Asked on Mar 25, 2014

Should I paint my garage doors black?

We are having our house painted this spring and I really want to paint the garage doors black. The problem is that the house is west facing and gets blaring summer sun with high heat. My biggest concern would be the door warping or fading and looking really bad. Does anyone have any experience with a black garage door, and if so, is there a particular paint/sheen that you would recommend? We are keeping the same colors on the house when we repaint. I don't have a problem with touching it up every few years.
  53 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 25, 2014
    Personally, I wouldn't. That is two large black spots in the front of your house.
  • B.J. B B.J. B on Mar 25, 2014
    I agree with Jeanette. I probably would paint them the same color as the house to try to make them disappear. Your house is very pretty and you should draw attention to it not your garage. I do like black because it is a rich accent color but I think it would be too much.
  • Another idea I had was to paint "faux" windows along the top by taping off some of the squares and painting them black, then adding some carriage hardware. They just seem so blah to me.
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 27, 2014
      @Amy Anderson Actually, most garage doors come in "panels" so if you want windows, check with a local garage door dealer and see if they can retro fit your garage doors with new top "panels" that have windows. I know several years ago our bottom panel was damaged from getting rained on so hubby swapped out just the bottom panel.
  • Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
  • I think black would look great. the only problem would be fading since black will absorb the sun and the garage may get hotter plus paint fade. I would not go gloss but a satin or low gloss finish. I think white garage doors scream look at me and I am blah! I have a white garage door only because my HOA will not let me paint it. I say go for it. Your front door and shutters are black, right? You may have to spend extra for the paint but if you want black, go for it. I am not sure to do the faux windows. I think you should not put more focus on the doors other than the black. Whatever you do, if you love it, then you are the only one that matters.
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 25, 2014
    I agree that you will create a problem with black as it will absorb heat, cause the interior panel insulation to expand. On several commercial jobs, we have had problems with hollow metal doors doing this and the lock refusing to latch due to door warping. I am thinking perhaps you might be happy with creating something that would break up the large solid white surface. They have faux hardware kits and faux windows you can apply to the doors to add some character & charm. You could also paint them on..if you don't like them, paint it back white. I think you would like them. Check out Coach House Accents on line for some ideas. Good luck with whatever you do; your home is gorgeous.
  • Angela Angela on Mar 25, 2014
    My first thought was carriage hardware!!! Your home is beautiful!
  • Ophelia laurel Ophelia laurel on Mar 25, 2014
    no the white looks nice if you wish to add black as an accent that should look nice.
  • Diane Coakley Diane Coakley on Mar 25, 2014
    I think Coach House Accents has exactly what you're looking for. Just the right amount of black touches with hardware to the doors and even the faux windows would break up all that white, or you could paint to match your house first. You're definately on the right track! Beautiful home!
  • Terea H Terea H on Mar 25, 2014
    Beautiful house. I like the garage doors white. Adds character. Believe black would look too dull.
  • Araceli rodriguez Araceli rodriguez on Mar 26, 2014
    I have seen garage doors painted black and they do look nice, but It would be more maintainanc because of the black fading
  • Michaela Edwards Michaela Edwards on Mar 26, 2014
    do the trimming as a ascent, just the front not the inside, to match the windows, just don't have the shutters.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Mar 26, 2014
    if you want your eye to be drawn to the colour of your garage door (and you don't), use contrast and tone that pulls away from it's surroundings - white, black, purple, etc. if you want it to be in visually harmony with the rest of your home (but not the focal point), use softer tone and/or contrast. Introducing any kind of texture, e.g. hardware or otherwise breaking up the space will reduce the visual impact (which you do want to do). This is how aesthetics and design is understood, talked about, and works. How you choose to employ these principals is a matter of personal, subjective taste. I find that googling appropriate images helps clarify what I want.
  • Linda Stone Linda Stone on Mar 26, 2014
    I agree with making "faux windows" at the top of the garage doors. I think that would be the best bet. Definitely not black.
  • Tracey Andino Tracey Andino on Mar 26, 2014
    Carriage door hardware would look great.. Painting it the same color of the house or a complimenting shade would look even better.. Black, in my opinion, would be too much. You only have a little black trim on the shutters(at least it looks black) but those black doors would be the main focal point of the house and take away from the beauty of it.
  • Jim L Jim L on Mar 27, 2014
    The black doors will make it look like you are looking into a cave...and they will be unbelievably HOT in the summer sun...paint them to match the house...I would get rid of those tiny shutters on those BIG windows...they are not attractive... my opinion...
  • Dee Dee on Mar 27, 2014
