Detail garage setup

Detail garage setup DEFAULT

Whether you own your own detailing business or are just in love with keeping your car in top shape, having a garage is a huge asset for keeping things clean. If you already have a garage, or are in the process of building one, I wanted to share a few ideas to consider incorporating into your overall setup. You can also check out the YouTube video I created below for a complete breakdown.

Your budget obviously has a lot to do with what you will be able to do, but from an organization standpoint there are a bunch of products you can purchase for a couple hundred dollars that will be a great long-term investment. When it comes to detailing, storage and organization is key, which leads me to my first recommendation.

#1 – Shelving Units and Racks

garage shelving for detailing products

When it comes to storing cleaning products, you really have a bunch of affordable options from wire shelving to more industrial-looking shelf designs made specifically for garages.

Wall-mounted shelving

The most affordable storage option is to mount a couple of wire shelving units for spray bottles, towels, applicators, etc. These usually range anywhere from around $20 to $100 depending on if you just want a basic wire shelf or something stainless steel.

I’d probably opt for something with a solid bottom (instead of wire shelving), simply because you don’t want to have to worry about your towels and other small objects falling through. They also usually only support around 50 to 60 pounds of weight.

As for solid shelves, this 45-inch Gladiator GearLoft unit I found on Amazon is one of my favorites. It’s a little pricier, but is made of welded steel and has that rugged look that should look great with cabinets or toolboxes.

Storage racks

I have a few of these in my garage, and they do a great job for storing bins, are easy to put together, and overall a quality product. I would opt for plastic storage racks over metal since you may be dealing with moisture.

These you can pick up for usually somewhere around $40-$50 depending on the size and where you purchase them and is a great alternative to cabinets if you are on a budget. I would probably purchase a couple of plastic bins to store towels, pads, and anything else you normally use to keep things organized.

#2 – Cabinets

detailing garage cabinet ideas

Budget cabinets

If you don’t really want your products to be visible, a couple of storage cabinets are a great option that you can pick up for around $100 if you are on a budget. Most of these I see are made of wood, have adjustable shelves, and perfect for storing everything from a wash bucket, to products, to light appliances.

Middle tier cabinets

A middle-tier option that many detailers use are standalone diamondplate cabinets and drawers made specifically for garages. You can find these on Amazon in all shapes and sizes, and really give your garage a professional look and feel.

While some can cost thousands, you can find some tall cabinets like these by Seville for a few hundred dollars on Amazon. I like these because they are heavy duty, come with shelves, and look similar to more expensive units.

An alternative to traditional cabinets to look into are wall cabinets. These are perfect if you don’t have the floor space but still want to keep everything concealed and are great for keeping pads.

High-end garage cabinets

If you are completely remodeling your garage (or in the process of building one), you may want to go with a larger cabinet set. New Age Products makes a pretty affordable line of these on Amazon depending on what size you need.

Painted aluminum garage cabinet sets with stainless steel countertops look the nicest to me, but are definitely the most pricey usually starting at $3-$5,000. If you have the space and don’t want to worry about buying additional storage down the road, these are definitely the way to go.

#3 – Wall Mounts

slatboard for garage

I’m a big fan of wall mounts for larger items, but depending on your preferences, you may want to purchase a few different ones to fit the equipment you have. Here are a few common mounts I’ve seen used in garages:

Disposable glove mount

If you prefer to wear gloves whenever applying products, having a glove mount is a great idea. You can pick a wire mount up for around $10-$20 but can find some pretty nice gunmetal or stainless steel mounts to match cabinets or shelving for a little more.


For hanging anything from brushes, drills, or screwdrivers, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a pegboard for those items that you need within reach. They’re really affordable, take up virtually no space at all, and a great option for hanging both tools and detailing supplies

Slatwall Panel

As opposed a pegboard (which is great for smaller items), a slatwall is my favorite for hanging larger items like blowers, polishers, vacuum hoses, and other items you handle regularly. They make various sizes of slatwalls and slatwall hooks you can pick up, which I think is a much better alternative to putting a bunch of holes in sheetrock simply for hanging.

#4 – Lighting

detailing garage lighting

Good lighting is one of the most important (and overlooked) upgrades that many people seem to forego. Ideally, you want to go with tube lights configured on all sides of your vehicle, but most people should be able to center them and be okay.

One option to consider is the color accuracy if you plan to spend a lot of time polishing swirls or waxing. For overhead lighting, I would go with some LEDs around 5-6,500K to mimic natural light.

