The best garages are highly functional utilitarian spaces. Packed with bicycles, tools, yard games, trash receptacles, a bonus refrigerator or freezer, and lawn equipment in addition to the family car—garages (even the most sparkling well-organized examples) aren't particularly glamorous areas of the home, but a fresh coat of exterior paint applied to your garage doors can add instant curb appeal and character.
"When it comes to the garage, you have all different kinds of materials—wood, steel, and vinyl," says South Carolina designer Taylor Hill. "The trick is choosing the right paint products for your garage." This is especially true when it comes to vinyl doors and paint colors with black undertones, which can cause your doors to warp in the heat unless you use a specially formulated vinyl-safe paint. "The right paint for the material can be pricier," Hill admits, "but it's worth it in the long run."
In addition to choosing the right paint, Nashville-based designer Chelsea Robinson offers clients this advice: "Spend a little more money on the front end of the project. Invest in good labor, materials, and supplies." If you're tackling the work yourself, don't rush the prep steps; be sure to carefully scrape off any crusty or peeling paint before getting started, especially on an older home.
"This applies to a lot of scenarios, but you want to make sure that any concepts you use simultaneously, sit at the same table," Hill says. "In other words, they don't have to match completely, but they do need to talk to one another." If you have shutters on the exterior of your home, Hill advises painting your garage doors to match or using a tonal hue that's in the same color spectrum—perhaps one that's a couple of shades darker or lighter than your shutters. If you already have beautiful natural wood shutters and your budget allows, consider natural wood garage doors for a distinctive classic look. "Natural wood doors look especially great against stone houses," Robinson says.
If you want to give your garage doors a face lift, but you don't want to call particular attention to them, Hill recommends painting the doors to match your exterior siding or brick, allowing them to blend in with the rest of the house.