This is part of an ongoing series on past home improvement projects that I have worked on prior to the existence of this blog. Last summer, I worked on finishing both my main garage, as well as the guest house garage. The main garage, which can fit four cars and also contains a large storage/workshop area, was designed to be a showroom for my sports cars. The guest house garage was designed to be a little bit more rugged, and to be a home for my truck, ATV, and other trailers, tools, and large equipment.
Finishing a garage is not unlike finishing a basement or any other sort of room, but with an initial hurdles that most garages are dirtier than your average interior room. With this in mind, the first step was to thoroughly clean the garage. This included sweeping, vacuuming, and washing the concrete floor very thoroughly, and removing cobwebs from the walls and ceilings.
After that, I removed some existing shelving that I no longer wanted and set to work repairing drywall damage. Most damage was very small and could just be repaired by mudding, sanding, sealing, and spackling over the damage.
Before painting, there was other work to do. I removed the previous exposed incandescent light fixtures and replaced them with LED recessed lights from Commercial Electric, as well as some LED spotlights from Hampton Bay. The goal was to have durable, efficient LED lights that don’t need regular replacement, and to provide more even light across the entire garage. The LED spotlights would be angled to shine and reflect of the hoods and windshields of the cars, to provide an effect that calls attention to the cars.
The next step prior to painting was a bigger one. I wanted to close off the workshop section of the garage, so that it wouldn’t be as visible from the main part of the garage. This would allow that part to remain immaculate and focused on the cars, while the workshop could have other equipment and be more functional. I still wanted a doorway to get into that workshop from the garage, even though it had it’s own door to the outside. Step 1 was to assemble and raise a frame made from 2×4’s, which would have a space for the aforementioned doorway.
Once the wall’s frame was up, I drywalled it, sealed, spackled, and painted it:
I then began painting the entire garage. I went with a grey color on the walls, with white ceilings. The grey walls I felt like would look good with the lighting I had selected, and would also look good with the gray epoxy floors I was planning on doing. Also, grey walls look great with a fleet of black cars. Further, grey stands up well to dirt. The original walls in the garage were white, which gets really grungy over time without frequent washing.
Once the painting was done, I assembled a sliding barn-style door for the utility room. I purchased the Rockwell Kit from Rustic Hardware. I wanted something that didn’t need to swing open (taking up valuable space) that would look good both open and closed, and that could cover a fairly large doorway. I went with a dark brown wood, since that would go well with the grey walls and also complement the dark woods throughout the rest of the house.
It was fairly easy to assemble and install, and I was able to hang it after anchoring it into the studs in the wall I had built earlier in the project:
The last step was to epoxy the floors. I used Rust-Oleum RockSolid, which cost roughly $750 for the entire garage. Applying epoxy is very similar to painting (you even use a paint rolled). The most important things are a) making sure the floor is very clean and chemically etched before applying epoxy and b) making sure the epoxy is well mixed. I had some minor issues with part b that I had to subsequently address with additional coats.
After the epoxy was dry, I added some floor mats to make sure that the surface wasn’t too slippery in the winter, and I decorated the walls with brand-appropriate decorations for my various vehicles:
When the most important part, the cars, were added to the garage, it definitely achieved the effect that I was looking for. It provides a showroom caliber environment for showing off the cars, which was the goal.
After completing the main garage, I moved on to the guesthouse garage. I will not go into much detail about that process, since it essentially mirrored the main house garage process. As shown in the following pictures, this garage was slightly less show room and slightly more utilitarian, since it is home to my truck and ATV.