View Full Version : Flat or gloss white for shop

J Richardson
10-13-2010, 08:40 AM

Coming up on a few days off again, and am hoping to have the shop ready for paint. The local hardware store suggested outdoor paint for durability, but I'm still deciding on oil or latex, and flat or semi-gloss. This is for the interior walls, which are OSB. Shop lighting will be a bank of flourescents. I've found that too much gloss can be blinding, and wanted to see what others recommend.


10-13-2010, 08:54 AM
I painted mine flat and I am pleased with the results. You might be able to wipe down a glossy wall easier, but like you, I did not want the glare. I let the salesperson at the blue big-box talk me into exterior Valspar for the "durability" and it looks just fine but it stunk in the shop for almost a year; you can still smell it a little on a hot day. The walls are insulated, drywalled and primed. If I had to do it again, I would have gone with interior paint and traded the durability for the lack of smell.


10-13-2010, 09:07 AM
Gloss for ceiling, flat for walls. Have them add a single shot of blue to the paint. It will make it look much whiter.

The gloss white on the ceiling really increases the lighting efficiency as you can see.


10-13-2010, 09:32 AM
FWIW, you'll never be able to wipe OSB regardless what paint is used.

I lined my shop with 7/16" OSB, then painted with a flat white. I have 4 -48W x 36T windows for ambient light and 8 - 250W incandescent bulbs in 676 sq ft as well as task lighting on the lathe and bench. There is no glare from the walls, but there are multiple shadows from the overhead lighting. More light be be in the cards in the future, but this works so far. I don't work in the shop much after dark as I have family obligations (young kids).

I am contemplating the plastic "puckboard" used in hockey rinks and hog barns for the wall behind the bench if and when I get around to building another permanent bench. I'd always planned to build a bench along another wall, but the temporary bench has worked fine for the last dozen years.

Some puck board behind the lathes would be nice as I have a couple of stripes of black oil up the wall behind the chucks:o


10-13-2010, 09:40 AM
I painted my OSB with semi gloss white and it is perfect. No glare from the paint.

You will find that OSB will suck the paint into the wood. It took a few coats to get my shop done. Also, with multiple coats, the paint fills the gaps well and make it possible to wipe the OSB down.

I have a photo here somewhere I'll attach when I find it.


Found it

Click for larger photo.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/garage/th_DSCN2597.jpg (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y128/katiecat222/garage/DSCN2597.jpg)

And a link from a posting I made about painting it. A painted Rock (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=30887)

10-13-2010, 12:23 PM
Prime your OSB with a coat of cheap varnish or shellac to seal before painting with either oil or latex.

10-13-2010, 05:27 PM
I used semigloss latex and was satisfied with the results.

J Richardson
10-13-2010, 11:31 PM
Thanks guys, I'll go for the semi-gloss.


10-14-2010, 05:12 AM
If you check your building code and your insurance co. (surreptiously) ,you will find that OSB is not an interior surface material and may be illegal. It's kindling bonded with glue. This is a major fire hazard. Use drywall. Cheaper, easier, and fire resistant.

10-14-2010, 10:40 AM
Building codes vary from location to location. Here, to the best of my knowledge, OSB is not specifically disallowed for the interior of out buildings, storage buildings sheds and the like.

I have seen houses built where it was used as a structural component with foam insulation between two sheets in a garage. After install they painted the inside of the garage. I was told that the walls had to be painted to meet code. I never asked why, at the time I didnt think much about it.


10-14-2010, 12:28 PM
I have been using what they called eggshell. It's similar to a semi-gloss but a bit more towards a flat finish. It cleans fairly easy, don't markup like flat, and reflects light fairly well.

10-14-2010, 01:07 PM
Flat or satin white latex for the walls is fine. As already pointed out, that strand board will suck up the paint . Be careful of any finish that will smell badly and too long , such as an oil based paint. I would buy a small quantity of the paint first, and see how quickly the smell disappears. I once bought a Dutch Boy interior latex paint that had a strong odor for months. Also be aware that most outdoor rated white paints are actually designed to " chalk" slightly in the weather, which helps to wash off surface stains and maintain a cleaner apearance in the long term. So, don't pay extra for an outdoor white satin latex on the assumption that it will last longer than an indoor white satin. Colored paints for the outdoors, however, are not designed to surface chalk.

10-14-2010, 01:34 PM
Great looking shop, Evan, and the gloss white on the ceiling really reflects the light well. I was going to paint the sheetrock walls in my shop with a light gray, but the white really carries the light much better. It may be a bit harder to clean up, but most of the better quality paints are washable these days. If you really make a mess, you can easily touch white up without worrying too much about matching up the color.