Whether you use your garage to park your vehicle or have recently converted it into an additional bedroom or storage space, the blank, brick or cement-like walls you end up seeing every day can quickly turn into an eyesore. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to disguise your garage walls inside and out, giving them a fresh, creative appearance.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most unique ways you can conceal an otherwise drab and boring interior and exterior garage wall!
1. Hang Up Decorative Art Panels
The simplest way to disguise your interior garage wall is to overlay it with some type of material or paneling. In particular, decorative art panels transform the appearance of the wall and require minimal effort on your part.
A key advantage of this specific method is that it will be easy to remove if you need to access the garage wall for maintenance or plan to move to a new home.
Decorative art panels come in different shapes and sizes, but they are typically simplistic in design. Take, for example, this YardSmart Decorative Screen Panel (link to Amazon). The fretwork design is simple and pleasing to the eye in place of a drab garage wall. The panels come in 2’ x 4’ sections.
If you are looking for a durable material, you can’t go wrong with a metal art panel like one listed above. The physical panel itself can also be painted over quite easily if you decide to change the colors up a little bit.
2. Have a Mural Painted
Another simple way to beautify your interior garage wall is to paint a mural. This is certainly an affordable option if you happen to be artistically-inclined. Alternatively, there are ways to connect with local artists who are looking for work.
You can find local artists-for-hire through the many different websites or apps:
- Guru – You can post jobs for free and alter the settings so that only local candidates can see it.
- Thumbtack – A free way to connect with artists by zip code.
- Angie’s List – Primarily tailored towards independent contractors, but you may be able to find a local painter who is artistically-inclined.
A bonus that comes with going with this option is the opportunity to customize your wall fully. However, since the mural is essentially painted on the wall, it cannot be removed, which could hinder you from selling your home in the future. For that reason, you are encouraged to use some type of outdoor-ready canvas material for the mural that can be torn down if need be.
3. Add Shelving
You can also always build or purchase decorative shelves (link to Amazon) to add to your interior garage wall. This way, you can spruce up the area with memorabilia, posters, or other trinkets that may otherwise look out of place inside the actual home.
Of course, because most garages are not climate-controlled, the type of material you choose the shelves to be made from will determine how long they can last inside the space.
You certainly cannot go wrong with cedar; it is a material that can control pests naturally; this is because cedar emits aromatic hydrocarbons that actually act as a natural repellant. Western red cedar is also resistant to moisture, making it a suitable option for exterior uses, too.
If you go with a cedar shelf, make sure that you use wood that has not been treated with any paint or sealant if pest control is your objective. Cedarwood that has been treated will generally not be able to repel pests to their full ability; this may affect the material’s durability, so you will need to consider this if you plan to use a waterproofing sealant.
An alternative shelving idea (if you’re more a DIY type of person) involves placing wood paneling against the wall and adding intermittent ledges across it. You can place fake plants, figurines, and more on top of these ledges.
A significant advantage of this option is that it will be much easier to remove if you ever sell your home.
4. Transform Your Garage into a Different Space
Those looking to entertain will be interested in transforming their garage into the focal point for a theater room. This involves installing a projector screen inside your garage so you can entertain your guests during parties. You can find plenty of projector screens online, like this Mdbebbron 120 inch Projection Screen (link to Amazon).
The New York Times recommends that you use projectors like the BenQ HT2050 (link to Amazon). However, you will need more space if you use this projector, as it needs to be at least 8 feet away from the screen. In contrast, the HT2150ST projector only needs to be 4 feet from the screen. Either way, you will need plenty of space to make your indoor theater dream a reality.
If you are going to transform your garage’s interior into a home theatre, you are also encouraged to paint the wall to improve the aesthetics. A dark and moody tone like industrial gray, warm walnut, or deep merlot will enhance the viewing experience.
Alternatively, if you want to transform your garage into a comfortable living space, you are encouraged to follow the instructions here. Of course, make sure that your remodeling activities comply with local building codes before you start.
