Painted Projects, Tool Cabinet and Surround, Workshop
Comments 13

Workshop Wall Surround: A Splash of Color

Finally applying paint!

Finally applying paint!

A little at a time, over the past two weeks, I have been painting the new wall in my workshop. Early on in this project, I decided I wanted some vivid color in what is otherwise a basement dominated by shades of gray: a gray concrete floor and gray concrete block walls.

I gave the color selection considerable thought. One thing I did not want to do was darken the room. While shooting photos for this blog post, my daughter commented how dark my workshop is. She is well on her way towards becoming a very good photographer and I took this comment to heart since light is extremely important in her photos.

Benjamin Moore 488 Mountain Lane

The paint color decided on was Benjamin Moore 488 Mountain Lane and I am mostly pleased with it. I wanted a manly color and a color found in nature – I like this shade of green. It actually looks a little brighter in real life, not as dull as the color sample above. I opted for Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select in a satin sheen.

After sanding all wooden parts with a medium grit paper, I filled nail holes and cracks with either a wood filler or caulk. Caulk helps hide the unforeseen, mostly minor problems related to making molding behave. I have come to expect thin strips of pine to bow meaning it does not want to lay flat even when I shoot a ton of finish nails into it. Caulk to the rescue! This is the reason I have come to call caulk “the woodworker’s friend”.

Then I laid on the paint – no primer needed. I had planned to use a small roller on the large panels so I could keep brush marks to a minimum, but this paint brushes on wonderfully; I’ll save the little roller for a future project.

A view of the clipped corner.

A view of the clipped corner.

The view from in front of my workbench.

The view from in front of my workbench.

Concerning caulk: there is an art to applying caulk well. While I have considerable experience due to this project, this project, oh, and this one, I am still learning. My current method goes like this:

  • I try to lay down as thin a bead as I can and use my finger to push the caulk into the crack to be filled.
  • At the same time, my finger will be removing some excess caulk.
  • Then, I come back with a putty knife and remove as much of the remaining caulk as possible.
  • It is not unusual for caulk to begin setting up quickly, even by the time I begin using my putty knife. To ensure the caulk blends well with the surrounding area, I’ll wipe it down with a damp cloth.

With the paint dry and my four wall panels in place, I have now completed the first phase of my wall surround for my tool cabinet. The wall system covers my furnace along with the water heater; things I have long hated being in the background of my photos (example here). Now I have a nice, colorful wall to look at while I build things. A long over-due improvement which brings a smile to my face.

The next phase of this monstrous project is building the actual tool cabinet. I’ll begin building it when I complete the low bookcase for my daughter.


  1. Looks great. I love the raised panel look. Very classic. It’s amazing that they can look equally great in a workshop, living area, or bedroom.

    • Thanks Bill. as you noted, I have used this look on a wide variety of things. It is relatively easy to achieve and it works very well with paint.

      • Even in a shop environment if it gets a little abused it adds some character. There’s definitely a reason that this look has been so popular for so long.

  2. Very nice! A little tip my brother taught me about caulk. Cut the tip to the proper size of course and when you wipe wet your finger. This works surprisingly well. I hope I don’t come off as holier than though just a tip that I never would have thought of and thought you may be interested. Thanks for the updates!

    • I never cut the tip to the right size. It always seems too big. I think wiping with a wet finger sounds much better than using a dry one. 🙂

  3. Looks great, Jeff! Whenever possible, I use a a 50/50 mix of dish soap and water mix to wet my finger when caulking. Also, I use Alex Plus made by Dap almost exclusively. Give it a try if you’re not using it.

  4. Excellent job Jeff! A friend of mine who is an expert caulker gave me two tips I’ll pass on to you. When you caulk, have a small bucket of water and lint free cloth handy. Smooth the caulk with your fingers and rinse the excess off in the bucket and dry with the cloth. Most caulks I use are water soluble before they dry.

    • Thanks for the tip. What I normally have close by is a water bottle and after applying most of the caulk, I did what you suggested, I found some lint free disposable painters rags left over from an earlier project – didn’t know I even had them. 🙂

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