Saturday, July 11, 2015

Finishing Our Garage: Episode 2 (the walls)

Our garage before
In this episode of Finishing Our Garage...let's talk walls!  

Here is a picture of what we started with.  As you can see it was a...well...a garage.  There was nothing wrong with it, we just wanted to have a little fun with the space!

To start, we had to decide if we wanted to DIY the mudding (application of joint compound) or find someone who would tackle that for us.  This can be a very messy process, but can totally be a DIY.  Ultimately, our decision was to find a handy man who could do this with his eyes closed, as opposed to us taking all weekend just to figure it out.  If you decided to DIY, make sure you have adequate ventilation and something to capture all the dust, because there will be lots of sanding in this project. 

We found our guys (it was a team of four) and they began work early in the morning and finished early evening.  

Without being too boring, our process was as follows:
  • Application of joint compound (not the premixed, although it can be used for this task)
  • Sanding 
  • Painting the walls
  • Painting the ceiling
  • Clean-up
They applied 2-3 coats of the joint compound, allowing it to dry then sanding between every coat.  The main thing is to make sure the walls appear uniform.  There is an additional step called skim coating (which we did not do).  Applying the skim coat will ensure that your wall surface is very smooth and ultra uniform.  You remember in my first post where I mentioned turning my eye to some things?  Yep, this is one.  This was one step we thought we could skip because we would be covering the walls with some sort of storage solution.  So...who would see our oh-so-perfect walls?  No one...not even us!  I have a picture below that will show you the imperfections.  I should also note that adding the skim coat would have been an additional charge, but not sure how much so be sure to ask for full pricing if you are hiring a crew.     

Paint selections
We went to Dunkin' Donuts (which has become a norm for our contractors) to grab them some donuts and coffee and they got started right after their first round.  We let them work and checked on them periodically.  Our paint for the walls and ceiling all came from Home Depot, and was purchased a few days before.  The ceiling paint is Behr Premium Plus Interior Ceiling Flat in the color Ultra Pure White, and the walls are Behr Ultra, satin finish, in the color Arabian Veil.

It was an all day job, and to complete the process, we just had to let it dry.  We left the garage up for a few extra hours to allow this to happen and the finished product was just what we wanted!

Imperfection on walls
As you can see (and you may have to tilt your head a little depending on your view) there is a square-ish structure showing through the painted walls.  We have a few of these throughout the garage.  If you apply the skim coat, these will magically disappear because you will have more compound on the walls, making them smoother once sanded.  

Overall, we loved how it turned out and we were happy we decided to let the pros do it.  They are always so appreciative and we appreciate them as well!  

Next up, we added a pop of color to the garage door!  I am really proud of it because I actually did it!  #BabySteps 

Our garage after

Before and After



  1. I love the little "hello" on the door. It all looks great. I'm lucky to be allowed to walk through "his" garage.

    1. Thank you! Yes, "they" love their spaces! I hardly ever go in the lower level of our home so I'm right there with you! :-)

  2. Wow, this is amazing! I don't think I've ever seen a garage look "classy", but yours totally does!
    So the workers got it done in a day? That isn't a bad time investment at all. Do you or your husband spend a lot of time in the garage?

    1. Thanks Ebbie! Yes, they were there from early morning until early evening. It was still some daylight remaining when they left. We do not spend a lot of time in there, but since we are still adding small decor items and such, we will lay out a painting canvas and DIY some things in the garage. In our community, on the weekends if you look outside 80% of the neighbors will have their garage door open and doing some type of "work". It's pretty funny. I guess everyone is starting to add more details to their homes.

  3. Very cool. I love the colors. You guys did an awesome job stepping it up in the garage.

  4. I love it! If you don't mind me asking, about how much did it cost for you to get the garage finished?

    1. Thanks Mary! Funny that you ask that. I did not think about including that info simply because it really varies. Our neighbors got theirs done for a fraction of the price. It just depends on who you find to do the work and their specific rate. To be safe, I would think $400-$1000 depending on if you get the skim coating done as well. It could be more or even less, but again, check with the contractors. You may have waaaay better pricing in Maryland. We would have loved the contractor who did our neighbor's garage, but timing just didn't work out.

    2. Thanks Eboni! That's really good to know.

    3. Thanks Eboni! That's really good to know.

  5. First of all, that's a huge garage! I know how difficult it is to do that work and how much time it takes from my own experiences. But, you certainly have done it the right way. The best part about this is looking at the before and after pictures. They finished walls are the payoff for all the hard work.