If you’re considering overhead lighting (or other options), check out my post 5 Simple Lighting Setups for Detailing Your Car for a quick breakdown.

Lighting and wall colors

One affordable upgrade that I would highly recommend in combination with tube lights is to paint your walls as light as possible to reflect as much light down to your car as you can. A good semi-gloss white should do the trick.

When it comes to what type of paint, you may want to look into an exterior paint since many times these tend to protect better. Finding a paint that is moisture and mold resistant is ideal especially if you will be driving a wet car in and out of your garage.

#5 Installing a Drain

garage drain for detailing

While most people (like me) will use a garage to clean out the interior, apply wax, or wipe everything down, I have heard of some people actually washing their vehicle inside a garage when it’s colder with a hose, which I wouldn’t really recommend. However, a drain and proper ventilation is a must if you do plan on dealing with water.

Even if you don’t plan on washing inside, it’ still not a bad idea for wringing out a chamois if you like to dry your vehicle indoors.

So can I wash my car in my garage?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the method that you use.

I would not recommend this for most people unless you have a drain to remove the water, proper ventilation (possibly a dehumidifier), as well as moisture-repellent drywall. A shop vac is also handy to have in order to suck up any moisture left behind, as well as a squeegee.

Not to sound overly protective, but when you spend thousands of dollars in tools, you probably don’t want them rusted out in a couple of years! A better alternative is to use waterless products in the wintertime, like Dri Wash, or Optimum No Rinse (ONR).

Resin baseboards

This idea I got from the guys over at AMMO NYC. If you are looking to install any kind of epoxy coating, installing resin baseboards around the garage is a great idea for protecting the foundation and creating a tub-like garage surface.

#6 – Mounted Hose or Electrical Reels

mounted hose reel for detailing

If you operate any kind of pressure washer, having a retractable hose reel is a great idea. Cox Reels make some top if the line steel hose reels for detailing that come with mounts that you might want to check out. You can either go with a hand crank or retractable unit depending on your budget.

This can be a huge time saver for washing your vehicle in the driveway as long as your hose is long enough and you keep your reel near the door of the garage.

#7 – Mounting a Vacuum

mounted car vacuum for garage

When it comes to vacuums, you can either install a central vac unit (to use inside your home), or mount an existing car vacuum you may already have. In addition to mounting the vac, you might also want to install a vacuum hose hanger if your vac doesn’t come with one built in.

Another hose-less option to look into if you are building a garage is the Hose Genie. It’s basically a central-vac with a self-retracting hose system that eliminates the need to wind and unwind your hose every time you use it. Check out this YouTube video for more.

Some Shop-Vac brand vacuums are actually designed to be mounted on the wall, and is a good option if you don’t feel like lugging around a portable shop vac.

# 8 – Flooring

detailing garage tile flooring

When it comes to flooring, you have a couple of different options depending on your budget. Each has their pros and cons, but other than re-tiling, paint or epoxy is going to be the most affordable option you can knock out in a weekend.


If you are just looking to brighten things up but don’t want to tile or epoxy your floor, paint is the way to go.

For a basic level of protection, check out Drylok.  This is a latex floor paint specifically meant for concrete garage floors and does a good job for a basic concrete paint. You can pick up Epoxy paint or Latex paint, but epoxy will typically last longer.

Epoxy coating

Epoxy floor coatings are a great option that is ideal for repelling water and preventing dust, since it is a sealer. Keep in mind that concrete tends to produce dust over time, so epoxy is a great choice for any detailer or car guy looking to keep things clean. It’s also anti-slip, perfect for wet cars.

There are several epoxy coatings you can go with, but the brand Epoxy-coat is probably the best I’ve seen reviewed and used. One bucket on Amazon should be able to coat the average garage.


If you’re planning to spend a considerable amount of time in your garage, tile is ideal. It will provide more cushion if spending a considerable amount of time in your garage as compared to epoxy and comes in a variety of types. You can opt for rubber, plastic, or vinyl usually depending on your preferences or how much padding you desire.

Racedeck is the ‘original’ garage flooring aimed at car enthusiasts, installs in less than one day, and comes with a 20-year warranty.  Amazon has a pretty wide selection and color options, from diamondplate to open rib patterns.

Swisstrax is the other main brand of high quality flooring to be aware of, with dozens of different options and configurations. Their product is probably the most high quality (and expensive) product I’ve seen for garage floors, but I think it looks the best.

