Basement Renovation: Paint

The paint is up (though not without a little drama) and the floors are ready to go down!!  YAY!  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now.  B and I share most DIY tasks 50/50 but painting is really my thing.  He will sometimes help roll while I cut, but I am such a crazy perfectionist that I tend to do most of it on my own.   So when I say drama, I just mean that I took the perfectionist thing to a whole new level this time!!  Let's start back at the beginning.......

I spent an obsessively long time picking out the colors, as usual, and I felt so confident in my decision that I picked up 2 gallons of Sherwin Williams Duration Interior Satin Latex in North Star and started slapping it on the wall.  Side note: The room in question is the big family room and hallway which is probably 400-500 sq ft total.  After the first few strokes went up I felt a little unsure.  I was going for a gray-blue (sort of like my kitchen) that was light and bright and would go with the berber carpet I had picked out for the stairs (Equinox brand in Platinum from the Rug Merchant in Rockland, MA.....LOVE THEM!).  What went on my wall was a more green-y light baby blue.  Not a bad color, just not what I was going for.  I mistakenly chalked it up to the fact that it was the first coat and it hadn't dried yet, so I kept going.......ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ROOM!  I love this specific Sherwin Williams paint (we used it on the kitchen walls), but its not cheap.  I think each gallon is about $40.  So more than anything, I kept painting because I didn't want to waste money....and also, obviously, I didn't want to admit that I was wrong.  NEVER!!  I have picked the wrong color before, but not for such a big space.  I left the basement for the night and decided to sleep on it.

Here's some shots of the first color.  You can almost see the apprehension on my face in the photo below.....either that or I'm giving B the "ahem" look for taking a picture of me looking like that!  Haha

The next morning I woke up and still hated it.  As much as I tried to convince myself that it would grow on me, I just couldn't stand it.  I know it sounds crazy (and believe me, if you could have seen the look on B's face), but I knew that I wouldn't be happy unless I changed it.  So I spent another few hours taping previously discarded swatches onto the wall to find the perfect color that I must have missed.  Discouraged and cranky, I walked up the stairs to take a break from the madness and was standing in the kitchen doorway when I realized that I should just use the same color as the kitchen.  Why hadn't I thought of that before?  In fact, B mentioned it at some point during my crazed swatch-taping mania....I just didn't hear him...or want to listen.  I guess my initial reaction was that it would be weird if my whole house was one color.  But at the end of the day, I really love it, so why not?  Right?  I ran back out to Sherwin Williams with my Behr Burnished Metal swatch and had them color match it for me.  It cost me another $80, and took me another 8ish hours to paint a second coat (which it probably needed anyway), but I am so happy with it now.  Maybe I am a little crazy, but I plan to spend a lot of time down there, so it better make me happy.

And it does!  You probably can't tell the difference between the first two pictures and these, but in the room it makes a big difference....at least it does to me.  The final product has a little more gray in it that gives it the subtlety I was going for.  Plus, it matches very well with our white/blue stripe sectional couch.  Important now, but I wanted to make sure I would love the color even if we get different furniture down the road.  (Oh, and you can take a little sneak peak at the vanity in the photo above....more about that later, but I am in love!!!)

Ok, long story short (ha...they never are), with the big room done and a new sense of confidence behind me, I went to town painting the bathroom and the office next.  Those colors were a lot easier.  I knew that I was going to use the rest of the ceramic tiles from the half bath renovation (more here), so I color-matched the grey from that for the walls of the bathroom.  It is a color called Gray Area by Behr but I had them lighten it by half.  Then I went with a pretty basic beige color for the office.....which is actually my new favorite beige....it's called Perfect Gray from Sherwin Williams, and it is just the perfect shade of grey-beige or greige.  It doesn't have any green or yellow in it.  It is beautiful!  And it transitions really nice from the hallway because it is so subtle.  Hopefully it will look nice when we put up the french (12-light) door on the room.

Another few hours of painting on those rooms and VOILA!!!  I am a very happy camper!



Now we can get started on the floors.  I can't wait to tell you more about that.  I just got an AMAZING deal on laminate at Lowe's.  I actually picked it all up two weeks ago but we haven't been able to install it yet since we wanted to finish the painting (plus you need to leave it in the space to "breathe" for 48-72 hours before you install it).  We are going to install it this weekend, along with the bathroom floor tile.  Can't wait to share those projects with you!


  1. You have been busy Heather! The paint makes such a difference. I'm glad you stuck to your guns and finally got the colour you wanted. I can't wait to see the flooring when it is done. Ange

  2. There is definitely a lot of drama going down there, but I’m glad that in the end, you were able to pick the color that you wanted. Painting your basement can be a big hassle. One thing that you have to remember is that, your basement is still a part of your house, so it should complement the other rooms. Try to match the color with other spaces. If you want a different color, go for a darker or lighter shade. If you are having difficulty in matching the colors, consult a professional.

  3. There likely won't be space in the center of the room, but if you have a dining area or island where there won't be a risk of anyone hitting his or her head, it can be a nice addition.