This past week I was chitchatting with my husband about friends of ours who had recently purchased a house that is going to require repairs to make it their home. One project they have already tackled was the garage door. When I heard about the process they used I went into creative overload. Yes, Google became my friend.
Our friends let us know they had used gel stain to create a faux wood look to the standard aluminum garage door that you see with most builder grade tract homes. Let me just say how beautiful these results are. Once I researched it, and realized the results of this DIY project, I knew I had to get this done.
• exterior paint in eggshell finish (preferably a color close to unstained raw wood)
• Miniwax gel stain (make sure it is gel stain)
• cheap coarse paint brushes
• Polyurethane (optional)
• painters tape (optional)
• cleaning brush
First, the garage door needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry. Next, it will need a complete coat, using the chosen basecoat color. If the garage door gets a lot of sun, then it is best to wait later in the day to do this project.
Make sure to paint with the grain of the garage door. Many builder-grade garage doors have a wood grain embossed into the aluminum already, which is wonderful for this project.
Next, it is time for the gel stain, and any color you choose will achieve the desired results. My friend used Aged Oak, but I have also read and have seen the outcome pictures of people mixing three different stains.
Using the coarse bristled paintbrushes, quickly brush the stain over the panels of the garage door going in the same direction. The coarse bristles will leave brush marks as opposed to expensive brushes removing brush strokes.
Gel stain has a thicker consistency that applies more as a glaze than a stain. As the panels are brushed, the overlapping of strokes creates a faux wood finish with the basecoat slightly peeking thru. Using the coarse brush is another factor in creating the faux wood look, with the stiff bristles preventing a painted solid look.
The last step is optional, which is a coat of Polyurethane. Our friends applied a coat because their garage door is in the sun most of the day. In researching this project, I found that many use it and many don’t. It is a personal preference.
This is hands-down the best DIY project I have come across in a very long time. I feel like I stumbled into a gold mine! Do yourself a favor and Google the fantastic results. You will not be disappointed! This process will also work for the builder grade steel doors and turns out just as lovely.
April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at email@example.com.