If you have just finished clearing out and cleaning up your garage, chances are you are wondering whether to give it a new coat of paint. Though that is a great way to instantly improve the space, it’s not as easy as many think.
Before you jump right into such a project, we suggest you take a bit of time to plan ahead, make a list of all of the materials needed, and schedule some uninterrupted time to tackle the work.
After all, even if you have cleared out the “junk” you’ll need to temporarily relocate the things stored in the garage. This can mean bringing them to the neighbor or a family friend, or even renting some self-storage.
ou can then plot out how you’ll do the actual work, and to do that, we make the following suggestions:
Begin with Repairs
How are the ceilings and walls looking? We assume they have drywall, and if so, you need to clear them of any nails, hangers or other materials, fill the holes, repair any cracks and use heavy duty drywall compound for all such tasks. You’ll also want to wash and degrease the walls – even if they are concrete or stone, just as you would for any other sort of paint job. NOTE: Be absolutely sure that all surfaces are dry before painting.
Now, you may have to think of your painting as a multi-phase process because not all ceilings and walls will have ever been painted. You may need to do a base coat to cover old stains or get the walls and ceilings in the best shape for holding paint.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you need to know what sorts of paints were used before. This is because you can apply water-based (latex) paint over oil-based (alkyd) paint but not vice versa. You may wonder if you should use water based paints in the garage, and the answer is simple: sure. Today’s water-based paints are of a much higher quality than a few decades ago and are more stain and mildew resistant. Quality does count, though, so buy the best paints possible.
Where colors are concerned, we suggest lighter colors to reflect any available light inside the garage. White is good for ceilings, but a light gray or tan hue is better for the walls.
Painting the Floors
Painting the garage floor should be part of the plan. This too requires the floors to be degreased and thoroughly cleaned. Take all necessary safety precautions when doing this (wear goggles, gloves, and a mask). You can whip up an effective and safe degreaser using three parts water for 1 part bleach. Stubborn fuel or oil stains can often be treated with a strong detergent, and you must ventilate the space at all times when cleaning the floors with these compounds.
Once cleaned, you also need to make any repairs to cracks in the floor. Use a strong and appropriate patching compound, and be sure to prepare the floors with a grinder to allow the compound to bind to the old flooring. Once it has dried completely, buff out the floor and use a resurfacer (100% acrylic concrete sealant with resin) to ensure the paint can adhere to the surface.
This step requires that you wait 24 hours before you proceed to painting. Once the resurfacer has dried, you can then use a durable (100% acrylic with polyurethane) latex paint with a satin finish. Wait 24 hours and do a second coat.
While you may hear that an epoxy pain is better, that is not necessarily the case. You can use one but you will have to work with a catalyst. That means splitting the painting into four sections – painting one quarter of the floor at one time because of the speed at which the epoxy dries. To succeed at this mean mixing only enough paint for the area to be treated (you have around 45 minutes before it dries). You cannot apply it too thinly or too thickly, and you need to wait 24 hours before using the flooring. As you can see, this is why we suggest two coats of easy to use latex paint.
Once that is done, though, your repainting work is done, as well. There is an old saying that reads: “Patience and time do more than strength or passion” and this is very true where painting the garage is concerned. If you don’t have patience or time, you may want to hire an expert who does. Painting a concrete floor is a big job and you don’t want to have to redo it every few years.
What about the Door?
While you are making plans to paint the garage, maybe you will want to repaint the garage door, too? You might also want to get it a good tune‑up or even replace it altogether. If so, contact us at 705-322-0136.
We can email you a custom quotation, or come out to your garage and give you some recommendations about repairing or replacing the door. We can advise you on the best choice based on your needs, tastes and budget. If updating your garage your goal, and you want some inspiration, ideas or suggestions, use our Design Centre or visit our image gallery to see what is possible.