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What Is The Best Paint For Garage Walls (Important Info)

wooden garage wall with tools hanging and shelf in front

The important question: What is the best paint for garage walls?

Starting up the process of planning out a new DIY project can feel quite intimidating. On the one hand, you want to save money in the long run by doing a simple paint job yourself.

On the other hand, you don’t want to make a mistake that’ll have you calling in the professionals to fix up the mess.

With meticulous planning and just a bit of basic knowledge, you’ll have an easier time with your garage redecoration and its DIY paint job.

This guide will help you think of all the bases you’ll want to cover when you paint your garage.

We’ll explore some of the different kinds of paint you might consider using, and which of those kinds might be preferable for certain climates.

We’ll also take a look at how much you might want to plan out a job. Spoiler alert: we’re big fans of planning!

What Kind Of Paint Is Best?

While it would be nice if there were one kind of paint that just magically worked in all circumstances, this just isn’t the case.

Many factors can affect what type of paint you should use for a particular job. For example, paints react differently to certain climates. You’ll want to take stock of a few things:

  • What kind of climate do you live in?
  • How much moisture is there in your garage?
  • Are your walls made of cinder block, concrete, or wood?
  • Will you be painting the garage floor, garage cabinets, or garage door as well?
  • What kind of temperature will your walls be exposed to?

All of these factors are things to keep in mind when planning out your garage paint job. Some of these questions are answered below.

What’s The Temperature?

The temperature you’ll be painting at can play a significant role in your paint job. If you use the wrong type of paint for the wrong type of weather, you might end up with a streaking, flaking mess that’ll take a total do-over to correct.

In cold weather, for example, you aren’t going to want to go with latex or acrylic paint. These types of paint are usually recommended for painting between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have concerns, check the paint cans label and it should tell you the recommended temperatures.

If the temperature is any lower, you’ll want to go with an oil-based paint. Oil has a much lower freezing temperature than water, so if you want a paint job that’ll remain smooth through the cold, go with oil.

That said, if it’s too cold, you won’t want to be painting at all. Most oil-based paints will freeze around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature is below zero, then have a warm day in the house and start the job once the temperature has risen a bit.

In high temperatures, the opposite holds true. Oil paint can run if things get too warm. This will result in an uneven coat that’ll look asymmetrical and tacky once it dries.

For warmer climates, you’ll want to use acrylic or water-based paint. As a general rule of thumb, you won’t want to paint if things get too hot, either, and make sure you avoid any direct sunlight when painting.

This can cause your paint to dry too quickly, which can result in the paint bubbling, cracking, and peeling.

What’s The Moisture Level In Your Garage?

What is the best paint for garage walls

The humidity of an area can also influence the type of paint you should use. You’re looking for an ideal humidity range between 40% and 70%.

You don’t want to paint when things are too dry or humid because it’ll affect how the paint binds together.

Again, this will lead to uneven paint jobs that can crack or peel over time. This will result in a job that you’ll have to do over again.

Latex paint isn’t the way to go if things are too hot, either, as latex paint will tend to get gummy and clump together.

Humidity also plays a significant role if your garage walls are made of wood, as wood absorbs moisture relatively easily.

If your wooden walls are too moist, the paint you apply won’t bind to them well. This will result in a very peelable paint job that you’ll have to redo in no time.

If the humidity doesn’t change to a desirable temperature naturally you may need to consider a dehumidifier, or a humidifier for the duration of the project.

What Is The Best Paint For Garage Walls?

Now that you know your optimal painting conditions and have determined what kind of climate you’re dealing with, you can start to think about your optimal paint.

Generally, latex interior paint is popular because it dries quickly, doesn’t smell too much, and is easy to work with. Oil-based paints can be difficult to apply and are easy to mess up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Latex paints are just a tad easier to deal with for beginners, and they last a long time.

If you’re looking for a unique look or have a popular design style for your garage paint job, you can start thinking about oil paints.

Oil-based paints are desirable because, while usually more expensive, they’re also more likely to result in long-lasting paint jobs that retain more vibrancy over time.

If you want a bold look that’ll last quite some time and you’re confident in your painting abilities, then an oil-based paint might be the way to go.

As for the best color, that’s really up to you when painting garage walls. Some people believe that a neutral color or a dark color is best for a garage wall, but you can use whatever garage paint color you want.

As for the paint finish, again, this is mainly up to you. A gloss or a semi gloss paint will be easier to clean than a flat paint, but how you want your garage interior to look is up to you and greatly varies with the intended use.

Women using best paint for garage walls

Good Luck On Your Painting Adventures

No matter what kind of paint you end up going with for your garage, just remember to plan out the job.

Find out what the weather will look like when you’re planning to paint. Make a decision as to whether you’re going with a base paint, or if you’ll be going ahead and doing an undercoat, too. 

Setting yourself up for success may be the most important part of this DIY project.

Try investing in a humidity reader for your garage, so that you’ll have more information as to just how moist the air will look when you get your painting on.

Additionally, adding  quality brushes or rollers to your arsenal can save time by avoiding  equipment failures while on the job.

Painting can be a lot more than what people expect, but it’s still a fun time – just make sure you know what you’re doing.

About Savannah Phillips

Savannah Phillips is an NCIDQ certified Interior Designer with a Bachelors of Science in Interior Design from Illinois State University. She is skilled in Space Planning, Furniture Layouts, Material and Finish Selection and FF&E Procurement.

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