I want to paint my garage door, but the old brown rubber holding in the glass will clash with the color I'm thinking of. Is it possible to remove the rubber (and glass) and then replace it with a new color after painting?

Garage door is a basic Raynor metal panel door of presumably 80s-90s vintage.

  • Would rather not just paint over trim unless it really doesn't matter. Knowing how to replace the glass anyway would still be useful in case I accidentally break it in the future.
  • New garage door would be nice, but costs 10x as much as a gallon of nice enamel paint and will take three months to get here.
  • Trim appears to be some sort of old style that doesn't get used these days. Looks like newer doors tend use a sort of modular window unit that's held in with plastic trim, whereas this is just a pane of glass held in with rubber channel of some kind.

Picture below is a close up of one of the corners of the window pane from the interior. (Spiders will be removed before painting)

enter image description here

  • That pane appears to be already cracked in this picture.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 15:08
  • 1
    That's the steel cable from the garage door pulleys that I couldn't be bothered to trim at the time, thankfully.
    – bengel5678
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 15:31
  • Good thing it isn't a Microsoft garage door - you would have to replace your Windows every 5 years :-) Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 15:46
  • It seems possible to paint rubber products from a fast search. It might be hard to find replacement now.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


That appears to be a "spline-channel" type of window fitment, where the room to insert the window-pane is created by having no spline in the channel, and then the window is held in place by inserting the spline into the channel.

Laeled detail of picture of window corner

So, to remove, you would pull the spline out of the channel (look for a cut end as the easy place to start pulling.) Might want to get a suction-cup on the glass first to reduce the odds of breakage.

I'm not finding that exact window trim type on a quick search, but it's probably out there somewhere from a specialist garage door parts supplier.

  • I've never worked with channel or spline. I assume all three of the pieces shown are rubber and have some specific profile I'll have to match or get close enough. Is there a decent tutorial on how to use the stuff? Removal is one thing, installation is another entirely...
    – bengel5678
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 16:00
  • Typically the channel is one piece, (including a part invisible behind the spline) and the spline is a separate piece which forces it to stay put by expanding it and holding it there.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 16:03
  • Sounds like it's a very similar system to window screens, where you need a little pusher wheel tool to get the spline into the gap to hold the screen. The hardest part probably is finding a suitable set of replacement profiles, which I can't figure out without pulling the glass out. Hmm.
    – bengel5678
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 16:07
  • A local window store should be able to sell you supplies if you bring them this picture. My closest one has a large variety of small pieces for this sort of window install and very reasonable prices.
    – KMJ
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 16:30
  • As a side note, I went out and inspected the rubber trim. I can confirm that all three visible portions are rubber, but interestingly there isn't a cut end on the spline. They must have used a continuous loop of a certain length at the factory when these doors were being made.
    – bengel5678
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 1:35

My thoughts are that attempting to remove the glass may damage the glass and/or rubber molding. Why risk it?

It is not a big deal to mask the window with masking tape and then paint the molding. There are paints that will stick to rubber.

  • Masking and painting would be easy, but then I would have to find special rubber-safe outdoor paint. It can't hurt to learn how to do this the "right" way. There's a decent chance I break the glass trying to get the panels down off the track when it comes time to paint, at which point I would have to learn how to do this anyway.
    – bengel5678
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 1:43
  • Old glass is horribly brittle compared to new glass, which is quite "soft" by comparison. OP is likely to break at least one pane doing this, but on the other hand this is an excellent chance to upgrade , perhaps to to double-glazed glass "sandwich" panes which are pre-filled with dry nitrogen/argon, and will fit the same hole. Or just lighter panes which make the door open easier
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 10:29

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