Saturday, June 16, 2012

Deep Thoughts from the Garage

Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest
No, I'm not planning on doing this! But is sure did make my eyes pop! I think I've seen it all now:)

I've hardly surfaced from the garage over the last couple of weeks... I mean days. Yes, it takes way too long to do something like a garage makeover during baseball season, end of the year stuff going on, begining of summer break, and a phobia of fumes! I've been pushing the last couple of days trying to get done so I can do a post on it. You won't believe the difference a little organization and paint can make!

That said, I've got a question to pose to you all: Why is it that we women tend to always ignore the garage? I mean, seriously, ladies... how many hours/dollars do we spend on decorating and cleaning our houses, yet we leave the one room or area that 90% of our guests walk through first (if your house is like mine) completely untouched?! The more I've worked on mine, the more I've pondered this. The other thing is why is it that we always assume the garage should be the man's space? Not that there is a single thing wrong with that.  I the man needs his space, by all means, give it to him, but if he never uses it, why do we ignore it? Why do we leave the garage looking like a bomb shelter? I'm not saying make it girlie and uncomfortable for the man, just halfway attractive. Of course, if you want a woman cave and he's fine with it, deck that baby out!

via Amazon
via Etsy

Now, there are plenty of men out there who love the idea of making the garage a man cave, which is fun in itself. I know a lot of men get sick of a "decorated" interior they tend to have or give little say so on and need a space to do "manly" things, and a man needs to feel at home as much as the woman does. Once thing is for sure, regardless, it can't look any worse than it does if you don't touch it at all and just throw stuff in there to store. In our case, our garage is our main entrance and it's looked like a toy shop/tool factory/paint store that all blew up for the last four years! I'd had enough and decided it was time to do something to make that space useable square footage I was proud of [on a super tight budget].

I started pulling inspiration images. If you follow me on Pinterest, you've seen them most likely. I've realized just how unusual it apparently is for a woman to want to spiff up the garage simply by the lack of stuff out there for inspiration along the lines I was wanting to go. Want to see my inspiration images?

                                                                             Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

I love this hidden storage for recycling with the holes on the end for access!

                                                                            Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

O.k. So, not the kind of garage I need, but it's really cool. The floor was the main thing of interest.

                                                                          Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

LOVE this floor and all the storage.

                                                                      Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

OMG! It's a girlie garage! They've even got a bike the same color as mine:)

                                                                  Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

A paneled garage! 

                                                                          Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

Wow! Enough said.

                                                                       Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

Great colors!

                                                                          Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

Want to make the garage tighter to insulate or keep water out? Here's a great add on. I also really liked the floor.

                                                                              Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

This became my main inspiration image. I decided I wanted THIS floor without the glossy shine - satin instead.

                                                                           Source: via Miss B.e.e. on Pinterest

Oh, so clean (and the car would look nice in mine as well!).

Well, that's where I started. Collecting images to inspire me. I mixed up all my left over paint for the walls (AND LIKED IT!), painted the trim Rust-o-leum Gloss white, hung a oak handrail, painted the doors Rust-o-leum Gloss black, hung a huge wall clock, hung more storage hooks, made numerous trips to Goodwill, and then it was time to hit the floor. That's where I hit a brick wall.

See, dear old hubby had painted that floor when we first moved in here with H&C Acrylic Sealant for concrete in Gull Gray. Beautiful color and great product (sticks well and is super durable). It's what we'd used in Charleston and it is fantastic with hiding SANDY soil. We also made the mistake of following the label for drying times, not thinking that drying and curing are two totally different things. (I was pregnant and not thinking well at all!). Some, but not much lifted off where the garage door seal had made contact when shut and there were some scratches where it had peeled in a few places due to who knows what.

The big problem was the color, though. We live where there is red mud/clay (can I just say how much I HATE red mud?!) and have three boys, one black dog and oodles of neighborhood kids in and out of there daily. Want to guess what Gull Gray looks like in a matter of minutes with that kind of wear?! Yep. Not good. And... after four years I couldn't take it anymore, especially if everyone was going to use that door instead of the front door!

The wall I hit was this: I wanted to redo it with the color chips to hide "stuff" better than a solid color does. There's just one small little problem. H&C Acrylic Sealant is solvent based and wickedly strong (probably why it bonds so well). You can't put anything else over it and you can't use color chips with this solvent based product. It will melt them the minute they hit the wet paint. UGH! So, I'm stuck with a solid color and I have to endure more fumes (wearing a organic fumes respirator, of course). To top it off, they dont have a huge selection of colors to choose from. Fortunately, the garage faces south and has two windows along with door windows, so making it bright isn't an issue.

You can buy H&C products at Sherwin-Williams.

Out came the high-tech testing method for the best color. First, let the floor get good and dirty (Done!), wet the dirtiest spot you can find, rub your hand all in it, then smear as much as you can all over the color chart - making sure to get a good bit on each color. Then take some dog hair that might be hiding in the corners and drop it on there just for effect. Let it dry. Which one hides it all the best?! For me, it was a toss up between Charred Walnut, Red Terrazzo Tile, or Muddy Gray. The kicker was making sure it went the brick on the house since about 8" was exposed outside the garage door.

I wasn't thrilled about any of them because I'd made my mind up previously I was going with a speckled gray & black. I may take a while for me to make a decision, but once I do, I don't usually change it (willingly, anyway!). The family consensus was Charred Walnut. One coat went down and I didn't like it with the brick. So, I took the other can back to have some tweaking done on the color. More magenta was added and the second coat (on just one side of the garage) was put down. It's cured now and everything has been moved to that side so that today I can tackle the other.

I'm still not in love with color and I'm debating on whether or not to keep it the same or switch it since I have to go get more paint today anyway. I'm also debating my sanity because that would involve more drying time and moving everything out of the way again. Stay tuned! I WILL finish this in a matter of a week, God willing, and will post pics. Now, off to Sherwin-Williams I go!

p.s. Due to a fear of possibly offending my MAN CAVE readers, let me clarify. Our garage looked like an paint/tool/toy experiment gone very wrong due to ME and the KIDS, not hubby. Dear old hubby is fantastic at picking up all his stuff. I have NEVER had to clean up after him. Instead, it's often been vice versa (much as I hate to admit it). Heaven knows, if he wanted that as his man cave, I'd agree in a skinny minute simply because he is so flexible about what I do to the inside of the house. Also, when I say "make the the garage usable square footage", I meant for all of us like the interior of the house... not a woman cave. I just was pondering that thought out loud:)


  1. Miss Bee...This IS one post I will not recap to the Mister!! He is a garage guy (works on the cars, boat and the occasional cigar & manly drink in the garage!) and always ask why "things" I don't want in the house end up in HIS garage! Now, don't get me wrong I loved your post. I got your post. I agree with your post. But, it is mid-June in Atlanta...and I have curly hair. No painting please. : )

  2. Oh, Toni! You made me laugh:) I'm glad you got my ramblings. I did go back and clarify some things after reading your comment, though. I'm not turning our garage into a WOMAN CAVE, and I'm 100% behind if man having his Man CAVE if he want's it. I just got to wondering why women who do "garage stuff" never seem to create an environment they would like to work in more?

  3. Looking forward to the after-look of your garage :)

  4. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It's on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

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