5. Grow Outdoor Vines
Bring your exterior garage wall to life by growing vines along the wall. There are few better ways to beautify what may otherwise be an eyesore in your front yard. Vines proliferate against the garage to the extent that they will completely conceal the garage wall.
Vines do not need very much space to grow, making them suitable for locations where there is little space between the garage and a nearby feature like a separate house.
One of the neatest things about flowering vines is that they will attract birds, butterflies, and bees to your yard. This is a notable benefit of any garage wall disguise that is also a living plant. And, if you have a small garden, this may be one of the only chances you have at growing a green space of your own.
You can grow the vines on some kind of trellis like the one found here (link to Amazon); this will provide an opportunity for the plants to find something sturdy to grow on. Otherwise, the vines will grow uncontrollably and may become a disorganized mess in the event of a storm or strong winds.
Perhaps the only negative of growing vines on the side of your garage is that you will need to prune the vines to keep them in check routinely. (You will need to wait until after the bloom season to prune most types of vines.) If you neglect to prune, then the overall quality of the growth will deteriorate as the interior stems will be cut off from oxygen and sunlight.
6. Grow Vegetables on a Trellis
You may even want to consider growing climbing vegetables, like cucumbers, along your exterior garage wall. This serves dual functions of both disguising the garage wall and providing you with garden-fresh veggies at the same time. However, keep in mind this is a seasonal solution; the bare wall will be visible whenever it is not growing season.
Like with vines, this method can be an excellent way to utilize resources if you do not have as much garden space as you would like to have. Constructing the wall is not excessively time-consuming or expensive, either. According to the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, you can build out the vertical garden with stainless steel wire (link to Amazon) and eye hooks. If you don’t like how the wire looks, you can also use a hog/cattle panel.
A cheaper and less durable option is polyester netting like this Tcamp Heavy-Duty Polyester Plant Trellis (link to Amazon). The benefit of using this material is that it will not cost much to install. It can also be easier to adjust this material to the dimensions of your garage wall.
One potential downside to growing vegetables on the side of your garage would be overall sturdiness. If a massive storm blows through, the climbing plants could become detached from their trellis. However, this is still a good option for those who want to try their hand at it for just one growing season to see how much they can yield.
You can grow cucumbers, peas, and beans in this fashion. You can also try your hand at grapes. (Note: Cucumber plants can take up quite a bit of space, depending upon what kind of a support structure is used.)
With a wall trellis covered in vegetable plants, you are making the best use of space that you possibly can. Most importantly, it will keep your garage wall covered for much of the year.
7. Install a Water Feature
Another unique garage wall disguise is a waterfall placed directly over the exterior wall. There is no need to worry about space since wall fountains don’t need extensive pump and drainage systems and are usually relatively small.
However, you’ll need to be mindful of the water feature’s weight; they are typically quite heavy and will thus require you to anchor the wall bracket. The water fountain will also need to be in a location where it can have access to both 110-volt electricity and a source of water.
There are solar water features, but their usefulness will vary depending upon which direction you can face the solar collector. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a solar collector’s ideal location in the northern hemisphere is true south. Proper tilting can make east and west appropriate directions as well.
You will also have a lot to choose from when it comes to design:
- Sunnydaze Outdoor Wall Water Fountain (link to Amazon)
- Kenroy Home Store Vale Fountain (link to Amazon)
- Sunnydaze Florence Solar Wall Fountain with Battery Backup
A small garden on either side of the water feature will really bring the design to life. A simple option involves a few ornamental blades of grass on either side of the fountain. You may also consider some perennials at the base of the wall, like hosta plants.
8. Plant Evergreen Trees
You can also plant evergreen trees next to your exterior garage wall. The primary benefit to evergreen trees is that they will keep the garage wall disguised year-round. The leaves will not change color in autumn and fall off, either.
