Our Garage Door Makeover – I’m so thrilled to share with you guys this DIY project. It’s been on my to-do list for about a year. Our garage door faces east and has been sufficiently baked over the years and was begging for a makeover. So I decided to give it an update using stain… yep… gel stain! The results were even better than I had hoped for. For less than $20 and a few hours of work, we had a gorgeous faux wood garage door that added instant curb appeal to our home. It looks like we got a new garage door!
Garage Door Makeover
Here’s a little video about our garage door makeover:
Gel Stain Garage Door Makeover Supply List:
Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.
Can you stain a garage door?
YES! You can stain most garage doors. If you have a wood door you absolutely can stain it, but if you have metal as I do and most are nowadays, you can with most! I highly recommend you do a test patch at the bottom corner of your garage door to see how it looks. But when you use gel stain it’s very different than traditional stain. We have an aluminum garage door, but I know others have used it on fiberglass as well.
Choose A Stain Color
I went with a walnut stain. I thought the tones would look best with our stucco exterior. You will want to factor in the base color of your garage door too, as that will affect the outcome color too.
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Door
It’s very likely that your garage door is covered with dirt like ours was. Here’s our sad garage door as it was getting a good power wash.
You can see it was a very faded brown from all that heat on the metal door. If you don’t have a pressure washer I’d recommend cleaning it well with your hose and then giving it a good cleaning with vinegar and a sponge and finish with a good rinse. Or you could use a bucket with soap and water to give it a good scrub.
After the door was clean and dry, my husband used a cheap synthetic brush and worked one section at a time brushing on the gel stain in the direction of the grain in the door. The gel stain dries super quick, so I would recommend taking on this project when the weather is pleasant and when the garage door isn’t in the direct sunlight.
When brushing on gel stain you want to have your brush strokes barely overlap. If you keep brushing on top of the gel stain you will pull the stain off. It is a much stickier texture than regular stain.
Here we are halfway finished. Now gel stain is NOT like a regular stain. You are not letting it sit and minute and then wiping it off!!! . You paint on the gel stain and let it dry… that’s it… super simple!
And all finished! What an update! It looks like a brand new door!!!!
I love the deep rich brown… it almost looks like faux wood!
We only used one coat of gel stain to achieve this gorgeous look. If your garage door is a different color than brown it might take more than one coat to achieve the color you’re looking for…. but wow… what a difference! It took my husband about 3 hours total to get this great garage door update… so it’s a great weekend project!
I’ve had lots of questions regarding a white or off-white garage doors. My recommendation would be to try the gel stain in a small area in the corner of your garage door and see how it looks.
The quart of gel stain was about $15 and we used two brushes… so for under $20 bucks, we got this awesome garage door update!
UPDATE: We used Gel Stain on our front door – you can read all about it here:
(almost 4 years now and still going strong)
8 Year Update
I had many questions over the years asking if we put a protective coat on top of the stain. We did not. You definitely could put a coat of poly on top. Ask your hardware store which is best with the gel stain you use.
After 8 years our garage door started to fade a little. Nothing like it was when I did the project originally, but fading enough that it needed a refresh. So here’s what I did. I gave it a good cleaning and this time I used a gel stain with polyurethane in it! So far after 1 year, it’s still looking like it was just stained. So if you’re wanting to do this DIY project on your door I’d recommend using this stain: STAIN with POLY
Here are some other great DIY you might want to check out…