What Color Should I Paint My Garage Door: A Complete Guide
Researchers say the human eye can see about a million diffrent shades of color. That’s way too many choices to consider if you’re looking to paint a garage door. However, those million color shades all stem from 11 main colors — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, gray, black, and white. And for the majority, white is the default go-to color for their garage door. There’s a good reason for that — white is a neutral color, which means it plays well with other colors. It symbolizes purity, positivity, and cleanliness, but most importantly, it’s a safe bet. But there are many more options to consider when asking “What color should I paint my garage door?”
The color wheel will be instrumental in helping you decide what garage door color fits well with your house’s color scheme. Here is a brief refresher on the basics of color theory:
- Complementary (contrast) colors – Two colors standing opposite each other on the color wheel, for example, red and green or blue and orange. The stark difference between them makes complementary color schemes harder to pull off. But when done right, the results can be stunningly vibrant.
- Triadic – Three colors sitting evenly spaced on the color wheel, e.g., green, violet, and orange. A triadic color scheme will create a more muted contrast than complementary colors.
- Analogous (harmony) colors – Three colors next to each other on the color wheel, e.g., red, red-orange and orange. What makes these colors seem so harmonious is that they are often seen occurring in nature. Think of the setting sun with its hints of red, orange, and yellow. Or a peacock’s blue, blue-green, and green feathers.
- Monochromatic – Different shades/tones and tints of the same color/hue. This is a subtle, conservative, and harmonious approach.
- Neutrals – While they aren’t on the color wheel, neutrals complement the primary and secondary colors. They include beige, brown, taupe, grey, cream, black, and white.
Choosing a Color
Answering what color should I paint my garage door will depend on your intention. Do you want to highlight or blend in your garage door? There are various reasons why you want to choose one over the other. If you’ve had a garage door repair or the door looks worse for wear, you may want to conceal its defects with a new coat of paint. In contrast, if you have brand new beautiful doors, then it would be a shame if the neighbors don’t get to enjoy them as well.
What if your home’s façade has a lot going on? Adding a vivid color to a garage door with shutters, trim, and many other exterior features can be overwhelming and off-putting. You should also consider what exactly you want to draw attention to. If you have a beautiful garden or a snazzy-looking front door, then a less vibrant garage door color won’t detract from the view.
When pondering what color should I paint my garage or garage buildings door, pick a color that complements your house. That’s why it’s often recommended that you use paint similar to the house’s dominant/field color. Even if your garage door is something special, it’s unlikely that you want to draw attention to just them specifically. Your garage door can be striking, but you do not want it to be garishly odd and clashing with the rest of the house.
Another rule to follow when asking what color should I paint my garage door is to make sure that your color choice has similar warm or cool undertones to the rest of the house. This applies to both neutral and contrasting colors. Darker garage door colors such as black evoke the feeling that the house is anchored to the ground. Lighter colors are airy and draw the eye towards the sky. In choosing what color should I paint my garage door, you may also wish to consider these three color types:
- Bold colors – are daring statement colors like red, yellow, and purple. Purple is mysterious, while yellow radiates joy. Red is dramatic.
- Relaxed colors – These are your greens and blues. Green is nature’s color — calming and gentle. Blue brings out a feeling of peace and serenity. If your house already has these hues, then you could have a good fit.
- Sophisticated colors – Examples include black, gray, and brown. Note how the sophisticated colors are muted and darker. A brown garage door will be very handsome against a brick wall house.
What Color Should I Paint My Garage Door if My House is White or Grey?
White is America’s most popular house color. According to Fixr’s 2021 Paint and Color Trends Report, white and gray are still the best colors for homeowners wanting to enhance their home’s resale value. The best part about these two colors is that they are neutral, which means many color options.
Black – If you want a high contrast elegant look, black garage doors will pop out strongly against a white or grey house.
White – If you want our garage doors to blend in against your white house, then white on white will help you achieve that monochrome look. White will stand out beautifully on a grey house, giving your home a traditional look.
For a white house, blue and green will pair to create a cooler temperature, while red, orange, and yellow will be warmer. If you want some middle ground, brown is a good choice. When choosing a warmer color, be careful not to pick overwhelming shades, especially if your house is white. Think of the whole picture. Orange and yellow garage doors and a colorful outdoor garden create a joyous flowery image.