Most of these tiles are interlocking, which makes it easy to customize the pattern the way you want it to look. Some people even create a perimeter around the vehicle using red tiles to make it easier to park.

#9 Entertainment Center

garage entertainment center

After all is said and done, mounting a simple flat screen is never a bad idea if you find yourself working on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Maybe add a couple of barstools and a table, and you’ve got a makeshift break area. With even 4K TV’s dropping in price, you can find some really affordable HDTVs for a couple hundred bucks that will do the trick.

Some cabinets you can purchase already have a spot cut out for a TV that I’ve seen if you would like everything to be centered.

If you spend a lot of time in your garage, you may want to go ahead and purchase a sound bar or a couple of speakers (for listening to the game, music, etc.).

I’ve even seen guys install a mini-fridge under larger cabinet units, which isn’t a bad idea for those hot summer afternoons.

#10 – Security

garage security

Depending on how much equipment you plan on storing in your garage, you may want to look into a security system. Especially if you plan on putting in a large compressor, vacuum, cabinets (and obviously your car) deterring criminals can save you a lot of money and headaches. You can always have your garage insured (which is a good idea), but it’s nice to have multiple lines of defense in the event something does happen.

If you’re wiring the rest of your house, I would just speak with your security company, but if you want a more affordable solution you do have options.

DIY cameras

There are dozens of solutions out there for protecting your garage, but mounting a WiFi camera in one of the easiest and most affordable things to do if you don’t already have one. It’s nice to have real-time monitoring from your smartphone, and most WiFi cameras you can find for under $50 these days if you don’t want to invest in a high-end system.


In terms of alarms for your garage, I’d recommend anything by Ring if you’re looking for a basic security cam ans siren. They make everything from floodlights (with cameras and alarm) to Alexa enabled home security systems.

Most of these systems I’ve found on Amazon for $1-$200.


Overall, you really have a ton of options when it comes to customizing your garage. Although creating a wash bay with TVs, drains, and dehumidifiers is likely overkill for the average joe, hopefully you have at least a couple of affordable ideas for your next weekend project.

Have any tips that you have used to help transform or organize your garage for detailing? Leave us a comment!

detail garage

Every car fanatic and detailer has a dream detailing garage setup in their mind.

Having the perfect setup can completely change your thoughts and feelings. Working in a garage that’s hard to operate in, can make you hate detailing and make it feel like a chore.

Below is a list of ideas that you can combine to make your garage into the dream setup


Garage Space

Probably the hardest thing on this list to get.

Having enough space in your garage will determine whether you want to work in it.

If you’re trying to operate in a single bay garage that has barely any room to fit a car, let alone work on it, you’re not going to want to spend much time in there.

There are ways to make a small garage feel bigger and/or store more equipment. Buying wall mounts and storage on wheels that you can move around is a start.

Unfortunately, efficient storage will only get you so far. You will always be better off getting an extension to your garage, but it can be both complicated and very costly.

If you’re yet to find a workspace, keep this in mind. Buy right or buy twice.


Modular Garage Floor

Overlooking the type of flooring that you have in your garage is a common mistake that people make.

Having the correct flooring will allow you to wash your car and take care of those oil spills without damaging the original flooring in your garage.

Listed below are the most common types of flooring you’ll find in a garage. Each style of flooring has pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide which best suits you.

Paint – For a very basic level of protection, you can give the floor a coat of paint.

Doing this will brighten up the place but it will not give you the professional or modern look that you may be going for.

If you’re on a budget and are looking to DIY your dream garage, you are able to get latex and epoxy paint solutions that you can apply yourself.

I would always choose epoxy paint, it has a modern gloss type finish and it’s said to last a lot longer than latex-based solutions.

Epoxy Coating- Despite being epoxy, Epoxy paint and Epoxy coating are very different.

Epoxy paint is a latex-based solution with a slight amount of epoxy mixed in. It’s prone to staining and will begin to crack in high traffic areas.

Epoxy coating, on the other hand, is a 2 part solution. You have the epoxy resin itself and a hardener.

Choosing the epoxy coating will cost a lot more. That said, it will provide a long-lasting, slip-resistant floor that gives your garage the professional look.

If you do decide to choose epoxy coating, you’ll need to get a professional to install it. It’s not something you can do yourself and get right.

Tiles – Probably the most commonly used flooring in home garages.

Depending on the type of tiles you go for, the price should come in somewhere between the paint options and epoxy coating.

The tiles will sit on top of your garage floor and will offer slip resistance, protection and much more.

