Here’s an earth-friendly and budget-lite solution for having trendy coach house garage doors for less than $50.


After your garage door makeover, sit back and enjoy as friends and neighbors stop by and congratulate you on your “new” doors. The best part is the reactions that come when you say, “Oh, they’re not new!”


I cheated.  This is a project I did last spring (not this week).  My quest to paint something every day for a week was interrupted by life, visitors, children, a beautiful early evening walk, and running out of daylight.


But I cheated even more when I did this project, and I’ll tell you how.  It took less than an afternoon. We used supplies we already had on hand and two coach garage door hardware kits that cost about $20 each.


Here’s what my garage doors looked like before…I can’t believe I don’t have a true “before” picture and this is the only garage door picture I guess I’ve ever taken.  (It was awhile ago as you can see by the different plants.)


Coach House Garage Door Makeover
The windows were glazed over with…wait for it…leftover spray flocking (Fake Snow) from Christmas.


Here’s how my carriage doors look now…


Carriage House Doors Do it Yourself
18 Months Later and still going strong!


But they’re the SAME doors!

What You’ll Need to Create Amazing Faux Carriage Doors:

1)  Extra paint the same color as your garage door (ours was white)


2) A pint of glossy black paint


4) A smidgen of non-glossy black paint (optional)


5) Good Painter’s Tape


5) Ruler


6) Level


7) Pencil


9) Empty CD case (also optional if you’re a better taper than me)


8) Garage Door Hardware


You could always pay $100 for simulated garage door windows (which also need to be painted) or approximately $35 for window stickers but with paint, this project is probably within your reach, today.


Here’s how I did mine:


White Garage Door
I started by painting the windows the same color as the door. I used a roller brush to give it several thick coats and brushed the edges. (In our case, there was no need to give the paint time to “cure” because we were painting the faux windows on the panels above but if were painting the new windows over the old ones this would be necessary.)


Coach House Doors
I taped off the outer edges with wide painter’s tape (I don’t recommend this tape because it doesn’t stick well, it’s just what I had on hand). The purpose of this is to create a good edge and protect the surrounding white paint.


Garage door transformation
I used blue painter’s tape to create a grid within each frame, and an empty CD case to help keep my grid lines even. This is probably easier with a level and a ruler but I wasn’t sure how much space I needed and this worked, so I went with it.


Carriage Garage Doors Cheap
I also used my painter’s tape to create a space to paint a black line down the center of each door.


My line wasn’t wide enough after a pulled off the tape (I was nervous about creating too thick of a line the first time) so I came back again with more tape (this time torn to make it go further) and broadened the line. From a distance, this gives the illusion of a crack between two doors (that is, in reality, just one solid door).


Quick Easy Garage Doors
I worked until the entire grid was in place. There are probably simpler ways to do this…


Carriage House Door Transformation
And then I used glossy black paint (to create the look of window glass) to fill in the grid. This step went quickly as I brushed right over the painter’s tape and removed the tape when the paint was dry to the touch but still had some pliability to it. I also went back over this with a second coat.


Painted Carriage Doors
The effect was immediate when I removed the tape (and there were place that needed touch up).


Painted Carriage Doors
The transformation with paint accents alone (with the old hardware removed and prior to my husband installing the new hardware).


Garage Doors
The illusion is obvious from the inside (as is the age and wear and tear on these doors that are original to when the house was built nearly three decades ago).


Fake Carriage Doors
The end result (still needing a little touch up of the center line from where I removed additional hardware). It is difficult to tell that the second row of panels from the top is glass, unless you tap on it.


This is an easy Saturday afternoon project that provides a lot of bang for the buck. Just a couple of weeks ago we met a neighbor while out walking who said they always make a point of looking at our garage doors when they drive by. It was so fun to see the utter disbelief when we explained that the doors were Trompe-l’œil.


Since completing this project, I’ve gone back and puttied, sanded  and painted the holes were the previous hardware was. We didn’t do this initially because we were unsure of whether any of this was a good idea and whether we would want to resort to the original look/original hardware at some point. We love our doors and haven’t looked back since.


Do you have garage doors to “update”? Comment if you try this! Would love to hear and see how it goes!




This is project 4 of 5 of “A Fall Weather Project a Day (and a blog post) for a Week.” Read about Project 1 here and Project 2 here and Projects 3a and 3b here and here.