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Why Do Some Garages Have White Lines on the Walls?

Why Do Some Garages Have White Lines on the Walls?

You’ve just bought or rented a new home, and when you look up at your garage, you notice thick white lines across the walls and wonder if that’s normal. Do all garages have those lines, and can you do something about them — like painting them? 

Some garages have white lines on the walls — they’re joint compounds, drywall mud splatters similar to plaster. The stripes are where sheets of drywall and tape cover screw holes. They also show where studs are in the wood.

The rest of this article will explore more in-depth what those marks are on the walls of your garage and what you can do with them. 

What Are the White Lines on Garage Walls?

Many homeowners and renters alike wonder why garages have white lines. These drywall mud covers allow houses to meet fire separation requirements better. Essentially, it means that there are no air gaps between the wood, and the drywall takes minimum effort to finish.

The white lines on garage walls are drywall mud splatters. It’s usually up to the homeowner to decide what color to paint over the drywall. A contractor may leave an unfinished garage because the homeowner has decided to opt-out of the extra cost of painting. 

Unpainted drywall has its downfalls if left unpainted for too long. It can result in water damage and cause other problems with the wood underneath the plaster. 

If you decide to finish the garage and paint over the white stripes left by the contractors, you may want to paint before adding any cabinets.

Should You Paint Your Garage Drywall?

Your garage is unfinished and doesn’t feel as homey as you would like it to feel. Should you paint over drywall in your garage?

You should paint your garage wall to give it a complete finish. But before that, note that most garages are left unfinished due to costs. They use minimal resources, and the walls of garages are known to get water damage and oil stains due to the thin interior used to build them.

Garages get dirty and grimy, so keeping a painted garage clean and looking nice can be difficult. Most homeowners decide that this constant need to repaint isn’t worth the cost and leave the garage unfinished and bare. 

It’s entirely optionally regarding painting your garage; however, you need to know if your garage has drywall or not. It would help if you had the area inspected before continuing with a do-it-yourself project.

Factors To Consider Before Drywalling Your Garage

If you’ve wondered whether or not you should have drywall put into your garage, consider a few things before putting in the money to drywall. 

Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:

  • What are you putting in your garage?
  • How often will you be in your garage?
  • Do you want your stuff protected inside your garage?
  • Do you want your garage to look a certain way?
  • How much will it cost to drywall your garage?

You need to consider these factors before spending money on costly drywall. If you put your belongings and store them in your garage, you may want to consider getting drywall. 

If you’re in your garage often, it might be good to get drywall put in. Having your garage finished will allow more protection from weather damage and give a homier feel to your garage. 

Can You Leave Your Garage Drywall Unpainted?

Unpainted drywall can lead to a couple of problems later on down the line. Your garage may have weather leaks that may leave your wood warped and uneven. It may cause rough patches and even be a fire hazard. 

You can leave your garage drywall unpainted, but it’s not recommended as breathing in unpainted drywall can harm your lungs. It can also lead to mold, mildew, pests, and bugs. Also, it’s unfavorable not to mud your drywall or tape it. 

That can leave open gaps in your home and is generally unsavory for renters and homeowners. Not only is leaving your garage bare not recommended, but it can lead to fines and be against building regulations where you live. It’s usually best to drywall, mud, and tape your garage even if left unpainted. 

If you’ll spend a lot of time in your garage, painting your drywall would be the best circumstance for you.

Should You Use Exterior or Interior Paint for Your Garage?

If you’ve decided to paint your garage, you may have a few questions regarding what kind of paint to use. Picking the color is the fun part; however, you need to choose the right safe paint for your pets and family. 

You should always use interior paint for your garage. Exterior paint may have harmful chemicals inside of it and may not be safe to breathe in. Be sure to use exterior paint outside of your home. 

The interior of your garage is also not exposed to outside elements such as rain, snow, and sunlight, so it doesn’t necessarily need the chemicals in exterior paint. 

Both exterior and interior paints have different chemicals inside of them, but they have a different consistency. Exterior paint is thicker, whereas interior paint is thinner and not mold-resistant. 

Available in various colors and glosses, interior paint won’t scrub off during cleaning. 


If you notice white lines on your garage walls, don’t worry. The white lines on your garage walls are perfectly normal and don’t require much attention, fortunately. Most garages are left unfinished due to costs, hence the white lines.

It’s okay if you don’t want to paint over them, as long as they don’t bother you.

However, if you decide to paint over them or make your garage a cozy room where you keep your belongings or spend time, then painting over the drywall stripes would be a great project to invest some time and money in. Good luck!

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