Why do we spend so much time beautifying our homes yet allowing our garage to look so bloody ugly? A few years back, we bought an older home in the Australian tropics on picturesque Clifton Beach. The house was nice but the floor of the garage was oil and paint stained, later gouged by someone using cleaning acids. The failure made it worse. My wife commented: “It might need a few hundred coats of paint, don’t you think?”
The boys in the paint department said it was more complicated than most people imagined. It would take a bit of time and money to revive. First, I would have to move everything off the garage floor. Everything? Yes, everything. That job would take about a week and there it would have to sit outside for the world to see. Then I would have to hire a mean-looking dog to guard it all on the driveway while all the lethal cleaning agents went to work, and later waiting for multiple layers of paint dried. That would take another few weeks. Meanwhile, everything out on the driveway would be soaking wet and rusty if it hadn’t already been stolen. So I decided the traditional way of painting the garage floor was not for me.
Suddenly my imagination became transported into a Post Impressionist dream that I could climb into for a while. As we live in the tropics north of Cairns, it needed a tropical theme. I wandered out into the garden snipping off a myriad of local leaves and palm fronds, bought a variety of colourful paints, and went a bit nuts. I felt like the artist of Blue Poles, Jackson Pollock (photo above), splattering paint here and there, stopping to peruse, then layering something different over the top. I painted the garage floor and the back wall, so when I drive home, the roll-a-door rises, and our new and elegant garage greets us. At night, the lights from my ute shine on the back wall of silver fronds and sprays of green leaves. Every time I drive inside, a heraldic sensation of music is afloat. You know, plenty of trumpets and violins. My wife, worried I might take this music inside the house or on the outside walls and made me promise that I would only beautify the garage. Nothing more! Pouting, I painted the lawn mower. So there it is! The most spectacular garage in Clifton Beach that I hope will be copied everywhere.
So, the Garage Renaissance Movement is a call to transform all the world’s garages piled with ugly cartons as well as tools that smell of petrol, oil, dirt and sweat into something more pleasant. If you decide to make use of this idea, send me a photo.