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Recommendation for painting garage workshop walls Please?

Morning all, we have a garage. Don’t laugh but it’s a converted old farm abattoir reroofed and a pit added etc. Walls have been painted many times with cheapo white and have built up an ok finish but on old brick walls.

Time has come to do it again but instead of like a matt white wash finish, I’m hoping to get a more semi gloss or wipe down finish. ideally with good light promoting qualities. At the same time don’t want spend a mint on it either.

Any suggestions please for a budget hard finish, light promoting easy to apply paint would be really welcomed.

Garage has traditionally been heavily used and the whitewash type cheap paints build up with dust and rubbish which I’m hoping avoid going forward.

Many thanks in advance. AH64.

Hi have you thought about putting a polyvine decorators varnish on top?

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Hi AH64
What are the walls and how old? Old enough to be the old clay bricks with lime mortar?

If so they need to remain permeable, otherwise you end up with spawling.

I lime plaster the internals and then clay paint. If bare brick I would use a silicate masonry paint. Mike Wye sells such products as does earthborn

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Hi Howzz, it’s an old brick build with a very hard plaster finish to about the should height then returns to brick.

It’s had a good few coats of old emulsion on in the past. For some reason we got obsessed with using old tins up and that’s strangely very tight and well bonded. So the base is good an solid in reality.

I was also leaning to a smooth masonry paint as well. But would be nice to up the luminescence some how. We have two strip lights in there which are quite good but it always feels a little dark. Not even sure if that’s possible?



I’d not heard of that one Jason but just looked it up now and reading about it. So the idea is to plant and then seal with that? Interesting.

Have to confess to leaning towards smooth masonry paint. Is a doddle put on and cheap but would definitely like to increase the brightness in these if it’s possible.

In the past (before finding a lot better paints on here) I used the Dulux product … think it was called Lumitec. I don’t know in reality if it made it lighter but I like the idea of that

My sparky installs led strip lights where needed. Anyway I find them a lot brighter than the old fluorescent

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Hi Howzz, yes we fitted new style strips maybe two years back but were not LED.

That’s a good call on that one and will order a couple today bright white ones today. They cheap enough and a proper solution rather than looking for voodoo magic in the paint.

I went with standard Sandtex white smooth and it flowed on a treat over a few rough white emulsion coats over the years. Me and the 4 year old grandson in his JCB overalls! Worked a treat and quickly.

Thanks for the solid suggestion as always

What kind of day rate is the grandson on; I can see another group undercutting us.

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His renumeration for this one was …

… and a renovated directors chair with his name on it. Tech note: Sanded, Osmo Oak UV x 2, new canvass off Amazon (£8.00), and a leather pressed name label off ETSY at £5.00 :slight_smile:

At 4 that’s a fortune :slight_smile:

Early retirement, no way I can compete with this!
Does he know that there is currently a nation wide shortage of decorators.

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I don’t think he does Howzz … his world still revolves around BBC Ceebbies programs called Bing and Batman and Ironman T shirts. :slight_smile:

He is motivated (amazingly so) but can only reach to about 5 foot with a roller. Mind he soon got used to using an extension pole.

I can sub him out to you at reasonable rates :slight_smile: … in fact all you’d need is kids yogurts, water melon and a Kit kat! :slight_smile:

On a serious note, I commend you for your patience and encouraging your grandson son to be involved. It is those moments that stay with you as you get older and enables you to take on a multitude of challenges.

More and more, I go in to houses and without fail the wives are telling me how useless their husbands are. Whilst it provides an income, I am alarmed that the nation is full of incapable males.


Cheers Howzz … I appreciate that.

But don’t get me started on that subject. I 100% agree about your quote about “nation full of incapable males” … mind I’d add females to that as well.

I got 5 kids (2 of my own 3 inherited) and the scale between utterly useless and able, determined and “I give up before I started” is night and day. It is deeply frustrating. And I mean deeply frustrating. Two out of three of their husbands are in fairness at least tryers … if low end tryers. The third an absolute waste of DNA.

