Right after moving to my new place, I felt the need to start improving it, not only because I wanted my new house to look nice, but also because I wanted it to be functional.
I’ve always been very organized. I didn’t want anything scattered around or laying on the floor, but I also didn’t want anything stored in such a way that would make it difficult to get to any of the items should I need them right away.
A good example of what I didn’t like seeing and that I noticed every single day was in the garage.
It looked very disorganized, one of the walls was unfinished and there were two ugly shelves made of two by fours that took a lot of space. They didn’t have any doors or anything to hide whatever was “stored” on them. Not that I had a lot of stuff as you can see on the pictures, but they were still an eye sore, I was determined to do something about it!
Installing some paneling and doors to hide the mess was, unfortunately, not an option, with a depth of about 16” they simply took way too much garage space. They had to go, so removing them was the first thing I did. I don’t remember exactly how many screws were holding them in place, but I do remember thinking that whoever put them together was worried about them staying in one piece!
Since I’m all about recycling and reusing, I then proceeded to take some pictures of them and posting an ad on craigslist, it didn’t take long for someone to call and pick them up, a win-win situation for everyone involved.
INSULATE AND DRYWALL GARAGE WALL
Once the shelves were removed, I proceeded to install some insulation. If you ask, most people will say that you do not need to insulate garage walls. However, my reasoning at that point was that I could, later on, install some kind of heating so I would not be freezing if I ever wanted or needed to work in there during the winter months. Insulation also helps with noise reduction, although I was not worried about noise, the house is on a quiet cul-de-sac.
The next step was installing some drywall. Professionals usually (if not always) start drywalling from top to bottom, however, I was working by myself so there was no way for me to hold the panels in place while screwing them to the wall at the same time, so I started from bottom to top.
I wanted the wall to look nice, but, after all, it is the garage, so it didn’t have to have a perfect finish, actually, not even the professionally finished wall on the other side of the garage looked perfect.
After the hardest, or at least, the more physically demanding part of the job was done, it was time to do some mud work. I used the Sheetrock brand All Purpose Premix Joint Compound and Joint tape, they worked great for me! The good thing about using the Premix Joint Compound, other than not having to mix it with anything obviously, is that you do not have to worry about it drying, hardening and getting rock solid as you rush to mud all the seams, you can take your time to learn and do it right.
As far as the tape, some people would rather use the self-adhesive mesh drywall tape, however, from what I’ve seen, it’s easier to work with the paper tape. I would go as far as to say that I’ve never seen a professional using mesh tape, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, though.
PRIMING & PAINTING THE NEW GARAGE WALL
The next day was the one I enjoyed the most. Not only was the wall almost finished but also after the mud was dry, it was time to finally make it look nice with some paint! I’ve always enjoyed painting with a roller so it didn’t feel like work at all. I started putting a coat of primer on the new wall and the ceiling, which as you can see on some of the pictures, was finished but not painted.
After letting it dry for a while, it was time to put a coat of paint, this time on all the walls and the ceiling. I chose white, and although I later regretted it for obvious reasons, once the job was completed, I was very happy with the results.
INSTALLING STORAGE CABINETS & GARAGE ORGANIZATION
At this point the wall was all finished, the garage was painted and everything looked great except for the fact that there was no storage whatsoever. You can see I had to temporarily “store” everything on the floor, which is exactly one of the things I don’t like doing and definitely not what I would call garage organization.
To solve this problem, I ended up buying and installing 3 wood composite cabinets from Lowes, I have checked and they are no longer available, however, they still have a very similar (more expensive) alternative. They are not necessarily the type of cabinet you would use to store heavy items or tools, but they worked great for what I needed.
Readers, what do you think of my first project? Why is it that some builders don’t fully finish garages? Cost cutting I assume? Does it surprise you that my first project was in the garage? Feel free to share your garage project ideas!
Working on a similar garage improvement project? This is what you need:
- Screwdrivers and hand tools (always useful)
- Heavy Duty Stapler (to hold insulation in place)
- Drill (to install drywall panels and I also used it to remove the old shelves)
- Drywall screws
- Drywall panels, drywall tape, taping knives, mud and mud pan
- Primer, paint, paint rollers (with extension pole) and brushes
- Paint tray
Looking for more garage project ideas?
Check out my latest garage project!
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