Using Smart Track to Transform Your Garage Into the Perfect Man Cave
Chances are, your garage is full of untapped potential – but Smart Track is about to change that. Being the default storage space for your home, your garage is likely full of unorganized objects – yard tools, kids' bikes, outdoor gear – with a car or two squeezed into the open space. Why not get the most out of your garage by morphing it into your perfect man cave, complete with souped up lights, smart speakers, cool tools, and still plenty of storage space? With Smart Track by Garage Smart – and a few other optional customizations – you can transform your garage into the man cave you've always dreamed of.
Oil stained cement doesn't exactly scream luxury. If you really want to go for a complete garage makeover, you can install epoxy stone flooring for a cleaner, more refined look. Plus, epoxy stone floors don't just look great, they're easy to clean, long-lasting, and not slippery.
DIY epoxy stone floor
Epoxy stone flooring is a great solution if your garage floor holds water, making it slippery and prone to staining; if it's hard to clean in general; or, if you just want a little upgrade. Epoxy is not UV-resistant, so it's great to use in indoor spaces, like your garage. Epoxy stone flooring looks super high-quality and will last you a long time – even in a garage that gets a lot of use.
Here's what you'll need to install your own epoxy stone flooring in your garage:
- Floor sander (available for rent at most home improvement stores)
- Solvent (like methyl ethyl ketone)
- Epoxy (most rock and pebble paving epoxy resin comes with a binder and topcoat and instructions for mixing)
- Pebbles (1-2 bags, depending on floor size)
- Jiffy mixer and metal tub
- Gauge rake (available at most home improvement stores)
- Finishing trowel
Start by prepping the surface of your garage floor. The floor needs to be porous and able to absorb the adhesive epoxy binder. To open up the floor's pores, sand the floor a bit with a floor sander. To test the floor's porousness, pour a little solvent on it and watch to see if it sinks into the surface of the flooring. If the solvent sits on top of the garage floor's surface, sand a little bit more. Repeat this process until you see the solvent dissolve into the floor's surface.
Next, prime the floor with a paint primer.
Most rock and pebble paving epoxy comes with instructions for mixing, given the binder, resin, and topcoat formulations. Most epoxy binders come with two parts that need to be mixed together. Follow the included instructions and mix parts A and B together with a jiffy mixer.
Dump the pebbles into a large metal tub and coat them with your epoxy mixture. Mix them together well with a jiffy mixer.
Pour the mixed pebbles onto your garage's floor and spread them out evenly with a gauge rake. Make sure the pebbles look consistently thick across the whole surface of the floor.
Use a finishing trowel to get a smooth finish across the whole surface of the floor.
Let your floor cure and scrape or blow off any stray pebbles. Mix up the epoxy topcoat and spread it across the pebbled floor. Indoor epoxy typically takes one day to fully dry.
Most garage walls are made of unfinished drywall. Even if your drywall is painted, it's probably heavily textured. To really finish the look of your garage and transform it into more than just the space where you park your car and toss your junk, you can easily finish your garage walls with a little taping and mudding. In addition to looking better, it will also be a better surface to hang signs, shelves, or pegboard for loose tools.
DIY drywall finish
When drywall is properly finished, it will be completely smooth, the joints won't be showing, and it will be ready for a fresh coat of paint.
Here's what you'll need to finish the drywall in your garage:
- Drywall tape (paper)
- Joint compound (premixed all-purpose)
- Drywall taping knives
- Drywall mud pan
- Screw gun or hammer
- Drywall sanding sheets
- Dry cloths
Start by prepping the drywall. Run a taping knife across the surface to detect any screw or nail heads that are not fully recessed (these will be obstructions to smoothly finishing the drywall). Tighten any screws and drive any nails that are sticking out to help make the surface more smooth. Also, if there are any torn paper parts on the drywall, cut them off to keep them from becoming lumpy under the taping and mudding.
(Garage Smart suggestion: although fiberglass mesh drywall tape works on flat surfaces, it doesn't perform well on corners – so paper drywall tape is a good alternative.) Scoop some mud (joint compound) into a drywall mud pan. With a six-inch drywall taping knife, apply a thin layer over the joint and immediately press the paper tape into the mud, centered directly over the joint. With one hand holding the tape in place, use the taping knife to smooth from the center to the ends, applying just enough pressure to squeeze out a little bit of mud from underneath the tape. Apply another thin layer of mud to cover the tape and fill the joint (you should be able to see the tape through the thin layer of mud).
Once this step is complete over all of the joints, fill the joints in the corners where your garage walls meet. The process will be the same, but you may need a corner drywall knife to properly apply the mud.
Apply a small amount of mud over each nail or screw head to properly fill the divots in the walls and smooth out the surface of the walls. Let the mud dry overnight.
Once the compound has dried completely, sand it lightly to remove any bumps. Apply a light layer of compound over the joints with a larger knife to completely cover the tape and make the joints flush will the walls. Once dry, lightly sand.
Apply the last coat with the largest drywall taping knife.
Once dry, lightly sand out any bumps. If you find that your drywall is still a little bit lumpy, resist the urge to over-sand it. Instead, apply more mud. Once your drywall is level and smooth and the mud has completely dried, paint or wallpaper to completely finish the walls.
Most garages rely on a single lightbulb and the light from the garage door opener to keep them well-lit. If you're planning on using your garage as your man cave, working on projects until late into the night, you'll need more lighting than that.
Garage Smart's Spotlight is designed to add supplemental lighting to your garage. You can program one or multiple Spotlights from your smartphone to perform on a schedule, and/or to trigger when they detect motion from the Door Sensor. The Spotlight snaps easily into Smart Track and has 1200 lumens with adjustable brightness.
Finding a place for all the stuff that exists inside your garage so you can turn it into a proper workspace can be tricky. Overhead storage is a good solution so items like lawn mowers, coolers, holiday decor containers, shovels, and other items commonly stored in the garage can remain up and out of the way when they are not in use.
The Platform Lifter by Garage Smart is a motorized shelving unit that remains at the top of the garage and easily lowers when you need to retrieve your items with the touch of a button on your smartphone. It's perfect for holding large, bulky items and comes with Smart Track to be installed easily and seamlessly to your ceiling. (Garage Smart suggestion: use the Smart Track from any Garage Smart lifter to attach other tools – like the Spotlight – to. Or, connect more Smart Track for even more space for extra Garage Smart tools.)
As an added bonus, you can attach the Tool Rack to the bottom of your Platform Lifter to safely store rakes, brooms, fishing poles, garden tools, and more. Your tools will simply slide in to the four easy-loading slots and stay put as you raise and lower the Platform Lifter.
It's not a proper man cave without access to your favorite music. The Sound Bundle by Garage Smart includes the Voice Module, Sound Drop (a Bluetooth speaker), a Power Adapter, and Smart Track. You'll be able to install this complete piece of track next to any other Garage Smart lifters or tools on the ceiling of your garage and receive phone calls and listen to music and podcasts completely hands-free.
Utilize your garage's untapped potential. Get the most out of your garage with Smart Track, designed to be put together and used in multiples to hold all of your Garage Smart products. The 30 inch tracks come with plastics covers to conceal wires and finish off your garage's ceiling with a clean look.
- Erica Burton