Create a Fabulous Garage with Pine Paneling

A garage can be very a useful space for activities in addition to housing cars and trucks and storing items. You can also use it for a workshop, hobbies, or an area for kids to play in. It all depends on your purpose for owning one.

What comes to mind when you think of the interior of a garage? Is it an unfinished structure with exposed wall framing and wiring? Is the framing covered with unfinished drywall with the tape showing? Or do you see finished drywall painted white? If you want a fabulous-looking interior at an affordable cost, consider using knotty pine paneling for the walls and ceiling. You can install it yourself with basic woodworking skills and finish it with an attractive color.

Knotty Pine Paneling Benefits

Enough can’t be said about the benefits of knotty pine paneling. It is often used in homes, cabins, and businesses and can be appreciated just as much in garages. Here are the common reasons we love this wood product:


  • Knotty pine paneling is a stable and durable wood product.
  • Knotty pine is virtually a ‘no waste’ product
  • It is easily installed with its tongue and groove/end-matching design.
  • There are many colors of stain to meet your tastes.
  • Pre-finished pine paneling is available direct from the producer.
  • Pine paneling is easier to install than drywall.
  • Knotty pine is a sustainable product unlike most hardwoods


Real wood on the walls and/or ceiling adds the elements of warmth, charm, and relaxation to any garage or home. Many people think it adds to their enjoyment of spending time there.

Choose a Layout Design

Knotty pine wall paneling is traditionally installed in a horizontal layout but it can look amazing in several other patterns suited to your decor such as:


  • Vertical arrangement with any width panels
  • Vertical board-and-batten with wider-width panels
  • Diagonally placed panels
  • Wainscoting in a traditional pattern
  • Beadboard used for wainscoting
  • Unique patterns in a variety of styles


All layouts need pine trim to complete the job. It is used around doors and windows and for inside and outside corners. Don’t forget to apply it at the top of the walls and as baseboards.


“If you want a fabulous-looking interior at an affordable cost, consider using knotty pine paneling for the walls and ceiling.”


To Insulate or Not Insulate

Before installing the panelling, you should decide whether or not to insulate the walls and ceiling. There are pros and cons to consider depending on if it is attached or detached, what you use your garage for, and the best type of insulation for your climate. provides some professional advice you should read before making a decision.

Installing Pine Paneling 

Installing knotty pine panelling is not rocket science but it should be completed professionally to look its best. Do you want a carpenter to put it up or do you have the skills and time to do it yourself? Make this decision and place the order adding a little extra to allow for some mistakes. Let the paneling acclimate to your climate for three or four days in the garage before beginning the work.

For horizontal mounting, start at the bottom and work your way up nailing paneling to wall framing. For vertical installation, start on the left and work to the right nailing it to furring strips. Diagonal mounting can be nailed directly to the wall framing. Consult an expert for unique layouts that require more support for mounting.

Remember – the ceiling can look just as amazing with pine panelling. If you want to brighten it up, you can whitewash it with a high-quality stain. Pine panelling can also be installed over drywall.

Finishing the Wood in a Garage with Pine Paneling

There are three general approaches to finishing the wood for your garage walls. Your choice depends on your budget, available time, interest, and skills:


  • Stain the wood, let it dry, and apply one or more clear coats
  • Apply one or more clear coats without stain to highlight the natural characteristics
  • Order the paneling in a pre-finished condition that speeds up the work


Using high-quality finishing materials will add luster and beauty to pine paneling for many years. Select water-based products that will not turn yellow with age so the wood’s true colors will show through.

Caring for a Garage with Pine Paneling 

Two or three coats of clear sealant will provide vital protection for the wood’s surface. Once your paneling finish has dried, it will only need dusting off in the future to keep it looking great. A dusty area such as a workshop may need vacuuming with a soft brush to keep the walls clean.

References and Resources