Project: Basement Makeover (aka Operation Man Cave)

When I think back at everything that we’ve done since we moved in, I can hardly believe that it’s only been about 8 months since we bought our house.  From getting a new roof and replacing two of our exterior doors, to getting the hardwood redone and learning drywall repair…it may seem that we’ve done it all.  But there was one room that we hadn’t done anything to, and that was our basement.  It was one of those spaces that we dumped all of our stuff in when we moved, but hadn’t really used unless we were down there looking for something in one of our many boxes.  A couple weeks ago, we decided that needed to change.  I built my table down there, but it needed some organization and a fresh coat of paint.

The room really wasn’t bad, there’s carpet down there and the walls are painted, but everything was dingy and clearly hadn’t been cleaned in a while.

Our messy "Before" picture, stuff kinda all over and that fluorescent lighting...yuck.

Our messy “Before” picture, stuff kinda all over and that fluorescent lighting.

The "Finished" part of the basement.  Note the sponged finish on the closet.  Nice.

The “Finished” part of the basement. Note the sponged finish on the closet. Nice.

One of the biggest annoyances was the ceiling.  Depending on where you stood in the basement, the ceiling was either painted white, burgundy or not painted at all.  It was like two people started painting with different colors, and neither of them finished.  It was bad.  So I drove down to the local Home Depot and rented an airless paint sprayer for a few hours so that we could paint it all one color.  We ended up painting it a dark grey, which was perfect because it covered all the gross old paint, and also made it look a lot cleaner down there.

Before, note the multiple colors...lots going on here.

Before, note the multiple colors…lots going on here.

After.  Much cleaner looking.

After. Much cleaner looking.

That sprayer made a HUGE mess.  We put paper down over the carper and masked off everything that we didn’t want painted, but part of spraying the ceiling means that you’re looking up the whole time.  Even with a respirator and a painting suit, I somehow managed to get myself covered in paint.  We bought the zero VOC paint, so it didn’t smell, but it just got on everything.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat though, it made things so much faster than doing it by hand.

Next was painting the walls…considerable easier than the ceiling.  About half of the walls we painted were block walls, and the others were finished drywall, so this part went really quickly.

Walls getting painted, still no lights, but it's starting to look a lot better!

Walls getting painted, still no lights, but it’s starting to look a lot better!

My helper! :)

My painting helper! 🙂

We ended up painting a couple of the walls twice, the first color we picked was not good, (pastel yellow….the chip looked more gold/brown) so we had to go get some more mixed and tried it again.  You can see the old yellow in this picture:

New Orange/Copper/Brown compared to the old yellow...much better. Also, track lighting is starting to go up!

New Orange/Copper/Brown compared to the old yellow…much better. Also, track lighting is starting to go up!

We were originally going to put in recessed can lights and leave them exposed, but that would have proved to be much more difficult/time consuming, so we ended up buying a few track lighting kits and using that instead.  It lights the space more evenly, and makes it look a lot better than the gaudy fluorescent lights that were in there.  I don’t have a lot of pictures from the time we finished painting until the time we finished, but we were just cleaning and organizing, so nothing too interesting.

Since no man-cave would be complete without some entertainment, we decided to take advantage of some sweet holiday deals and we bought ourselves an early Christmas present…a new TV!  Getting it home was an adventure in itself, since it’s a 51″ plasma, but it made it in once piece and looks great!

Unpacking the new TV!

Unpacking the new TV!

And then to my surprise, my in-laws bought me some surround sound speakers for Christmas!  They’re really awesome, and produce some of the clearest sound I’ve ever heard for such small, unique looking speakers.  I’m currently getting those all set up and mounted, but it should be done soon!  I’m already loving the new space (and I’m sure Allyse does too, since now she can send me down there when she wants to watch something on tv and I’m playing a game!)

Cool little surround speakers.  Great sound from a little package.

Cool little surround speakers. Great sound from a little package.

The finished product!  Much more functional now...

The finished product! Much more functional now…

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and has a safe and happy New Years.  I’m looking forward to the great things we’re going to do in 2014!!

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