Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Basement Renovation - Stage Three

It felt like it was long in the making, but Chad and I finally finished our basement renovation!  You can see how we started it HERE, and see some of the progress we made HERE.  When I left off last time, I had primed the walls and bulkhead on the ceiling, and picked out a pretty paint color (Benjamin Moore's Wedgewood Gray), and was ready to put it up on the walls!

Here's how one coat of that dusty blue turned out.  I do have to say that it looks somewhat different on the camera than in real life, and the color changes depending on the lighting. (Also, sorry about all the clutter.  We didn't have any place to put a lot of the furniture we keep down there, so it all got pushed in the center of the room... Try to ignore it.)

I really love how it turned out!  While I was working on this, Chad was cutting out holes in the ceiling tile, for the new potlights.  We had to buy a box of new ceiling tiles to try and match the old ceiling tiles (those things are expensive, man!) They looked pretty much identical except that the new ones were slightly whiter, but unless we point it out to people, no one seems to notice! ;)

You can see in this picture, also, that the bulkhead is getting ready to be painted.  I didn't paint the walls right under the bulkhead, because I knew how messy it got when I primed it originally.  But I finally mustered up the strength and got it done.  Putting the coat of paint on over the primer turned out to be soooo so much easier than priming it had been. (Oil-based paints are the worst!).

It ended up only needing one coat of paint (because that's all I was willing to do! LOL).  We painted it the same color as the doors and the color I was going to paint the trim, only in a "flat" finish instead of "semi-gloss".  The color is called Ballet White by Benjamin Moore, but we had actually gotten a color match of it from Sherwin Williams when Chad had done the other painting in the house, so that's what we did again to make sure it matched perfectly.

So with that done, I was now free to start painting the trim.  Blah.  I was putting this off, too.  Since the trim was all stained wood, it required more of the horrid oil-based primer to cover it before painting.  And I ended up actually kind of liking the way the color of the stained trim looked with the paint color and floor color, but I knew I would like it better in white, and it would just look more modern and updated to go ahead and paint it.  So here it is with a coat of primer:

Definitely glad I sucked it up and took the time to do the trim.  It really helps make the space look "finished".

After the trim was completely up and primed, it was time to do the baseboard (which we decided not to reuse, but instead bought new pre-primed baseboard in a different shape... the old baseboard was just a solid square block of wood and we wanted something a little fancier). This was a little out of our realm.  Fortunately for us, my dad is an outstanding contractor and he was so sweet and willing to help us out!   

He also helped us out with a new door to the patio outside.  I really really wanted a new door.  This was the old one:

There's nothing wrong with this door at all. But... there is only one window in the basement and I really wanted to make sure when we were done this renovation the basement wouldn't be dark and dingy anymore.  Plus, we had just spent a great deal of time and effort doing the patio outside it, and I thought it would be super awesome to actually be able to look out and see it!  So Chad was super sweet and agreed to do it!  And with some help from my dad again, it turned out to be not a terribly tough thing to do.  We kept the framing and just ordered a 9 lite door that would fit in it, and Chad's parents were able to put the old door to good use!

Wow! What a huge difference this light makes!! Even the paint looks different with the new lighting! I LOVE it!!  Here it is from the outside:

Next up was to paint the trim and the new door in that pretty Ballet White color:

And we updated the door hardware from brass knobs to nickel handles:

Here's the door to the patio before and after.  We decided to put a keypad lock on it so that we could easily get in this way if we had been outside and didn't want to go in through the garage. :)



The keypad on the outside of the door

So with those final touches, the "construction" part of the reno was DONE!  And then it was time for the fun part! ;) Decorating.  You can now click HERE to see the big reveal, after everything was decluttered and the furniture was back in place (plus a couple new pieces including one super fun DIY Bench that Chad and I built from scratch! :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Basement Renovation - Stage Two

So, when I left off with my last post about our basement renovation, Chad and I had gotten all the paneling and wallpaper off the walls, repaired them and got them ready for paint, and moved the door to one of our basement closets!  (If you missed it, you read the details and see the pictures HERE).

The next part of the project is really where I came in.  Painting!

Oh Boy!  Taping, priming, painting... more taping, more priming, more painting... Wow, can I just say, I was SO done with paint by the time I finished the basement!  It felt great to get it entirely done and know that I (little ole me) had done it all by myself, but it was very time-consuming, very messy, and very tiring!  I had painted before, but not to this degree and not on my own! So this was a learning experience for sure. (On the positive side, I will say that during this time, I was in the process of trying to lose weight, and painting turned out to be a great fat-burning exercise regime!) 

Taping completed, time to start priming! 

 Look at these gorgeous primed white walls:

What an improvement just plain white walls can make! These walls were a blank canvas ready for the color of my choosing! :)

Along with the walls, the large bulkhead on the ceiling got a coat of primer.  This was by far the hardest and most difficult thing I had to paint.  It was made out of the same stained paneling that we pulled off the walls, and because of the stain and the treebark texture, I had to use kilz oil-based primer to cover it.  I don't know if you've used oil-based paint or primer before, but it's nothing like latex.  NOTHING.  It sticks. to. everything. EVERYTHING!  It was the biggest pain in my neck (literally, since I had to look straight up at the ceiling the whole time) of everything in this project.  When I finished it, it was all down hill from there!

Yes, this is me completely covered in oil-based primer.  No, I was not exaggerating.  Yes, I did find primer stuck in my hair up to 5 days after this despite ridiculous amounts of soap and scrubbing.