    I have never seen black doors. I think that would be a mistake.I think it would look like big black holes and draw your eye to them and not the lovely home you have.I agree with some people here change the top panel with one that has windows in it and put the carriage hardware on . It will change the look without being over the top.
  • Sharon Calvert Sharon Calvert on Mar 27, 2014
    Definately a mistake to paint them black!
  • Clopay Garage Doors Clopay Garage Doors on Mar 27, 2014
    Hi Amy. I work for residential garage door manufacturer Clopay. My first question is are your garage doors steel or wood? Second question is do they get a lot of sun exposure during the day or are they mostly in shade? Painting a steel garage door black used to be a big no-no. Black steel doors absorb and retain heat, which can cause the door to bow. In areas with extreme temperatures, it can even melt the insulation inside the door. Clopay has recently introduced a line of insulated black steel garage doors factory coated with a "cool paint" and primer that reflects heat to reduce surface temperatures. If you are going to paint your door a dark color we recommend visiting Sherwin Williams to learn about their vinyl safe exterior latex paint. If you want to try out some different color and design ideas on your home, you can use Clopay's Door Imagination System at to upload a photo of your home, design a door, and see how it looks on your home. You can add windows, decorative hardware, change colors, etc. It's a fast, easy way to figure out what works and what doesn't before you start investing in materials. Below are some photos of black garage doors as well as before and after images showing the impact adding windows and hardware to a front-facing garage door can have on a home's appearance. Hope this helps!
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  • Susan Alkire Susan Alkire on Mar 27, 2014
    Personally wouldn't paint the garage door. I would paint the shutters a nice "Little Filly" brown or even a lighter tan. The dark shutters makes the roof stand out too much. Lighter shutters would make the house stand out more, and would match the garage door much better leaving it white.
  • Dee Dee on Mar 27, 2014
    Amy after thinking about your doors here is what i would do first. Print out two pictures and do one with windows and carriage hardware and get your marker out and do black doors. Then at least you can see what it will look like. Im thinking about something else but will save it for later. Please let us know what the outcome is.
  • Decorating Den Interiors Decorating Den Interiors on Mar 27, 2014
    I am in agreement with those that suggested painting them the color of the house and then adding carriage hardware for those special touches.
    • See 1 previous
    • @Decorating Den Interiors Before adding any hardware for decorative purpose I would advise reading the manufacturers warranty before doing this. Instead you should call your local decorative artist about painting trompe loeil hardware on the door ans experienced artist can do this. Even a "faux painter" could possibly do this.
  • J K  Weigle J K Weigle on Mar 27, 2014
    Don't listen to naysayers. The clopay doors look wonderful! Put up some black or other color poster board or cardboard next to the house to check it out. Use those little paint samples. EVERY house has white garage doors. As Apple says, "think different."
  • @Amy Anderson You can paint them what ever you like, but you just would need a high quality acrylic paint. Of course it would generate heat but I can only assume that the quality of your doors is probably better than most and an insulated overhead door was installed which resists heat remarkably well. ( I have one ). I have been painting for 35 years and am also an artist, so you can imagine that I have used every color imaginable including certain base colors for wood graining. I would not fear the color you are wanting but it could create a maintenance issue for you and I would not use anything higher than a satin finish. If it were me from a decorative stand point I would trompe loeil the look of carriage hardware on the doors and would warn against breaking the integrity of the surface with any thing such as nails, screws, or substrate piercing of any hardware as it would probably void the warranty of the door. I would especially read the manufacturers labeling on the back of the door (inside labels) as to painting and/or repainting. Here in Florida any oil base paints (including primers) on these types of substrates is strictly forbidden and can cause more damage than good later on. If I have seen it once I have seen it a thousand times and it costs more to refinish the door than it does to replace it (refinish costs $1,800 - $2,500 in some cases). Does black fade? Of course it does just as any other color does it's just a matter of the quality of the paint you use that's going to determine how fast and how long the sun beats down on that door. However what will help is a proper colored primer under coat is going to make the color last longer (dark gray/black primer if you can get it) In todays market innovation has advanced the acrylic water borne paint systems that even todays auto industry uses acrylics for vehicles these days (even black) and of course spraying would be the best application and that takes an experienced professional to apply it correctly but you should be able to paint them whatever you like. However in my professional opinion I think I would use the main color of the home (including primer) and hand painting (trompe loeil) hardware would be nice. For a paint brand I would suggest a PP&G manufactured product (Porter, Pittsburgh, etc.) Even Sherwin Williams has a good line just ask for the area sales rep and not the 18 to 20 year old pimply faced teenager behind the counter. (Trust me on this tip lol ;-)
  • Deborah Deborah on Mar 28, 2014
