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Q & A

What Should I Finish My Garage Walls With? (11 Great Options)

There’s a lot to choose from, and I know I’ve finished the walls of my garage with a few different things throughout the years. The following are some of the options I think are best for garage walls and why.

Drywall, paint, wood panelling, plywood, OSB, metal panels, plastic or fibreglass sheeting, pegboards, slat boards, and backerboard are the most common ways to finish garage walls. Drywall is frequently used for garage walls due to its low price, fire resistance, and simple installation.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using different materials, so think carefully about what will work best in your situation.

And if you’re trying to save money, the best option to cover your garage walls is revealed in the final section.

Drywall, Insulation, Paint, and Other Options for Garage Walls

Drywall has been a popular option for lining garage walls since it can be installed quickly and at little cost. Drywall is easy to install, quick to paint, and can look professional even if you have no prior experience with construction.

If you want to prevent mould and pests from getting in, you should tape and seal the seams. By taping off the area, you’ll have a more even surface to paint on.

Drywall or gypsum board will swell if it gets wet and will show marks from even little hits, although it can be easily fixed if this happens. Wallboard can be severely damaged by even moderate collisions.

Square Footage Cost: -$0.38


If you want to paint the bare concrete, cinderblocks, and brickwork in your garage, you’ll need high-quality paint. In the absence of insulation, moisture in a garage can cling to the walls and eventually strip paint.

Use of a sealer prior to painting is recommended. You won’t have to apply as much paint because the sealant will keep it from soaking into the brick.

As a creative endeavour, painting requires no special skills, knowledge, or equipment. All the colours you could ever want are available in paint, and you can work at your own pace.

Primer costs thirty cents per square foot, paint two cents per square foot, for a grand total of thirty-eight cents.

Wood Paneling

Paneling made from wood can vary in width, thickness, and quality. Panels made from treated pines or whitewoods that are smooth and ready to lacquer or paint are the most frequent.

The typical dimensions of a panel are eight feet in length, four inches in width, and a thickness of around an inch. Tongue and groove, or shiplap, construction allows the panels to interlock with one another and create a seamless surface.

Wood panelling will provide warmth to your garage, making it an ideal workspace. You can hang bookcases or paintings from these panels because they have a decent degree of strength to hold the weight.

Square Footage Cost: -$1.75

Plywood and OSB

Plywood is an excellent insulator, and its huge, precut sheets make it easy to install in a hurry. Boards like OSB and plywood are commonly used in wooden buildings because they can be simply screwed into place.

OSB is more affordable than plywood but lacks the same aesthetic quality. OSB can be painted, and varnishing it can produce some unique effects. Plaster adheres easily to the wood chips on OSB, so it may be smoothed out by applying a layer.

You can hang heavy shelves from any type of wall covering without reinforcing the walls. Due to the high pressure and adhesive used in their production, these woods might expand and become unattached if they become wet.

Metal Panels

Modern production methods have decreased the price of metal panelling, which has led to its increased use. Metal can be found in many different shapes, colours, and textures.

Some of the metal panels have already been painted to match your colour scheme. Diamond-plate metal panels are attractive and effective at concealing damage.

A more expensive option that won’t rust is plain aluminium plating. Primers are unnecessary when working with aluminium, unlike steel, so you may save money there.

Diamond-plated square feet cost $2.25, whereas aluminium square feet cost $2.88.

Plastic and Fiberglass

Corrugated or multi-wall PVC or polycarbonate sheeting can be purchased in big sheets. You can do most of the labour yourself because both types are light and simple to cut.

Insulation is a concern when using plastic wall panels, so you’ll need to add another layer of protection. This substance can withstand some abuse, but it will break or shatter more easily with time.

Both plastic and fibreglass have poor strength and cannot carry much weight. To hang a shelf, drill holes through the back of the material and secure the brackets to the wall or supporting column.

Corrugated plastic is $1.46 per square foot and multi-wall is $2.50 per square foot.

Shelving for Storage (Pegboards and Slat Board)

Garages might benefit from having either basic pegboards or modular slat boards installed. One way to improve the appearance of a garage is to use the walls to extend the usable space on the floor.

Tools and miscellaneous equipment can be hung up on pegboards to help you clean up and organise your garage. A hundred pounds per square foot is no problem for premium panel boards.

Slat board is sturdy enough to hold an aluminium ladder, lawnmower, and other heavy equipment. Pegboards are ideal for organising wires, lighter equipment, and cleaning supplies despite their limited weight capacity.

Square Footage Cost: – Cost: $1 for pegboards and $10.60 for slat boards

Backerboard that is Impervious to Water

Greenboard, another name for backerboard, is another popular choice for cladding lavatory partitions. Greenboard is preferable to paper or plaster in garages that experience condensation throughout the winter.

Since backerboard is resistant against moisture, you can even tile straight onto it. The board’s mesh construction allows air to pass through, reducing the likelihood of mould growth.

These panels provide you with a big, level, and smooth surface on which to operate. Even though it’s more expensive than drywall, backerboard is just as simple to put up, plaster, and paint.

For every square foot, you’ll pay a negative $0.75.

What’s the least expensive way to complete a garage wall?

Drywall, paint, or a combination of the two is the most budget-friendly option for covering your garage. Unpainted drywall is the least expensive option, but it won’t last as long.

If the concrete is not treated initially, then painting is the most cost-effective option. In contrast, if you don’t use a sealer, the paint won’t last more than a year before peeling.

The alternatives are either prohibitively expensive or still require further work, such as painting, after the fact. Walls that have been treated prior to painting are less expensive to maintain and require less time to repair than other wall covering options.

As an example, municipal fire regulations could restrict your options. Use of plastics and other non-fireproof materials is restricted in some areas. Drywall generally complies with local fire codes.

How soon can I get this material up on my garage wall?

Making use of shiplap in your garage is a quick and easy way to improve its look and functionality. The layered wood blocks the cold from getting in but lets the warm, moist air out. It’s easy to find pre-treated shiplap for a low price, and it looks great both unpainted and painted.


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