In my last post, I shared with you the first half of projects from my 30 Day Shop Upgrade challenge.  You can check them out here.  Now we’re onto the second half and the after pictures!

Day 16

How many times have you spilled something and needed to wipe it up quickly? It happens to me all the time and it wasn’t often that I had something handy to clean it up.  I remedied that by going to Wal-Mart and buying an $0.88 paper towel holder.  I installed it under one of my shelves where it would be easy to get to.  Now I always have something to wipe up my messes! (Provided I keep a roll of towels on it…)

Day 17

I have always had trouble keeping my clamps in line because I never had a good place to put them, especially as my collection grew.  It wasn’t unusual to have to dig through a pile on the floor to find what I needed or step over them to get to my tools.  I had seen lots of different ways to store them but I needed something simple, quick, and slim.  I was watching Instagram Stories from my friend Mark at Remarkable Woodworks when I spotted his clamp solution.  It was the perfect way to hang my clamps.  I simply used a few pieces of 2×4 and screwed them to the wall.

Day 18

I like to spray paint stuff but I hate having to make sure I have everything blocked off to prevent over spray.  And even worse than overspray is keeping sawdust off of something I just painted.  I pulled the trigger one day and bought a small Home Right Spray Shelter from Amazon (affiliate).  I love this thing.  To make spraying items a bit easier, I bought a small lazy susan and put a scrap board on top.  Now I can easily reach all sides.  I will definitely be getting a larger version.  Also, if anyone wants to come over and show me how to fold this up, I’ll be waiting in the garage.

Day 19

Standing on concrete floors for long periods of time is hard on your body.  Rockler had a great sale one day and I bought so many things.  One of them was a pack of these interlocking anti-fatigue mats.  They were inexpensive for a pack of 6.  They’ve been a big help in the garage.

Day 20

While perusing Instagram one day, I had seen someone use magnet strips around their shop to store tools and materials that would be needed in that area.  I picked up a pack of four from Amazon (affiliate) and installed a couple on my rolling work cart.  They are super handy for when I need to have a tool close by but don’t need it on my workspace.  The other two magnet strips haven’t found home yet but will soon.

Day 21

Does anyone else store their screws and fasteners in whatever box or bag they came in then aren’t able to find them when they are needed?  Just me?  Well, I got tired of that so I picked up a couple DeWalt organizers on a trip to Home Depot and they now hold my various screws and decorative fasteners.  It’s been a big help!

Day 22

One day I got a message asking me to make a drill holder for someone.  Then I thought, hey, I could sure use one of those in my garage and it would make a great upgrade.  I had some scrap plywood lying around and tested out the plans before I made the good one for the order.  The plywood I had wasn’t quite the dimensions I needed but I still made it work.  The second one was much prettier, by the way.  I used plans from Her Tool Belt to make it.

Day 23

Nothing makes or breaks a picture faster than a poor background.  I have limited options for awesome backgrounds around here, especially after dark.  I wanted something light to make my darker items stand out so I went perusing the wall panel aisle at Lowe’s.  I found an inexpensive panel with a whitewash look and brought it home with me.  I cut it into sections so that I had a floor, a back, and two “wings” to help the back stand up.  It’s held together with piano hinges (or continuous hinges) and folds up into a 4’x4’ piece to easily store away.  I’m looking for to the new look it will give some of my photos!

Day 24

I’m pretty sure everyone struggles with their scrap pile.  They quickly build up and it’s hard to let some pieces go.  Mine was getting out of control for my small space so I took some time sorting through what I was potentially going to use again and what I was likely never going to use again.  These three boxes were what was leaving the garage.  It was a sad day.

Day 25

Spray Paint!  So handy but all the cans can quickly take up too much space.  My cans were taking up a lot of prime real estate on my shelves so I got to looking online for different plans to store the cans.  I couldn’t quite find anything that I loved as is so I set out to make my own plan.  A small piece of plywood and a couple boards later, I had an awesome storage rack.  This rack holds 55 cans and helps me see at a glance what I have.  When they were all on the shelf, I was often buying paint colors I already had because I couldn’t see them.

