July 13, 2020

The Home Stretch!

I'm going to keep this short today, because I just want to veg in front of the TV until bedtime. I had a super productive day in the garage--I went out there as soon as I woke up (7:00 AM), worked until dinner time for Noah's birthday dinner (he chose to order pizza), and then went back out until 8:30 PM.

Over the last couple of weeks, I finished the final layer of drywall compound, sanded it, primed the walls and the ceiling, then painted the walls and the ceiling with two coats of paint. After finishing up the second coat of gray on the walls today, I realized that I had about half of the paint left (I'd bought a five-gallon bucket, and only really needed about three gallons).

It's outdoor paint, so it's not really something I'd want to use in the house or on many other projects. I decided to use it to paint the concrete foundation wall underneath the drywall. From the floor, we have 2 feet of concrete foundation wall and then a 2x4 sill on top of that, and then the drywall goes up 8 feet to the ceiling.

The concrete is ugly, and I had thought about putting some sort of bead board or something over it, but that would be expensive and not very practical. So, I decided to try painting it with the leftover wall paint.

I am shocked at what a difference it made! It took SO LONG to paint it (I used a brush because the concrete has a ton of nooks and crannies). It wasn't hard work like the drywall was, but it was tedious and took all day. I finished three walls.

I still have to do something with the 2x4 sill, but that won't be hard--I'll probably just put a ledge there to cover it. I'm excited to trim the windows and door. Just cosmetic stuff but it's my favorite part to do!

The garage is still a cluttered mess (it's all in the center of the garage so I could get to the walls), but I want to finish the windows before I start moving everything into place. I'll probably go to Lowe's tomorrow to get the rest of the supplies to finish up this project. It's been a great distraction to keep me busy during the COVID quarantine, but I want my garage back!  :)

Here is a "before" picture of the corner of the garage that we had a couple of couches and TV (the kids liked to hang out in there with their friends). And then a current photo... such a big difference! I'm super excited to completely finish everything and post before and after photos.


  1. WOW! this is amazing! you have worked so hard on this. I can't wait to see the final reveal.

  2. Your garage looks awesome! It's so much brighter, and clean. Great Work!!

  3. Hi Katie. You’ve done a beautiful job on your garage! I dry walled my family room and bonus space ceilings a couple of years ago, but was too chicken to tackle the taping and muddling. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to do it myself. I’m totally intimidated and scared of screwing it up. If you have any tips or can tell me what you watched to learn how to do it, that would be great. Hopefully you can get my email off this comment. Look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hi there! I don't get your email with the comment, but I will just respond here (feel free to email me if you have questions or need clarification or whatever!) Finishing drywall is SUPER intimidating at first, but you will be so proud when you're done! It's not hard to do, but it's tedious and you build skill as you go. As far as tips:
      1) Watch a trillion YouTube videos. Most people have slightly different methods, but they all do the same thing. You'll learn a ton from watching other people do it. (Especially the videos from professional drywallers)
      2) The better you are at the mudding, the less you have to sand. And trust me, you will be SO grateful when you don't have a lot sand before painting! After each coat of mud, it should look very smooth, especially the edges. (If it's not, though, you can always sand it down--it just makes a lot more work)
      3) Don't fill your mud pan super full. As you work, you'll get little bits of dust or fibers in it and those will leave drag marks while you're mudding. So, it's easier to refill it more frequently with fresh mud than to have to pick out little pieces of debris in a full pan.
      4) Make sure you wait a full 24 hours between coats. If you try to rush it, the mud that isn't fully dry will pill up and ruin what you've already done. (I know this because I've done it, haha)
      5) Be prepared for gobs of mud to fall on the floor. It'll happen. Thankfully, you can clean it up with just water, so it doesn't stain or anything. Actually, it's easier to clean up after it dries in a gob rather than if it gets smeared.
      6) Use the paper tape rather than the mesh tape. I started out with mesh tape and I could NEVER get it to look smooth. The paper tape is much easier to work with and gives smoother seams.
      7) You're going to use much more drywall compound than you think you will, so buy the big bucket(s). I didn't mix my own--I was too intimidated to do that. I bought the stuff in the blue and white bucket (I can't think of the brand, but it's in every home improvement store). It's lighter weight than the stuff in the green and white bucket.
      8) Make sure your knives are SUPER straight. If they have even a slight curve, it'll be so frustrating to try to get smooth seams!

      That's a lot, so I won't add more to intimidate you further, haha. Start by watching lots of YouTube videos (I didn't save the ones I watched--I just picked up bits and pieces from each one). I would make a video myself, but it would be nowhere near as good as the professional ones. My seams aren't perfect, but the imperfections are minimal and unless someone is really critiquing it, they wouldn't notice.

      Anyway, sorry so long--I could write about it all day long, haha. Don't be afraid to try it! Honestly. After you do just one seam, you will feel like a rockstar and wonder why you put it off for so long. Hell, you already did the drywalling--that's not easy to do, either!

  4. Looks awesome! Great job!

  5. What a difference! Looks great!


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