A Homeowner’s Guide to Staining Your Garage Door Opener

Are you looking to elevate the appearance of your garage door? Then you might have considered staining as an option. Staining your garage door opener can be a great and simple way to give your garage a new look and increase your curb appeal.

But before getting started, it’s important to know whether staining will work for your garage. Today we’re going to provide a homeowner’s guide to garage door staining.

Can You Stain Your Garage Door Opener?

Yes, it’s possible to stain your garage door opener. Many homeowners stain their garage doors as a DIY project.

Staining your garage door enables you to customize your garage to meet your aesthetics. It also adds a layer of protection to your garage door, minimizing the risk of wear and tear.

Additionally, staining your garage door is low maintenance. Once you successfully apply the stain, you’ll only need to re-stain every few years.

While staining can be a great way to elevate the appearance of your garage door, it doesn’t work for every garage door material. In the next section, we’re going talk about what types of garage doors will and won’t work for staining.

What Types of Fresno Garages Can You Stain?

There are typically only two types of garage doors you can stain: wood and metal. Here is a quick overview of these two types of garage doors:


A wood garage door is typically made from sheets of hardwood like cedar or cypress from the manufacturer. Many homeowners like wood garage doors because they are resistant to rot and moisture and have a lower risk of warping.

Metal Garage Door

A metal garage door, also known as steel, is another common garage door type. The most quality steel door is made from two layers of galvanized steel. Metal garage doors are painted to match your home and can be stained with a specific type of stain for homeowners that want to change the appearance of their garage door.

If you have an aluminum or composite material garage door, staining won’t be the best solution. For homeowners with a metal garage door, don’t forget that only certain stains will work. Later we will discuss what steps you can take to stain your metal garage door and see optimal results.

Difference Between Paint and Staining

Painting is another common option when homeowners choose to change the appearance of their garage door.

When you paint a garage door, the paint will sit on top of the surface. Also, painting your garage door will require you to prime it first or choose a paint that has a primer mixed with it.

Stain produces similar results to painting but has a different process. Stains seep into the surface rather than sit on top of it. Unlike, paint, a stain is typically only applied in one coat.

How to Stain Your Garage Door

With the right type of garage door, homeowners can stain their doors with ease. Here is a look at the steps you can take to apply stain to your door:

How to Stain a Wood Door

If you would like to stain your wood garage door, there are a few steps involved in the process.

The first thing you’ll need to do is thoroughly clean your garage door to remove dust, debris, mildew, and other materials that can prevent a successful staining job. Using a quality wood cleaning product should be sufficient to clean your garage door. You can also pressure wash your garage door for a thorough cleaning.

If your wood garage door is new, you’ll want to clean and then sand the door to get rid of ‘mill gaze’, which are crushed pores left behind by milling.

After cleaning and sanding are complete, allow time for your garage door to dry. A rule of thumb is to allow your garage door to dry for at least 24 hours. Applying stain any sooner, whether you have an oil or water-based stain, will compromise the project.

Once your garage door has completed its drying time, it’s time to apply the stain. It’s best to choose a high-quality stain as it will allow your stain to last longer. You can apply it using a brush, roller, or sprayer. One coat of stain should suffice.

How to Stain a Metal Door

To stain a metal garage door, the first thing you need to do is prepare the surface by thoroughly cleaning it. You want to use warm, soapy water for cleaning and gently scrub the door using a stiff brush.

Note that you may have to wash your garage door several times to get it cleaned. To remove any grease on the garage door, use a vinegar solution and rinse with a hose. Allow your garage door to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Once your garage door is dry, you’ll be ready to apply a stain. However, metal garage doors only work well with certain types of stains. Gel stains are the recommended product for homeowners that want to stain metal garage doors. Gel has a thicker consistency and won’t drip easily as you’re applying it to the metal.

It’s also best to choose a stain with a matte finish as opposed to one with a high gloss finish. Once you’ve made your stain selection, apply it using a quality brush. Be sure not to shake the stain or else it will bubble as you apply it and affect the quality of the finish. Instead, you should gently stir (avoid whipping) using a stir stick.

It’s important to note that gel stains dry quickly, so it’s best to perform this project on a cool or shady day. After the first coat, let it dry for 24 to 48 hours, and then apply a second coat if needed. Those who started with a darker garage may only need one coat. If your garage was originally lighter, two coats may be needed.

If desired, apply a clear coat to complete your garage door. It’s best to use a water-based polyurethane clear coat or use an oil-based coat.

If you’re interested in staining your garage door opener or even need garage door repair, it’s best to hire a professional for the best results. An expert will use the best quality staining products, know what type of products work best for your garage door, and use the best techniques for a professional finish.