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Finishing inside a garage

halftime's picture

        I am almost finished building a new workshop 24x28 with ten foot ceilings my question is what is the best way to finish the inside walls I am thinking I would like a wood finish for ease in hanging things but not sure which material is best. Sheet material or individual boards. I have priced out drywall mud and tape and got a price of $2300.00 so that is my budget I am not sure the best road to travel on this one any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 Thanks in advance


(post #96795, reply #1 of 17)


I'm about to do the same and am going to go with a 'french cleat' system over sheetrock.  The french cleat system consists of 'rails' that are affixed to the wall and the reverse affixed to cabinets/panels, etc.  It's a modular system and very easy to install.  Check out:



(post #96795, reply #2 of 17)

Wood. For the very reason you mentioned. Hanging things on. Mines plywood and I love it. Never worry about a stud. Just nail or screw it right up.

Who Dares Wins.




(post #96795, reply #5 of 17)

hey gunner

   I was leaning towards plywood but wondered what kind would be best I am thinking an A C grade can I get away with 3/8? And did you paint yours for light reflection? 


(post #96795, reply #6 of 17)

I used half inch but don't know why you can't use 3/8's  I've been too lazy to paint it though.

Who Dares Wins.




(post #96795, reply #12 of 17)

 get away with 3/8? And did you paint

If you were going to use cleats, then the 3/8" ought to be fine.  Ought to work where you will add pegboard or slotboard, too.  Depends on the stud spacing, really.  And whether or not you want a plant-fastener-anywhere surface (the thing there is if you move something, you now have screwholes polka-dotting your wall.

By all means, paint--it makes a world of difference.  Light colors, satin to semi-gloss seems to give the best "bounce."  I've seen semi on the ceilings and satin on the walls work nicely--but the stain finish can sometimes "grab" grime or dirt.  But that's still an improvement over the same grime or dirt on bare lumber.

Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #96795, reply #3 of 17)

T1-11?  Kinda rough, though...


I never met a tool I didn't like!

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #96795, reply #17 of 17)

T1-11?  Wood siding?  I think you would be much better off doing french cleats, and finish it with MINIMUM 1/2" drywall.  Better yet would be 5/8"...for the same reason you would drywall the garage/house common wall - Fire Safety!  In the remote chance that something went haywire, whether you were there or not, it could make the difference between a total loss or minor damage.

(post #96795, reply #4 of 17)

depending on what youre planning on hanging, you might like using a few sheets of slatwall in the mix. Over workbenches, for instance.

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." - Mark Twain

Real trucks dont have sparkplugs

(post #96795, reply #7 of 17)

Paint helps a great deal.  My shop was 20' x 30', all white drywall.  When I installed two pieces of pegboard, the darkening effect it had on that side of the room was noticeable.  White painted pegboard was not available in my area.

Drywall wasn't the problem hanging tools as I thought it would be.  So much of the wall space is used for specialized purposes that not having continuous wood facing turned out to be a non-issue.  For example, 10' of wall above one bench was covered in pegboard.  An overhead door took up another 9'.  Storage of sheet goods on a wheel around cart blocked another 8'.  Storage of boards was on a heavy wood rack consisting of stanchions lag screwed to the studs -- which could not have been attached to plywood facing because of the weight.  Upright cabinets and shelving units standing on the floor took another 16'.  Hanging brooms on a rack took another 3'.  Dust collection and tools against the wall took up another 12' or so.  Fasteners were stored on removable racks that were hung on French cleats above the other work bench.  Then there was the electrical panel, two man doors, and long scraps stood up in the corner.  So, there really wasn't a wall space that wasn't already dedicated to some purpose already.

(post #96795, reply #8 of 17)

A couple summers ago I sectioned off a section of a garage for a guy for his workshop. I hung 7/16 OSB on the walls and ceiling and he painted it all white. When I first talked to him he wanted drywall but talked him out of it for several reasons.


He is very happy

with the results and has utilized the ability to hang stuff right on the OSB quite nicely.


Scott R.

Edited 12/5/2004 7:59 pm ET by Scott R.

Scott R.

(post #96795, reply #9 of 17)

I`m with Nick.....T1-11...paint it white.....good , solid, durable,hang anything, anywhere, doesn`t look like a garage, wall finish.

J. D. Reynolds

Home Improvements





(post #96795, reply #10 of 17)

Thank you everyone who wrote, the information is great and gave me some great ideas.

"Happy Holidays to all"



(post #96795, reply #11 of 17)

we're seeing a trend of people using steel liner panels (a.k.a. ag barn steel) panels.  they're available in white, and you can actually hose down the inside of the garage then.  also see it a lot in commercial/industrial garages.

(post #96795, reply #13 of 17)

I have just finished building my shop and it measures 26x74 with the same concern as you have.  With mine being a woodworking shop, there is always stuff being mounted to the walls and stuff hitting them.   What I did was hire a drywaller to do the ceiling and I paid around $.75 sqft for a fire tape and second coat.  The ceiling is at 10 1/2'.  It's relatively smooth and flat, but you can still see screw divits and some tape lines.  With me haveing neck and back problems this was money well spent.  I wish that i had paint the full $1.00 sqft to get a complete dry wall job, but the extra $500 wasn't there.  I did the walls in 1/2" cdx and put on primer and paint.  There is still blead through on the paint and you can see knots and streaking..  It's not a perfect job, but the wall are white and solid.  I also have a local plywood manufacture that I bought from.  Right now they are selling 5 ply 1/2" cdx for $13.00 a sheet and 3/4" for ~$16.00 per sheet.  Painting the wall took almost no time because I used an airless.  I think I used arount 25 gals of paint/primer  for basically 1900 sqft of floor space. 

(post #96795, reply #14 of 17)

mdf? its a pain to put up but it looks great and its pretty tough

measure once
scribble several lines
spend some time figuring out wich scribble
cut the wrong line
get mad


--> measure once / scribble several lines / spend some time figuring out wich scribble / cut the wrong line / get mad

(post #96795, reply #15 of 17)

I just did mine with rough sawn pine boards. I was going to plane them, but ended up putting them up rough. They're not too rough (sawn with a bandsaw mill) so I could paint them if they look too dark. I shiplapped them together so I don't see insulation if the boards shrink a little as they dry. Works great and looks like a workshop, not a plywood display.

Good luck...Glenn

(post #96795, reply #16 of 17)

Hi John ; I did the peg board and tool thing for 12 years till Hurricane francais took it down. I was kinda glad cause my tools and equipment always seem to collect dust , grease and grime . I am happy for the chance to go back to a roll around tool box and a work bench.