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Old 07-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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basement ceiling

Finishing my basement and thinking about painting my ceiling instead of drywall or dropped ceilings. Anyone done this? comments or concerns? Whats the best products and how to to use?


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Old 07-02-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Just MIGHT help a little, just a little, if we knew what you are trying to paint


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Old 07-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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I will assume you are asking if it is alright to paint an unfinished celing with just joists and the bottom side of the sub-floor, etc? The industrial look was trendy and especially for home theaters and so forth. With darker colors used overall and vibrant colors applied to duct work, pipes etc. to them stand out rather than blend in or be hidden, I saw some nice projects.

As a practical matter, I suspect a lot of the infrastructure of your house runs through the basement---electrical, plumbing, HVAC and it is inevitable you will need to get to it at times. Leaving the basement ceiling unfinished sure makes it easier!

However, if you are converting the basement to living space you may have to finish the ceiling drywall or some sort of drop ceiling (if you have the clearance) to be fire and other building code compliant. You may want a finished ceiling with sound baffles if it will be used as a theater, rec room or something similar.

Keep in mind that you want to compensate for a dark basement ceiling with adequate lighting so plan on installing that before priming and painting. Track lights or even newer LEDs in different configurations might be worth looking into.

Of course you need to clean the ceiling thoroughly before you start. You will need to prime and apply two coats of finish just like any other painting project and you may need a sealer on raw wood and at least a spot stain blocker for knot holes and so forth.

Also remember that you will end up with a rough looking ceiling that will pick up dirt by nature of the heavy texture. There is simply more surface area to trap dirt Light colors will show it more and require more frequent repainting. The higher the sheen of your finish the more obvious the surface as well.

Painting a rough textured basement ceiling is one instance where spraying might be your best option even though like anywhere else you will have to tape and mask off anything you do not want to get hit by overspray. You can do it with brush and/or thick nap roller but you will spend some time working around pipes, wires, nail ends and so forth.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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I am assuming that your basement ceiling is open floor joists made of wood. Whatever you are painting it needs to be clean, dull and dry so remove surface dirt by vacuuming then use a good quality low voc oil primer for adhesion and stain blocking properties. Allow to dry, following label directions and the apply your latex paint topcoat. Keep in mind that lighter colors will reflect more light which is important in basements where they are few windows.

Always be careful in basements because their typically is poor ventilation so open the windows, use fans to exhaust air outside and keep the air moving. Also basements are damp and humid which both affect how well paint dries, adheres and performs. Air ovement will help to dry moist humid air...

Good luck....

Phil. "the paint guy"
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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I was at my cous-in-laws place a few weeks ago. He finished his basement w/ walls and floor and sprayed the open joists flat black. He has white walls and a light tile floor to make up for it, but it looked great and gave a nice feeling of a higher ceiling than if it had been flat. I loved the way it looked.

He did give me the same warning the other guys said ... he worecoveralls, glasses & a respirator while doing it and still felt like he stunk and was full of paint for a few days.
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