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  • Writer's pictureTessa

Revamp Those Garage Doors

So, you have whitish metal garage doors and you want an extra looking garage with the wood carriage style doors, but you are also on a budget? Well then, this is the blog post for you. Don't worry you can easily create the look in a day with less than $50 and a few hours of manual labor.

Here's our before:

Here we go.


Materials Needed:

Pressure Washer is ideal if you have one to clean garage doors off, a clean surface is a must. If you do not have one use a rough sponge with vinegar and soap then spray off with a garden hose. The pressure washer is not mandatory, but does make life much easier, especially if your awesome hubby does the deed for you.

I just love him so much.

Painters Tape (If you're garage has windows or edges that cannot get stain on them) .

Gel Stain in two shades of choice (I used the shade Mahogany to coat the entire door and then went over a few select spots with the shade Coffee. Buying one can is totally an option, it actually still looked really nice before I used the second color to add a little more depth and dimension. With proper application you can get away with using one quart for both doors, assuming it is a standard size garage door. With the one quart I actually did both garage doors as well as a smooth metal workshop door. I used a very very small portion of the second color, the second color is optional. The gel stain will run you about $16 and can be found at your local hardware store in the stain section. I really wanted it to give the door that extra pop, so I went for the second shade.

Paintbrushes, two small low-end ones. When I say small I mean the size that just fits into the paint can, anything wider will cause you grief, anything smaller will make you work harder. You will want to buy the most inexpensive paintbrushes you can, they will give you the grainy wood-like look we are going for. I also didn't mind throwing the $2.00 brushes away after use, you can see this project is getting easier already. Virtually no cleanup required.

Cardboard Boxes, old boxes broken down or a roll of painters paper make a great barrier under the garage doors to avoid staining your concrete below. If you put something down, you won't have to worry about cleaning a mess up late in the event of an accidental spill.

The How To:

Clean the doors, then let dry entirely.

Tape off windows and sides.

Put down Cardboard between the door and floor.

Begin applying your Gel Stain at the top of the door and work your way across the door. Work in sections, I did one "square" at a time working from top left to right, then going down and moving on to the next row below. you want to keep your brush strokes semi-long and when you do stop your brush stoke try and fade it out as well as vary your ending spot so there are not obvious starts and stops. Our door had a lot of natural texture there to begin with, which is wonderful. I did have to move my brush up, down and all around instead of left to right a couple of times. However, after filling in the little white nooks I went back over it with a left to right movement, keeping long brushstrokes. Depending on the style and layout of your door you will need to decide which way your "wood" should run, on ours it made sense to apply in a horizontal pattern, but your door may need a vertical application like our shop door did. I feel like mine has a natural look and no obvious starts and stops. I was also concerned about our door being stark white before beginning and wondered if I should do a base coat of paint before applying stain. I am really content with the way it turned out, especially with this only having one coat of gel stain. Remember this is your project and you can use your own creative methods, this is simply what worked for me and a guide for your fun project.

Mahogany color alone.

Before second color was added.


The gel stain does dry semi quickly, so be sure and work during a cool time of the day, don't get too far ahead of yourself until you get the hang of the application. Keep the product moving until you are happy with the look you achieved.

Bring your phone and a speaker so you can enjoy some music while you work. I also had a nice large coffee to sip on while I did my project. Whats better than DIYing with a coffee right?!

Products necessary = Gel Stain + Coffee

Let the doors dry completely before going over with the second color if you opted to use a second color.

Please note the stain is oil based, you may want to wear gloves to keep from having to wash off with paint thinner. If you wish to keep your brushes, you'll want paint thinner to wash them off as well. My brushes were pretty worn out after this project, so I opted to toss and not mess with the chemicals in the paint thinner.

Our doors also had silver hardware, that was a problem aesthetically for me. I just brushed over it all with the gel stain and made them blend in, I am happy with the outcome and did not have to purchase and swap over to new hardware.

I also ordered these amazing metal look, plastic clavos and hinges on amazon after the fact, to give it a little more detail and personality. They seem to be very excellent quality and are staying in place amazingly well. If you are interested in adding something similar to your "new" garage doors just search garage door hardware and find something that suits your liking. I love these because they are not permanent and can be moved around as desired!

I love making small improvements on our new home that have a big effect long term.

The end result is better than I could have ever hoped. Having never worked with gel stain I was a little concerned, but let me assure you, this stuff is a DIY garage door makeover dream. It is very thick, hence the name gel stain and goes on super glossy. Its basically a one-coat-wonder. I approve of the product! I second guessed starting the project after seeing the "like new" fresh, crisp white when my husband was finished pressure washing. Concerned, that the project wouldn't go as well as I would hope and worried about the end result looking worse than what I started with. I decided to just go for it and worry about the problem if it did occur. I had made up my mind that I would just paint them brown afterwards if this project was indeed a failure. My advice on this project is if you think you like the look, just go for it. Redoing your own garage doors will be so easy! In 4-ish hours you will have a completely updated look. I think ours turned out great! Let me know what you think in the comments below. I'm happy to answer any questions I possibly can before you start your own project. I will update the photos on this post as we finish the exterior of our garage. This building is a work in progress.



Heavenly Father,

Thank you for free time and the capability to do projects I enjoy. Thank you for all of the women who read this post, I ask you to bless them today and every day. Thank you for all of our blessings.

In your name we pray,


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4 commentaires

angelina villarreal
angelina villarreal
29 sept. 2023

Hello, I have a brown garage door to start with, what gel color do you recommend?


Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson
28 juil. 2023

I followed your instructions and my garage doors look amazing. My son damaged one of the doors with some wood on his truck and it had to be replaced. I had one white door and one dark brownish grey. I thought after the first coat that I had messed up. They were such different colors. I had to buy a quart of trim paint in smoked paprika to dry brush on the darker door. Worked perfectly. I love them. Thank you, Lisa


Shelly Goetz
Shelly Goetz
28 juin 2022

Looks fabulous! Did you use the stain over painted doors?? Mine are painted and I'm hoping I can stain over the paint...thanks so much!


Mandy Ann
Mandy Ann
22 mai 2022

Does the sun fade it?

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