Basement Before & Not Quite After

Behold the basement back in November, emptied of furniture. (But not the heavy TV because it was too big and heavy for me to get it out. I’m pretty strong. This thing was ridiculous. I listed it on Freecycle and Craigslist and no one wanted it. I can’t blame them. I eventually had to pay Arlington County $20 to recycle it. I can recycle paint for free but must pay for heavy annoying TVs. Ok. Fair enough, GOVERNMENT.)

I knew I was pulling up the carpet because it was destroyed by the Bad Cat. I had already ripped it out in the hallway leading to this room. So I used the carpet as a drop cloth for weeks, painting the shelves in the wall unit and  the seven closet doors.  I have no saw horses or a place to store saw horses, so I used cardboard boxes. It was SO NICE not worrying about drips. I also spray painted two thrift store lamps in Rustoleum’s Key Lime, after cleaning them and giving them a rough sand. I sanded outside but painted inside because logic.

**Probably don’t spray paint in your house. Especially in a room with only one very small window.

But again, it was nice getting spray paint all over the carpet like a gangster. PROTIP: Tape plastic bags around the cord.  Stuff the bit where the lightbulb goes with paper towels and tape over that. Tape around the off/on switch. And spray everything else, lots of light coats.

I did fashion cardboard box walls to protect my freshly painted actual walls. I’m not a savage.

This was the ugly builder-grade drop ceiling.

And now this is the ceiling after installing cool new tiles that fit right under the original ones.

It cost less than $300 to do the whole room, and Ceilume was great, both product and customer-service wise. I originally called for a sample because I wanted to feel the weight difference between the cheapest ones and the more expensive ones. I expected something the size of a paint chip, but they sent me actual 2′ x 4′ tiles as a free sample — one of each. (You can see them in the ‘ugly’ version above.) I was able to install them and decide which I preferred. (I went with the cheaper version because I knew I was leaving the original foamy tiles up, but there is definitely a difference in quality.) They do have a 25 panel minimum for orders, but I only needed one of the translucent tiles where the light should shine through. I called and they sent that one along as a free sample, even though I offered to pay for it. Installation only took me a few hours, mainly because I had to cut so many of them. They look great, and completely updated the room. I cannot say enough good about this company. (They have no idea that I am typing this on the internet. I just really recommend them.)

Also, the bookcases got some paint, the window got some fabric, and here we are in April.

Still a huge mess, but coming together.