Basement finishing after drywall

May 23, 2012

A basement finishing update, after the drywall. 

About seven weeks ago we had the drywall put up and mudded. That felt like a HUGE accomplishment. It obviously transformed the space into real rooms, which was fun to see after all this time. 

Since then the guys have primed every surface and painted the ceiling. I thought I would be able to do it but it would have taken months. They got it done in two days!

When the walls were installed, we had to go ahead with the shower because there was some drywall that had to be installed around it:

basement shower

Originally I had planned on tiling the whole thing, but an insert was so. much. easier. For me. Because they did installed the insert, and I was going to do the tile. ;) That little area to the right of the shower will be open shelving, so that will be a nice little detail.

The guys came a few weeks ago and installed the trim around the basement steps, which had to be done before carpet:

trim on stairway

It was pretty straightforward – just some boards trimmed out on top with quarter round, then baseboards around the landing. (On that wall they had to notch out the board to fit around the steps, but on the other walls the board just fit in next to the steps – much easier.)

A cement wall went up the wall on the stairway and created a little ledge, so the guys did a really nice job of trimming that out:

I hang extra frames for projects in this stairway so they free up storage space. That’s why some of them are empty. :)

The recessed lights have been finished out with their cans, and it made a HUGE difference! I love how much light we have down there, and that everything is on different switches:

recessed lights basement

We went with a lightly textured ceiling just like upstairs. I love the look of flat ceilings, but especially in the basement where there may be a need to repair it eventually (to get to wiring, plumbing, etc.), I wanted to go with something that would be easily patched and textured again.

We’ve only purchased a couple light fixtures so far, and the guys installed them for free:

lowes industrial pendant light

I showed you some of the options here and I actually went with what was my third choice for this spot! When I went back to purchase the lights I just loved the industrial look of these and the price tag. I got them at Lowe’s – I’m not sure what they’re called but I’ve seen them at every Lowe’s I’ve looked. (Hold the phone, I found them online here.)

This spot will eventually have cabinets below with a sink:

That area will probably be the last thing we do in the basement, as far as finishing it goes. But I have big plans for this wall!

There won’t be any upper cabinets on that wall, just lowers. But I may do some floating shelves. I’ll just have to see how it comes together and what kind of storage we need. It will be just be a very small snack/drink area, so eventually we hope to have a small fridge and maybe a microwave down there too.


But like I said, that’s WAY down the line. I just like to plan ahead. ;)

I had hoped to have carpet installed next, and then have everything trimmed out after that – I figured we could live without trim and doors for quite a while. And I was going to wait to do the tile in two rooms later as well. But then the guys told me the tile and the trim should really be done before the carpet so that basically shot my entire plan.

Sooo now, we are hoping to get at least the trim done next month, and the carpet done by July. And here a couple months ago I thought we’d be done early – the original plan was to be done by July, and then I thought it may be June. Now it will probably be August. Or later. Probably later. Dangah.

But there is still plenty that I can do and I started tonight. At 9 p.m. No better time, right? I’ve had the paint for the basement for awhile, and I finally bit the bullet and started painting.

I put on my paint shirt:

I don’t wipe my hands on rags or paper towels, I use this shirt. ;) It has every paint color in our house on it. I’ve had it since the day we moved in. I will never get rid of it. Someday it will be framed. ;)

So anyhoo, I went after it and because there is no trim and no carpet, it’s going REALLY fast. I only stopped to write this post and it was hard to walk away. I could have easily gotten the half of the whole family/playroom area done tonight.

I’ll talk to you more about the paint soon, but for now I’ll tell you that it’s a Benjamin Moore color called Marina Gray that I had mixed at Sherwin Williams:

benjamin moor marina gray

I had it lightened 25 percent because I was worried it would be too dark. And up till I painted I was still worried about that, but I LOVE IT. It is a lovely color and I’m really excited about it. It went on like buttah too.

I’m also excited that I got it during a sale, with a coupon so I spent less on SW paint than I would have at the hardware store. Boo. yah.

So there you go, the latest basement update. I know you’ve been waiting, practically beside yourself because you were so anxious to hear more about it. You can relax now that you know. ;)

The plan now is to finish painting then install baseboards in the whole basement. I’ll bring the saw down there and that should go pretty quick. (Famous last words.) I figure by the time I’m done with all that (I am not putting baseboards up near doorways till they install those), we’ll be able to afford to inch forward a little more.

It’s so hard to be patient, but at least I’ve got plenty to keep me busy while I wait. That's a good thing. Right?!

So have you seen any cool tile that would look good on the bar/kitchenette wall? Any idea where I can find that awesome quatrefoil tile?

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  1. That gorgeous quatrefoile tile cutout backsplash is from Giftable Designs!

    (google image search = awesome)

  2. So very hard to be patient!! I am wanting to do so much to our back patio, but money doesn't grow on trees & I don't have a couple extra hundred dollars just lying around!! Grrr! Looks like you guys have made a ton of improvements & I am loving those new light fixtures!

  3. I saw that tile at a high end tile place, don't recall the name but it was unbelievably expensive, I saw some stuff there for 1300.00 a square foot, what the ????? They had actual wood tiles like that too, totally gorg! I have a shirt like that too! Gonna slap it on this weekend and paint the ceiling and our huge den, wish me luck!

  4. I love that color!!

    You can get tile like that on Overstock. It's not too bad a price.

