The Basement - Turning a Tired Space into an Ahhhh Space
by Valarie Moody
Did I mention our goal is to fix the house and get it back on the market by July 14, 2021? That will have given us exactly two months since the date of purchase. Our schedule is challenging because our favorite contractor, Connor Trischler, has other jobs scheduled. Connor is working us in during "rain days" because most of his current work is outside building and repairing decks. Trust me, if I knew a good rain dance, I'd be doing one every day!
So the work upstairs is at a bit of a standstill for now. We need Connor and crew to replace the windows in every room before we can paint, and we need them to take down the wall in the kitchen and install the cabinets before we can do any further work.
To keep things moving along, Tom and I began working on the basement, which has incredible potential. I spent a few hours vacuuming out all of the cobwebs from the ceiling rafters and basically giving a deep clean to the laundry area. There is a lot of space down there, and we're moving the cabinets that we took down from the kitchen into the basement to provide storage and a counter for a nice folding area.
While cleaning, I couldn't figure out the purpose for this black "box." Tom came down and started poking around and realized the black "door" opens to the outside. We don't really know why it's there, but we're assuming it was a way to get coal into the basement for heat. Who knows for sure?
Pinterest Has the Best Ideas
I again went back to Pinterest for ideas on how to make the laundry area a place where someone would actually want to spend some time cleaning clothes, folding and staying organized. We don't want to cover up the innerworkings of the home with drywall or a drop ceiling, but we do want it to feel warm and cozy. After viewing multiple photos of painted rafters, I decided to do the same.
I love spray paint. I know it sounds concerning, but there are few "tools" that can provide immediate gratification in making something look clean and new. Plus, I hate seeing brush strokes. Spray paint gives you a clean finish and brightens up everything it covers. But spray paint in an enclosed area with pilot lights is not a safe environment!
I started painting, then realized I could potentially blow up the place, so I called Tom down to the basement to help me turn off the pilot light to the water heater. I sprayed a corner, then thought about the boiler heater that sits next to the water heater. "Hmmmm ..... that one probably has a pilot light also," my smart self considered. Time to go get Tom again to help turn this one off as well.
After consulting Siri and YouTube, we determined which valve would most likely turn off the gas to the heating system, and I thought it would be safe to begin painting again. A few sprays, and I was spooked. Deciding to place safety ahead of getting the ceiling painted "on schedule," I went upstairs to find something to do. It was after 5 pm, so an unreasonable time to call the heating contractor I had talked to earlier about taking out the radiator in the kitchen. A call to him the next morning assured me that by turning off the gas source to both the water heater and the boiler heater, I would be safe to finish spray painting the ceiling in the basement.
Canned Spray Paint not the Best Option to Paint Basement Ceiling
I bought 6 cans of Krylon Fusion paint at Lowes. The first few seconds of spray seemed to come out clear. In fact, many times when using a new can, I double-checked the label to make sure it was white paint in the can. One of the spray nozzles also broke off when I was trying to take off the lid, so that can will be returned to Lowes.
I did have to laugh after the first can or two that I applied. I keep my long hair in a messy bun 90% of the time. At some point, I realized that I had protected my eyes with safety goggles and my hands with gloves, but the hair hadn't been on my protection radar. Sure enough, when I looked in the mirror upstairs, my bun had smudged against the ceiling and turned my auburn tresses white. I didn't have my hooded jacket with me, so I reached for the closest hair protection - a Lowe's plastic shopping bag. Yep, plop it on my head, tie the handles at the back at my neck, and I was good to go. Tom laughed and wanted to take a photo, but I didn't want him to slow down my progress. Now, though, I wish I had that photo.
I applied the five working cans of paint that I had, and the result was splotchy. I could have left the ceiling as it was, because it definitely was an improvement, but I really want the area to look nice for the new owners. I'm going to purchase my go to spray paint from The Home Depot today and see if the second coat using this paint gives me the result I'm looking for.
Time to Break Out the Professional Paint Sprayer
I purchased a paint sprayer a few years ago to paint our basement. The machine seems a bit intimidating at first, but it really is simple to use and gets the job done so much faster with amazing results. I wasn't 100% sure the paint sprayer would be a good option here due to overspray, but I carefully covered the washing machine, the dryer and the amazing stone fireplace in the basement before turning on the sprayer.
I love the look! I sprayed along just fine for about 5 minutes, and then the machine stopped. A quick call to the toll-free number shown on the machine, and the representative helped me troubleshoot. Turns out the spray tip was clogged, so a quick cleaning with water (we had turned off the water heater, so warm water wasn't an option) and the brush that came with the sprayer, and I was up and running again.
Walking downstairs to our clean and freshly painted basement now feels so inviting!
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