You can either plant the trees in the soil next to the garage or use a potted tree. Planting trees in pots will make things easier later if you find yourself having to remove the trees or protect them from the cold; there are varieties of evergreen trees that will not outgrow the limited dimensions.
Emerald Green Arborvitae trees are an evergreen species that can be grown in pots. Even if they are planted in the soil, these trees will only grow to a max height of 15 feet and maintain a width of 3-4 feet. According to SF Gate, if this tree is kept in a pot, it will grow to even smaller maximum dimensions.
Note: If you are going to plant these trees near the garage wall, you will need to provide proper spacing to ensure that the trees grow correctly. The recommended spacing for Emerald Green Arborvitae trees is at least 2-3 feet apart, meaning that they should be at least 2-3 feet away from your garage wall. This will prevent the trees’ roots from interacting with your garage’s foundation.
9. Plant Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses will grow faster than evergreen trees and will also be easier to manage. They can be more tolerant of droughts and changing weather conditions than most other plants. The grasses may not conceal the entire garage wall, but they will change the focal point enough so that anyone walking by will notice the grass before they become aware of the wall behind it.
Popular ornamental grasses include:
- Feather Reed (Yellow Spikes) (link to Amazon)
- Morning Light (link to Amazon)
- Big Bluestem (link to Amazon)
10. Install Porcelain Wall Tiles
You can also disguise a bland exterior garage wall with porcelain tiles. Porcelain is the material of choice because it is fire-treated to withstand a wide range of conditions, including excessively cold and hot and humid weather. A porcelain tile wall will also require less maintenance than other types of materials.
You can find porcelain wall tiles online like these Modern Brick Grey Porcelain Mosaic Tiles (link to Amazon). The tiles come available in an interlocking pattern that makes for easy installation. When it comes time to purchase the tiles, make sure you buy 10-15% more materials than you need for the actual square footage of the wall.
If you end up with any leftover materials, there is no cause for concern. These tiles can also be used for interior walls (in case you want to spruce up the interior of your garage too), backsplashes, showers, wet areas, and fireplaces.
Porcelain tiles can be installed over many kinds of substrates commonly used in exterior locations:
- Mortar beds
Note that for this method, the garage’s exterior cladding needs to be structurally sound; otherwise, the tile may look uneven at the finish and fall apart. You will need to consider the effects of the weather when you are installing the tiles, too.
Porcelain tiles must be installed following the guidelines below:
- Scrape off any bumps or imperfections on the wall until the surface is smooth.
- Clean debris off the wall using a stiff brush (link to Amazon) and water.
- You will need to use tile spacers (link to Amazon) and a straightedge (link to Amazon) to ensure that the tiles are laid out evenly.
- Use a latex-fortified thin-set, like the one found here (link to Amazon). The latex additive ensures that the grout and tiles do not crack under the effects of weathering.
- Use a tile wet saw (link to Amazon) to cut tiles.
- You will need to apply a grout sealer (link to Amazon) after the grout has dried completely. This will prevent the tile from accruing mold and mildew.
How to Disguise Your Neighbor’s Garage
It’s a lot easier to disguise a garage wall when it’s your own, but it’s an entirely different story if that eyesore of a garage wall happens to belong to a neighbor. However, you can still disguise the adjacent garage with some well-placed plants to make a natural fence or construct an actual fence.
This Old House suggests a mix of deciduous trees and evergreens with shrubs and perennials in-between; this is ideal for homes with large yards.
You may also consider adding a fence or hedge to conceal the neighbor’s garage. Although hedges are more visually-pleasing than many fences, they do come with regular maintenance needs that fence owners don’t have to worry about.
A garage wall can often be an interruption in an otherwise well-decorated front yard or lounge area, and its lack of windows leaves the entire structure looking drab and unloved. However, there are many ways to beautify this space, disguising even the most barren interior and exterior walls. Give one of the above methods a try!