Cheap Garage Wall Covering (Drywall Alternatives)

Painted walls and metal pegboards are the cheapest garage wall coverings. They offer an aesthetic look that is considerably cheaper compared to wooden drywall garage walls and they’re easier to accomplish.

It can cost a hundred dollars to have drywall as finishing for your garage walls. The job itself is not easy and not many home DIY-ers are interested in putting drywall up themselves. Luckily, this article explores alternatives to drywall for garage floors.

Cheap Garage Wall Covering – Ideas Ranked

Cheap wall covering for garages is not complicated to put into practice. The following garage wall finishing ideas can be put into practice with a bit of patience even without the help of a professional.

Metal pegboards

Specifically designed for garage walls, metal pegboards look good and they offer plenty of storage space. You can hang your power tools, hand tools, and other household items on pegboards.

Metal pegboards are the best garage wall covering idea as they cover up brick walls completely while opening up new storage space. All of your tools are off the floor when stored on a metal pegboard which means your garage will look tidier when considering this option.

It only takes a few screws to put metal pegboards in place. This is considerably cheaper than putting up drywall and paying hours of labor for contractors to do the job. Metal pegboards are sometimes made from galvanized steel which also makes them the most durable garage wall finishing idea.

Pros

  • Installs in minutes
  • Cheaper than drywall
  • The most durable method of finishing up interior garage walls

Cons

  • You might need a bit of help putting them up due to their weight

Plywood

Plywood offers an elegant wooden look to your walls on a budget. Cheaper than hardwood, plywood can offer a rustic look to your garage walls. You can find various sizes and thicknesses for plywood so that you don’t lose a lot of space as with drywall.

Plywood is easy to install. You need a hammer drill, a few good screws, and a few hours to have it on your walls. Unlike metal pegboards, plywood can be installed without any help in most cases as you don’t need to lift it.

Pros

  • Elegant timeless wooden look for the walls
  • Easy to install with a hammer drill
  • Potential for unique garage wall designs when using the smallest pieces of plywood

Cons

  • It might need painting for durability

Painted brick wall

Inexpensive garage walls are the easiest to achieve when painting them instead of adding plywood or drywall. Painting garage walls adds no insulation but it makes the walls look good on a budget. Colors such as gray and white tend to be the most popular for garage walls.

You can paint garage walls yourself which also saves you money further with potential contractors. You can use a roller, a brush, or an airless paint sprayer for the job. The toughest spray paint also works wonders on garage walls when you want to simplify your job further.

Garage walls will not look the smoothest when simply painted, however. All of those crevasses are still going to be visible through the paint, as well as all the uneven surfaces. One tip is to apply filler to any cracks in the walls before paint spraying your garage.

Another reason to consider painting the garage walls apart from affordability is brightness. White is one of the colors that brighten up and opens up garage space, an effect impossible to achieve with metal pegboards for example.

Pros

  • Great selection of durable paints to choose from
  • You can paint garage walls yourself
  • The entire project can cost less than $100

Cons

  • No thermal or wind insulation

OSB

OSB or orientated strand board can be another option for your garage walls. Looking similar but still different than plywood, OSB is among the favorites as it allows plenty of storage space with hangers and simple nails.

OSB can be painted, lacquered, or left as it is before you hang it on the walls. You can consider partially covering up the garage walls with OSB when you’re on a tight budget or fully covering the walls with these wooden boards. What to put on garage walls? It’s OSB that’s going to seem the most natural in the garage. However, OSBs aren’t the cheapest way of decorating garage walls.

Pros

  • Easy to install with a drill
  • It can be painted to a color of your preference
  • Installed as a DIY project

Cons

  • Not as cheap as simply painting the garage walls

Wood planks

Wood planks are an affordable way of covering up exterior garage walls. While some people consider wood planks for the interior walls as well they’re simply made for the outer walls where they add insulation and where they look the best, similar to the wood planks on your house.

It can take a few hours to install wood planks yourself. However, installing wood planks is still easier than putting up drywall. Wood planks can be cut to size by Home Depot or similar stores when ordering. All that’s left is for you to put them up.

