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Painting Your Garage from Top to Bottom

If your garage is dim and unattractive inside or out, a simple paint job can transform it into a warmer and friendlier space. Painting the garage door and exterior trim can create a big improvement in a homeís curbside appeal. Painting the inside walls and ceiling of the garage can brighten the room and make it easier to keep clean. Painting the garage floor has many advantages.

Painting the Garage Door and Exterior

The garage door on most houses takes up a significant area of visual space. Even if your house does not need an entire new paint job, painting the garage door can do wonders for the look of your home.

For metal or wood garage doors, a high-quality, exterior latex house paint should be used. Wooden garage doors need a coat of primer before the finish coat. Avoid painting in humid or potentially rainy conditions and when temperatures are under 50∫F.

Before painting, completely clean the surface of the door and surrounding trim with a mild detergent and rinse. Caulk cracks with paintable caulk and scrape off any loose paint. Let the door dry completely before applying paint.

Painting the Garage Walls and Ceiling

Sometimes the sheetrock on garage walls and ceilings is left unfinished, and the joints between panels and nail heads are not covered. If sheetrock wall boards are missing this finishing touch, doing this work before painting will result in much more finished looking room in the end.

Before starting any painting work inside the garage, move everything out of the space. If this is not practical, consider moving everything to one half of the room and painting in sections. Remove electrical outlet covers and use masking tape around light fixtures and door knobs.

While the garage is an indoor space, it is less protected from the elements than the rest of the house. Exterior acrylic latex paint is resistant to the mildew, scuffing, and temperature changes found in a garage.

Sweep the walls, ceiling, and floor clean and caulk cracks around doors and windows with a paintable latex caulk. Spackle cracks and holes anywhere else. Paint around doors, windows, and in corners first using a 2-inch angled brush, then fill in using a roller. A roller pole-extension makes doing the ceiling much easier and safer than working on a ladder.

Adding texture to the paint helps hide imperfections in the surfaces. If the room has never been painted before, use a primer before applying the finish coat. More than one coat of finish may be needed. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving things back into the garage.

Painting the Garage Floor

A fresh coat of paint or epoxy on the garage floor can make this room look clean and inviting again. A painted garage floor is easier to keep clean, and it is also a more pleasant surface when working or relaxing in the garage.

Garage floors often have stains and cracks which need fixing before paint or epoxy is applied. Start by getting everything off the floor and vacuuming thoroughly. Be especially careful to vacuum dust and debris out of cracks in the floor.
Use a degreaser and etching compound available at hardware stores for cleaning concrete. Once the floor is completely clean and dry, it is ready for coating.

Latex acrylic garage floor paints are available, and they are applied in the same way as paint used on walls. 1-part epoxy garage floor paint has a small amount of epoxy in it, making it more durable and giving it better adhesion than floor paints without this additive. But there are also garage floor coverings made entirely from epoxy.

Epoxy floor coverings for the garage come in two parts, a resin and a hardener. The two components are mixed together just before application, and the mixed coating must be applied in a limited time frame before it hardens. Epoxy floor coverings are exceptionally tough and resistant to chemicals, moisture, and abrasion.

Epoxy floor coating comes in several grades of viscosity. Thinner coatings are easier to apply, but not quite as durable. Heavy coatings are more difficult to apply, but create an exceptionally rugged finished floor. Epoxy floor coatings can be applied as a clear finish, tinted with color, or finished with colored flakes which are sprinkled onto the epoxy surface before it dries, giving the coating a look similar to linoleum.

Before you start your garage painting project, contact your garage door service specialist and make sure your garage door is in safe working order.