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It’s a garage. But how can you paint such a monster? What type of paint should be used? What color?
Well, don’t despair! I answer these questions and many others so you can paint your garage like a pro.
How to paint your garage – Case study
Garages come in all shapes and sizes. I drew ones that seemed big enough for Air Force One, and others a sports car that was barely pressable. For our discussion, here’s an example:
- A garage for two cars.
- The walls and ceiling are made of plasterboard and painted white; the surface is smooth.
- The windows are on both sides and are sculpted.
- There is cinder block (unpainted) under the walls.
- The skirting board forms the connection between the block of ash wood and the plasterboard.
- A small staircase (painted grey) leads to the front door.
- The window coverings and skirting boards are painted in white satin.
In our case, we’re drawing lots:
We don’t paint:
- Garage floor
Preparation for painting
The first thing you need to do is get everything out of the garage to prep and paint it. Since this is a significant problem, it is best addressed in the spring or early fall, when it is warm, not too warm, and there is plenty of daylight.
Do not use a hose or pressure washer to spray the walls. Water can damage drywall and it takes too long to dry. But if you want to mop up, now is the time to do it.
To remove dust, debris and cobwebs, use the following methods:
- Low level vacuum cleaner
- The Swiffer sits on a long stick to catch the tissue.
- Polar sander with 220 grain. Sand all walls to remove dust, loose paint and debris.
- The Windex Window Cleaner
- If the surface is dirty, try a cleaner like Krud Kutter or Simple Green.
High quality paint will cover most stains, but some will need to be primed. Here are a few of them:
- Oil (this can be anything from engine oil to cooking oil).
- Clear marker markings
- Water stains
Buy a can of oil-based primer, like Kilz or Zinsser, and make sure it dries within 30 minutes to an hour. You don’t want to wait for the primer to dry when you’re ready to paint.
When spraying, move back and forth with short pulses to evenly cover the stain and remove droplets.
When retouching nail holes, I use my painting tool and press very lightly on the hole with a ballpoint pen.
Use a putty knife to apply an even layer of drywall. I prefer DryDex from DAP, which comes in pink but dries in white.
I love this product because I can remotely control how it dries while I work elsewhere. I also use a box fan to speed up the drying time.
Additionally, some nail holes may require two coats of putty. Once dry, use an orbital or column sander to sand and smooth.
Large bore holes
I use DAP wall plasters to cover 3 to 8 inch holes in drywall. Grinding such large holes requires the use of drywall knives and plaster knives to remove several thin layers on the workpiece.
Allow 1-2 days for completion, as the grout takes longer to dry. Anything beyond that will need to be cut out by a professional or handyman and repaired with new drywall.
Window for drywall screw
Take a Phillips screwdriver and turn the screw slightly to turn it deeper. Then use the paint tool to compress the edges. Finally, finish with 2 or 3 coats of putty.
In our example, we assume there are small holes in the window coverings and baseboards that need to be sealed.
The sealant I chose is Dynaflex from DAP. It’s latex, which relieves pain, dries quickly and lasts a long time. It is more expensive than other types, but its silicon properties allow it to expand and contract over the seasons without breaking. Avoid silicone paste. It is not pleasant to work with (just dilute it) and it is not painful.
Yes, preparation takes a lot of time, but it’s essential to make your paint stand out and look brand new. By the way, let’s do some drops and paint on the walls!
Painting on snails
In our case, the cinder block is dry, mold-free and in good condition. Before painting with your color, touch up with a product like Block Filler 2X.
Buy a roll of 9 inch with a nap of at least 1 inch and be prepared to spend some time working the primer into the corners of the block.
Best paint for garage walls
As for the color to use, you will probably fall into one of the following categories:
- Repeat the process with the same colour
- New colour
- Turn the garage into an exhibition.
I want to give you some advice now: Avoid using paint from the hardware store. Instead, choose the excellent paints from Benjamin Moore (My Way to Success), Sherwin Williams or PPG.
I know the big-box stores have colors with these labels, but they are cheaper in terms of quality.
Here are my color and paint tips for our three categories.
Repeat with the same colour
This is the simplest and cheapest method. You don’t need that much paint, you should be able to get by with (1) coat, which means you’re done faster.
But make sure you get the same shine. If you plan to paint your current flat surface with something washable, you will need to provide (2) coats. It’s the only way to make it shine.
If you don’t know the name of the color and you don’t have the color, find a swatch or use a color range (ask your local paint store) to find a matching color. There doesn’t have to be a 100% match, just an order of magnitude.