Anyway, you may have noticed that in some of the pictures above many of the ceiling tiles are missing.  This is because while I worked on painting, Chad was in the process of getting the florescent lights ready to be removed and replaced with the warmer and softer light of recessed potlights on a dimmer switch.  Chad did a lot of the work getting ready to put the potlights in himself, but we hired an electrician to run all the wiring, which turned out to be good because the homeowner before us had made a mess of the electrical and our electrician had to completely rerun everything to make it right.  Plus we wanted to add several extra outlets throughout the basement because, even in the little amount of time we spent in the basement, we always were running out of them.  And we also had him add a few light switches.  Again, we were so glad we made this investment.  He did all the work we had for him in just a few hours and we had peace of mind knowing that it was done properly.  Here are the new potlights after Chad got them all connected:

(And yes, that blue rectangle of painter's tape you see on the wall is marking the spot for a nice new big TV. Teehee :D New basement calls for new entertainment system!)

My next step was to narrow down paint color.  I collected about million paint chips from every store we went in that sold paint.  Chad always laughed when I couldn't walk past the paint displays without grabbing a few more paint chips that caught my eye.  I wanted something soft and calming, without being too neutral since the rest of our house is beige (which I like, but I wanted to throw a little color into this area).  I finally narrowed it down between 2 colors from Benjamin Moore.  Palladian Blue and Wedgewood Gray:

So we bought samples of both of these colors and I painted them on poster board and hung them up on the wall to try to figure out which one we liked best because we all know that colors can look really different from the paint chip to the wall. Here they are in 2 different areas of the basement:

Wedgewood Gray on the left, Palladian Blue on the right.

Wedgewood Gray above, Palladian Blue below, shown next to the stone in our basement.

We were fairly sure we liked the Palladian Blue better when we looked at the paint chips and when we saw other examples of it in pictures online, but when we actually got the two colors up in our basement with our lighting, the winner hands down was Wedgewood Gray.  Palladian Blue felt a little too bright and a little too green and a little too beachside.  It said to us "bathroom".  But we loved the dusty blue of the Wedgewood Gray and it looked pretty great with the stone and tile Chad had picked out! (We still love and plan to use Palladian Blue in the future... maybe in our next home!)

Okay, enough progress for one post! :) See how the wall color turned out in my next post (which you can now view by clicking HERE!!) and what we did with the trim! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Basement Renovation - Stage One

Last March, after contemplating long and hard about whether we really wanted to do all the work or not, Chad & I decided to redo our basement.  We had been thinking about it and talking about it - trying to decide if it was worth it or not.  We'd spent basically the entire last year and a half working on our outdoor spaces (which I promise I will get around to writing about one day) and that had taken so much time and effort, we weren't sure we wanted to jump into something else right away.  But finally one evening, we just spontaneously started pulling off paneling.  And from then it, it was an official project.

It was dark, dingy, and outdated down there - horrible yellow stained wood paneling and textured fabric-like wallpaper! When Chad re-did the rest of the house, he went ahead and removed the thin carpeting that was glued right onto the concrete and traded it for tile so that it would be easier to wash it up when it got dirty from coming in from outside.  He also painted the doors a shade of white, and put up the stone that is behind the pellet stove and at the bottom of the stairs.  Other than those changes, though, it was the same basement the previous owner left behind. 

We never used that space for anything more than storage and a place to do laundry.  It's a good portion of the square footage of our house, and it was wasted.  Plus I was so excited to get to finally put my own touch in a major way on our house.  (Chad bought and remodeled the house before we were engaged, so I didn't get to be very involved in the process).

Here's how it looked when we started (though, since my camera corrects for poor lighting these pictures don't accurately show just how dark and dingy it really was):

So, after dealing with it for some time, the spontaneous removal of the paneling started one random evening after work (as is evident by the fact that we were already in our PJs!):

While Chad ripped off the baseboard and paneling, I pulled off the wallpaper.  (I should mention that both the paneling and the wallpaper came off, for the most part, extremely easily... much more easily that it should have.  The previous homeowner had not done a great job of putting either of them up, but that was great for us since it meant less effort to get it down.)

I finished the "demo" part of this project the next day, while Chad was a work, and then I worked on scraping the rest of the wallpaper off in the couple of places that it did want to stick to the wall.  Here's all that paneling and most of the wallpaper, finally off the walls (YAY!):

You can see where the paneling was removed, that the dry wall joints were never taped under it.  So Chad and I started to do this ourselves so that we could paint the walls.  We ended up getting some help with this from a professional because the walls were not smooth at all and there were so many places that needed patching. We were really glad we did! The contractor told us that most of the joints the homeowner had done before us hadn't been done properly and it took a lot of effort to get it finished smoothly.  We were really impressed with how nice and professional it looked when he was done.  And we felt that it was a good investment since we knew that due to our lack of experience, we could have never made it look even remotely as nice as he did because of the shape it had been in!

We also really wanted to move the door to the closet below to the other side of the wall because we knew that it would make the space much more usable that way.  So with some help from Chad's dad, we got it removed very carefully, so we could reuse the door jam and the door again in the new doorway.

And Chad worked on cutting out a spot for it on the other side of the wall.

Then Chad started framing for the door to go back up in its new place, and also framing in the wall where they took the door out so they could drywall it again, (again some help from his dad was so great!)

Here is the new and improved closet, with the door in the new place and the old doorway ready for drywall:

And then once the drywall got put up:

WOO! I was so excited to see these changes. It was already looking so much better!  And we accomplished all this in about 2 weeks!! But it was about to get a lot more intensive for me since I was the one who was going to do all the painting! For the sake of keeping this from being a massively long post, I'll do another one soon to show how painting transformed our basement (Which is now posted!! You can view it by clicking HERE)! :) Hope this encourages you to take on whatever project you've been eyeing up in your house! ;)