6 top maintenance tips for your wooden garage doors

garage doors

Popular for their durable qualities and stylish appearance, wooden garage doors are well worth the money. But it’s a good idea to carry out regular maintenance, as wood takes a beating when exposed to the summer sun and winter’s icy-cold, damp conditions. In this article, we share 6 top tips to help you maintain your garage door and keep it in the best possible condition.

The open and close operation

Timber garage doors can be operated manually or electrically. If electric, it’s a good idea to have the mechanism checked and serviced at least once a year. If you do the job yourself, check the automatic power unit, the clamps, springs, rollers etc.

Clean any dirt and debris from the moving parts, and make sure that the tracks on which the garage door moves up and down are properly lubricated. Test the sensory system every few months – to do this, place a small piece of timber under the door and automatically close. The sensor should pick up the obstruction and immediately cause the door to go into reverse. It’s a good idea to call in professionals to check the sensor system on an annual basis.

Keeping the wheels turning…

Another important part of keeping both your garage door and the automatic opening and closing mechanism safe is to make sure you lubricate all the moving parts. But don’t overdo it – a small amount of lubrication is fine sand won’t attract dust and dirt. It’s a good idea to lubricate every three or four months.

3. Keeping the doors clean

Regular cleaning of your garage door, inside and out, helps to stop dust and dirt from sticking to the wood. By doing this on a regular basis, you won’t have to repaint or re-stain them quite so often. It’s not a difficult job and only requires a few minutes of your time. Clean using mild soap or washing up liquid mixed with hot water. Then, with a soft cloth, wipe the door down to remove any grime and dirt. Remember to clean both sides of the door.

4. Repaint or re-stain

Most homeowners choose to stain rather than paint the garage door to highlight the grain of the material and emphasise its natural finish. A wood stain helps protect the wood, and allows you to change the colour of the stain whenever you wish. A tough, weather-resistant finish will keep the doors looking stylish and in good order for longer. The two most popular stains are the ‘film finish’ and the ‘penetrating finish’.

Clean the door with a sponge and soapy water, then rinse with a garden hose and let the door dry for at least three hours. Next you need to sand the door down with a medium-fine sandpaper, but first make sure you’ve disconnected the automatic opening and closing mechanism. Before applying the stain, clean the door with a dry lint-free cloth, then, using a brush, paint the stain on evenly.

How often you need to apply a stain depends on the vagaries of your area’s weather. You should probably repaint or re-stain your garage door every 3 or 4 years, but if you live in the north of the UK, where the climate is more severe, you’ll probably need to do this more often.

5. Check for damage caused by movement of the door

Over time, the opening and closing motion of your garage door can cause considerable wear and tear. This affects the door panels and the stain or paint finish, which can be difficult to repair. Check every six months or so whether this movement has resulted in any gaps or cracks appearing on the coating of the door as this can lead to more serious damage.

6. Don’t forget the interior of the door

It’s also important to check the interior side of the garage door. Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means it can swell in hot and humid conditions and tighten and reduce in size in cold and damp conditions.

If the inside of the door is not checked and sufficiently protected, it can cause noticeable damage to the exterior side. It’s a good idea to re-stain using a good quality stain, but this only needs to be done every 5 or 6 years, unless you notice any deterioration sooner.


  • My husband and I have talked about putting in a garage door made of wood. I think they look very beautiful, but we aren’t sure what maintenance is required. I’m glad that you mentioned regular cleaning for the doors. It’s good to know ahead of time that we only need hot water and a mild soap to clean the garage door.

  • I’ve been considering getting a new garage door and I want it to look good throughout its life. Your recommendation to simply keep it clean is very interesting to me because I didn’t realize it could be so helpful. It makes sense, though, that it could help you spot any dents or scratches early on to make them easier to repair. Thanks for the post; these tips will help greatly, in making sure the door looks good.

  • Carl says:

    Thanks for your tips. I will certainly put them to good use. I am guilty in taking for granted the interior design of my garage door.

  • McKenzie says:

    Thank you for sharing these tips. It is much better to maintain then to replace later, that’s for sure!

  • Great article..
    But I need an information that Can I install Batt Insulation in my garage walls and not Sheetrock?

  • This tips and guide I should and must consider.I will apply the guides here in future really appreciate it, now I know how to maintain my garage door particularly the wheels .You did a great blog thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for the tips. I highly appreciate it. I’ve been doing it from the start and it’s pretty much reliable.

  • Hello, it is very difficult to maintain wooden garage doors. Thanks for sharing these useful maintenance tips in your blog, it will be really helpful for everyone to maintain the wooden garage doors. Keep posting.

  • I like the classic look of that wooden door. But it’s just expensive to have and maintain.

  • Bella says:

    I agree that checking your garage door for damage every 6 months is smart. That way you can catch small damage before it becomes serious.

  • BRR LLC says:

    I have to repair mine before this rainy season… I like that you shared this, I wish I would get it done with your tips.

  • It’s good to know that considerable wear can occur to your garage door from general use. My husband and I would love to replace our old overhead door and update it with something better. We’ll need to find a reputable professional to help us with the process.

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