You are able to install most tiles within a day. There’s no need for a professional to install and you are able to replace damaged tiles within minutes.

You don’t have to cover your entire garage with tiles, a lot of places will have dedicated bays with tiles on top of an epoxied floor.

RaceDeck Logo

RaceDeck is where it all began. They’re the original creators of the “modular garage flooring” industry.

There are many options on amazon but if you go direct to RaceDeck you will find a floor design page that will allow you to customize your own flooring.

Unfortunately, because they were the first and the game and are still the industry leader, this is the most expensive tiling option. The quality, customization, and support justify the price though.

SwissTrax Modular Flooring

SwissTrax, as the name suggests, was founded in Switzerland. They were in the game for 20 years until they brought the product to North America in 2006.

Like RaceDeck, they offer customization and do their best to make sure that you get the floor design that you dream of.

Do you have trouble visualizing what your garage would look like finished? Swisstrax offers a 3d designer which allows you to recreate your garage and see what it would look like when complete.

Once you’ve finished your design you’ll be able to receive a quote from SwissTrax and have your dream garage within a matter of days.

Again, these are one of the industry leaders so the price you are quoted may shock you at first. Don’t rule them out until you’ve received a quote though.

Depending on where you’re located, there are other, cheaper options. If you’re in the United Kingdom or Mainland Europe, a company like Duramat may be of use.

If you want to be extra safe, you can always combine tiling with an epoxy coated floor. A lot of professional garages do this, though it will cost you a fair amount.


Garage Drainage system

If you’re looking to ever wash your car in the garage using a pressure washer, drainage is essential.

Most of the time I would wash the car outside before taking it into the garage to dry it. This wouldn’t require any drainage but performing a full wash would.

There are a lot of precautions you would need to take to wash a car properly in a garage. You would need to drain the water, have proper ventilation and baseboards to protect the walls from water.

Effectively you would turn your garage into one huge wet room. It’s a lot of money and a lot of effort, but if you want to perform a full wash while being indoors, it’s crucial to protect your garage as much as possible.

If you are able to pre-wash the vehicle outside and then perform an ONR wash indoors, you may not even need a drain, let alone all the other precautions.

The truth is, it’s probably not worth it to set up your garage to wash indoors. It’s a lot of money to avoid washing outdoors in the cold.


Overhead Garage Lighting

Having the right lighting in your detailing garage is crucial.

In a detailing garage, you want to recreate daylight. The idea is to get light that comes in around 5000k.

Daylight is 5000-6500K, Lights that you would have in your home are normally around 2700k.

Lights in the range of 5000 give off a bluer-light that’s closer to daylight while still being easy on the eyes. If you go up to 6500, it may be a little more strenuous on your eyes.

I’m not too clued up on lights but I trust Obsessed Garage when he recommends these overhead lights. He’s clued up on everything detailing and has an amazing detailing garage setup.


Security Camera

Depending on the equipment and types of vehicles you store in your garage, you may have a lot of value in your garage.

It’s not uncommon for criminals to look at garages as a paradise for making money. I had a friend who fell victim to this, losing all his expensive downhill competition bikes while he was sleeping.

If you’re operating a business out of your garage, security is a must-have. You should also have your garage insured.

A lot of times visible security measures are enough to deter burglars from even trying.
Security is no joke and you should always take the required actions to protect yourself from anything bad happening.

Here are some DIY options for you to consider:

Security Cameras – There are many different cameras you can choose for protecting your garage. Depending on your budget and the value of your garage, you could get a simple WiFi Camera or you could go all-in.

Ideally, you would have a camera that is weatherproof, allows real-time monitoring and records footage to your PC or cloud storage.

I also have one which sits inside my garage. Burglars may not expect it, you are able to track stuff that you misplace and you may even see some other stuff on there too.

A good CCTV Camera will set you back anywhere from $50-$200. The fewer features you want, the less it will cost you.

Alarm System – For alarm systems, you’re looking at anywhere upwards of $100. This is for a basic intruder alarm.

While it’s a little more costly, I like the Alarm Security Kit that I purchased from ring. It’s a 5 piece kit and I can expand it anytime that I want with equipment such as video doorbells and so on.

Ring also offers protection plans. In the event of an alarm going off, they will contact 3 of your listed contacts. Not only that but if your wifi cuts out, they will have an always-on cellular backup.

Ring Protection comes at a price though, $10 per month. It’s definitely worth it though if you decide to have a Ring Security Camera and Alarm System for your garage.

