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Home Improvement & Renovating

All You Need to Know to Finish Your Garage

All You Need to Know to Finish Your Garage

A finished garage is usually not high on a list of DIY home improvement projects, but it does give homeowners many advantages.

Transforming your garage into a comfortable space that you’ll want to spend time in makes this a rewarding DIY project. Imagine working on your hobbies in a clean and bright environment, and being able to quickly find tools, gardening gear, and sports equipment – no more tripping over boxes and rummaging through stacked bins!

Maybe your kids love playing hockey or other sports in the garage and on the driveway. Fear not, there are many durable wall coverings that repel scuff marks and are dent resistant, even to blistering hockey pucks.

Finishing your garage with insulation and attractive wall, ceiling or slatwall panels will give your garage better energy efficiency. This is a big plus, especially if your garage shares a wall with your home or if there is living space above your garage.

Knowles Building Centre encourages you to check out these awesome ideas for your new garage. Your cars will thank you, too!

Plan Your Vision

Before you start, make a plan that will bring your vision to life.

Visit building supply centres and watch how-to videos to learn as much as you can about various garage finishing products.

Measure your garage to determine the size and quantity of products.

Decide if you will need to hire a licensed electrician and plumber or any other contractors; get estimates and add these costs to your budget.

Safety First

Be sure to check your local building safety codes first to verify fire regulations and the use of certain materials on garage walls and ceilings that share a wall with the living areas of the home.

Types of Garage Wall Coverings

There’s no shortage of ways to give your garage walls a polished and attractive look – drywall, tongue and groove panels, and slatwall for easy storage. You can use just one of these products or a combination depending on the purpose of your garage, the look you want, and your budget.

Insulate Your Garage

A well-insulated garage will keep your garage cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It will also help reduce your energy bills if you are using heating or cooling appliances in your garage.

Another advantage of insulating your garage is the added soundproofing, especially if you use noisy power tools.

The most common types of insulation for garage walls:

  • Fiberglass batt insulation
  • Spray foam insulation
  • Blow-in cellulose insulation

Push batt insulation snugly between the joists on the wall. Spray foam is a better choice if you are insulating the ceiling.

If insulation was installed by a previous owner, check it for any damp spots or mould from possible water leaks.

Choose the Wall and Ceiling Covering

Choose materials based on their ability to create the best wall surface for the purpose of your garage, the load capacity required, storage options, the look you are after, and your budget.

If you plan to install the wall coverings yourself, consider the weight and size of the panels or boards to make sure you can safely carry and install them.

If the renovation is more complex or if your time is limited, it may be best to hire a contractor. Always call a licensed electrician for any electrical work to make sure your garage will be safely wired, especially if you need to move or add outlets, switches and lighting.


Drywall will give your garage walls a smooth, paintable surface while covering up studs, insulation, wiring and conduit pipes.

Benefits of drywall:

  • Cost effective at $12 to $20 per panel
  • Helps your home’s energy efficiency
  • Gives you more options for decorating and storage systems

Important to know:

  • Heavy and large at 48” wide. You should have a helper.
  • Installing drywall requires skill to look smooth. You don’t want the screws, tape and joints to show through.
  • Dents easily

Painting Drywall

Use paint that will do well in fluctuating temperatures and humidity. There are economical low-fume primers and interior latex paints that need only one coat and repel mould and mildew.

Lighter paint colours will make your garage look and feel bigger, and it will be brighter, which is important if your garage has small windows.


Traditional pegboard is economical and does a great job of organizing your tools. You can add shelves and metal hooks to a pegboard, and move hooks around to hold a variety of tool sizes. Now you can find pegboards made of galvanized steel for a polished look.


  • Economical
  • Versatile
  • Keeps tools visible, organized and within reach

Slatwall Panels and Storage Systems

Slatwall is available in a variety of brands, colours and materials from metal to PVC. These tongue and groove panels can be installed horizontally or vertically. They are designed to support shelving, hooks and other storage accessories. Mix and match colours to coordinate with your vehicles or sports activities in the garage.


  • Sturdy
  • Versatile
  • Space saving
  • Easy to clean
  • Waterproof
  • Available in several colours

Important to know:

  • Be aware of the load capacity of the panels. If you hang something too heavy for the panel, the top of the groove could break and you’ll need to replace it.

Trusscore PVC Wall and Ceiling Panels

Another type of slatwall is the Trusscore PVC wall and ceiling panel and slatwall panel.

You can install Trusscore PVC wall and ceiling boards easily as they are lightweight and easy to cut with a circular saw and fine blade. Use a jigsaw for more detailed cut-outs on the panel, such as light switch receptacles. You can easily cut the trim with tin snips.

Install the ceiling panels first, taking care to seal any air gaps to eliminate drafts.

The tongue and groove design makes it easy to slide panels into each other. Simply screw the panels in place on the joists. Trusscore wall panels can also be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on the look you prefer.

The key to installation success is to measure twice and cut once. Make sure you cut accurately to avoid errors and waste.


  • Trusscore is 16” wide and lightweight so you can install it yourself
  • Recyclable
  • Sustainable with a long life of up to 100 years
  • Custom and standard lengths
  • Easy to clean
  • Good for high-traffic areas
  • Stands up to hard hockey puck shots

Important to know:

  • If you are installing Trusscore panels on the ceiling, get a helper to hold the panels
  • Trusscore wall and ceiling boards have achieved the best fire rating possible – Class A

Space-Saving Storage Ideas

Wall-mounted tire racks are a big space saver.

Wall-mounted cabinets save floor space and provide a safe place to store tools and cleaning supplies out of reach of children and pets.


Illuminate your work or play space in the garage with overhead lighting.

Add some drama with LED ribbon lighting underneath the slatwall panels for a striking look.

Garage Flooring

Painting your garage floor will give it a finished touch to go with your beautiful new walls. Use a paint designed for garage floors that will resist dirt, grease and salt.

If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to visit Knowles Building Centre for assistance. We would be happy to help you in any way we can.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.