Most people never get around to finishing the walls inside their garage. Garage walls are generally left uncovered and plain simply because they are not seen as often as the interior of a home. For most homeowners, it is difficult to know what is best for covering the walls inside a garage. Some will install drywall, but drywall is very easily banged up and damaged due to the nature of garage use. The best way to cover garage walls is with an exterior plywood.
Purchase 1/4-inch thick exterior plywood. Luan plywood is one option and can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Measure the interior walls of your garage to determine how many sheets of plywood will be necessary. Keep in mind that plywood generally comes in 4x8 sheets.
Install plywood sheets. Use finishing nails to secure plywood to wall studs. Use a circular saw for any necessary cuts in the wood. Set up a saw horse and place the plywood sheet on top. Use chalk to draw a line where the plywood needs to be cut. Put on a pair of safety glasses. Turn on saw and cut according to your measurements.
Install trim if desired. Use small wood strips that are used for screen porch trimming in the spaces between plywood sheets. Attach trim with finishing nails.
Paint the walls with a high gloss paint. High gloss paint is the easiest to clean. Use a primer first. Choose a paint colour that is complementary to your home. Use light colours to brighten the space and make it appear larger. Apply 2-3 coats of paint on top of the primer using a roller or brush.
Add shelving. Ensure that your garage will be kept neat and tidy by installing shelving units. Keep your belongings on the shelves to prevent clutter in your garage.
If drafts in the garage would be too uncomfortable in winter or with summer heat, R19 insulation can be placed between wall studs before the plywood walls are put up. Check local fire codes for the use of plywood on any wall requiring a firewall separation with living space.