Get rid of the clutter and...
Get rid of the clutter and make your car the star of the garage.
Would you place a beautiful painting in a shabby frame? Hang a Van Gogh on the wall using duct tape? The garage is the "frame" around our rolling works of art. Why dishonor your coveted car by surrounding it with a mess? Let's look at clearing the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life to properly display our prized possessions.
Sure, full remodeling can be expensive. For example, the figures often quoted for a kitchen remodel range from $15,000 for minor work to $80,000 or more for major remodeling. Fortunately, a garage can be changed from mediocre to marvelous for far less money. Plus, in at least one place in your house, you can do it your way. Wives often fashion the look of most of the rooms in a house, but the garage can be a guy's sanctum sanctorum.
Previous issues of Corvette Fever have shown garages of particular interest, and they are extraordinary. However, this article is for those of us more constrained by space or funds. the low-cost themes of this article are paint, declutter, and organize. Not only are these the cheapest things to do, they are also the most effective way to make a habitat that doesn't detract from your car.
Garage doors coated on the...
Garage doors coated on the inside with grey primer or galvanizing look drab and suck up a lot of light. Prepaint preparation started with vacuuming the accumulated dust and cobwebs. Next was scrubbing with a scotch pad to clean and rough-up the surface before paint application. The final step was a quick wipe with a tack rag.
Preparing and roller-painting a dingy, stained floor costs about $50. At even less cost, apply an appliance-white enamel via aerosol to a gray or galvanized garage door, and it brightens the entire space. Then add a couple posters in frames to elevate the room above the warehouse look.
The best bang for the buck comes from getting rid of clutter. The garage seems to be the final resting place for everything in the category "I don't need this anymore, but maybe someday somebody will." Pretend you're Elliot Ness attacking moonshine and toss out everything that is not essential for a future planned project. Need another rationalization? Not only is it irritating to have to step over clutter everyday, but it can fall or be bumped, and damage your Corvette's finish.
The third theme is to organize. Not in the union sense, but in making an efficient place to put stuff away and out of sight. Prefab cabinets from Lowe's or Home Depot can store hundreds of items behind closed doors. Using large plastic tubs on shelves provides a way to organize items so you can actually find them quickly when needed. The same cabinets can hide ugly water heaters, water filters, and other "wall warts."
This project may take a weekend or two, and at times it will be tedious. But when it's completed, you'll be really glad you did it. In a hectic life, you'll gain a little bit of Zen harmony when you walk into the garage in the morning or drive into it in the evening. Plus you'll be the envy of the other guys in the neighborhood. And you might just make some more room for another toy...or two!
|Difficulty Index - 2 Wrenches|
|Anyone's Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|
Six aerosol cans of white...
Six aerosol cans of white Rustoleum appliance enamel coated this single-width garage door. Not only does the garage look much better, the increase in brightness and illumination aids in working in the garage. Warning: enamel overspray sticks on everything within 20 feet or more (including eyeglasses), so use dropcloths to cover the entire floor.
Rolling paint onto the floor...
Rolling paint onto the floor is the easiest part of the job. H&C Silicone Acrylic Concrete Sealer has performed well for me in the past, with no peeling or chipping. A $19 gallon of Dove gray-H&C's lightest gray color-recoated a single-car garage floor. Preparation involved scrubbing with a concrete cleaner, followed by a thorough rinsing, and then letting the floor dry for 24 hours. Warning: wear a carbon-filter mask during application as the fumes are intense.
Cabinets can hide the ugly...
Cabinets can hide the ugly water heater and pipes, just remove their lower shelves. Hinging the front panel provides easy access if ever needed. Enclosing the water heater also helps keep its heat in, saving a little utility money. The same cabinet also hides the unsightly water filters, but still provides room for storing parts and tools in plastic tubs.