Garage Wall Paneling: Everything You Need to Know

Garage Wall Paneling: Everything You Need to Know

Garage wall paneling is the best solution to tidy up all the clutter in your garage. If you are using your garage not just as a parking space but also as a working station or a storage facility, everything you put in there must be in its proper place. You can upgrade the organization of your garage by building wall panels on it.

Building garage wall paneling is not as hard as it may seem. If you are looking for garage wall paneling ideas and tips on how to build it, here’s a guide you can follow as you transform your garage.

Things to Remember When Building Garage Wall Paneling

Garage wall paneling is a lot of work. It is also pretty daunting since you need to have a thorough plan on how you can build it and ensure it is stable enough as a storage space. But with these unique ideas and tips, you can easily create DIY garage wall panels in your home.

1.  Maximize the space

Space is one of the essential factors for garage wall paneling. If you have a smaller garage, you need to maximize every space available to ensure nothing will be left to waste. Thus, you first need to focus on how to make the most of your garage wall surface.

By knowing the things you will want to put on your garage wall panel, you can decide on how big you want it to be and the things you can place on the extra spaces. You also need to consider future materials you want to own, so you can also prepare the number of panels you may install.

Once you know how many panels you should put on your garage wall panel, you can decide which material best suits your idea.

2.  Use quality materials

Use quality materials


Regarding materials used for garage wall paneling, pegboards and Slatwall panels are the most commonly used.

A pegboard is a kind of hardboard with rows of small holes. You can find it on 1/4 inches wide 4 feet by 8 feet panels. A pegboard in this size is more flexible or flimsy, so you may find it chipping and splitting easily as time passes.

The other one is the Slatwall panels, which consist of different types. One of them is the medium-density fibreboard or the MDF. It is a type of Slatwall panel that is heavier and sturdier.

There is also the more improved and modern version of garage Slatwall panels with cellular foam PVC construction. It provides more benefits if you choose it as the material for your garage wall paneling, such as aesthetic look, moisture resistance, and durability.

Choosing Slatwall accessories over pegboard hooks as hanging materials for garage wall panels will also provide more stability and prevent your materials from falling quickly.

You can also use natural wood, chipboard, and gypsum board.

These materials are all affordable. Especially if you want to achieve cheap garage wall panels but sturdy enough to hold every stuff you want to store. Plus, they are also easy to install.

3.  Waterproof the wall panels

Waterproofing the wood paneling for garage walls will ensure it will stay clean and dry and prevent moisture build-up.

Walls are susceptible to water leaks and penetration. Most of the time, it is hard to locate where the leaks are coming from, so it is important to have waterproof wall panels for garage to seal it from the water coming in.

To further enhance the waterproof feature of your garage wall panel and fight molds, you should use a water-repellent sealer on the wall.

4.   Provide insulation

Provide insulation


Proper insulation keeps your garage in good condition and provides comfort even on days with extreme temperatures.

The best materials you can use are foam board and batt insulation to provide insulation.

The foam board is the most popular material used for installation because it is affordable and easy to install. In comparison, the batt insulation is also a good alternative. The best part of using batt insulation is its fiberglass component. You can also purchase it in pre-cut sizes to lessen your work while installing your garage wall panels.

5.  Wall preparation

The wall preparation is the most crucial part of installing a garage wall panel. You must thoroughly check the wall, the materials you will use, and many other essential aspects.

To start, first, you need to clean the wall. A clean surface will allow you to use adhesives and attach the panels easily.

Next, if you are having trouble attaching the wall panel, you can use plaster or wallboard. The wall studs and some furring strips to firmly secure them will also help. You can also use concrete nails and screws for additional sturdiness.

Of course, do not forget to keep the electrical system in place while installing the garage wall panels. If you do not have enough skills to deal with the wiring system, it is best to leave it to the experts.

6.  Create a garage baseboard

Another essential thing to take note of when installing garage wall paneling is to add a garage baseboard. Some people may think building one is for aesthetics, so they ignore it. Little did they know that it is functional.

The baseboard can cover gaps and block entry points. It can protect the wall panels, especially the things you store there, from water leakages or spills, chemical splashes, and small animals such as rats and other pests.

Create a garage baseboard


Like wall panels, you can use different materials to build a baseboard. The most commonly used is vinyl. It is cheap but durable. You can also try a thermoplastic rubber. It offers both strength and flexibility.

7.  Paint or cover the garage wall panels

Lastly, the best part of the entire process of garage wall paneling is painting and decorating. The simple look of your wood paneling for garage walls is dull. Thus, you need to add colors to make it look nicer. Ensure that the color you pick suits the wall and the garage’s overall look, so it will not become an eyesore.

If you want to lessen the workload, you can also buy panels that already have primed or painted surfaces.

Steps on How To Install Garage Wall Paneling

Now that you know the essential tips when building garage wall paneling, here’s how you can install it.

1.   Measure and fit the panel sheets

Check the measurement of the garage wall and ensure the panel sheets will fit on it. Make the necessary adjustment as needed.

2.   Use a stud finder to locate the studs

Look for the stud or the vertical frame in the wall. You can use a stud finder to search for the center of the stud nearest to the corner. Mark each stud as it will serve as the place where you will put on the paneling seams.

3.   Lay and cut the panels

Lay face down the paneling sheets. Measure its distance from the corner of the first mark you make. Put an allowance of at least an inch for additional attachment. To cut the panels, you can use a circular saw.

4.   Attach the first sheet of panels to the wall

Get the first-panel sheet and attach it to the wall, ensuring it is one inch from the corner. To put it into its position, nail its top temporarily so it will not fall off as you remove the panel sheets from the wall.

5.   Cut the scribe line

Cut the scribe line


Use a jigsaw to cut the scribe line while the panel is facing side up. You can also use a saw with a finer-tooth blade to prevent splintering.

6.   Apply paint to cover the panel walls

Cover the walls with paint to cover the small openings on the paneling joints. Choose the color that will match well with the paneling edges.

7.   Install the panels

Lastly, install the paneling using a panel adhesive. Make an interval of six inches from each of the panels.

To secure the panels on the top, use 4d nails on each stud. Make enough intervals for symmetry. Once the adhesive becomes sticky enough, press the garage wall paneling on it. Hold for two minutes to ensure it will be attached properly.


1.   What kind of paneling can be used in a garage?

Pegboard and Slatwall panels are the most commonly used garage wall paneling. A pegboard is a type of hardboard panel that offers flexibility. In contrast, the Slatwall panels are the upgraded version of medium-density fiberboard or MDF, which provides aesthetics, durability, moisture, resistance, and weight to your DIY garage wall panels.

2.  What is the cheapest way to cover garage walls?

Painting is ideal for garage wall coverings for those on a budget. You can apply it to various surfaces, such as cinder blocks and concrete, without assistance from someone else.

If aesthetics is one of your concerns, you can choose from different painting color options depending on the desired look you want to achieve for your garage. You may also want to choose waterproof paint to prevent water and moisture build-up.

3.   What can I use instead of drywall in the garage?

Cement board, plywood or OSB, and plaster. If you want a cheaper and best alternative, the shiplap is also an excellent choice for garage walls since it is durable and easy to install.

4.   Is MDF good for garage walls?

MDF is also an excellent material to use for garage walls. It is moisture-resistant and provides sound insulation, which is a good feature since noise is expected in a garage, primarily if you often work there.

5.   Is drywall OK in an unheated garage?

Drywall is the most used material for garage walls because it is easy to install and cost-effective. You can use it even in an unheated garage and overcoat it with paint to make it look nicer.

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