Options for walls and ceiling in new shop


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I personally wouldn't want steel, if and when you change around the setup of your shop you will be left with holes that you can't fix. Lighting is something that I have changed around many times so numerous outlets in the ceiling is a must in my opinion.

I have 3/4 OSB on my walls which I love, it gives it a woodshop feel and it makes mounting easy as lighter stuff doesn't have to be don't where there is a stud. Also when I move something the hole is easily filled with wood filler. I also have a few scraps of OSB that I keep so I can remove one of the chips from it and glue it over a larger screw hole, a little glue and a medium rap of a hammer makes it a perfect match to the rest.

My ceiling is ceiling tiles. I made my own rails out of 3" OSB attached to a 1x2, creating a t shape that cradles the tiles and matches the walls nicely (I can take a pic if you would like). It's nice because it increases the light in the shop and if a tile gets damaged I just swap it out.


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I just completed my 30x40 wooden pole shop. It sounds as yours will be similar. 6in walls, I sprayed the expanding foam r-19, and added 12 inches of blown cellulose above the ⅝ drywall ceilings. My Amish friends built this past winter and did the drywall for $1500 all hung and finished. I painted in beige walls and flat ceiling paint in white. I'd do semigloss if I had to do again, and probably will.

I used to have metal ceiling in another shop and found it really echoed...even with normal conversation. Good luck. I did partition at 30x30, leaving a10x30 garage for lumber storage/dust collector/water heater for in-floor radiant heat. Been planning this for 2 years and really got lots of great ideas here and Lumberjocks. The plywood floor over sleepers was a lot of work but I really like it so far. I also put 6 in PVC under slab where I was certain the Table Saw, Jointer and Planer now are.

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I recently finished my ~22x30 detached garage and, except for a little help with hanging the door you see to the attic, I did it by myself.  I bought a drywall lift and the short scaffold you see in the back to do it.  It's all 5/8" 8x4 OSB shiny-side down.  The T5 lights from HD, on alternating switches, are very bright especially with the white paint.  I actually used a flat, fire-retardant paint on the walls which is *very* durable over Zinsser BIN primer.  And I used some 2"x8' PVC molding from Lowes at the tops of the walls to hide the gap.


The walls are 9' tall and, if I could have found 4x9 OSB, it would have made life a good bit easier.  Really the only annoying part was cutting all the outlet holes.  And I did have to spend a couple days cleaning up the studs to get them as level as possible.  There are a few seams that you can see on the ceiling, mostly due to a piece of OSB being thinner along one edge and me not noticing until it was up.  Maybe one day I'll get bored enough to fix it.


You may also notice a few OSB chips on the ground that kinda bubbled up the day I was painting (it was insanely humid).  They're easy enough to paint over and I haven't had any problems since -- or with the previously painted section.


I would *definitely* use OSB (or maybe plywood) if I had to do it again just because I've already slammed things into the walls that would have easily dented or knocked a hole in drywall, but left no scratches on the OSB.  If you have an attached garage or living quarters you will probably have to go with drywall though.


If you do use OSB, I would probably go with 5/8" OSB for the walls at least.  7/16" might be a bit thin to hang lighter things on without a stud.  I don't remember 7/16" being that much cheaper.





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  • 4 months later...

Older post but now I'm leaning towards steel over OSB. This shop build will make a person change his mind a lot! My shop has ventilation in the attic. I previously said that the ceiling would have spray insulation but I really meant blown in. 


The benefits to steel are quicker to install, don't have to paint, reflects light good. and looks nice. It sounds like OSB might take 2 coats of primer and 1-2 coats of paint which would stink for a ceiling.


The downsides are not as strong for hanging and costs a little more. After you figure in the primer/paint costs and time it's not that bad. Some people say it's louder while others say it's fine. 

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Just as a note, the ceiling in the pic I posted had 1 coat of primer and 1 coat of Valspar 4000 Interior Flat White paint ($14/gallon).  I think it looks pretty nice once I touched up a couple spots.


I'm not sure what the steel material you're looking at is, but for me cutting outlet holes was the slowest part, so if that is something you will have to do, you might want to make sure it's easy to do with the steel.


Drywall is also fine if you're careful in the shop.  I just wanted something a bit more sturdy.  I've rammed equipment and 2x4s into the walls by accident that would have dented or put a hole in drywall.

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  • 9 years later...

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