6 Steps To A Better Garage

6 Steps To A Better Garage

By Cole Mayer

My wife and I moved into our new house at the tail end of last year. My mother-in-law moved in with us a month ago. The biggest problem was fitting our cars in the garage. It wasn’t hard – mostly cleaning the third-car garage. But it’s still pretty dreary – just cement tones and 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. Here’s how I cleaned my garage, and the upgrades I’m going to put in.


  1. Lockers for storage

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, in part by adding in wire shelving. But what I want to do, for both storage and decorative reasons, is use a metal storage locker. My dad had two 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 – and I’ve got enough gray in the garage already.

Being that they are metal lockers, I plan on putting magnets on them – everything from numbers of pizza places to funny pop culture references. We bought a new refrigerator, which has too clean of a look for our old magnets. First, though, I’ll paint the lockers for a splash of color.

  1. Overhead platform storage

Taking another cue from my dad, I want to build a simple overhead storage area. Even with the wire shelving, I’m lacking room. A simple platform to hold the bins shouldn’t take too long to build, and I can stain the wood beforehand.  

  1. Cement staining

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

It seems like everyone has the exact same color of concrete for their garage floor, but I want mine to stand out – and anything that’s not cement gray fits the bill. In any case, I’ll have to match the color to…

  1. Rug to break the monotony

I currently use an old rug on the floor of the garage, along with some cardboard from new furniture. Now that I’ve organized, the rug stands out a bit more. The rug is made up of 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 to match. 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, semi-gloss paint sounds perfect. 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. There’s going to be grass clippings floating about no matter how I paint. Semi-gloss will be pricier than some other options, but I’m more concerned with quality than price – a personal mantra of mine.

  1. Accent wall

After painting the walls, I want an accent wall, something to stand out – I’m thinking a custom mural is in order. The Boise State Broncos (well known for their blue turf) are the big team around here, so I could get a wall-sized mural of them. This fits with the color theme than blue and orange of the cement stain.

  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. A splash of color and easier organization, all in one.