How to Update an Old Garage Door!

Let’s update an old garage door and create a modern beauty! As an anniversary present, Hubby decided to update our garage entryway. He started with our basic, builder-grade garage door and gave me the modern door I always wanted!

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Garage Door Build

This old garage door update started with a clean, blank surface. Using birch plywood, we tackled the vertical pieces first, cut 6″ wide. These were glued on to help keep them in place and further secured with brad nails. To create the holes for the deadbolt and doorknob, be sure to pick up a door lock installation kit!

Old white garage door with 2 vertical wood panels.
Door measurement = 95″ x 32″
Old, white garage door with 2 vertical wood panels and 3 horizontal wood panels.

Based on our door measurements and some basic math, we chose a 7-panel design. To keep it interesting we used 3 different horizontal panel sizes. Once all the panels were installed, we filled each nail hole with spackling paste and sanded the door to a smooth and uniform finish!

Old garage door with 2 vertical wood panels and 7 horizontal wood panels.
Horizontal panel width = 18″
1st and 7th panel height = 5″
2nd and 6th panel height = 17″
3rd, 4th and 5th panel height = 16″
Spacing between each horizontal panel = 0.5″ Spacing between the vertical panels and horizontal panels = 1″


We gave the door a good wipe down, with a damp cloth, prior to painting to ensure we had a clean surface to work with. We used an angled brush to paint between the spaces and then a mini roller to paint the rest of the door.

Natural wood panels on door.

This gorgeous color is none other than Sherwin Williams Iron Ore!! The door was initially painted in a semi-gloss finish but we quickly realized that was a mistake! Eggshell is much more my style and I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon!

Black garage door with wood panels.


Be sure to sand the edges of each wood panel for a smooth and crisp finish.

When purchasing a door installation kit, remember to choose a size that compensates for the new door thickness.

Get HELP to lift the door! Ours was very misleading and so much heavier than expected! We highly recommend purchasing an air wedge bag pump leveling kit. This inflates to the perfect height to get under the door and allows you to easily pop out and reinstall the door hinges. A total life saver!

This has been one of the simplest and most impactful projects we’ve completed. I can’t get over the difference some paint and plywood made to our old garage door! If you have a plain door anywhere in your home, I suggest you grab some plywood and get to work on this DIY. I know you can do it and we’re happy to answer any additional questions. Just leave us a comment!

Be sure to check out our Instagram Reel on how this door came together! If you love small but mighty projects, then you’ll also love our Stairs Nook Update and our Loft Nook Update! Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung


6 Replies to “How to Update an Old Garage Door!”

  1. These doors turned out so amazing! I love the look of them. I am totally wanting to recreate these in our home here in Isle of Palms, SC. We are doing some kitchen cabinet refinishing next week, but this might have to be our next project. Thanks for all the tips!

  2. Can you tell me what the tile is you have down in the laundry room?

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