I am a big fan of changing a room just by painting it. I think it started when I went away to summer camp for a week when I was a kid and then came home to a room my mom painted for me as a surprise. Gone was the pale pink and green of my little kid years and instead she did everything I hoped for: hot pink, purple, turquoise, and blue paint splatters and squiggles painted all over the walls (hey, it was the 80s!). I loved that room and then loved it again when my parents were totally cool with me painting it all white except a wide black stripe running diagonally across the wall (hey, it was the 90s!). Same space, totally different looks. And that’s what I am working on in our basement. Time to whip out my paint can to get rid of the wall-to-wall paneling and this ugly:
Dudes, the finished portion of our basement has lots of weird stuff going on. We’ve got holes in our ceiling from our whole-house electrical upgrade, old yucky vertical blinds that even donation centers refuse to accept, a mish-mash of kid and adult stuff, horrific beams, and of course, paneling on every wall.
I loosely priced out replacing all the paneling with drywall a year or two ago and the cost estimate was at least $4,000. Not ideal for a space we don’t use all that often. I’d really rather spend that much money on something more noticeable than walls (new kitchen, perhaps??). But we are starting to spend a little more time in the basement (that’s what the addition of a tv, a hand-me-down couch, and a resolution to use the elliptical more will do) and our super ugly paneled walls just aren’t cutting it. So I figured spending a few bucks on a couple gallons of paint couldn’t hurt. Our paneling is fake – fairly smooth but not too glossy. More of a satin finish, I’d say. Perfect for painting. I primed it with an oil-based primer and then caulked the seams between each panel (using paintable caulk) and also caulked a ton of nail holes. Positive note: I am now much better at caulking than before I started this project. Now the walls look like this:
Okay, not exactly the picture-ready “after” yet. But just having this room primed is making me so much happier. Next up, the fun part – paint! I’m testing a ton of “whites” and then painting ’til the break of dawn. It’s go time.