Day 26


This upgrade is one of my favorites.  I never had a good place to store my shop rags.  They ended up just being stuffed in whatever hole I could find.  Then one day brilliance struck.  I bought a plastic bag recycler/holder (affiliate) and attached it to the wall.  Then I stuffed all of my rags in it.  I love having all the rags stored here!  I also have to share with you one of my favorite tips for attaching things to walls with multiple holes.  I make a photocopy of the back of the item and tape the photocopy to the wall where I want the item to hang.  I put my screws in the holes then rip the paper away.  Perfect screw or nail alignment every time!  If you don’t have a copier, you can also use tape to mark your holes then put it on the wall and install your screws or nails.

Day 27

I’ve done some upgrades that I’m pretty proud of and love but this upgrade it by far my favorite.  I find myself going to the garage to just stare at it.  I have long dreamed of having a wood wall in my garage, even before I started woodworking.  I was able to get this installed in one day.  I painted the wall with some leftover brown paint then got to work cutting down the reclaimed lumber and nailing it to the wall.  Where did the reclaimed lumber come from?  It was a bunch of long cedar planks that used to be on the front of my dad’s office building when I was a kid.  I’d venture to guess they came down about 20 years ago.  The best part is I could still smell the cedar when I cut them.  For real, I can’t love this wall enough.

Day 28

One of my favorite Canadian Instagram woodworkers, DIY with Wally, celebrated earning 700 followers while I was working my 30 day shop upgrade with a giveaway.  I was the lucky winner!  I got a huge bundle of goodies from Fast Cap, who makes some awesome things (like the GluBot I posted about in the first half of this post!).  Here’s a list of the sweet things I won:

  • Gluebot and Babebot
  • 11th Finger push stick
  • 10 Million Dollar stick
  • Izzy’s Track Guide
  • 24” Safecut Ruler
  • Zero Clearance Tape
  • Flushmount drill bit system
  • Fastbreak Edge Band sander
  • FastEdge white melamine peel and stick edge banding
  • FastCap screw caps

Day 29

This was one of the upgrades I needed to do most of all but it was also one of the least fun which is why it’s so close to the end, ha!  My shelves were in need of some purging and reorganizing.  It just wasn’t set up well for how I use the space.  I moved a lot of stuff elsewhere (see all those spray paint cans in the before picture?), threw a lot of stuff away, and rearranged what was left.  I bought more drawers to store my stuff and placed them in a way that made more sense for me.  It is so much easier to find what I’m looking for now and I don’t have to worry about everything toppling over on me.

Day 30

The final day!  This upgrade is small but mighty.  My garage only has a few outlets and they aren’t all very accessible.  Having extension cords running all over the place is a huge hazard so I bought a power strip and added it to my rolling work cart.  Now I only need one extension cord to plug in multiple items.  And this sure beats having to unplug one tool to use another one multiple times throughout a build.

I never thought I would reach day 30, let alone have 30 things to do!  But here we are and I’m so excited to be done. There were many things I did during the cleanup of my garage that were not included on the upgrades list.  It was a lot of work to clean this place out and make it an enjoyable, usable space.  I still have a way to go and many more upgrades over time. I highly encourage you to try this for yourself!  It doesn’t have to be just in your garage.  Do you have a space inside your home that could use a little help?  Try it there!  It can be pretty challenging to come up with one upgrade a day, despite how easy it sounds.  My recommendation is to take your time and think about what you hope to accomplish with your space as you make your list.  If you get stuck, look online for ideas!  Pinterest is a great resource, even for shop upgrades.  Go past 30 items.  You may not be able to accomplish some so it’s good to have backups.  You may even find you need to add upgrades that weren’t on your list when you started this project.  Once you’re done, though, it will feel so good.

Let’s get to everyone’s favorite part now…before and after pictures!!


Glorious After:

Look at that difference!  Which of my upgrades is your favorite?  What upgrades do you want to do in your space?

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