What to use for shop walls.

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Forum topic by agallant posted 02-22-2016 02:43 PM 2192 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 3420 days

02-22-2016 02:43 PM

Hey Guys,

I had a question for you-all. My shop is a detached 14X36 building. I am in the process of insulating and putting up the drywall. After installing a few panels of drywall this wekend I remembered how much I hated it due to the mess it makes, the time to install and thinking back to my last shop it did not really stand up that well due to being dinged and dented all of the time. I am considering using pegboard, OSB or 11/32 southern yellow ping seating due to price. Any insights on what is best to use?

29 replies so far

View conifur's profile


954 posts in 1685 days

#1 posted 02-22-2016 02:54 PM

Depending on YOUR concerns in most areas, insulation has to be covered with a solid surface to meet code for fire retardation.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View bigblockyeti's profile


6054 posts in 2254 days

#2 posted 02-22-2016 03:02 PM

My shop is just a little smaller than yours and the interior is covered with 7/16” OSB painted with a heavy white latex paint. Having wood everywhere means you can mount nearly anything anywhere on the wall without having to look for a stud. It’s also quite a bit more abuse resistant, on more than a couple times I’ve had lumber get away from me that would have severely damage drywall, but barely scratched the OSB. 7/16” OSB isn’t very expensive either.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View BurlyBob's profile


6593 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 02-22-2016 03:10 PM

I’m onboard with Yeti. My garage is a 30×30 steel building. It was a bear to come up with studs to hang the insulation and OSB. I also painted mine white. That made a tremendous improvement with the lighting.

View Brian's profile


185 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 02-22-2016 03:55 PM

A friend just finished his shop last year. He used OSB for half his walls and PegBoard on the upper half. It wasn’t cheap, but I love it.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1453 days

#5 posted 02-22-2016 04:13 PM


One idea that could be considered is to use different materials in an effort to take advantage of the pluses and minuses of these different materials. OSB or plywood could be installed, perhaps as bands that go all the way around the shop. It could be placed in areas where damage is like to occur and where cabinets, shelves, and hangers would be installed. Then use drywall everywhere else. This controls costs, provides some fire rating, makes cutting around wall penetrations easier during and after installation (for outlets added later), and provides secure fastening points for cabinets, etc.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3400 days

#6 posted 02-22-2016 04:23 PM

I’ve used 5/8 drywall and plywood in shops and haven’t had any problems with either.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1435 days

#7 posted 02-22-2016 05:05 PM

I have osb for my shop walls and no studs in the wall due to someones bright idea. I will be remodeling my shop this spring and i don’t think osb or drywall will be used. 1/2 ’’ plywood is what im leaning toward, good luck.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5792 posts in 3026 days

#8 posted 02-22-2016 05:11 PM

For all it’s drawbacks, I still prefer drywall. Cheap, easy to repair, sound deadening (a little), and as someone mentioned there’s that fire thing…....

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3485 days

#9 posted 02-22-2016 05:15 PM

Another vote for drywall. I never did my shop with drywall; just left the vapor barrier exposed and went with it. Someday I am going to have to remedy that. Drywall will be what goes in there.

-- Mike

View xeddog's profile


256 posts in 3540 days

#10 posted 02-22-2016 05:17 PM

I also vote for 1/2” plywood and a good layer or two of white semi-gloss paint. OSB would probably be good for shop walls to, but I just don’t like any of the “Engineered” materials like OSB, MDF, etc. My son used 3/8 ply in his shop and while it will probably serve him well, it just doesn’t SEEM sturdy enough.


View hotbyte's profile


1000 posts in 3509 days

#11 posted 02-22-2016 07:56 PM

Another OSB walled shop here. I’ve not completed painting, but am doing primer coat of original Kilz (not Kilz II) and latex paint. Walls are a light, light eggshell off-white and ceiling flat ceiling white.

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 1603 days

#12 posted 02-22-2016 08:19 PM

Since the walls are already insulated….does thickness of the product matter?

I used a 1/4” tempered hardboard with white-coating. It was pretty cheap, easy to work with, and adds light-reflection in the room to brighten things up.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3420 days

#13 posted 02-22-2016 08:28 PM

Thickness does not matter. At this point I am looking for cheap without the PITA effort of drywall. I am leaning towards OSB as its $8.99 for a 4×8 sheet at the local HD.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2753 posts in 3455 days

#14 posted 02-23-2016 02:40 PM

Since the walls are already insulated….does thickness of the product matter?

I used a 1/4” tempered hardboard with white-coating. It was pretty cheap, easy to work with, and adds light-reflection in the room to brighten things up.

- 01ntrain

I have learned over the years that “Nothing is permanent” so I built my shop and my friends shop using screws. Makes the walls de-mountable. I put 1/8” pre painted Masonite on the walls, right on the studs. I have since removed the wall to return the shop to the original ,one stall of a three car garage, when I sold that house. If I were to build a shop again where the wall would never move (outside wall) I would put up sheet rock on the studs and then the painted Masonite over it. No need to sand and finish the sheet rock. The white glossy surface of the Masonite cleans up well and reflects light well. I install it with screws so I can then tell exactly where the wall studs are located. I installed all my wiring in conduit on the surface of the Masonite. Changes are pretty simple then. (There will be changes in the future). One more tip: wherever you put the duplex outlets, opt for four-plex instead.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2384 days

#15 posted 02-23-2016 03:11 PM

My vote would be a combination of plywood and drywall. Why? To meet building code, cost control, flexibility, durability and resale. The first / lowest 4’ layer would be drywall, the next layer would be plywood for dent resistance and the hanging of things. Above the ply would be drywall. Yes OSB is cheaper than ply, but it also looks cheap and can be a pain to work with vs. plywood. If you do this, you would only need to tape the joints between the sheets of drywall or you could use a wooden trim strip to cover the joints which would add some contrast without any taping.

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