Lifting Equipment

Trolley Jack

Depending on what type of detailer you are, you may not even be familiar with using lifting equipment.

If you want to give the wheel arches and alloys a proper clean and detail, you will need a trolley jack and axle stands to lift the car and take off the wheels.

You may want to do some undercarriage cleaning, in which case you’ll need at least a 2 post car lift.

Think about the type of work you may need lifting equipment for. Do you plan on doing bodywork or mechanical work in the garage too?

If all you’re doing is lifting a car and taking the wheels off, a trolley jack and a set of axle stands will cost you less than $100.

You don’t need to go all out. Buying bigger and better equipment will open up more opportunities but it’ll also cost you a lot more than you may be able to afford.


Garage Storage System

Whenever you look at a garage, the thing that stands out most is the cabinets. For me, a good cabinet setup acts as a feature wall and provides a mass amount of storage at the same time.

Unfortunately, cabinets can be very costly. Based on the quality and brand of product that you choose, cabinets can cost you anywhere between $100-$10,000.

Each price point will come with different levels of build quality and the materials used will vary.

Budget Cabinets – If you’re just starting out, you may be looking for a budget option that will help you store your stuff while you save for a better setup. That’s completely ok, there are plenty of options still.

The downside with budget cabinets is mostly their aesthetics and durability. If you’re looking to flex on Instagram and show off your garage, budget cabinets aren’t what you need.

Most budget cabinets are made of wood, they can look somewhat clean, but they definitely have limits on how much they can hold.

Middle Tier Cabinets – For middle-tier cabinets you are looking at brands such as Husky and NewAge Products.

If you want to build your own garage storage system, you can buy the standalone units and build them piece by piece.

Because I’m lazy, I go for the pre-bundled storage systems. You can buy cabinet sets that already fit together, look great and have great functionality.

Buying standalone units will cost you more in the long run, but are a good choice if you can’t afford the whole setup at once.

Opting for the storage systems that are already chosen and fit well together will offer a level of convenience but will set you back $500-$2500 in one shot.

This NewAge Product setup costs $1,119 and is a great place to start. Thanks to its modular design, if you want to upgrade, you can buy more units and add them on without any issue.

High-End Cabinets – If you thought $2500 was too much for a storage system, prepare to be even more shocked. A high-end cabinet system will set you back anywhere from $2000-$7500.

All the storage systems from Husky & NewAge Products are high gauge steel and are made with longevity in mind.

The main difference between mid and high-end cabinets is the number of cabinets that you get and how they are setup.

With high-end storage systems, you can arrange it any way you want. You can have it across the back wall or tuck it away into a corner.

The amount of workspace that you get with a more expensive storage system will also increase thanks to the extra countertop space.

I’ll be honest, 99% of people will not need a high-end storage system, especially if they’re only detailing. These are the types of cabinets that you would see in a professional garage.

Unless you have money to burn, stick to the mid-range stuff and build your way up. The modular systems are great and let you do just this.

Wall Mounts

Pegboard Mount

For those of you with minimal space in your garage, wall mounts will be crucial to making the most out of your space.

Wall mounts are also good for keeping the tools that you use most in an easy to access area. I like to keep detailing brushes and a socket set on my pegboard for example.

Pegboards – These are by far the most flexible wall mount storage you can get. You will be able to store anything on these.

If you get a big enough pegboard you will be able to store brushes and tools on it. You can also get lint bins for bolts or screws that you may take out during the detailing process.

Another idea would be to get hooks so that you can also store Microfiber towels on it.

I also have shelves on mine so that I can put a box of disposable gloves in an easily accessible location.

Slatwall Panel – These are what shops use to display products and hang up t-shirts on the wall.

Slatwall panels offer a lot of flexibility. You can put different accessories on them to achieve the functionality you desire.

They also look a lot better than a metal pegboard.

Using hooks, display arms, baskets, and shelves, you will be able to create the ultimate wall mount for your garage.

Make sure to pay attention to maximum loads though. You don’t want to overload the shelves causing them to break and drop your expensive equipment.

Shelving Units

Shelving Units

Shelving Units or Utility Racks are great for those on a budget.

You can get heavy duty shelving units that hold up to 200kg per shelf for $30-$50 each.

These shelving units will allow you to organize and store your detailing equipment or products while being able to see them at all times.

If you don’t want to see the products and equipment because it looks untidy, you can buy boxes to place them in. It’s all personal preference

I have my DA Polisher on a shelf with a box of pads next to it, then my Microfibers, Wax, Quick Detailers on another.