Pros

  • Timeless look
  • Easy to put up
  • It can be painted to match the house

Cons

  • Only suitable for the outer garage walls

Plastic panels

Sandwich panels or plastic panels offer another good solution for cheap garage walls. You can consider plastic walls as the ‘most expensive’ cheap garage wall covering the idea. These panels come in all shapes and sizes and they can act as insulation as well.

Pros

  • Ideal for roomy garages with good ventilation
  • Easy to snap together
  • Available on white

Cons

  • Not best in damp garages with poor ventilation

Drywall (sheetrock) plus wooden frame

If all else fails you can choose drywall for cheap garage walls. While drywall is the most expensive option on the list, it’s still not the most expensive solution compared to tile and expensive hardwood wall covering. Drywall requires a bit of skill to put up and you’re expected to hire a professional to have it done and to make your garage walls look modern.

Pros

  • It should not take more than a day to put drywall up the garage walls
  • Drywall is easily found in stores
  • Best for modern garage wall decoration

Cons

  • Not the cheapest way to decorate garage walls

What to consider with cheap garage wall covering

You can put various wooden panels, plastic panels, and metal panels on your garage walls. Alternatively, you can paint them with durable paint for a cheaper finish. Drywall on garage walls is the more expensive option, but also the most modern. Here’s what you need to consider when making cheap garage walls.

The total cost of materials

What do all the materials cost? MDF and plywood are at an all-time high in 2021. This means almost any type of wood is going to now cost more than in 2020. Creating cheap garage walls is always going to be limited by the budget. But in some cases, you might need to consider your timeline as prices go up one week after another.

Think about it this way. MDF almost doubled in price within a few months in 2021. This means your final costs can be considerably higher if you don’t buy all your materials in bulk.

Otherwise, all other listed options tend to have a stable price. You can calculate just how much you’re going to spend on garage walls by comparing the needed materials for your given surface.

Cost of labor

How much does it cost to build a garage? A garage can cost as little as $600 but it can also cost thousands of dollars. How much does it cost to have your garage walls finished? This depends on the materials of your preference. Putting up drywall is more expensive than painting the garage walls in terms of contractor price per hour.

The time needed to put in place

Apart from the cost per hour, you should also calculate the hours needed to finish the job. Most contractors charge by the hour and the more they work the more you’ll have to pay. If you’re after the quickest job our recommended cheap garage wall coverings such as painting or adding metal pegboards are going to be the cheapest and fastest to put into practice.

The design of the garage

How do you want your garage to look? Do you want it to have that industrial metal pegboard look or do you want it to have a timeless plywood wall look? The design of the garage is typically less important than the design of the house. Still, it should be a pleasant space as you might have a workshop in there or you might simply prefer a polished look for your garage.

The durability of the garage wall covering

One final tip is to consider just how much garage wall covering is going to last. Metal pegboards last forever. The paint needs a fresh coat every few years. Plywood might need to be swapped 10 years from now. How long wall coverings last also depend on the temperature and humidity levels in your garage. High humidity in the garage is a certain recipe for further investments shortly.

Ideally, you’d prevent your garage to go below freezing temperatures in the winter. This would keep its wall coverings in the best shape possible. On the other hand, a new can of paint or a couple of new MDF boards are not going to cost a fortune and it might pay to renovate your garage to keep it looking as good as possible in the future.

Alternatives to drywall for garage wall coverings

Valuable drywall alternatives for coring up garage walls include pure paint, metal pegboards, and plywood panels. These can cover up walls partially or completely. All of them are cheaper alternatives as drywall has a higher installation cost.

Drywall might look good but it needs professionals to be put in place without issues. Drywall needs to be straight and this is hard to achieve for a person that is working with the gypsum material for the first time.

Cheap garage wall covering Cost
Metal pegboards $$
Paint $
OSB $$$$
Wood plank boards $$$$$
Plastic panels $$$$
Drywall $$$$$

 

Final words

The best cheap garage wall covering is easy to put in place and it offers a completely new garage interior design. Cheap changes go far in all things home living. This is why HouseGovernor.com recommends trying out one of these cheap solutions when it comes to building or renovating a garage.

A limited budget can buy metal pegboards, paint, and plywood. You can put all of these into practice when it comes to a garage you can truly be proud of.