Some men find real enjoyment working with their own two hands. I am no exception, instead when it comes to little home improvement projects, I could be the poster child. However, this last statement comes with a caveat, I don’t necessarily like doing work like this for others. Sounds kinda bad, I know, but these are the type of jobs that you would really only wanna do for yourself. I digress…
At the onset of 2014, I did my annual goals setting. My list included a few goals that centered around home improvement. These goals inspired the following project, Jake’s Garage.
Like most newer homes in my neighborhood, my garage was nothing special. It served its purpose of storing my things and kept my cars fairly warm during the cold MN winters. There were movie posters and a ton of race bibs that had made their way on to the walls over the last five years. Over time the sight of the exposed sheet rock and nail pops got under my skin and eventually I worked up the motivation to do something about it. The time had come to give my garage a makeover.
Just to get things underway, it was necessary to strip the walls of my a garage and remove all the installed shelving. This took probably about 4-5 hours to gut the whole thing and to move the vast majority of my things into my lower room. This also helped me rid myself of some unnecessary junk that hadn’t been used in eons.
This phase of the project was rather time-consuming considering all of the nail pops and sheet rock seams that needed covering. Sounds straight forward and for the most part it was, but it gets boring, a good playlist is really needed to make this bearable! It took me a couple of one gallon tubs before I realized that it was a much bigger job than I expected. Two additional 5 gallon buckets of mud later, I had applied it to every inch of my garage in need of resurfacing, patching or fully being reconstructed. It took me about 18-20 hours and the associated costs were: $50 mud and $12 putty knifes.
By far the least fun portion of the transformation of my garage was the copious amount of sanding and resanding needed. Each pucker and corner needed a lot of sanding. I started with a lower gage sand paper which shed much of the unnecessary mud off. With flat surfaces, I went over one last time with a finer sand paper so that it would be ready for a primer paint coat. Tackling the ceilings left me with a very sore neck and agonizing shoulders. This stage took me approximately 24 hours and cost me about $25 for sandpaper, $15 for sanding blocks, and about $10 for breathing masks (to minimize the dust I would breath in).
Finally, on to the fun stuff… I must have been a painter in a past life or something because as soon as I get a brush or a roller in my hands, it’s game over! I purchased a 5 gallon bucket of primer paint and quickly slapped a white coat all over the garage interior. Finally, I could really begin to see the transformation that was happening.
After several consultations over the phone with my Dad, “Bob the Painter”, I was able to determine the correct sheen and amount of paint needed for the final coat. To have fun, I decided to two-tone the garage with a peanut butter and chocolate tones. I thought that this combination would really make the space feel warm and classy. After three gallons of peanut butter coating the ceiling and half the walls (two coats), I put another two gallons of the darker brown on the lower sections of the walls. This was approximately 24 hours of dedicated trimming and rolling time spent; the cost was $79 for the primer, roughly $120 for the paint, ~$25 for rollers, paint trays, and tape. After all the final touches on the trim, It was officially weather proofed, perfection!
Previously the garage was lit with just one bulb and didn’t combat the darkness of the two and a half stall garage. So I picked up a fairly cool matching brown track light kit and killed the power so I could install it. After about an hour and several anchor screws, I had completed the job and the room lit up with five bulbs. Time invested here was approximately 1.5 hours and cost approximately $99. Looks great and matches the room’s vibe, very happy!
I thought that the Summer had slipped through my fingers and my chance to apply the epoxy floor covering had escaped me. Thankfully a forecasted weekend mid September that made promises of seventy degrees came to fruition. I took full advantage. Having already purchased the Rustoleum epoxy flooring that covered exactly a two and a half car stall garage, I was worried that I would have to wait till next Summer before sealing the floor.
One fourXfour foot section at a time, I rolled the floor and carefully sprinkled the slip resistant chips over it. When it was all completed, the next three days the garage was left slightly open for it to dry correctly. It was a light tan floor with brown specs, the coloring was a great match for the tones of the walls and lights. This last step of my project took about 8 hours (three hours for the acid floor wash and rinsing, five for the application of the flooring); it cost $7 for lacquer thinner used to remove a few paint spots on the floor and $99 for the epoxy package.
In all this home improvement makeover of my garage took me approximately 90 hours (spread over about 4 weeks of evenings here and there and a couple of weekends) and cost me ~$550. I really enjoyed the hard work and doing it all myself made it all the more rewarding. Yes you can, Do It Yourself!
I think the final product looks amazing and I think it adds much more value to my home than the invested money.
My final note – while leaving my garage cracked about 2 feet open to let the epoxy flooring air out, someone snuck under my garage door and stole my daughter’s bike. It was a sinking feeling and a bummer to explain what had happened. I just know that karma comes around… for everyone!