With a grey house, you still have the pick of the litter. Blue, red, green, brown, and gray will all go well with a grey exterior. As always, consider the whole picture. A red door will appear intimate, especially with gray siding, while green will feel adventurous. You do however want to be careful with brown. A brown shade too similar to the house will create a washed-out muddy appearance.
The Field, Trim, and Accent
Homes have three main colors that you should think of when asking what color should I paint my garage door. The field is the primary color covering most of the house’s body. The trim includes the awnings, door trims, window trims, corner boards, soffits beneath the roof, and the fascia board that runs along the roof’s edge. The accent color is the wow factor and is what draws people in. Some good places for accent colors include the front door, window frames, and shutters.
If your answer to what color should I paint my garage door needs to end with something simple and minimalist, then you can match the garage door color with the primary color. This is great if you have other architectural elements that you prefer to be the focus of attention though a neutral tone can have the same effect. Matching the garage door to the field will also make the house appear larger. If you have garage door screens, you can paint their frames for a bit of an unexpected accent color pop.
It is not recommended that your garage door color matches the trim to a tee. The trim around the garage door should be the same as the rest of the trims, or they can be a similar color to the garage door. One common question is whether the garage door color should match the front door. The answer to that is generally no. It’s best if the lion’s share of attention is directed towards the front door. Painting both the same color has the effect of chopping up the façade of the house and deemphasizing the entryway.
What Paint Do You Use?
Once you’ve decided on what color should I paint my garage door, the next question is, what’s the best paint? While the material of your door may influence your decision, exterior latex paint will work well on vinyl, metal, and wood. However, oil-based exterior paint is a better fit for metal doors. Whichever you choose, make sure you go for a reputable brand, and as long as you’re painting the doors, why not include some epoxy paint for the floor as well?
How to Paint Your Garage Door
Pick a cool day with temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees, indirect sunlight, and low humidity. This project will take some doing, so it’s best to have three consecutive days of the above conditions. For prep work, wear protective gear and remove paint, rust, sand, and dirt from the door. Prepping the door will help the new paint adhere better to the surface and last longer. You’ll need a wire brush, fine-grit sandpaper, all-purpose cleaner, sponge, and a garden hose to complete this task. Do not use power washing on your wooden door as you could damage its integrity.
After letting the door dry completely, tape off any areas of the door you don’t want to paint. To protect the floor surface from dripping paint, cover the area beneath the door with a drop cloth. Next, prime the garage door by brushing on an exterior paint primer appropriate for the door surface you are working on. Start from the bottom up, beginning with the inner panels and working outward towards the stiles. After you are done, allow for 12 hours of drying time.
Finally, you are ready to begin painting. Using your quality exterior paint, paint in the same manner as you did with the primer. Once you are done covering the door in paint, step back and appraise your work. If you are unsatisfied with certain areas, you can come back and apply a second coat after the paint dries. If you are satisfied, great job! Perhaps car washing will be next.
Should You Call in Professional Painters?
If you do not have the time or have more than one garage door, you may want to rely on the quality handiwork of professional painters. Another sticky point for homeowners is the time and effort it takes to do a good paint prep. Removing old paint from a house building or garage door can be laborious. You can expect to pay anything between $1 to $4 per square foot to paint a garage door. The advantage of hiring professionals is that they’ll do it faster and to a high standard.
Popular Garage Door Colors
- White: A classic that compliments most colors and exterior façade designs.
- Black – A modern classic with a robust, mysterious presence.
- Soft gray: Nearly as bright as white but more subtle and relaxed.
- Dark gray/Black: This darker color scheme works for many homes.
- Beige/taupe: Like soft gray, this is relaxed and blends in. It works magnificently on brick and stone exteriors.
- Walnut brown: Both warm and neutral, this color feels homey and inviting yet expensive.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Do: If you’re stuck wondering what color should I paint my garage door, an excellent place to start is to look for inspiration on sites like Etsy, Pinterest, Google Images.
- Do: Once you’re done, dispose of all remaining paint products in a safe and legal manner to keep the environment clean.
- Do not paint different colors onto your garage door as it will be off-putting.
- Do not choose a color that is too out there. Something like pink or a searingly bright blue might rock your world, but it will also drastically reduce your house’s curb appeal.
The choice of color is a subjective one. For example, experts may say that the front door should be a different color from the garage door, but that’s a rule you can break with no adverse effects. However, if you are stuck pondering what color should I paint my garage door, feel free to reach out to us today.