How to Paint Drywall Garage Interiors

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Garage drywall is often left unpainted since the garage is usually a strictly functional--rather than a decorative--space, but painting helps preserve drywall and makes for easier cleaning. Garages are easier to paint than other rooms because the walls and ceilings are large, open planes uninterrupted by molding or trim, light fixtures or hardware. The best time to paint a garage is before the garage doors and any garage cabinets are installed. Drywall should be sealed with a drywall primer before the finish coat is applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloths
  • Drywall joint compound
  • 3-inch putty knife
  • 120-grit sanding block
  • Drywall primer
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Paint screen
  • Roller cover, 1/2-inch nap
  • Roller frame
  • Roller extension pole
  • Hand-sized paint container
  • 2- to 3-inch paintbrush
  • Ladder
  • Paint
  • Lay drop cloths over the entire floor of the garage.

  • Fill any holes in the drywall with drywall joint compound using a 3-inch putty knife. Push the wet mud into the hole with the broad side of the putty knife blade and smooth until the mud is flush with the surface of the drywall. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

  • Add another layer of mud to fill the holes if any shrinkage has occurred. Wait 24 hours for it to dry. Sand the patches with a 120-grit sanding block to ensure edges are flush with the surface of the drywall. Dust the wall. Vacuum up all dust.

  • Pour 2 gallons of drywall primer into a 5-gallon bucket and hang a paint roller screen from the inner lip of the bucket.

  • Pour a few inches of primer paint into a paint holder small enough to fit comfortably into your hand.

  • Set up a ladder in one corner of the garage, climb to the top of the ladder and paint the high corners with the paintbrush. Paint a strip of at least 4 inches wide where the walls meet each other and where the walls meet the ceiling. Move the ladder around the garage as necessary and repeat until all corners have been painted. Repeat this process where the walls meet the floor or foundation.

  • Place the roller cover over the spindle of the roller frame and slide it securely into place. Screw an extension pole into the roller frame handle.

  • Roll the paint roller down the roller screen and into the paint several times to load the nap fibers with paint. Extend the extension pole so that you can reach the ceiling with the roller.

  • Roll the ceiling with primer from one side to the other. Overlap each previously rolled area slightly on the next pass so no bare gaps exist between rolled areas. Dip the roller into the paint before each new pass.

  • Roll each wall in the garage with primer paint in a left-to-right pattern. Overlap each previous roll's edges slightly so no bare gaps appear between passes of the roller. Wait 24 hours to allow the primer paint to dry.

  • Apply a coat of paint using the same method of Steps 4 through 10. Wait 24 hours for the first coat to dry, then apply a second coat in the same manner.

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