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How to Finish Your Garage Walls on a Shoestring Budget

Drywall is a popular choice for garage walls, but it's not always the best nor is it the most budget-friendly. While aesthetically pleasing, drywall has very little impact resistance (strange choice for a room that generally holds cars and machinery) and has very poor moisture resistance.

Fortunately, there are lots of better (and more affordable) choices out there. Let's take a look at the options.

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented strand board (more commonly referred to as OSB) is a type of engineered wood very similar to particle board. It is what you probably think of as "plywood," but is actually a sturdier version of that concept. OSB is formed by gluing together layer upon layer of wood flakes in random orientations. And it's a fantastic choice for garage walls.

Both half-inch and three-quarter-inch OSB sheathing are stable enough for a garage. Just about anything can be held by the material and it actually has a really neat appearance when painted. Just know that you'll want to throw on a couple of extra coats, because it has a tendency to absorb paint.


Fiberboard, like OSB and plywood, is a composite material made from wood chips. It comes in various densities, but the best choice for a garage is called "hardboard." Hardboard typically comes in a quarter-inch sheet, is lightweight and easy to staple or nail onto studs, and has a smooth surface (unlike OSB). Bonus: it also does a great job of absorbing sound!


Made from the same material as fiberboard, wood pegboard is made from a wood composite — but this time, it has holes spaced at regular intervals, every quarter-inch or so. Because of this, wood pegboard is particularly useful for organization. Pegs and shelves can be hooked directly into the material. Easy!

One added consideration to keep in mind if you choose to use pegboard is its inability to prevent airflow. If you're looking to insulate before adding garage walls, you will want to consider an option that is completely solid instead.

Why should I insulate my garage?

Insulating your garage makes a lot of sense if you plan to heat the room, store perishable goods, or spend much time in it (say, if you use the space for carpentry or to work on cars).

Additionally, it can be a particularly good idea to insulate your garage if it is attached to your home. By installing insulation in the walls between your living space and the garage, you can prevent heat from escaping through the walls or ceilings of your home during winter time and vice versa during warmer months.

Curious about how insulating your garage might increase your energy savings and put money back in your pocket? Get in touch! We're always happy to chat and talk you through the benefits, no strings attached.


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