Faded Garage Door Finish? What Causes It and Refinishing Tips

Date: July 28, 2017

Have you ever paid much attention to which direction your garage door faces? Maybe not. But when it comes to the longevity of your garage door’s finish, it’s pretty important information to know. A faded garage door finish can be directly tied to how much direct sunlight your home receives each day.

Sun and wind can fade and damage your garage door.

The Effects of Sunlight on Your Garage Door Finish

The amount and strength of daily sun exposure that your garage door gets can cause the color to fade, the top coat to degrade and thin over time, and the garage door materials to expand and contract, creating cracks, splits, and bows. If you have a southward or westward facing garage, it will be exposed to the strongest sunlight, and deterioration caused by sun exposure will be accelerated. Routine inspections can help catch normal deterioration issues before they significantly impact the look of your door.

The amount of sun exposure is also a critical factor to consider when choosing the color of a new garage door. The stronger the sun, the longer it heats your door every day, sometimes raising the temperature of the door to over 140° F. When you select dark paint or dark stain colors, the heat from the sun will be absorbed, driving temperatures up even more. This can lead to a greater risk of a faded finish or split and cracked wooden doors.

Other Weather Impacts on Your Garage Door

The sun isn’t the only weather factor that affects your garage doors. Wind can drive dirt, debris, and rain onto the finished surface of your door, wearing down the protective layers. Without a protective layer, any dings, dents, and scratches will allow water and dirt to get under the surface finish and cause significant deterioration.

Other environmental conditions will also accelerate degradation in a garage door’s finish. For example, in coastal locations, salt can be extremely corrosive to a garage door’s paint or stain.

Inspecting Your Garage Door’s Finish

There are no garage doors that are completely maintenance-free. Whether from extreme sunlight or other weather conditions, over time, your garage door’s finish will degrade. Painted doors will experience color fading while the clear protective top coat on stained and faux paint-stained doors will degrade and thin.

Perform a yearly inspection to check for fading, cracking, and peeling.

A yearly maintenance inspection is all that’s necessary to identify a damaged or faded garage door finish and determine when it’s time to refinish your garage door. Follow these steps:

  • Look for fading, cracking, peeling, or blistering.
  • Look for any dings, dents, scratches, or gouges that cut through the surface and would allow for moisture to penetrate the door.
  • Touch the door to determine if it feels dry or if there are areas where the finish is missing.

Refinishing a Faded Garage Door Finish

If you do find substantial fading or deterioration on your garage door upon inspection, there are several easy steps you can take to correct the damage.

Painted Garage Doors:

  • Use a touch-up paint to cover small dings and dents before they get larger.
  • Apply a coat of Turtle Wax to provide a protective coating and a sheen to your door.

If there is significant peeling, it might be time to sand the door and repaint it, using a high quality, exterior grade, latex paint.

Use touch-up paint or stain to fix any issues you see during your inspection.

Stained Garage Doors:

  • For small areas of dings, dents, or scratches, lightly sand the area and apply touch-up stain, blending it into the surrounding area.
  • Apply our Maintenance Coat over the entire door.

If you have neglected a maintenance routine or have identified large areas of weather damage, it may require that you completely sand the entire door and reapply a new stain finish and top coat.

Are you looking for more advice on keeping your carriage style garage doors in pristine shape? Visit our Care & Maintenance page for information that can increase the life of your garage door.

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