When you open your front door, the inside of your home can't be seen by the entire neighborhood. However, everyone sees the inside of your garage every time the garage door opens. There's no reason your garage walls should be plain flat white or unfinished drywall. With cooperative weather and a few painting ideas, you can make your garage the envy of your neighborhood in a weekend.
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Assess the Surface
Preparation is key to a good-looking, durable paint job. First, clean everything out of the garage. Empty shelves, declutter and clean up. If you can take shelving and hangers down, do so; it will make painting much easier. If your garage walls are cinder block or poured concrete, prepping the walls for painting should be an easy job. Simply sweep them down with a stiff-bristled broom to remove dust and cobwebs. Garage drywall is not typically given a final finish coat of joint compound, so the walls may be a little uneven with tape joints showing through. You can smooth them out with another coat of joint compound, or texture the walls for a finished look if you really want your garage to be a showpiece.
The easiest way to repair large dents and holes in drywall is to use drywall mesh patches. These require only a single coat of joint compound and a light sanding to match the surrounding wall. Use PVA drywall primer or general-purpose latex primer to prime unpainted drywall. Cinder block or cement walls can be painted directly without priming, but will usually require two coats of paint.
Choose the Best Paint
The best paint for garage walls and ceilings is water-based, latex paint. Bear in mind that the higher the sheen, the more surface irregularities will show up. Using a matte or eggshell finish paint will give you a compromise between good looks and durability. While you can use either interior or exterior paint in a garage, exterior paint will hold up better against condensation and mildew if you live in a humid area.
Most garage floors are left plain concrete, and painting the floors will result in inevitable touch-up and repainting in the future. To jazz up your garage floor, consider a concrete stain. These act much like wood stains and sink into the surface, providing color without the necessity of upkeep.
Color and Design
A very light or white garage will look larger and cleaner, and you can't go wrong with white. However, a pastel shade of your exterior house color can look very attractive, too. If you choose a color for the inside of your garage, make sure it doesn't clash with the outside colors. You might want to paint the walls and ceilings off-white, but paint the inner wall facing the street a deeper shade. This will give the illusion of depth.