Another method is to take something with paint that matches the paint store. As a last resort, you can remove the cover from the switch or outlet and cut away the excess drywall and take it to the painting company. Yes, you’ll roll your eyes when you show your ribbon, but they can be matched.
Most garages have a flat surface, so I recommend using the Benjamin Moore Super Hide. It is not expensive, covers better than other paints in this price range and is easy to use.
Sherwin Williams also offers similar colors, but you’ll have to check with your local dealer to see what’s available.
The design of the tub depends on what is in it at the time. In our example, this is a white satin paint that we use as a latex paint.
If you know the color or if you have leftover paint, everything is ready. If this is not the case, you will need to modify the existing interface with the same tips as above.
Overpaint with the new colour
I recommend choosing a neutral color, such as light gray, beige or light beige. Always take a sample and place it on a wall or billboard to make sure you like the color.
Nothing is worse than spending money on paint gallons only to find out later that you don’t like the color.
Then comes the choice of gloss. Here is an overview of the various types of glossy wall paint with their advantages and disadvantages.
Flat glossy varnish
- Great for touching
- Conceals imperfections and defects in plasterboard
- It cannot be cleaned and has fingerprints and stains. Don’t be fooled by painting companies that offer a clean house. I have only heard complaints from homeowners who used this paint.
- The best choice to hide imperfections and flaws
- Lightning can be visible; glitter can flash.
- A very popular design
- Cleaner than matt
- Imperfections in the walls may be visible.
- Flashes become visible. Glitter flashes.
- Cleaner than eggshells
- Imperfections in the walls will be visible
- Little used on interior walls
The choice of covering colour follows the same principles as in the previous example.
Conversion to a demonstration model
It’s for the owner who wants to turn the garage into something used by a NASCAR or NASA team.
When I paint garages like this, light gray seems to be the color of choice. It’s not too dark, adds a bit of color to a normally gray room and lets your wall decor be the center of attention.
Although we are not painting the garage floor in our example, you should consider doing it to get this look.
The process is too long to cover in this post, but it will impress your friends and neighbors if done right.
Finally, I’d like to touch on a few free FAQ topics.
Do the walls need to be installed?
If your garage is not painted, then yes, you should ground it with something by Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.
Otherwise, no, you don’t have to blossom. If the current color is dark, plan on applying a third coat of a new color instead of buying a primer. This saves you time and money.
Should I use oil paint for my walls?
Although this would have been the case in the 1950s and 1970s, paint manufacturers have developed fantastic latex products that, in my opinion, are superior to oil-based paints.
My favorite for high traffic areas and even bathrooms is Scuff-X. Watch the video showing how abrasion resistant it is.
It’s also water resistant, so I use it in the bathroom, and it has a low-gloss finish to hide imperfections in the wall.
For painting, I use either advance or command. Both can be cleaned with water, have an exceptional levelling capacity (brush marks are smoothed out), dry faster than oil paint, are durable like oil paint and do not smell like oil paint. Another excellent latex paint for varnishing is Pro Classic. It lines up well and is durable.
The previous paint is shiny. Must be oil based, right?
Not necessary. Even latex paints can be just as shiny. But you have to be sure, because latex paint does not go together with oil paint. Your local paint store should have a test kit you can purchase, or you can watch the video below on how to test.
If it’s oil, it needs to be adjusted. Previously, you had to use an oil-based primer that stinks, is toxic and can only be cleaned up with thinner.
I use Stix, which is latex, crushes well and is easy to apply. I’ve even used it on a formica counter for a client. Yes, I had to do some prep work to make sure the paint would hold, but their top coat lasted for years without flaking off.
But isn’t oil a better choice for trimming?
No. I haven’t used oil paints in over a decade, especially with the unique water-based products like Advance, Pro Classic and Command.
I hope this post has allayed some of the fears associated with painting your garage and given you the confidence to tackle it head on.
Photo Credits : Automotive vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com
frequently asked questions
How do I prepare the walls of my garage for painting?
If you are repainting your garage, prepare the walls by applying an oil-based primer over the stains that have penetrated the previous coat of paint. If you’re dealing with a lot of large stains, take the precaution and cover the entire wall with a coat of primer.
Should paint be used for interior or exterior surfaces in a garage?
The only difference between painting interior walls and garage walls is the type of paint you should use. … Exterior paint is thicker, more durable and more resistant to mildew. Use acrylic latex exterior paint to breathe new life into the walls of your garage.
How do I paint the outside walls of my garage?
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