Monday, June 3, 2013

Garage Door Re-Do!

Well, we are officially headed straight into summer, although, over in our neck of the woods, the weather isn't exactly screaming sunshine and heat.  We've had some super dreary and unseasonably cold days, and along with it, a ton of rain.  And rain is exactly the culprit that sparked my idea to start the following outdoor project.  Our garage is mammoth.  Literally.  It takes up most of our backyard.  It stores a ton of our junk, along with many pieces of furniture awaiting their next transformation.  I have dreams to one day organize it and turn it into the perfect Man Cave/Project Room.  Until then, it sits, looming in my backyard; a constant reminder of a long-running "To Do List".  The walk-in door, which is positioned to the right of the actual garage door, has been run-down looking since we moved in.  After many years of standing up to rain and the elements of each harsh season, it was covered in rust and such an ugly eyesore.  Because I could not immediately fix the mess inside of my garage, I decided to fix this ugly walk in door to my best ability; making the exterior of my secret garage mess, at the least, pretty to look at.  Here are some before pics:


Pay no attention to the mess in the foreground...
The first task was smoothing over that rust and decay.  I have an electric, hand held sander, which I love. I had never worked with rust like this before, so I wanted to make sure I started things off right.  I headed up to my local hardware and discussed, in depth, what type of sanding grit to use on this type of door.  The only information I had to come ready to the conversation with were what type of door I was working with (metal) and what type of sander I had at home, and the technician knew exactly what I would need.  He recommended a super rough grit to begin and a finer grit to smooth the surface after the rust had been removed.  He also stressed priming the surface before painting, to prevent future rust.  Easy enough.  Once I had my two grits, I headed over to the spray paint aisle and picked out my primer and door color.  I wanted bright and pretty and have been looking at blue cushions for my patio furniture, so I decided on a gorgeous blue by Rustoleum. The primer was a flat white and offered fantastic protection against the elements.

I did not remove the door from the hinges for this project. I'd like to say that my reasoning here is because I trusted my instincts and figured I would be able to accurately complete the project without bothering to take the door down.  This is not really true.  The door is way too heavy for me to get down without seriously hurting myself and I have no patience to wait for Boyfriend to get home to assist me with projects.  SO instead, I purchased some tarp from the hardware store and strategically placed it under and around my door, using painters' tape, and hoped for the best.  In terms of other preparations for this project, I removed the door handle using a screwdriver. That's pretty much it.  I was ready to sand.  Because of the heavy rust, I made sure to wear a face mask while sanding, as well as protective eye goggles.  Things can go flying and we don't want our faces unprotected, am I right?  I used the rougher grit first, which was an 80 grit.  What we're looking for here, is to remove any loose, rusty material so that we have an even surface to work with.  Once my surface seemed even all over, I then used the finer grit, 120 grit, to achieve a smooth and even finish.  This is what the door looked like after I was finished sanding. 

Here is the door handle opening.  I simply stuffed the opening with painter's tape to prevent any spray paint from getting inside.

Once the door was sanded down, I went over the area with a soft rag, removing any particles on the surface.  Then I was ready to prime.  I began on the areas that required the most primer, which were the sanded down rusty spots.  I used the primer as a filler, focusing on cracks and crevices and using the primer to smooth over the areas that needed the most repair.  Once those areas were covered, I sprayed over the rest of the door, using long strokes and slow movements.  A face mask during this process, is a MUST.  Especially because I was inside of the garage while painting.  The main garage door was open as well, to get as much ventilation as possible.  Here is the door after priming:

Notice the difference just one coat of primer can make! 
Once the primer was completely dry, I was ready to paint.  I purchased 4 cans of my chosen color, just to be safe because I did not want to run out of paint mid-project.  I ended up using just 2 of the cans.  I wanted a professional look for the door, so I followed the pattern, spraying vertically around the panels and following the general shape of the panels.  Again, swift and steady strokes are required as well as making sure you are the perfect distance away from the subject while spraying.  This can be achieved by allowing yourself time to stop in between coats and look for obvious spray marks.  Step away from the object as it dries, look at it from all angles.  If you can see spray marks, you know to adjust the space between yourself and the object as you paint.  This takes a small amount of practice and sometimes it helps to spray a piece of cardboard first, in order to hone your technique.  I let the door completely dry between coats as well.  This makes for a smooth finish without drip marks.

The door handles themselves were pretty beat up and tired looking, so I sanded those lightly and used a dark brown espresso spray paint I had left over from another patio project that would tie in nicely.  You can see below I used small pieces of painter's tape in the keyholes to prevent paint clogs.  Super simple and effective!

Once everything was completely dry, I put the door knobs back on the door using a screwdriver.  I loved the way the door looked but couldn't help but want for more color to brighten the overall facade of the garage.  My local garden store was having a sale on hanging flower pots, so I picked up some gorgeous, purple petunias and made sure to grab two brackets to hang them on.  I used a power drill to hang the brackets at each end of the garage and made sure to hang them at a height that would be easy for me to reach while watering on a daily basis.  I had a leftover doormat from the dollar store which fit nicely in front of the door.  I was satisfied with the completed look.

Can I just say, how Happy I am with the outcome of this project?  It was moderately easy and did not require a ton of money.  Plus, it really got me motivated to complete the rest of my backyard makeover, including repainted wicker patio furniture and some repainted flower pots.  Those projects, of course, will be featured right here on Happy Now in the near future!  For now, enjoy a few more "After" pictures below, and hopefully, you will feel inspired to get out there and enjoy the pretty summer weather.  No matter how wet or dry, hot or cold that may be...

Happy Sunshine Everyone!

1 comment:

Rose Mandarino said...

what a difference-good work! you inspire me.