in the last several years i have been in a number of basements that have been painted. they are unfinished, regular old basements-- but the floors, walls, and sometimes the ceilings (really the structural system holding up the house) are all painted. generally i have been seeing white walls with grey floors-- simple and clean and nice to be in. these basements are not 'BASEMENT-Y'-- they are fresh and clean-- and feel like an extension of the living space. i have even been looking at the kitchens and servant areas of tv shows like 'downton abbey'-- now THAT's a painted basement for you!
i have been thinking about this painted-basement idea. most of us don't want to take the time (or we have too much stuff) to paint space that we are rarely in. most of us don't think it is worth it.
well-- until just recently i would have agreed. i loved the painted basements of my clients but didn't think it worth it to do in my own house. but-- this weekend all of that changed! after having a fair amount of work done in my basement in the last couple of years-- work that doesn't really show but that cost a fair amount of money-- i wanted that space to SHINE!! i spent two days down there rolling paint on all the walls and on the floor-- and what a difference it made!!
we started by moving everything to the center of one side of the basement. fortunately we don't have that much stuff so this part was fairly easy-- but it would have been worth it to move a whole lot of stuff if that is what we needed to do. we took the opportunity to take a number of items to the salvation army or the dump-- things that i had meant to get rid of a while ago but hadn't gotten to.
then we cleaned. and i mean cleaned. wear a mask and gloves when you do this-- they will help. we vacuumed and scrubbed-- making sure that we had dust-free surfaces to apply the new paint to.
for those who will want to know: we used 'dry-lock' brand paint which is meant for masonry. it is thick-- almost like chocolate pudding (except white for the walls and grey for the floors)-- and we had to really work it in to the concrete of the basement. it looks great!