Adulting DIY Mrs Enginerd

Garage Makeover DIY

This DIY was interrupted by my mother’s brain cancer diagnosis and convalescence. I’m doing my best to call it good; I kept postponing finishing it as if that would mean our journey wasn’t real. I’m proud of how it turned out. Enjoy!

When I was around 4 years old, my grandpa designed his own storage system for his tools. For as long as I can remember, he imparted unto the descendants the value of an organized workspace, going to great lengths to instruct us grandkids on safety and tool handling protocols. Because of his zeal for fixing items before throwing them into the trash heap, I learned the  humble art of repair and maintenance; recycing and reusing were paramount. It’s not a secret that his love for learning how to become a better mechanic and electrician was passed down to my cousin the architect and to me, the engineer. He truly believed in helping us build something better.

Since his favorite color was turquoise, I decided to make over the garage in honor of his memory and in a way that would showcase his legacy as it pertained to the satisfaction of a job well planned and executed. He’s been gone almost 10 years at the time of printing this blog article. Time flies when you are having fun with power tools. He he.

Here’s how I did it!


  • Wood planks – tongue and groove prepackaged kits, qty to match sq footgage of the area of installation + 10% overage
  • 2″ Brad nails (18 gauge)
  • Killz Primer, 2 galon container
  • Behr Paint, 1 galon, in preferred color
  • Chalkboard paint – quarts dependent on coverage area
  • Trim for wood plank wall
  • Cabinets and/or storage spaces and shelves
  • Nail gun
  • Painting supplies (brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloth, tape, stirrer, plastic bags to seal rollers and store between jobs and opener/painter’s tools)
  • Sander
  • Drywall repair kit
  • Optional – dry wall texturizing materials and equipment
  • Patience
  • Lots of free time
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, masks and closed shoes.

Each garage’s wall area will be different which is why you need to calculate the square footage you want to cover up with the wood plank and primer/paint to select the proper amount including a 10% overage to compensate for material flaws and spillage. Depending on the size of your crew, you could hash this out in a day or two, working 8-10 hrs with breaks. Since I did it on my own, while working and studying full time, it took me about four weeks to complete the tasks associated with the makeover.

Ordering materials on line for pick up or delivery in bulk will save you lots of time. I spaced out supply runs to optimize the budget, use coupons and gift cards, but if you have the capital, pull the trigger once and get cracking.

Another dimension of this DIY is cost. The wood planks retail for about $12 USD for 6 planks that are approx 3 3/4″ x 8 ft. If you want higher quality wood or shiplap, it will cost at least 4x the price listed above. Depending on the cabinet type and tools you may need to buy, the project can run up to $1000 USD. It is still cheaper than mudding the walls and finishing the garage with professional assistance. A project like this can run upwards of 10K USD if you add labor.

Designing the layout was easy because of the use of traditional cabinets. This set a counter depth of 24-26″ that easily fit the front permiter wall with room to spare for vehicles. I sold the construction materials and tools I no longer needed or had been left over during the home’s construction to raise funds. Turns out that anything left behind, per contract, becomes the property on the new home owners so we had the advantage of starting with some freebies, including a 6ft ladder. Score one for us after the Château Enginerd ordeal!

One of the side walls was finished using chalkboard paint which is another step you can skip to cut costs. Buying wainscoting panels or other types of paneling options can save you time and effort as well. The walls were primed before attaching anything to them in an attempt to protect and preserve them – waterproof as required for longer lasting results. The look of the bare painted drywalls was good enough for us which is why we didn’t mud and texture. However, applying better coverage and tape to the seams and fastener indentations would result in a cleaner more aesthetically pleasing look. To each their own!

The storage cabinets are all stock items from the Diamond Now Arcadia Lowe’s collection except the lowers which were purchased at Ikea. The pegboard is sold at Uline, where I also got the screw storage cabinet, first aid kit, gloves, masks and snow shovels. It’s still not quite there yet but I have to stop somewhere to regroup and evaluate what else could be added for fun, and what could be removed because it doesn’t serve us any longer. Time will tell on this one.

Happy Building!!

By MrsEnginerd

Engineer, DIY enthusiast, world traveler, avid reader, pitbull owner, and nerd whisperer. 😎🤓😘🐶

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