How To Finish Bottom Of Drywall In Garage: DIY Guide

Compared to other methods, hanging drywall in your garage might sound easier. But in reality, it might not be the most complicated task, but it surely requires some precision and the right techniques to finish the job. The bottom of the drywall requires special attention. So, how to finish bottom of drywall in garage?

To finish the bottom of the Drywall, you need to plan what you’re looking to achieve exactly. Leave the gap you need and finish the bottom with waterproof primer, wood or rubber strip, floor trim, or a wainscot panel.

In this article, we’ll learn further about these methods.

Finish The Bottom Of Your Drywall With Precision

Drywalls are meant to protect your garage walls while regulating the internal temperature and, overall, making life easier for you. But they also require care.

The lower portion of the drywall is more susceptible to damage than the upper portions. It’s easier to bump anything on it, causing the chalky materials to fall apart.

We store most of our heavy items and appliances in the garage. They put a massive amount of force on the drywall. Especially, the sharp edges can cause damage to the bottom of the drywalls.

That’s why it is important to finish the bottom of the drywall in your garage with precision. There are many ways to do it.

To successfully accomplish this job, the first thing you need to do is measure how much space you should leave between the floor and the drywall, which moves us to our next part. Planning.

Do I Need A Gap Between The Floor And The Drywalls?

Yes, you should keep a gap between the floor and the drywall. It might sound a bit impractical to do so, but there are some important factors that come into play.

Leaving a gap between the floor and the drywall will make your garage look less appealing, which you can work on later on. The reasons why you should leave a gap are:

Drywalls are made of chalky materials, and the core consists of gypsum. The layer of gypsum is covered with paper. Moisture can ruin these materials. It can cause the buildup of mold spores on the surface of the drywall.

Also, as we do a lot of work inside the garage that includes spilling water on the floor, like washing cars or other items, the drywall is most likely to absorb that water. That’s why you need a gap between the drywall and the floor.

  • The floor of the garage is not always perfect. You should definitely finish leveling up the floor before hanging drywall sheets. If you are not planning to do so, leave a gap large enough to level the floor.
  • Weather and temperature changes have a lot to do with this. If there is no gap between the drywall and the floor, any expansion in these two can cause a crack in the drywall sheets.

The ideal gap should be ½ to 2 inches wide. It can vary, depending on the flooring and other decorations.

gap between floor and drywall

Steps to Finish Bottom Of Drywall

Required Tools

You need the following tools to finish the bottom of the drywall in your garage:

  • Drywall mud or joint compounds of your preference
  • Putty Knife
  • Drywall knife
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • 120, 150, or 220 grit sandpaper sheets
  • Waterproof primer
  • Waterproof paint
  • Paint bucket
  • Painting tools
  • Drop cloth

Filling gaps between sheets

We won’t focus on hanging drywall sheets here. After you’re done hanging the sheets, it’s time to fill in the gaps with mud and mash tape. Apply mesh tape in between the gap and apply layers of joint compounds on it. You can read How to fill gap in drywall between wall & ceiling?

Adding mud

Applying mud over the screws is an important task. Apply at least two layers of joint compound over the screws, covering them fully. You can also apply mud at the bottom to protect the surface from bumps and cracks.


What you’re looking for here is a well-finished, flat wall. Butt joints are common while hanging drywall. In this case, apply tape over the seams after making the mud surface smooth.

Don’t let bubbles form underneath the drywall tape. If you notice any, make sure to cut it and fill the gaps with mud later on. Be generous with the mudding.


You should sand the mud layer to achieve a smooth result. Make sure to use fine-grit sandpaper at the end.

If possible, apply a layer of skim coat before applying primer. It will make the surface look smoother and better.

Priming And Painting

After sanding, it’s time for the final work. Gather all your painting tools and prepare the area. A water-based primer is best for this purpose. Make sure the primer is waterproof.

Oil-based primers are not compatible with water-based paints. So, be careful while buying them. Generously apply a thick layer of primer and leave it for about three hours.

Once the primer is completely dry, you can paint the drywall. Waterproof interior paints are recommended in this case. Apply a minimum of two layers. Give an interval between the coatings to dry out the painting.

Other Methods To Protect Drywall Bottom

Painting is not the only option available in this case. You can opt to choose

Metal And Rubber Floor Trim

Garage floor trim is a convenient option to protect the bottom of the drywall. There are three types of floor trim available: thermoplastic vinyl, thermoplastic rubber, and thermosetting rubber.

Among them, the thermoplastic vinyl trims are inexpensive and easy to install; the second one is more abrasion and chemical-resistant, and the last one is more flexible.

You can find these trims in different sizes ranging from 2″ to 6″. Although they look cool and all, they are not strong enough to tackle high pressure and hits.

Garage Wainscoting Panels

Wainscot panels are multipurpose baseboards that will upgrade the aesthetic of your garage, protect your drywall from water and bumps, and also insulate your garage. They cover the bottom of the garage only.

They come in a range of sizes, starting at 2 feet. In my opinion, wainscoting is one of the best methods to protect the bottom of drywall. They will make your garage look more appealing.


Do I need to finish the drywall in my garage?

Garages are not a part of our home. That’s why many people do not like to spend much on decorating garages. But, since we spend a decent amount of time in our garage, you might want to give a nice well-furnished look to the drywalls in your garage.

Can I use a baseboard to protect the drywall in the garage?

Yes, you can use the baseboard at the bottom of your drywall sheets in your garage to protect them. They are waterproof and can protect the drywall from getting hit by heavy items.

How do I waterproof the bottom of the drywall in a garage?  

You can apply waterproof primer followed by waterproof paints to protect your drywalls from the splash of water. You can also add baseboard, metal or rubber trim, and wainscot panels to waterproof the bottom of your garage.


It’s really important to protect your investment. Drywall bottoms are mostly subject to damage, cracks, mold growth, and rot due to our negligence. It completely ruins the aesthetic of your garage.

So, to answer how to finish the bottom of the drywall in a garage in a sentence, I’d recommend you do waterproof priming and painting followed by a strong layer of wainscot panels.

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I am Ramiro Garcia, founder and author of Garage Ever with a love of all things space. I have created this blog to share resources everything related to auto care and garage. I have a garage and parter with my friend and we started this as a hobby and now it’s our full-time job. I love what I do and enjoy sharing that with you.

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