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Should You Use Interior or Exterior Paint for Garage Walls?

A collage of garage walls paint.

Many of us use our home garage as a place to store unused and seasonal items. It tends to be a landing spot for items that we do not know what else to do with. If your garage is unfinished, you may be able to finish it and make it more user-friendly.

Your first step in garage organization is taking everything out of the garage, once you know what you’re working with, you can design a plan to turn your unfinished garage into a usable space that is not only functional but looks good too.

Start working on the inside walls of the garage first, as the walls and floor are two of the most changes you can make to the look and feel of your garage.

Reimagining your garage will make it more functional and a lot more pleasant for those that typically go in and out through the garage.

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A Garage is More Than Just a Place to Park Your Car

Changing lifestyles have changed the way we use our garages. No longer is the garage considered just a place to park your car or store extra “stuff.” For many, it is much-needed space and an extension of their home.


A look at a bright and white garage that has a storage area on the far side.

Many people use their garage to store seldom-used items, holiday decorations; it can also be used to store extra clothing if your closets are small.

Home Workshop

A close look at the workshop area of the garage.

If you are a DIYer, you need a place to hold keep all your tools. A home workshop in your garage is the perfect place to build items, remodeling products, and other home projects.

Arts and Crafts Studio

A look at the arts and crafts corner of the house.

Let us face it, if you’re a crafter, you need a place to store all your craft supplies. Plus, if you do crafts with your kids, you are probably always vacuuming up scraps of paper and glitter. It is much better to have those items in your garage craft room than your living room.

Home Theater

This is the spacious home theater with a red couch and a large white screen at the far end.

If you are a film buff, you may want to consider turning your garage into a home theater. It is the perfect place for cozy couches, large screens, and even a popcorn machine for your favorite must-have snack.

Garage Band Rehearsal Space

A close look at a garage with a band rehearsal space.

If you have children that are upcoming music stars, getting them as far from you as possible is desirable. The garage is the perfect place for the kids to practice. Making it soundproof may be well worth the money!

Man Cave

This is a close look at the bar area of the garage man cave.

If you need some peace and quiet during football season, you may want to suggest that your hubby turn the garage into his own personal man cave. They have their personal space and you get some quiet time.

Mother-in-Law Room

This is the bright and white living room area of the mother-in-law room.

No matter how much you adore your mother-in-law, you may not want her under your feet all day long. On the other hand, your mom-in-law may want her own space, especially if she is used to living alone, but can no longer do so.

Spending the extra money to transform your garage into a mother-in-law room may be a great solution for everyone.

Create a Plan for Redesigning your Garage: From “Ho-Hum” to Fabulous

As mentioned, the first thing you need to do is remove everything from your garage; this is the perfect time to go through everything and make three piles, one of the items you keep, one to donate, and one for the garbage.

Once everything is out of your garage, you will need to decide if you are going to finish the walls with wood or plywood sheets to cover the exposed wood.

After the wood has been put up, spackle the wood joints and nail depressions. For the wood to be smooth, you may need to lightly sand the spackle. Make sure to clean the walls to remove any dust or dirt before painting.

If the walls haven’t been painted before or if you just installed the new wood, you should apply a coat of PVA (polyvinyl acetate) primer first. This will seal the surface and make it ready to paint.

If you skip this step, the paint will get soaked up by the surface and leave the paint looking uneven, so its best to prime the walls prior to painting the walls.

Next stop, choosing your paint.

What Type Of Paint Should I Use for My Garage Interior?

If you’ve recently painted a room in your house

you know there are a lot of different paints on the market, but probably the biggest decision you will make is choosing the proper paint for the job.

Choosing inside and exterior paint is easy when your painting in the interior room or the outside of your house, but it can be confusing if you are painting a screened-in porch or the interior of your garage.

Since they are officially inside, do you choose interior paint? Here are some tips to help you decide the best paint for your garage.

Many Sources Agree the Best Paint for Your Garage Interior is Latex Paint

After conducting our research, latex paint is the best choice for your garage. Here are some of the reasons why:


  • Latex paint, especially those that are formulated for high-traffic areas are the best for garage walls.
  • Latex can be thinned with water instead of paint thinner, which are required for exterior oil-based paints
  • Latex paint dries quickly and is much easier to clean up compared to oil-based paint.
  • Latex paint comes in both semi-gloss and satin finishes and is easier to clean than oil-based paints.
  • They also are more forgiving to uneven textures, dents, and other imperfections that are commonly found in garage interiors.
  • If the interior walls are in good condition, you won’t need to prime them first.
  • You can use the same paint for the garage ceiling as you use on the walls.
  • Latex paint comes in a wide variety of colors so you can give your walls some personality of their own.


  • Exterior paint has a lot of fumes and because many garages are transformed into man caves, workout rooms/she sheds and workshops it’s better to choose a paint that won’t keep the fumes enclosed in the small space.
  • Exterior paint is just that, created for the outside of a home, where smells are not an issue. They also contain anti-mildew components that are not needed in interior areas.
  • Before applying latex paint, you should first use a primer to prevent the paint from soaking in. this means more money for the primer and more time to paint the interior walls with primer before starting on the latex color.

Embrace Color in Your Garage Interior and Show Your Personality?

A woman thinking about what color to use for the walls.

Before you determine what color to paint your garage interior, first think about how it will be used. If you are going to be using the extra space as an extra “living space” such as a home workspace, art studio, in-home gym, man cave, or she-shed, then you can choose whatever color suits your mood.

If you are going to be spending time in the garage, you will want it to be a pleasant color that you enjoy. You may want to consider the color of the floor as well, especially if you have an epoxy floor.

If you use your garage only for storage, you can paint the walls and ceilings a color that works well with your storage cabinets or other storage solutions. Before choosing your wall color, you should keep in mind how much natural light the garage gets.

If you have windows, you can paint it a darker color because you will get plenty of light. But if the garage gets a minimal amount of natural light, you should consider lighter colors that would make space seem larger and brighter.

Will Having a Garage Help Sell Your Home?

A recent report by Kiplinger stated that 85% of home buyers want homes that have a garage. In fact, many consider the garage to be the most underrated part of your entire home. Having a garage will not only increase the value of your home, many people won’t consider a home without one.

It is also one of the most versatile parts of your home. In addition to being used for storage or for parking your car, it can be just about anything you want it to be.

Costs to build a new garage can cost between $20,000 and up, so moving into a home that already has a garage is more desirable than having to build one.

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