6 Steps to a Better Garage

Six months ago, my wife and I moved into a new house. Now, my mother-in-law is moving in. The biggest problem for me is how we are all going to fit our cars in the garage. I have to clean and organize the garage – which shouldn’t be too hard, it’s mostly organized except for the third car garage – but I also want to decorate it. It’s currently pretty dreary – just cement tones and two white walls. Since I spend a lot of time on the weekends in the garage, as a base for doing yard work, I want something I actually enjoy looking at.

  1. Lockers

For the most part, I’ll skip the cleaning and organizing part. After bringing more boxes than strictly needed from California to Idaho, I used a junk removal service to get rid of the extra stuff. That was step 1. Step 2 was actually organizing what was left, which I’m still in the process of doing, as you can see in the photo above. But what I want to do, for both storage and decorative reasons, is use a metal storage locker. My dad had one in our garage as I grew up, across from his peg board of tools. He kept odds and ends like paint, insect sprays, gas for the lawn mower and all manner of assorted items in them. The problem was that they were dull gray.

steps to better garage

Being that they are metal lockers, I plan on putting magnets on them. We bought a new refrigerator, which has too clean of a look for our old magnets. Plus, I can paint the lockers any color I want – preferably not slate gray.

  1. Staining cement

Speaking of paint, I came across something I had never seen before: staining concrete.

steps to better garage1

Photo: Tim Seay

It seems like everyone has the exact same color of concrete for their garage floor, but I want mine to stand out. I hate anything boring, and the garage floor is usually incredibly boring. It’s time to change that, and change the color of my floor. I’ll have to match the color to…

  1. Rugs

I currently use an old rug on the floor of the garage. Once I clean up, it should be revealed and stand out. It’s currently darker colors, mostly burgundy, so I’ll try to find a complimenting color for the cement stain. The stains are usually orange as a base, which could prove troublesome. In the meantime, it provides a visual break in the solid floor.

  1. Painting the walls

There’s one last piece of the puzzle to match colors to: the walls. In looking at different types of paint, I’m probably going to go with semi-gloss paint. It’s fairly resistant to dirt, but shows imperfections. For a garage, that’s fine by me. I’m looking to decorate, not make a tea area. It will be pricier than some other options, but I’m more concerned with quality than price.

6 steps to better garage

  1. Custom mural

I’m a big fan of accent walls – one wall that is a different color than the rest. For this, though, rather than a solid color, I’m thinking a custom mural is in order. The Boise State Broncos are the big team around here, so I could get a wall-sized mural of them. Or, coming from a big city, I might do a black-and-white cityscape. This would probably fit better with the color theme than blue and orange.

  1. Duct tape

A garage is not complete without duct tape. In this case, though, the duct tape will just be used a as decoration, a way to add a pop of color here and there. I have an old roll of duct tape with flames on it, which I can use to decorate my boxes of memorabilia in the garage, while my wife has a roll of zebra tape to differentiate her boxes.

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