Painting the Basement

Insert something here about how I never post anymore.

Welcome back to ReubensCube. Here today with another DIY project that most people could have finished in a weekend but it took me a month because that’s just the kind of person I am. I’m talking about painting the basement. Here’s a refresher of what our basement looked like the day we bought the house.

basement-north

Basement when we moved in.

My favorite part of the room was the little counter on the left there with the hole in the wall. I guess previous owners used to throw parties down here or something and that was the dry bar? I dunno. But 70’s faux wood paneling, drop ceiling, brown electrical outlets, harsh florescent lights.

Where to start with a space like this? Long term, this whole space just needs to be gutted and reconstructed from scratch, but we didn’t have time or budget for something like that right now, so we just needed a bandaid fix to last us a few years. My wife and I agreed that neither of us were up for the task of removing the paneling and drywalling – too many unknowns and too big of a project to do it right.

But we did put a lot of thought into the ceiling. We both hate the harsh lights and the drop ceiling and wanted to remove it, but what to replace it with? Like I said, neither of us were up for drywalling the space right now. We spent a lot of time  looking for design ideas. I was really drawn to the open joist look and thought pretty hard about giving it a shot in this space. I love the look of fully finished floors and walls with completely raw and rough ceilings.

But, ultimately, even that was more effort than we wanted to put into it right now, so we agreed the whole space would just get a coat of paint, including the drop ceiling. We ended up buying a handheld spray gun to do the painting – that experience probably deserves a post of it’s own (that I’ll never write).

Here’s a before shot of the room:

Basement - Before

Basement – Before

And here’s an after shot of the room:

Basement - After

Basement – After

Pretty big change, huh? The walls are a light grey color, the ceiling is white. In the photo above, you can also see that we collected our three mismatched bookshelves along the back wall, and used some 4″ lag screws and 2×4’s to anchor the things into the wall to keep them from toppling. The shelves have always been a bit wobbly and unsteady, and we have been worried for some time about one of the kids trying to climb the shelves and winding up in an awful situation. Not a very attractive solution, but it gets the job done.

We also finally got around to hanging a bunch of bike and Minneapolis themed posters.

Blank Wall.

Blank Wall.

More Bike Themed Wall Art.

More Bike Themed Wall Art.

Bike & Minneapolis Themed Wall Art.

Bike & Minneapolis Themed Wall Art.

We also swapped out the brown electrical outlets for white, but we’ll have to live with the awful florescent lights for the time being.

Long term, we’d like to buy a second TV an hang it on the wall. I didn’t take a picture of it, but we removed the old counter/bar, and (poorly) patched the hole in the wall – that space would work nicely now for mounting a TV. This is shaping up to be some sort of family room or play room or something, so you know, kids gotta watch Curious George somewhere…

Anyway, thanks for reading.

9 comments to Painting the Basement

  • Katie

    Wow, looks awesome! What an improvement, but I have always loved the white painted board look. Too bad you didn’t keep the bar-window. People just don’t understand how awesome it is to invite people over to your house and pretend like you have your own restaurant/bar. Who wouldn’t want to spend a whole party serving their friends for cheap tips?

  • Looks great! I’m so proud of you for updating your house blog. You are welcome to do mine now. A few questions: PLEASE, will you do a post about the spray gun? We borrowed one and could never figure out how to make it work properly. Wasted literally half a day on the stupid thing. Also, love the new sidewalks, etc. My dad (the civil engineer who does foundation repairs would be so proud of you for sloping everything away from your house. It is one of our major outdoor projects to be taken on in the spring/next summer. Why not go with a french drain around the garage. I know absolutely nothing about these things but think they look neat. 😀

  • curtis

    Very nice work! One downside to the open-joist look is that the unfinished ceiling can soak up a lot of light. I had a room in my basement with an unfinished ceiling and it always seemed dark and gloomy compared to the other rooms, even though the lighting was the same. Maybe super-powered lights would make up the difference.

  • Tara

    Looks great! We will have to come see it soon, we have done a lot of work on our house but are too dumb to do it ourselves. Now we just need more posts with your wife & kids!

  • Moe

    A friend did the painted open joist look in his basement office, it looks awesome. Makes a short basement feel a little bigger.

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