When it’s time to freshen up the paint on the garage door, many homeowners believe that a coat or two of their exterior wall paint will suffice. But made of a different material – usually galvanised metal or wood – the garage door needs special treatment; or the paint may simply peel or flake.

A good garage door paint is more appropriate for this choice. But not all products rise to the standards.

Our expert team has worked hard to identify the best garage door paints on the market. After testing and rating a wealth of products, we came up with our list of top picks. Check our top choices below to find the right product for the job.

red garage door


Our #1 Best Pick

rust-oleum universal

Rust-Oleum Universal Paint

A paint and primer in one. Ideal for wood, galvanised or ferrous metal garage doors.

Low Cost Option

international 10 year enamel

International 10 Year Enamel

An affordable garage door enamel formulated to provide long-lasting protection.

Best Of The Rest

Hammerite Garage Door Paint

A big brand name but a rather disappointing product – however it did resist flaking and peeling.

Hammerite Direct To Galvanised Metal

Decent quality paint for galvanised metal garage doors – it dries to a smooth, glossy finish.

Dulux Trade Metalshield Gloss

Expensive yet exceptional exterior paint for ferrous and non-ferrous metal surfaces.

rust-oleum universal

Superb universal paint for use on a variety of surfaces – including garage doors.

Rust-Oleum Universal Paint isn’t a specific garage door paint, but its versatility and quality make it ideal for this type of surface. Resisting weather and outdoor elements, the product is ideal to use outdoors on a variety of surfaces, including wood and galvanised metal garage doors.

Boasting a paint and primer in one formula, the product can be applied directly to bare or previously painted wood without applying a primer. On metal surfaces, either non-ferrous or galvanised, it is recommended to prime the surface first to improve adherence.

The double formula for interior and exterior use adds versatility. With a coverage of up to 9m²/litre, a tin of paint goes a long way. And after painting the garage door, you can use the leftovers to freshen up the woodwork or to give a new lease of life to interior or exterior objects.

Rust-Oleum Universal has many qualities but also a few minor drawbacks. One is the formulation. Despite its outstanding performance, the product is oil-based, and therefore toxic. The White and Heirloom White colours may also suffer discolouration over time.

We also had a love-hate relationship with the consistency. The product is on the watery side and very easy to apply with a brush or roller. That being said, the paint is also drippy and hard to clean from the floor.


• Rust-Oleum Universal dries very quickly for an oil-based paint. The product touch dries in two hours and can be re-coated after 16 hours.
• Versatile and easy to work with, the product comes in 13 colours and three finishes. All colours come in a gloss finish and some are also available in satin and matt.
• This paint is supplied in 250ml and 750ml tins; the manufacturer also offers an aerosol version which is ideal for quick touch-ups.
• Durable formula withstands adverse weather, protecting metal surfaces from rust. The paint film is water-resistant.


• The colour chart is way off; Slate Grey, for example, dries to a shade much lighter than pictured.
• Highly toxic product is unsuitable for use in enclosed spaces or in the proximity of children and pets.

international 10 year enamel

Hardwearing enamel for metal doors with an average covering power.

Are you on a strict budget? International 10 Year Garage Door Enamel offers affordable quality, though you’ll have to compromise on covering power. The product is formulated specifically for metal doors and is guaranteed to resist weathering for up to 10 years, provided it is applied as instructed.

Tough and durable, this garage door paint comes in five colours; it dries to a brilliant gloss finish that needs little to no maintenance and resists peeling and flaking no matter what the weather throws at it.

One thing we didn’t like, however, is the claim that the product has fantastic coverage. This is in part true and a litre of paint covers up to 11m², depending on the porosity of the surface. But you should by no means mistake the fantastic coverage with covering power, which is quite poor.

Due to its watery consistency, the paint is very runny and almost translucent. It may take up to four coats to achieve satisfactory results and depending on the size of the surface, your project could be costlier than anticipated.


• Hardwearing product is easy to apply with a brush and it touch dries in three hours. It can be re-coated after 16 hours.
• Formulated specifically for garage doors, International Enamel has an exceptional performance on all types of metal.
• Users have also reported a decent performance on wood and plastic as long as the surfaces are prepared and primed adequately.


• Oil-based product is toxic and has a high content of VOCs. Use with caution.
• You’ll have to stir the product constantly during application to improve consistency. This is sometimes time-consuming and pretty annoying.

hammerite garage door paint

A great garage door paint, provided you don’t trust their colour chart.

Owned by Akzo Nobel, Hammerite is a brand renowned for its quality products. It is hard to tell if we tested a faulty lot or if their Garage Door Paint is just awful, but we were disappointed by its performance.

Starting with the positive aspects, this product is formulated for wood and metal garage doors, which is a big plus. It forms a tough film that withstands weather elements; resisting flaking and discolouration.

Supplied in 750ml tins, Hammerite paint comes in six colours and it dries to an elegant gloss finish.

According to the manufacturer, the product is designed to reduce running when applied to vertical surfaces, and this was one of the factors we felt we might like. However, the claim turned out to be false.

Not only did the paint run on vertical surfaces, it seemed to run on all surfaces and was very drippy. And this isn’t the only downside of this product.

