacturer’s specifications. After staining add an exterior grade, paintable clear caulk around the edges of all trim boards. Then apply the first coat of varnish to the outside and edges of each section and allow recommended drying time. The back of the door panels does not need to be. This allows the door to “breath” should any moisture get into the door. Varnish should be Exterior Alkyd type (Marine type varnish). Sand all varnished surfaces and edges with 320 grit sandpaper (smooth face finish only) and clean all dust from the door. Apply the second coat and allow the door to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions. Doors are ready to hang. If NOT using a stain, apply a third coat of varnish and allow the door to dry. Doors are now ready to hang.

How to maintain and refinish your wood door:

Please annually inspect your door. This inspection includes all surfaces and moving parts. Improperly aligned rollers or tracks need to be repaired to help avoid wear on the wood surfaces that will affect your door. If repainting your door, you will need to have the surfaces sanded and re-primed following the same steps as listed above. If your door is stained and varnished or varnished only, the steps needed depend on the wear shown. Please consult your painting professional or paint company and follow the steps recommended by them. Following these steps can greatly extend the service life of your custom wood door and help maintain the beauty of your home’s exterior. If you’re not sure when to refinish a garage door, you can always consult with your local garage door dealer, who is likely to have experts on staff who can advise you.  Generally, it is a good idea to refinish whenever you notice significant wear on your garage door surface.

For More Information, Contact Best Overhead Door Today

Best Overhead Door has decades of experience providing garage door service in Oregon, and we urge you to take advantage of our knowledge. When you order a high-quality Clopay® garage door from Best Overhead Door, we can customize it so it comes in the right color or stain to match your home’s exterior décor and/or your overall style.

Over time, however, that finish may wear down and require repainting to protect your garage door and restore a cohesive, appealing look to your home’s exterior. If you have any questions on how to get a new Clopay garage door or how and when to refinish your current door, give us a call today at 503-620-1205 or contact us online now.

We are available for emergency and 24/7 calls at 503-707-0848. You can also schedule service or request an estimate online. We serve the Portland metro area as well as Vancouver, WA. We look forward to helping you with your garage door needs.

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