How To Stop Garage Door From Sticking After Painting

A loud popping sound when a garage door operates could mean that the fresh paint job is stuck. Leaving this issue unattended can ruin the paint and even the door’s functionality. So how can you stop the garage door’s paint from sticking against adjacent surfaces? We researched and asked industry experts to give you this answer.

Redoing the paint on the garage door is perhaps the best solution to prevent its paint from sticking. But if you don’t have the extra time and money for that project, you can use white lithium grease. Moreover, it’s a reasonably quick application that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. The steps for this task are:

  1. Put grease on the offending locations and wipe the excess.
  2. Test the door’s opening system if the paint still sticks.

Take note that white lithium grease isn’t the only DIY solution that you can use to unstick paint from a garage door. But many DIY techniques will retain the ruined paint from the stickiness. Keep reading as we talk about which paint to use on your garage door if you wish to repaint it. We'll also discuss other topics like the correct way to open a garage door if it’s painted shut.

painter man working for repairing and painting the garage door, How To Stop Garage Door From Sticking After Painting

What Paint Finish Is Best For Garage Doors?

The appropriate paint to use on garage doors generally depends on the materials used for the slabs. For example, using paint meant for wood might not produce satisfactory outcomes when used on aluminum garage doors.

Here’s a list of relatively common garage door materials and the appropriate paint to use on them:

  • Metal: Oil-based paints are generally ideal for painting on metal garage doors, particularly those made from aluminum or steel.
  • Vinyl: Use latex paints on vinyl, composite, or fiberglass garage doors. Don’t use oil-based paints as they won’t adhere well to those materials.
  • Wood: Like vinyl, use latex-based paints on wooden garage doors. Don’t forget to use stain-blocking primer when you’re painting bare wood. Otherwise, use trisodium phosphate (TSP) to clean the material.
  • Glass: Some garage door designs have glass windows, and it’s not advisable to use latex- or oil-based paints on them. Instead, use a mixture of gesso and acrylic paint for a clean, matte look.

While you’re searching for the right paint for your garage door, remember to choose your color based on the project’s demands and your preferences. But if you want a neutral look, you might not go wrong with white since it often blends well with other colors. You can also read our post on oak doors and white frames for more information about color-matching home elements.

How Do You Fix A Sticky Garage Door?

a brand new residential home blacktop asphalt driveway was completed

You can use a piece of cloth and some white lithium grease to fix the paint on a garage door from sticking. But exercise caution as areas of the doorway might be health hazards if operated without care.

For example, if you want to put this product between the grooves, ensure that the garage door opening system holds the doorway properly so that the slabs won’t crash or fall.

After verifying the opener’s stability, here’s how you can apply the grease onto the garage door’s paint:

  1. Lightly put the grease onto the problematic areas.
  2. Wipe the excess with a clean cloth.
  3. Operate the garage door to check if the paint still sticks.

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Some members of the home improvement community mentioned using silicone spray to help unstick paint from garage doors. But the effect is temporary and will generally wear off in a few weeks.

Also, keep in mind that these solutions might not produce the cleanest results. Unevenness from the stuck paint may remain, which can look unattractive. Instead, you can redo the garage door’s paint job, but that also means removing its current coat. Hire professionals for this task if you’re not confident with the present state of your garage door painting skills.

How To Paint A Garage Door?

Painting the garage door

Repainting a garage door can be a good option to prevent sticky surfaces and restore the doorway's aesthetics. But make sure to pay attention to the weather forecast before attempting this project. Painting during the wet season can create delays. Instead, aim to paint during relatively dry weather to ensure minimal interruptions for the task.

What You’ll Need

  • Preferred paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Hose
  • Brush or rag
  • Stepladder or table
  • Sandpaper

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Clean the garage door by rinsing it to remove loose dust and dirt. Then, use a brush or rag dipped in mild detergent to remove any filth that may still be lingering on the doorway’s surface. Let the door dry before moving to the next step.
  2. Remove the safety release chain so you can move the door freely without the opener restricting the motion. Take note that you may need an assistant for this step, depending on if you can carry the door's weight.
  3. Place a sturdy table or stepladder beneath the door to keep it from closing.
  4. Patch and repair visible imperfections, such as cracks or rust.
  5. For a quicker application, you can use a paint-and-primer product. Dip a paintbrush on the paint bucket and start coating the door from the top panel. Work your way down as you progress.
  6. Apply a second coat if you see some streaks.

Once you finish the paint job, take a moment to check for errors. In certain cases, the paint may drip between the gaps, which can cause the garage door to stick. So while the paint is still reasonably wet, grab a knife or painter's tool and lightly scrape the excess paint. Last, return to the garage door after 24 hours to lightly sand its surface.

Watch the video below for a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

Also, your garage door remodeling project might include replacing a panel. If so, read our post on that topic for guidance.

How Do You Open A Garage Door That Is Painted Shut?

Hand holding the remote to open the sliding door.

Certain members of some homeowners’ communities say that using a box cutter to remove the stuck paint can help solve the problem. But you should practice caution as the blades can be quite sharp. Slipping can damage other areas of the garage door, causing dings and scratches. Other tools that can also help this cause are a flathead screwdriver or a painter’s tool.

Check out this painter’s tool on Amazon.

Will Vaseline Keep Paint From Sticking?

Vaseline can help prevent paint from sticking. This petroleum jelly can also work on different types of paint, including latex- and oil-based variants. You only need to apply a small amount of the product onto the painted surface. It’ll then allow the paint to revert to the curing phase, allowing it to flatten and level.

Hear what a DIY enthusiast has to say about using Vaseline on paint by watching the video below:

Another way to use Vaseline with paint is to use the product when you want to mask complex surfaces. Do this procedure by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly on the surface that you don't want to paint. Then, paint over it like you would with a standard painting job. Finally, remove the Vaseline carefully once the paint dries.

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Final Words

A white garage door

Use white lithium grease to stop garage doors paint from sticking. Otherwise, use silicone spray, albeit the effect demands frequent reapplication. If you want to avoid these problems from returning, repainting can be a long-term solution.

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