It’s your garage, I’m just suggesting ideas.

Since you’re in a detailing garage and may have some moisture, choosing plastic units over metal ones may be beneficial.

That being said, I haven’t had any rust issues with my TMZ Rack.

Again, if you’re working in a smaller garage, you may find that these shelving units take up too much space. Make sure to take measurements before purchasing.

Entertainment Center

Entertainment Centre

Having an entertainment center in your garage could be a distraction, it could also be a very useful source of information.

Depending on what you plan to do in your garage, an entertainment center may be a break spot, or it could be used to learn.

Once you decide what you’re using it for, you can then decided exactly what you’ll need.

PC / Laptop – For me, I’m a PC person all day.

Admittedly, hooking up a PC in your garage isn’t the most convenient thing in the world, and it’s certainly not portable.

In the garage, I have a laptop that’s hooked up to a smart TV.

I chose to get a laptop because it would allow me to have a workstation and I can also have it next to cars as I work

Being able to have a laptop next to you to follow digital guides while you work is very helpful. Though, If you’re just watching detailing videos a smart TV may be enough.

Paying for a laptop and a smart tv is going to cost you a lot.

You should think about whether you need it or not, It will be unnecessary for a lot of people.

Smart TV – As a detailer, most of the content that you will need is available on youtube.

Buying a Smart TV that has access to youtube and the sports channels that you like will be enough in most cases. It will also make your garage a place to hang out if you have some people around or want to escape the missus.

A 42 Inch Smart TV will cost you anywhere from $300-$500. It’s definitely a luxury item but will increase the time you spend in the garage tenfold.

Sound System – From a pure enjoyment perspective, having a good sound system is one of the most important things for me.

I love music and having a good speaker system in the garage can make working on a car a lot more enjoyable.

You could get yourself a pair of wireless headphones but it’s not the same. Having to worry about your earphones as you work is a distraction, they also don’t sound as good.

Retractable Extension Cord

Extension Cord

A pricy bit of equipment for what it really is.

If you’re on a budget you can get a normal extension cord, however, a retractable one will save you a lot of time and effort when tidying up.

When you make a job have fewer obstacles and require less effort, you’re more likely to complete the job.

Instead of having to reel the cable in and wind it up around some hooks yourself, you can press a button and it will retract itself.

Having a retractable extension cord will make hoovering, pressure washing and machine polishing that little bit easier. You should definitely consider picking one of these up.

Detail Cart

Detailing Cart

A detail cart is another tool that makes the job that little bit easier.

Depending on the size of your garage, going back and forward to your storage system may be time-consuming. The easiest way to cut out these trips is to have a detailing cart.

Having a good-sized cart will allow you to fill it up with the product and tools that you need for each stage.

Doing this will allow you to drag the cart around the car as you work, meaning you have the tools you need within arm’s length at all times.

Any mobile tool and parts trolley will do, you could also find random storage trolleys that suit your needs as well.

A detailing trolley will set you back anywhere from $50-$250.

This Costway 3 Tier Trolley is what I use, it holds up to 150kg and is built using heavy-duty steel. There’s even a side panel with holes in, perfect for holding thin detailing brushes.

Sink with Hot & Cold Tap

Hot and cold tap

You really don’t realize how much you’ll appreciate this until you have a hot and cold tap in your garage.

Most people can make do with just using their outside tap or traipsing buckets of water through the house but I feel like this is a major upgrade for any garage.

Being able to wash your hands in warm water is great, especially since you’ve just been standing out in the cold washing your car.

It will also allow you to fill up your buckets for the contact wash. You should always use warm water for car shampoo or ONR, it’s what the instructions tell you to do.

If you have any ideas feel free to share them. I’m very interested to see what you guys have in your dream detailing garage setup.

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Having a well-designed, convenient auto detailing garage is essential to improve your detailing results. Today, I want to share 13 fantastic ideas to implement in your car detailing garage setup. I’m sure that you’ll like some of them since they’ll significantly help you detail vehicles. 

Look at the image above. That garage is so unorganized that you wish not to work and clean vehicles inside. Don’t let your detailing garage be like that.

As you can imagine, some of those accessories may be pretty expensive, and some may not. I’ll also recommend you some products, and I’ll try to stay as budget-friendly as possible with my recommendations.

