Years ago, when we replaced our garage doors, we were at the end of a very long home remodeling project. The doors that I wanted, with windows and fancy hardware, were not in the budget.

Our garage is set back in our yard, not attached to the house but a direct visual for me, day in and day out, from my laundry/sewing/craft room. For many years it drove me crazy because the doors were so plain and boring!

A little more than four years ago I decided to look into upgrading the doors. My son’s high school graduation was going to be the following June and I wanted the appearance of the garage to be better for an outdoor graduation party.

I searched online and at local garage door companies for options to either replace the doors or to have windows installed. I was so shocked at how much it would cost for new doors. Ours were in perfect condition so I definitely couldn’t justify that expense! The cost to just have window panels put in was almost as much as new doors.

Being a DIY-er at heart, I began to search for solutions on the internet and found that some people actually painted faux windows on their garage doors! Since I really wasn’t looking for windows for the purpose of actually seeing IN TO the garage, but for aesthetics only, I had found my answer!

I set out to my local Ace Hardware for all of my supplies! I used a good primer that was tinted gray and then a black paint in high-gloss enamel. I wanted there to be a bit of sheen to the color like a window would have.

My supplies:

  • stepladder
  • spray cleaner
  • paper towels
  • level
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • Frogtape
  • small paint rollers
  • paint tray
  • gray tinted exterior primer
  • high gloss exterior black paint

What I did:

I washed the areas to be painted with a spray cleaner and paper towels and let dry. Then I taped off the perimeter of the window shape with Frogtape. This was pretty simple to do because the doors already had four rectangular shaped areas molded into them!

In order to tape off the window panes I used a measuring tape and a pencil to mark the center of the rectangle on top and bottom and on the right and left-hand sides. I then double checked these markings by using a level. I used the thinnest Frogtape I could find to then tape the lines for the window panes.

After everything was taped off I was ready to prime. It was easy to just roll the primer on with a small paint roller! I let the primer dry for a couple of hours.

Next up was the paint! I used a clean roller and just rolled it right on over the primer. I honestly can’t remember if I did more than one coat or not? If it seems like you need more than one then be sure to allow drying time! The tinted primer helps with the coverage so one may be sufficient!

I removed the tape shortly thereafter and stood back and admired my finished product. I couldn’t believe it looked like real windows!

I found inexpensive decorative hardware at my local Home Depot. At the time I think it cost around $25 per door. There were easy to follow instructions and it didn’t take me long to install!

All in all I think this entire project took me about six hours, mostly because of drying time. I know I started after the kids went to school and was done by the time they got home.

Since the time I refinished these doors I have seen kits that have window decals and hardware that are magnetic. What a genius idea, IF your garage doors are metal! They would be great for a rental property, also!

In recent years we have repaved our driveway, added exterior lighting, re-shingled the garage roof and added a cupola, and purchased this metal awning for the side door. It looks a lot different than it did four years ago!

I would highly recommend taking on this project if you, too, are bored with your garage doors! If you’re lucky and are not a DIY-er, you could try the new adhesive versions!

Let me know what you think about my project, and I’d love to hear if you decide to take one on ourself!


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