How to Finish an Unfinished Garage


Finishing a garage is quite a complex project requiring you to obtain knowledge of installing insulation, electrical and drywall among other skills. You might wish to do the entire project yourself or subcontract out part of the work, such as the electrical, and do some of the easier jobs such as installing insulation or painting. But finishing a garage will greatly increase the value of your home and provide a wonderful space for an additional bedroom, office or even just a more comfortable work room. The following is a basic overview of how to finish your unfinished garage.

Things You'll Need

  • Garbage container
  • Work boots
  • Work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Respirator
  • Crowbar
  • Insulation, unfaced batts
  • Drywall sheets
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw horse
  • Utility knife
  • Rasp
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Drywall mud
  • Spackle knife
  • Paint
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Paint brush
  • Garage floor paint

Finishing your garage

  • Rent a container from a company that specializes in garbage removal if you know you will be removing a lot of debris.

  • Put on work boots, work gloves, goggles and respirator. Use your crowbar to carefully remove and demolish any existing structures (cabinets, shelves, etc.) within your garage that you do not want to keep.

  • Decide if you need electrical work done, and preferably hire someone to do it for you. Do this before you do anything else to the walls.

  • Add unfaced batt insulation to all walls and ceiling by stuffing it into the cavities. If it is too long, use a utility knife to cut it.

  • Hang drywall sheets on the walls and ceiling. Get someone to help you as drywall sheets are pretty heavy. With a measuring tape, measure your walls and ceiling, and use a sawhorse and utility knife to cut the drywall to the correct size. Flip it over, and fold it along the cut to break the pieces apart.

  • Use a rasp to smooth off the edges of the drywall. Use a drill to secure your drywall to the wall studs with screws.

  • Mix up the drywall mud according to directions on the package, and use a spackle knife to cover up the seams where the pieces of drywall sheet join. Also cover the screws.

  • Spread out a drop cloth, and tape it to the floor with painter's tape. Pour paint into your paint pan, and use a paint brush to paint all the edges of the room. Use the roller on the walls and ceiling to apply several coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  • Using painter's tape, tape off the bottom of the walls around the perimeter of the room right to the edge of the floor. Read the instructions on the garage floor paint can with regard to prepping the floor before painting. Paint the floor with garage floor paint. Allow it to completely dry, then reapply.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heat the finished garage with well placed space heaters, and cool it in the summer with a fan or two. You can add floorboards after hanging the drywall and after painting the floor to cover up any mistakes you made in cutting the drywall and to give the room a more finished look.
  • Hire an electrician if you need to have any electrical work done. Depending on what you plan to use the finished garage for, you might wish to add an exterior door, windows, a closet or other amenities.

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