How do I prep walls & ceiling in a garage for painting?

Cindy Rubin
by Cindy Rubin

Unlike indoor walls, a simple washing down the dust etc before painting has worked for me. Now, I want to paint the entire inside of my garage. I'm guessing a simple washing is not good enough... my mind wanders to some kind of build up from car exhaust, dirt, bug remnants. Am I right? Is there a need to prep the ceiling & walls in a garage differently? (Hoping the answer is no!)

  3 answers
  • Seth Seth on Feb 17, 2019


    Is your garage finished with drywall or plywood or is it open framing? I think the answer depends on how picky you are. You can just sweep/vacuum loos debris and remove anything that is oily or that you can scrape off easily with a putty knife. Skip the washing and paint away. You may roll over a few bugs, but it's a garage.

    • Cindy Rubin Cindy Rubin on Feb 17, 2019

      It's dry wall and it's a remodel of my parents' house (sentimental) getting ready to sell.

  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on Feb 17, 2019

    Painting the garage is just like painting a room! You may encounter bits of dirt stuck to the wall, but a little rub with sand paper should smooth it out quickly. If there are oily stains on the wall, spot paint over them with a primer, like Kilz, to prevent the stain from bleeding through the paint. I recommend a good grade of semi-gloss paint on the walls to make cleaning it easier in the future.

  • Pamela Pamela on Feb 17, 2019

    Hi ! We just used a regular latex paint in semi gloss, so it can be wiped down if needed . The only thing that would be different is if you had bad stains , then i would use kilz paint first , that should cover most stains with one coat , if needed give it a second coat , then paint as normal . We also bought special garage floor paint , in a blueish gray color and the matching color flakes ( we bought the mix of gray black & white ) you paint with 2 coats of paint, and as you paint a section on the second coat , while it's wet you sprinkle on the flakes, it came out great and really made the garage look finished !