Steel garage doors are lightweight, attractive, and reasonably priced, and they should last for decades with proper care and maintenance. They can be painted in any color and often come prepainted, in fact, from the factory.
However, as with any other exterior painted surface, the finish of garage doors can become chalky over time and lose its luster. But don't worry, because you will be able to restore the original look of your steel garage door without painting, in most cases.
Below is a step-by-step guide to restoring your garage door's exterior finish and maintaining its attractive looks.
Materials and Tools Needed
- Pressure Washer
- Garden Hose
- Extension Cord
- Clean Five-Gallon Bucket
- Grease-Cutting Liquid Dish Soap
- Plastic Bristled Brush
- Automobile Paste Wax
- Application Pad
Step-by-Step Restoration Procedure
1. Understand the Problem
In the case of chalky paint, ultraviolet rays from the sun cause the extreme outer layer of paint to break down and lose its bond to the underlying layers. As this occurs, a thin layer of powdery residue, which appears chalky to the naked eye, accumulates on top of the paint beneath.
While the process of ultraviolet breakdown can happen to any type of paint, it is worse with oil-based paints due to its alkaline chemistry. It is not uncommon to find oil-based paints in use on home exteriors, so this problem is fairly widespread.
2. Understand the Solution
The key to restoring your garage door's original, freshly painted look is to strip away the decomposing layer of paint and the residue. This will involve deep cleaning and applying a protective product that will keep the garage door looking like-new for a long time.
3. Prepare the Cleaning Solution
Begin by mixing one-half cup of grease-cutting liquid dish soap into five gallons of warm tap water. Mix the soap and water slowly to avoid creating too many bubbles, and set the solution aside for a few minutes.
4. Spray the Garage Door
Once you have mixed the cleaning solution, the next step is to use a pressure washer to begin stripping away the chalky residue and underlying debris. Spray the garage door in a somewhat inconspicuous area first to be sure you don't strip away the paint; if the paint begins flaking off, stop spraying immediately. It may be that you need to repaint the door if the paint has lost its adhesion to the steel.
If the paint doesn't seem to be affected by the pressure washer, then continue spraying over the rest of the door's exterior. You don't need to be perfect, as this is merely the initial run to loosen debris and test for paint adherence. Spray the entire door thoroughly before moving to the next step.
5. Wash the Garage Door
After spraying down the door's exterior once, it's time to use the soapy water solution to penetrate and clear the chalky remnants. Apply the cleaning solution using a plastic bristled brush and scrub the entire surface of the door.
Be generous in using the soapy water and work up a lather with the brush. Once you finish applying the soap, allow it to sit for a few minutes to soak. Finally, use your pressure washer to rinse away any soap and leave the door in clean, sparkling condition.
6. Apply Protection to Maintain Appearance
Once the door has been cleaned and rinsed, allow it to air dry completely before moving to the end. This last step is to apply protection to the paint in the form of paste car wax, unless you wish for the chalking to recur. Dab a small amount of wax onto a clean application pad and apply wax to the exterior of the garage door using circular motions.
Keep applying the wax until all areas are covered. Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes after each time you apply it. Finally, wipe the wax from all surfaces using a buffing cloth, and this will leave a clean, shiny surface resistant to sunlight, wind and other items.
For more information and help with maintaining your garage door, contact professional garage door companies or visit websites like http://raynordoor.com/.