The weird thing is that it’s those that have studied hard, got good career plans are also the ones fixing old cars, renovating old places, furniture off ebay and striving to have life fun with the limited funds left. The others … go shopping, watch Sky TV and moan at how unfair life has been.

I have one daughter who replaced her own front discs and calipers on our old shared Citroen C5 last year, (and in parallel qualified as a teacher … the kid’s mother) and others who would drop a car the garage to change wiper blades.

I can claim a success with my own kids and a near total failure with the inherited ones. And now the grandson is my new project and it goes really well … almost too well. He wants to paint and fix everything!!! :slight_smile: Even an old set of 1940’s wood & wire ladders that came out of said garage. And like a burke I agreed! one set of sanded, preserved ladders later, we are ready to prime and paint them!!! Ladders worth about £5 … paint needed probably £40+ !!! :slight_smile:

No is good to see genuine enthusiasm for life and work. I hope it continues.

And I will tell him about your comment. And this is the kid in question … I know, I know, it’s not exactly dust free precision work but it’s a garage :slight_smile:

Hi folks this one started when he was young,i set up a blog got him to photograph his work, and write what he learned,in his spare evenings practase,cuting in on lining paper, wallpapering on bedroom wall,skiming walls, spraying,prepartion.As well as studying all the products we used,best tools to use,the tp site was his bible of the trade.The key with him, was constant repition,the key for motivation,after about a year was money.

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Most cool Jason. A man taking a pride in his work. Like it.

As Howzz says, it’s becoming a rare thing. And even if your chosen route in life becomes an academic or professional one I’d still say hands on work … making, doing, creating, repairing, growing is good for the mental balance in life.

There are so many programs on TV showing folks repairing, renovating, cooking, upgrading things and I honestly think folks watch them (and enjoy them) rather than doing. I know it’s the case with lazier members of our tribe. They will watch The Repair Shop on BBC but would they actually get out of their chair to try it? Would they hell.

I do honestly think it’s how you have been bought up. The line between do’ers and watchers in our tribe is 100% linear and DNA based. Those who grew up with parents how are do’ers definitely get it. It’s a brutally clear line. And again (as Howzz referred to) what do these blokes do? Bloody Xbox or Netflix.

Minor rant over … :slight_smile:

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I have two sons whom I am very proud of. The oldest, who at 26, has just finished making the 27 arched windows for the project that is nearly finished. Most of the guys who work for me are young men who with encouragement are more than capable. But as my oldest says I have become less tolerant and if I’m turning around seeing workers on phones, I get niggled. What they don’t realise is that I do a seven-day week and everything that we do is hard fought. My conclusion is that most people coming through have no sense of ownership and therefore no responsibility.
Nevertheless, well done to both of you for helping the next generations, we carry responsibility to teach good habits, diligence, and correct processes.


100% that Howzz.

I’d say only two out of our five have a clue about that degree of effort and commitment you describe there. Work ethic is definitely becoming harder to find … in families, kids, and trades.

I got lazy this week and decided get a tiler to do some (fairly simple) splash backs in the kitchen … but with an insane expensive tile. Correction … I broke my ankle rather badly and I’m taking heat to start delegating and paying folks to take some of this work on.

The wife contacted three. One an odd job bloke who proceeded to highlight every (sharp intake of breath) problem and why it was going to be so hard. He looked like he was in pain.

Then a second guy who had been around, said he was busy but would fit is in and gave good advice and whilst realistic was also positive and strangely knew a thing or two about paint.

Then a third who I got the impression maybe quite good but again … this is difficult, this will be expensive, this is a problem. etc etc. Just constant negativity.

I far from mind being explained to why a job may have been underestimated. And in fairness there were a couple of points I had over looked. But to be systematically be told how awful the job would be was frustrating. Surely the point of contacting a professional (like you lot on TP) is to be explained the problems yes but also how they can be made to go away.

It definitely seems be that some trades and work ethics in general are simply not interested in what they are doing. They just don’t seem to enjoy the creative side of it.

And you are 100% right we have a responsibility to transfer those qualities.

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