How to Repair Peeling Paint on Steel Garage Doors

a detached garage
  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 35-150
What You'll Need
Paint scrapers
Fine-grit sandpaper
One gallon of warm water
Mild dish detergent
Clean rags
New sponge
Matching paint
Paintbrush or roller

Steel garage doors are difficult to paint, but once finished, they look great. Like all materials, especially metal, the paint can begin to chip and peel. This issue certainly applies to steel garage doors. What many people fail to realize is that steel is not textured, and paint needs to adhere to something. This is why it will take multiple coats of paint in order to get good coverage on steel garage doors. If the paint you have on your steel garage doors is beginning to peel, there is no reason to panic. This situation can be rectified with a little know-how and simple materials. The article below will show you exactly how to repair peeling paint on your steel garage doors.

Step 1 – Clean Up

You would think if one section of the steel garage doors is peeling, that the entire paint job is also peeling off. This is not how it works, though, and there is no real explanation why one section will remain perfect years, while another peels off in a month. In order to fix the peeling problem, you have to eliminate the cause. Examine the steel garage doors carefully. Look for spots where the paint is peeling, and use the paint scraper to remove the paint. Sometimes the paint will be free of the metal but has yet to crack. For this reason, you will go over the door with a paint scraper in areas with no visual damage.

Step 2 – Prepare the Steel

Now that you have removed the paint you need to remove, make sure that the edges of the surrounding paint are also even with the steel. If you do not do this, you will wind up with raised areas and lines, making the door look sloppy. This also creates a very fine texture for the new paint to adhere to. Use the sandpaper and begin rubbing the bare steel until you can feel a slight texture forming. Do not neglect the paint edges, as they need to be sanded down and tapered or blended to the steel. You may need to do this several times for it to be ready.

Step 3 – Second Cleaning

All of this sanding and scraping is going to leave the metal and paint on the steel garage doors messy. The new paint will not adhere to dust particles. Fill a bucket with the hot water and several drops of the dish detergent. You want the water to be soapy. Thoroughly soak the sponge and wring out the excess water to make the sponge damp. Wipe down the steel garage doors to remove the dust and debris. Wipe the garage doors down with a clean rag.

Step 4 – Painting

Match the paint at the paint store if you do not have extra on hand. Wait for the steel garage doors to be completely dry. Now, simply paint over the cleaned up areas.