    Amy, great house, BTW! I would go off in another direction...add shallow pergolas over each garage section, painted white, paint garage doors one shade darker than the house, add either faux carriage hardware or the real thing in black. I love black, but I agree with the others. It could be 2 big black holes. On a side-load garage it would work.
  • Cindie Taylor-pamula Cindie Taylor-pamula on Mar 28, 2014
  • Becky P Becky P on Mar 28, 2014
    I am of the frame of mind that garage doors should only be white or a tan color. I think black would be way too hot, and they would stay hot longer than a lighter color. I base this of the fact our west facing maroon front door was too hot to touch during the summer months. It is now white (boring), and not hot.
  • Robbin Rothgeb Robbin Rothgeb on Aug 19, 2014
    i had a similar issue....just went with the hardware. made a huge difference without a big commitment. a little bling for front! like earrings!
    I definitely would not do Black. I agree with most of these statements. I like the white but if it is because the bottom gets dirty you could do a 1-2 foot paint on the bottom of tan to match the house and the top part white...
  • Kathleen Hodges Kathleen Hodges on Aug 20, 2014
    NO, they would stick out, focus on your front door, that is your welcoming area.
  • Cindy Bowles Cindy Bowles on Oct 16, 2014
    I would put a nice med to dark stain on they. They would look more expensive
  • Nancy Nancy on Dec 07, 2014
    I always paint my garage door the same color as the house siding. That way the door doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. It seems I've started a trend in my neighborhood. As I drive around I see more and more garage doors painted to match the house's siding.
  • Jessica G Jessica G on Feb 12, 2015
    Yes, it will look clean and wonderful.
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Feb 15, 2015
    Black will absorb heat and make your garage hot temperature wise from the sun. That would be my only objection to black doors unless they are well insulated.
  • SJazz SJazz on Apr 14, 2015
    YES! Or a dark grey - SW Black Fox & paint shutters to match. It will make the beautiful stone work POP! Front door can be a Bright color, red or teal? The current WHITE are drawing my eye to your garage, which they are already a focal point b/c they take up the majority of the front of your space. Good luck!
    • Ida M Still Ida M Still on Jul 18, 2015
      @SJazz I agree! Just looked at that color yesterday....or another color in the same scheme is Urbane Bronze (SW) dark garage doors look really classy and not so standard as white or tan. If you look at this picture, it's split in two with dark side, light side. If you darken up the garage doors there will be better balance and it will tie the stone work around the doors to the dark and ground the house. Very pretty! Do it I say! But who am I;o)
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 28, 2015
    Hi, I think black would make them look like big gaping holes...I would leave them white, paint them tan or pull a lighter colour out of your stone, like light-medium grey. beautiful house BTW!
  • Nancy Nancy on Apr 28, 2015
    I always paint my garage doors the same color as the siding of the house. That way they blend in. Your front door should be the focus not the haulking garage doors.
  • Linda Spellman Linda Spellman on Jun 01, 2015
    There is a home in our neighborhood with black painted garage doors and trim on the house to looks like early Halloween all year round...personally I don't like it. We repainted our home and we did do the front door black but left the garage the same as the siding and the trim white with garage lights black. We also have a black bench on the front porch. Your home is gorgeous don't do anything to mess it up! I also read that there is information on the inside of the door that tells you what paint to use and what not to as some will void your actual door warranty, good luck.
  • Gayle Gayle on Jun 02, 2015
    What about painting the garage door FRAME the color of the shutters instead? It would add to the interest of curb appeal. I would NOT paint the garage door black.
  • Terri Purcell DiEnno Terri Purcell DiEnno on Sep 06, 2015
    I would love to know if you painted your garage doors black and how they look. I want to paint ours now.Our home is the first house on a private road and the garage is the first thing you see when you pull in. Boring white besides the green and my potted plants. I think the black would look nice.
  • Trish Davenport Trish Davenport on Oct 07, 2015
    Trim the inserts in black not the whole door. It will make them pop. To test it out take a picture and print it out on paper. Then color the areas with a pencil. That will give you the best idea of what it will look like. Don't do the whole door black.
  • Sheryl Sheryl on Jan 05, 2016
    I painted mine dark brown and regret it everyday because it always looks like the garage door is open. I don't know how many times I've thought someone left the garage door open- or worse yet, think someone has burglarized my home as I drive up after work. Don't do it.
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Jan 06, 2016
    I agree with Gayle, only paint the frame for a sophisticated look. .HOA may not let you paint them a dark color. also black will make it very hot in the summer and fade the paint, Send pics of finished product.
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on Jan 06, 2016
    I did a post a couple of years ago about test driving your garage door design, including color. You can upload a photo of your own house and see how the changes look. I found the post with the link to the site, if you want to give it a try.
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Oct 09, 2016
    Sheryl, Did you decide what to do? If so, please send pictures of finished product.
  • Michael L Michael L on Jul 24, 2018

