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I'm replacing a garage door, but need to match the color of the new door to the other, older garage doors on the property. The new door's style (but not color, the new door's color is white) is similar to this. There are also some other considerations with this project:

  • The other garage doors on the property are 14 years old and have never been repainted.
  • The paint used was a custom color from a store that went out of business long ago.
  • The door is metal (I don't know what kind).
  • The door has a wood like texture to it (see picture below).

Door texture

What are the steps I need to take to accurately match and paint the color of the new door to that of the old door? What kind of paint is recommended? Are there any special considerations I need to pay attention to?

Any advice is appreciated.

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  • Special consideration: Your paint job is only as good as your prep job. Make sure that whatever bits you're going to paint are nice and clean! Anything on the surface that can fall off will fall off with bits of nice, new paint still securely adhered to them.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 8 at 12:17
  • Brush, roller or spray? If that's powder coated, forget it !
    – Tim
    Jun 8 at 15:53

1 Answer 1

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It doesn't matter. 14 years of weather exposure has faded the color on the door to nearly white! Oh wait.

First, clean all the doors and see what you really have for a color. White is actually pretty common, and they tend to go for "true white" because it matches.

Second, if the doors aren't on the same face of the building, don't sweat it too much. Ambient light is not "true" like that; if you took a photo of doors some distance apart or at different angles, and loaded the picture into Photoshop and checked the RGB/HSV values of those colors in the picture, you'd find they're wildly off. One door might get reflections from a gray gravel, the other gets reflected light from green grass, so even though they are the exact same color, the reflected color (what you see) is different. Paint color in real life is this stuff all day.

In fact when the Smithsonian restored a very historic railroad car from the 19th century, they hired the best analysts on earth to get exactly the right pigmenting of color. And then, they deliberately adjusted this to the wrong color to compensate for the fluorescent lighting in the display area, since it is not the same as daylight. This is colorism. It's "down the rabbit hole". Don't lose any sleep over it lol.

If you really really want to get the match right, I suggest taking a new door panel down to the local paint shop and have them scan it on their XRite scanner. That will produce a formula for, like I say, any paint type you want from cheap latex to alkyd enamel to LPU. You can then paint the old doors to match.

I would use a good alkyd enamel with a clean metal primer after using a Scotchbrite pad to scuff-sand the original surface, and thoroughly clean it. Nobody wants to do paint prep, but it's everything.

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    "paint the old doors to match" +100 right there!
    – FreeMan
    Jun 8 at 11:06
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    Especially if they are side by side or close enough to see together. Matching new paint to old paint is a fool's errand for most people.
    – crip659
    Jun 8 at 12:58
  • @crip659 Most people aren't that lucky!
    – gnicko
    Jun 8 at 23:22

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