beginnings of a studio

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It all started with the stairs...

The stairs to my basement had worn lead paint on them and I had been meaning to repaint them since we moved in. I just wanted to be happier on the way to the laundry.  The paint chip was in my purse for at least 4 years: Martha Stewart's "garden hose". After being painted, the stairs looked so nice, they made the sad brown beadboard on the wall look even dingier.  I kept going... two coats of oil-base primer and 2 coats of latex later, things were getting downright cheerful.

I thought I was done, then a friend pointed out how terrible the old floor looked next to the freshly painted beadboard and stairs.
I had been planning to live with it, but she was absolutely right.   Between the scars of long-gone linoleum tiles and the stubborn residue of decades of regular flooding, the floor was crying out for paint. I did a vapor test on the floor (tape a down 4 ft or larger square of clear plastic, sealing it all around the edges and wait for at least a week to see if moisture accumulates) and miraculously, there was no moisture after a month in the rainy season. I could paint!

Concrete floors are known for peeling but I didn't want that.  I scrubbed it with soap & water first and gave it a good hosing.  Then, in order to give it an even better cleaning and necessary PH change for good adhesion, I scrubbed again with an acid-based biodegradable concrete floor wash from Home Depot that fizzed up like alka seltzer.  After two days of dry time, I applied a special primer made for concrete.  Finally, I rolled on 2 coats of latex floor paint allowing it to dry well in between. Ahhhhh, that's better!

Of course, then the masonry walls didn't look so great with their mildew stains. I treated them with "mold blaster", but they didn't seem truly clean until I sprayed a on mold stain remover which basically has chlorine bleach as the active ingredient. I'm hoping the dehumidifier we have now will control future mold.  Don't kid yourself like I did when our previous dehumidifier broke- old houses need ventilation and dehumidifiers in the basement.  Mold can grow if humidity is greater than 50%.  Get a humidity gauge so you'll know for sure if it's dry enough.

With the basement empty, clean, and painted, something became apparent. The basement is actually a generously-sized space that would make a great studio!


Mariatbassett said...

WoW!!!! The basement looks great. I can't wait to see it turned into a studio.

Anonymous said...

hey beeks!! i have to say you are totally inspirational. but then you always have been!!! love your blog. cheese

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