Despite our negative experience, many users were happy with the performance of this paint. Perhaps we tested a faulty lot.


• Decent coverage for an oil-based paint. A litre covers up to 8m², depending on the porosity of the surface.
• Quick drying time enables you to finish work faster. Hammerite Garage Doors touch dries in four hours and can be re-coated after 16 hours.
• This paint is very easy to apply with a brush and some colours offer an exceptional covering power.


• Colours are inconsistent, some of them are translucent and most tins contain shades completely different than those pictured.
• Watery viscosity makes the product runny even when stirred vigorously. Some users complained the product didn’t adhere at all despite adequate surface preparation.
• This paint is toxic and hard to clean off the brushes. The drips are also hard to clean.

hammerite direct to galvanised

Paint and primer in one for galvanised metal surfaces – available in six popular colours.

Despite the unexpected results we experienced with the Hammerite Garage Door Paint, we considered giving the brand a second chance and tested its Direct to Galvanised Metal paint. Ideal for garage doors made of non-ferrous metals, this product had a much better performance with fewer flaws.

What we liked best was the formula. This product is formulated as a paint and primer in one and it can be applied straight onto bare or previously painted galvanised steel, copper, aluminium and brass.

Available in six popular colours and drying to a contemporary smooth, glossy finish, the paint also has a superior covering power when compared with their Garage Door Paint. Although it takes more than one coat to achieve full coverage, two or three coats typically suffice.

Overall, the product was satisfactory but it may react with old paint. Unless the surface is bare, we recommend testing the product on a small surface beforehand. According to the manufacturer, any reactions will show in one hour.

We didn’t experience any adherence issues; the paint was easy to apply with a brush and the thicker consistency is self-levelling, reducing the prominence of brush strokes.


• Exceptional coverage for an oil-based paint. This product covers up to 14m²/litre and acts as a primer and paint in one.
• Direct to Galvanised Metal is guaranteed for five years; its hardwearing formula resists weather elements without flaking or peeling.
• Fairly easy to apply with a brush or roller; the product cleans from tools with white spirit.


• Some colours seem to lack sufficient pigmentation and are translucent. Most users don’t appear to have problems with the shades though.
• Due to the thick consistency, the paint tends to form bubbles. We recommend applying in small sections at a time.

dulux metalshield

Quick-drying solvent-based formulation; can be re-coated within 4 to 6 hours.

Dulux Trade is a brand that doesn’t disappoint and its Metalshield Gloss paint rises to its own high standards.

Unlike the standard Dulux, Metalshield doesn’t come in a wide range of colours but the white paint is tint-able.

Premixed Metalshield comes in four popular shades and provides ample covering power. Two coats are sufficient to achieve a satisfactory result. Combined with a 13m²/litre coverage, this paint delivers great value for money.

On its own, the product provides long-lasting protection against corrosion, but the results can be improved by applying two coats of the product over a suitable primer. In this case, the manufacturer guarantees up to 8 years of protection.


• Metalshield Gloss dries very fast for a solvent-based product. It touch dries in 2 hours and can be re-coated after four to six hours.
• Ideal for interior and exterior ferrous and non-ferrous metal surfaces, including garage doors.
• Pack system delivers up to 8 years of protection, which is guaranteed if the paint is applied with the Metalshield Zinc Phosphate Primer by Dulux Trade.
• If applied correctly, the product requires little to no maintenance.


• Supplied in 1L tins, Metalshield is one of the most expensive products for metal surfaces.
• Limited premixed colour choice.



• Garage door paint
• Primer
• White spirit
• Sandpaper
• Drop cloth


• Paintbrushes
• Roller
• Roller tray
• Putty knife
• Stepladder


Step 1 – Prepare and clean the surface
Like all exteriors of your home, the garage door is exposed to adverse weather and elements all year round. Dust and debris can easily accumulate on the surface and that’s why thorough surface preparation is key to the success of the project.

Clean the garage door with an all-purpose cleaner, making sure to remove all stubborn stains or debris.

Lay a drop cloth under the door to protect your pavement and inspect the surface. If the previous paint is flaking or peeling, you may have to remove the whole coat. Use sandpaper to remove as much old paint as you can, then use a chemical stripper to get rid of the old paint.

Use a putty knife to scrape the old paint off after the stripper has reacted with the product, then clean the surface again and let it dry.

Step 2 – Prime the surface
Priming a garage door is almost always necessary as the agent improves the adherence of the paint. Choose the right primer for your surface based on the material the door is made from.

Most modern garage doors are made of metal and in most cases, a universal primer for ferrous and non-ferrous metals will do the trick. If the garage door is made of wood, you’re likely best using a wood primer for exterior surfaces.

Apply the agent as instructed and leave to dry and cure for at least 24 hours.

Step 3 – Paint the garage door
Most paints for garage doors are solvent-based and can be thinned with white spirit if needed. Apply the paint with a brush or roller working on small sections at a time, from top to bottom. Correct any drips and make sure the surface is smooth before passing on to the next section.

Cover the whole surface and wait for the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Most products will require at least 16 hours between coats.

When the paint is dry, assess the result and apply a second coat if needed, following the same procedure. Let the paint to dry for 16 hours before touching. Most garage door paints will need up to a week to hard dry.