Just like that. Another month down and I’m not sure what I even did for those 4 weeks. Sure, I have some fair guesses based on the photos on my phone, but I’ve grown uncomfortable with the speed at which time seems to pass now. My brother in law once said that time begins to speed up in your 30s, and by the time you reach your 40s you’re constantly trying to hit the brakes because life is speeding by at an alarming rate. I’m beginning to think he’s right.
Part of February was spent working on our basement finishing project. Maya’s new bedroom is the first major project, and it is nearly complete. I’ll have official “done” photos soon. For now, here are some in-process photos. Some of them could be captioned “how not to finish a basement.”
This is the corner of the basement before we started working on Maya’s room. Isn’t it lovely? When we built our house, I painted the walls and floors in the basement to make it look less… basement-ey. Apparently the concrete was still too wet to handle the paint, because it’s flaking, peeling and rubbing off in rather large pieces.
That’s where the “what not to do” thing comes in. If your concrete is new or otherwise damp – wait. Fix the problem. Wait for it to cure. Do not try to paint it anyway. It will not work.
Also, you should etch the concrete or otherwise prepare it to accept the finish. Don’t skip it, even if you think it sounds like a huge pain. You know what really is a huge pain? Paint peeling off the floor.
Part of my prep work for M’s new room was getting as much of the old paint off the floor and walls as possible. I repainted the walls and gave the floor a fresh coat just so it would be easier to clean under the carpet if we need to. A flooded basement isn’t very likely for us, but all of the flooring that goes in there will be easily removable just in case. My dear friend Jennifer has had several “hundred year floods” affect her basement in recent years, and now swears by removable flooring to reduce cleanup.
There was already a wall between this corner and the storage room on the left. Please enjoy this view of the backside of my storage shelves, and the under-the-stairs space that currently holds a ragtag assortment of construction materials.
This month, G built another wall to finish the shape of the room. The door is framed in by now, too, but I figured you’d want to see all of Maya’s stuff piled up on the other side of her wall.
Maya is an outdoorsy girl, and wants her room to be a little bit different than traditional. She chose a vanilla color for the concrete walls. She doesn’t want them drywalled. I’m OK with that because I haaaaaate mudding and taping drywall. The stud walls are going to be finished with tin and trim. It’ll be a little unusual, but we don’t have to sell our house any time soon, so whatever.
For my Dr. Who-obsessed girl, I decided to paint a T.A.R.D.I.S. on one wall. Here’s a preview with the stencil I made. We also traced a Dr. Who quote onto the wall, and added some Gallifreyan writing (one says “are you my Mummy?” and the other says “it’s bigger on the inside.”)
In my original plan for this room, the floor was going to be painted lime green and I was going to add the circular Gallifreyan sentences randomly in bright orange. Maya picked the color scheme, mind you. I decided the paint redux probably wouldn’t hold up well, even with a polyurethane sealer, plus I realized that the basement floor was COLD on my feet with the sub-zero temps. Off we went to browse carpet remnants (because deciding to purchase flooring is the best way to really blow your DIY room budget).
And finally, a few pics of the fam working on setting up furniture and such. Collin tried very hard to help Daddy with the bolts on the bed. He kept stealing the wrench and trying to figure out how to use it. Then he learned how to use a hammer to help me make sure the staples sunk all the way into the stairs while installing carpet. The rest of the kids, and the 3-legged cat, were present but not all that helpful.