Designing your auto detailing garage isn’t an easy task, and I hope that it’ll become somewhat easier after reading this article. Without furder ado, let’s see 15 amazing ideas that I have for you.

1.Garage Floor Tiles

I’m a big fan of garage floor tiles. Probably, that’s because you can customize them in a way you like the most. However, customization isn’t their only pro.

The best thing about garage floor tiles is choosing open-profile (vented) floor tiles. They’re designed to let everything drain away, so you always have a nice and dry surface to work on.

It’s not a small investment, but I think it’s worth it. Most of the time, we’re standing on the floor, and it should be as dry and as clean as possible all the time.

I have thoroughly covered this whole topic, so if you’d like to check more about it, read my article Car Detailing Garage Floor Tiles: What Type Should You Buy?.

2.Drainage System

drainage system, car detailing

Having a fancy-looking floor isn’t enough without a high-quality drainage system. If you’re washing cars inside your garage, you should have a sound drainage system that’ll take all the water away.

The drainage system is something you should’ve done when building your garage. That way, it’s the cheapest.

However, if you don’t have it in your garage, you can make it and connect it to your house’s drainage system with a little bit of work.

It’s not very cheap to pay someone to do the whole job. I recommend you prepare everything for putting drain pipes, and they pay someone to lay them down and connect to the house drainage system.

For instance, I would do all the work with a hammer drill (preparing the notches for drain pipes). I think you can prepare it in one day only. You don’t need any special knowledge, and you’ll save pretty much money. Borrow the hammer drill from somebody, and do the job. At least that’s how I’d do it. 

3.Moisture Resistant Paint For Walls and Ceilings

Washing cars in the garage is excellent, but it has some disadvantages. Probably, the most significant drawback is that your walls will attract some moisture. You can quickly fix it by painting your wall with some waterproof paints.

They’re straightforward to find since everyone uses them in the bathroom. Waterproof paint is a bit more expensive than the standard wall paints, but it’s worth it.

Also, waterproof paints have one significant advantage. They’re straightforward to clean. So, if you get your wall dirty, you’ll easily clean the dirt without damaging the paint. 

However, if you’re using drywalls in your garage, make sure that they’re moisture resistant too. Usually, water-resistant drywalls are green, while non-water-resistant drywalls are white. 

To make it clear, water-resistant drywall isn’t completely waterproof if you don’t coat it with some protection (waterproof wall paint).

4.LED Light Bars on Ceiling and Walls

Detailing vehicles in a poorly lit area is one of the worst things in the auto detailing world. Most garages don’t have enough light, and you should take care of it.

When you’re washing your car, vacuuming it, extracting seats, polishing, etc., you should always have enough light to see what you’re doing. 

The best advice I can give you is to get some LED light bars and install them all over the garage. In my opinion, you should put them on the side and back walls, and on the ceiling too. That way, you’ll have a well-lighted room that’s similar to daylight.

The more similar it’s to daylight, the better. Also, they’ll help you a lot when polishing your cars since you’ll be able to see swirl marks and scratches much better than in a shady environment. 

Also, LED lights will help you take some fantastic photos of your work, especially if you have some knowledge of photography.

I have found some fantastic deals on Amazon, and these Barrina 6-Pack LED Light Bars (check the price on Amazon now) are the best choice. 

5.Water Softener System

water filter system

Water softener systems remove high concentrations of calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. They’ll also remove other sediments such as chlorine, etc. 

By using a water softener system inside your garage, you’ll prevent water spots from appearing on your vehicle after washing the car. If you live in an area with hard tap water, you should use these systems.

Professional water softener systems are costly, and it’s hard for auto detailers to have them installed, especially for hobby detailers. 

Since I’m always looking for some budget-friendly options, I have found a system that anyone can buy. Of course, it’s not as effective as professional systems, but it’ll help you a lot.

Camco Water Filter (check the price on Amazon now) is one of the cheapest options to soften the water you use for detailing. I suggest it to everyone, especially if you’re washing cars outside of your garage.

6.AC Unit

Having an air conditioner in your garage is more important than you thought. I think that every auto detailing garage should have it installed.

Benefits of having AC inside your garage:

  • You can cool the garage when it’s hot
  • It’s great for warming the garage in the winter period
  • You can use it to remove warmth and moisture from the indoor air, which removes humidity. 

The first two benefits will help you work inside, but the third benefit is the most important one. It’s hard to remove moisture from the garage, especially if you don’t have plenty of windows. 

Every modern air conditioner has an option to regulate humidity. By using that option, you’ll much quickly dry your garage and remove all the moisture left after washing your vehicle. 

