How to Paint the Inside of a Garage


Garages are often left with dirty walls and floors. That may be all right if only a vehicle, handyman or mechanic is using the garage. However, it may not be the greatest thing if the garage is used as an entrance to your home or even a spot for other family activities. Garages aren't simply used as storage and carports. Some people set up game rooms or other family activities in this part of the home. A nice paint job can perk up the space, and drywalled garages can be easily painted. Cement and cinder-block garages will have more porous walls. As long as you purchase paint and primer meant for each particular surface, the process is similar to that of painting any interior room.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloths
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Sanding block
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Dish detergent
  • Scrub brush
  • Primer (specifically for cement, drywall, cinder block, or your particular wall, ceiling or floor surface)
  • Paint (specifically for cement, drywall, cinder block, or your particular wall, ceiling or floor surface)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Latex paint
  • Open your garage door at least partially to let paint fumes and dust escape.

  • Cover the floor of your garage with drop cloths. Sweep the floor if you plan on painting the floor surface.

  • Remove the faceplates of switches and outlets, if any. Cover the switches and outlets with painter's tape. Also cover any door or window trim that borders the walls with painter's tape.

  • Remove dust and debris from the walls, ceiling and floor before painting. Sand them with fine grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block.

  • Scrub concrete or any other type of textured walls, ceiling or floor with dish detergent. Allow the walls, ceiling or floor to dry completely.

  • Apply an even coat of interior primer paint to the walls, ceiling or floor. Use a roller to cover the large areas. Make a "W" or "V" motion when applying the paint to the walls. Use a paintbrush to cover tighter areas. Allow the primer to dry. Dry primer will not have a tacky feeling when touched. This can take up to a day. Drying time depends on humidity, temperature and brand of primer. Consult the packaging for specific drying times for best results.

  • Apply an even coat of interior latex paint to the walls, ceiling or floor of the garage. As you did with the primer, use a roller to cover the large areas and a paintbrush to get into the tight spots. Allow the paint to dry until it is not tacky when touched.

  • Add as many paint coats as needed to cover the walls, ceiling or floor with your chosen color. Allow the paint to dry fully before applying another coat. Typically, walls require two coats. This depends on the contrast between the primer and the color. For example, a white primer with a dark red paint may show white spots through just one coat of paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove all of your belongings, especially your car, from the garage. This is especially important if you will be painting the ceiling. Paint can easily drip and permanently damage items. You could also move everything to the center of the garage and cover it with drop cloths. Still, your safest bet would be to empty the garage.

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  • Photo Credit Garage image by Angelika Bentin from
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