Monday, January 19, 2015

Painting the Basement

Holidays, work, 
life and of course, the Patriots football games (What? We're going to the Super Bowl!) have kept me away. I’ll work on fixing that. Let me check those PowerBall numbers…

Jumping back in time to shortly before we actually saw completion on the horizon, I felt the need to go and start to do some work myself. Truthfully, I was bored and it was too early for yard work (a yard didn’t exist anyways) and I needed something to do. And my better half had said more than once “You need to find something to do. Other than bothering me.” So I did.

At this point, pretty much all of the construction debris in the basement was cleared out. OK, I did that. It was driving me nuts seeing piles of rubble and junk wood. And the basement was dry now that the roof had been on for a while. Note, don’t sweat the puddles that you’re bound to get in the basement during construction. They will dry. Other than moving the water around to help with drying, I also picked up all the nails to prevent rust spots. Ya, it’s the small things in life.

The Dark, Gray-Green Cement walls needed something.

And the unevenness of the colors made the walls look dirty.

Concrete Form Pins

At this point most of the concrete form pins had been knocked off. Thankfully there were only about 2 dozen left. The other 1,000 plus (I’m guessing) had already been knocked off.

After Removal

So I took my 5lb sledge and made quick work of them. The trick is to hit them from the top and bottom. They’ll break off easier than side to side.

And the Floor looked (and was) Dirty as well.

And I Needed Something to do.

So standing in the basement after cleaning it, and thinking it looks dark down here with the dark gray-green cement walls. Hmmm, maybe painting it will lighten it up. And I do need something to do. So off to the big box home store I went.

Outside Foundation Walls with Rubber Waterproofing
Worth the extra cost for future protection

When talking with the friendly paint counter person, the first question they asked was if water was coming in through the walls. If it was, they would recommend the DryLok masonry water proofer paint. Fortunately, they are new walls and even more so, when the walls were put in, we spent the extra money to have the outside coated with a rubber membrane to keep the water out. Just a little added protection.

Seal-Krete Epoxy paint

 So I went with the Seal-Krete epoxy paint for the walls and the floor.

I started first by sweeping the walls down with a large floor broom. They had been up for almost a year so the debris that was attached to them was pretty dry. You’ll need a mask when doing this because of the dust. The next day I swept the floor down and waited another day for the dust to settle before painting.

Starting the Walls

Before painting I went around with silicon to seal the small space between the floor and the wall. My thinking was that it might stop any water seepage from coming up between the two. I’m not sure if it will work but it made me feel better.

It looked Brighter (and Cleaner) Immediately
One coat should be enough.

Painting, while tedious, is easy. The paint, which went on very smooth, is one part epoxy so it only requires stirring. There’s also no trim to cut around so I just rolled away with a regular wall roller with 3/8” nap and a long pole handle. The heavy nap is useful for all of the air pockets that are created during the concrete pour. Also, having a cheap brush around came in handy as well. Honestly though, it’s not worth the bother to try to fill every small hole. You’ll drive yourself nuts and it will take forever. I also wasn't really neat about the wall meeting the floor either. No need to be. And there just isn 't enough time in the world when it comes to being neat on rough concrete.

One coat was enough in my book. The walls looked brighter and they no longer had that dirty look. And I managed to stay out of my better half's hair. For short amount of time anyways.

Next up. Painting the Basement floors.

Enjoy your week.



  1. My goodness that's quite a basement! We have a dirt cellar here,,,,so I am a bit envious of a finished basement and all the additional storage/living space possibilities it offers. Good work! looking forward to and enjoying the progress!

    1. Thank you. We have big plans for the basement and knew we needed to paint it before we moved in with all of the stuff* that we have.

      *Yard sale potential.

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