    You know what I've done, though? I keep checking at Lowe's overandoverandover at the tile section-- they clearance some gorg stuff. Well, if you like glass tile mosaics, and I dooooooo. :)

    (I paid $1 total for each 12x12 mosaic. Serious.)

    Anywho, you're doing this right. When we finished our basement this exact time last year, I was a basketcase finishing up painting every.last.piece.of.trim. at 2:00 a.m. before the carpet dudes came the next morning.


  5. Sarah, You will thank yourself in years to come that you put that insert in for a shower...especially if you are the one cleaning it. All this tile going into bathrooms right now will end up being ripped out within 10 years because you really have to be diligent about cleaning it so it doesn't get grody and gross...particularly the grout. I like function first, and then making things pretty. I prefer a shower that I can clean in 10 minutes and you will love that shower for that reason! Have a lovely week! Angie xo

  6. There's nothing wrong with working on a basement slowly... that's how I'm doing mine. So far, it's been 3 years, and I've ripped one wall of paneling down. So really, you should be super proud of your progress ;) Just think of me when you get anxious!

    PS - I have a shirt just like that, holla! Except mine is worse because I paint like I cook -- messy but with amazing results. Or so I tell myself. ;)

  7. Good morning! Following the tutorial on this site:

    I found the image on this page:

    I couldn't find the tile on the site but I think it's the original source. Maybe you could contact them to see if they make it?

    Good luck!

  8. Home Depot has that tile.

  9. I think you can find that tile at ICC Floors by the Castleton Post Office.

  10. I've seen pins for bar backslash with grouted beer and soda caps, somewhat funky with the different colors, or you can paint them whatever you want! Love the blog, my friend and I live to chat and catch up about what Sarah has done!

  11. That's real life for you! We're planning more projects and I keep saying, "Money doesn't grow on turkeys!" (we live on a turkey farm.)

    I LOVE that wall color - similar to my new bathroom.

  12. I love the pendant lights! Very cool choice and so different for a basement space . . .

  13. OK, haven't had a chance to read through the other comments yet, but I knew I had seen that kind of lovely tile before. Google was able to remind me where:

    That's a blue shade that's just lovely, but it also comes in plain white (which is fantastic also) and in a terra cotta color (which is very very fabulous). I have strong opinions on basically everything, so I am (again, as before when I looked at them) amazed that I can't even decide which one is awesomest. My (in-progress) kitchen is going to have an antique farmhouse look, so I can't really use a mission-style tile, but I really wish I could so I could use these awesome tiles. Maybe I will put a sink wall in my basement too - some day :). Go for the quatrefoil!!

  14. It's really coming along & it's going to be so nice! I'm the same way about paint clothes. I have a t-shirt & pair of shorts that are covered in paint. After I finished the cabinets my hubs asked if I was throwing them away. Apparently, he doesn't ever expect me to paint again! I LOVE the tiles we used on the backs plash behind my cooktop.I think it would look gorgeous as a wall of tile.

  15. I'm dying over those beautiful pendants...why did I spend a fortune at Restoration Hardware?! We're planning to do our basement in the fall, and you've given me some awesome inspiration!!!

  16. Looks good!! I was laughing as I've been wearing paint clothes for a few weeks now too... but it's not just the shirt... i have special pants too! ;) Good luck on the finish!!

  17. I haven't read through the comments, so forgive me if this is repeated, but for the moroccan-looking tile, check out Mission Stone & Tile. (Google Arabesque Tile)

    I think it's part of their "cosmopolitan collection"

    Comes in several colors. I am ordering it for my kitchen backsplash as soon I decide which kid I need to sell on eBay to afford it!


  19. Love the gray! And the shirt. ;) Your basement is really coming along.

    Wish we could hang out and watch SYTYCD tonight, since my hubs is not much of a dancey fan. :)

  20. I found your quatrefoil here: It really is gorgeous!

  21. This is a budget friendly version of your tile:
    Hope that helps!

  22. I've seen that second backslpash tile at IKEA (canada).

  23. I have been waiting for a basement update - thanks from my inquiring mind.


  24. I love the grey! It's perfect! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a paint shirt. I started mine the first day on-site to build my home with Habitat. It too will one day be framed (and probably hung in the basement stairwell)!


  25. Love the new light pendants...wondering if you and your readers have any ideas what type of flushmount or semi-flushmount lights would flow with the pendants you chose? (Pockets lights are not an option) Thanks for inspiring!

  26. Thanks for posting the pic of one of my projects! I can't wait to pop back in and see your finished result. Now on the Canon Rebel giveaway!

  27. Your basement re-do is coming along great! Believe me, I know how long these re-dos take and how many decisions there are...we had our basement re-done a couple of years ago and now I'm going through the entire first floor of my house being sanded/mudded and painted. They just finished the other day and now I'm trying to put my house back together, which isn't easy.

  28. Tile:

  29. Probably someone has said this already, but it seems like Giftable designs is actually the original source for that picture. Though I don't think she is the actual source for the tile. :) So, here is her blog post on her kitchen reno including pictures:

  30. I think the tile you like is called "beveled arabesque" and it can be found at It is not expensive, but looks like it is! I'm using it in my kitchen.

  31. Look around some more on Pinterest. It does list tile sources somewhere! ;) I believe Home Depot, a really expensive place, and Joss & Main had it.

    Good luck with your project! Its coming together so nicely.


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