7.Garage Cabinets

garage cabinets for auto detailing

Garage cabinets are essential storage accessories in any garage, so it’s in auto detailing garages. With a big enough garage cabinet, you’ll be able to store almost all of your detailing tools and products. 

I recommend you have two garage cabinets, and between them, you can put some table on which you can keep various tools that you currently work with. 

Many companies sell pre-built garage cabinets, but they’re just too expensive. To save some money, you should always buy garage cabinets on Amazon or similar stores and then use your imagination to fit them inside your garage.

I’ve found some fantastic deals on Amazon, and I think this SONGMICS Steel Storage Cabinet (check the price on Amazon now) is one of the best choices. Each shelf can keep up to 55lbs, and it’s metal so that the water won’t destroy it. 

8.Wall Shelves and Mounts

Together with garage cabinets, you’ll also need some wall shelves and mounts. They’ll help you keep some stuff that you use very often when detailing vehicles. 

I always like to have some pegboard wall organizer, on which I keep some tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, etc. 

Suppose you’re a professional auto detailer, and you sell auto detailing products to your customers. In that case, it’s always great to have them presented on shelves so that every customer can see them.

Wall shelves and mounts, together with cabinets, are the best things you can use for a better garage organization.

9.Table For Various Tasks

I highly suggest that you always have a metal table inside your car detailing garage. Also, it should have wheels mounted too.

Why? Well, you’ll often need some tools or products near you when working around the car, and some table to keep them nearly is essential.

For instance, you can prepare all the tools and products required for car polishing, so you have everything in the reach of your hand.

Tables are one of the cheapest investments, and they’ll help you the most to reduce the time of cleaning vehicles. 

10.Large Sink With Hot and Cold Water

Having a large sink with hot and cold water somewhere in the corner of your garage is beneficial. When detailing cars, you’ll very often need to wash something quickly or drink water.

Of course, you can always use the water from your hose, but I think it’s much more convenient if you have a sink where you can wash and rinse buckets, quickly rinse microfiber cloths, dilute various chemicals for cleaning, etc. 

Also, it should have a warm water option to use warm water when needed. For instance, you can fill car wash buckets with warm water since warm water removes the dirt quicker and easier. 

Furthermore, you’ll be able to clean yourself before coming back to your house, so that your wife doesn’t scream at you for making the house dirty again hehe.

11.Mounted Hose Reel

mounted hose reel garage

A mounted hose reel is extremely important if you want to keep your garage clean and organized. 

There’s no worse thing than wrapping a garden hose after the job is finished. I always hated it through my childhood, and that’s why I use hose reels whenever I can.

Mounted hose reels aren’t very expensive, and they’re easy to mount and install on your water system.

They’re great because you can use them to wash and rinse the car directly or connect them to your pressure washer and then wash the whole car.

Mounted hose reels are beneficial if you’re washing a car outside of your garage too. It’s both store and use location for them, and it’s time and space-saving investment.

12.Extension Cord Reel

Mounted retractable extension cord reels are as crucial as hose reels, even more probably. You need electricity for most of the auto detailing tools and equipment.

By using a mounted extension cord reel on your garage walls, you’ll prevent getting stuck on the cables all the time, and it’ll be easier to store them after you finish with detailing.

Mostly, having only one extension cord reel is entirely enough to cover all the needs inside your car detailing garage.

Just make sure always to choose a retractable extension cord since it’s much easier to use it, and you’ll need less time to retract it once you finish.

13.Trash Can on Wheels

Every garage has a trash can, especially when we talk about auto detailing garages. However, if you’re an auto detailer, you should have a trash can on wheels.

Whenever you start cleaning a car, there’s always plenty of garbage that should be removed from the vehicle. 

If you have a large trash can with mounted wheels, it’ll hugely help you remove all the garbage from any vehicle quickly. 

Just don’t forget to put some trash bags inside for a quicker emptying of a can.

Final Word

Any auto detailing garage organization isn’t straightforward initially, but it’ll help you become a more productive auto detailer once you finish everything.

I know that there are plenty of more tips and tricks you can use, but these are one of the most important ones, and I think every garage should have most of them.

I hope you’ll implement some of those ideas in your garage and improve it a lot – both for better appearance and usability.

Workspace has always been one of the most important things to organize. If you have an organized workspace, you’ll be more likely to work better. It doesn’t matter if it’s an office, a garage, or any other space in which you work.

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