    I am in the same boat as you and am going to replace our almond non insulalated garage door with a black insulated one. We visited the company’s showroom that we are buying from and the guy said they add a green color to the black to reflect the heat. I’d go with the advice that lady gave you that spoke about the Cloypay website. We are buying from a company named Overhead Door and he gave us the paint code from Sherwin Williams just like that lady mentioned that talked about the clopay co. We have a gray ranch with a black door and black shutters and the sales guy sent us pics what it would look like black or white and the black looks much better since we have white trim already on our house. I hope this helps.

  • Michael L Michael L on Jul 24, 2018

    Hi Amy we are in the same boat as you and we are going to paint our garage door black. We are buying one from a Nationally well known company and the guy at the showroom said they add a green color to the black to reflect the heat. He gave us the paint code and it was from Sherwin Williams like that lady mentioned that spoke about that clopay company. I’d take her advice and mine since I was struggling with this also knowing that black attracts the heat. We are buying and having installed a insulated garage door called a Thermacore door. The sales rep sent us a pic with a white and black garage door and the black looks so much better. We have a gray ranch with white trim and a black front door and shutters and now that the guy mentioned the color on the black garage door being mixed with the green and reflecting the heat we are going to go that route. I hope this helps.

  • Denise Foley Carey Denise Foley Carey on Sep 13, 2018

    Did you paint your garage door black? I think it would look great. Im considering doing the same, and am surprised by the many comments against black doors on this thread.

    Here are some Pinterest and Houzz photos of houses with black garage and they look beautiful, not like black holes!

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  • Miriam Estrada Miriam Estrada on Aug 18, 2019

    Hi, I am in the process of building a home and I am debating on black garage doors. I was wondering what did you decide on with your house? Did the heat affect it at all?. Thanks in advance

  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 07, 2023

    Hi Amy, hope this helps. I love the idea of black, but, it will get very hot facing west. white doors with black accents. Dark garage doors can absorb as much as 85% of the heat from the sun, while white garage doors absorb as little as 20 or 30 percent. If it's important to you to paint your garage door a dark color, consider installing an insulated door that will protect your garage from intense heat. You could paint it white with black accents

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 13, 2023

    To stand out from the herd try something other then paint.

    50 Stylish Garage Door Ideas