Sunday, April 24, 2011


Making real progress, and it's been cheap! Our goal for the cellar is our usual budget of $0, so we've been trying to use minimal materials, free stuff, and cheap used materials. So far, doing OK.

Our latest project has been the ceiling in the basement bedroom. It has a horrible dropped paper tile ceiling - which we immediately removed. And then a zillion nails, screws, staples, etc. Also gone.

The goal was to not reduce the total height of the room any more than necessary, because it's only about 6'6" from the floor to the bottom of the joists anyways. So, we decided not to add a ceiling but to create one by cleaning the joists and whitewashing the underside of the subfloor.

Love that vintage wiring job, eh?

Cleaning: $0. Whitewashing: $0 (we had leftover off-white paint from an upstairs project and just added water!). Beams: we bit the bullet and bought Minwax's water based Polycrylic. First time using it and I loved it. Not for floors, but this is a ceiling, so hey! They also had a rebate this week, so we saved a little dough.

And the 70¢ item - we ended up with these awkward places at the top of the walls, where the joists punch through onto the sill but where there's no wall framing. Kind of little bumpouts. After insulating, we weren't quite sure what to do about them - then - eureka! - we should make it look like another beam! So, off to the local ReStore to get a vintage couple of joists. They gave us a couple of great ones for 70¢ (they are moving - closer to us! - and want to clear inventory). Yesterday we cut them to length, installed, and Polycrylic-ed - and the ceiling is officially done!

Next - walls. Getting there! It's so nice to see a finished surface!


Dixie Redmond said...

It's so interesting for me to see this project. You have a house like my old one. I miss the charm of it. :-) You're doing a great job.

Joe J. Ernst said...

I like that you left the joists brown. I think the contrast between them and the whitewashed floor (or would it be ceiling?) is going to make for a nice finished space. I think you found a good solution to a low ceiling.

Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow said...

Not bad!! As Joe already said, I like that you left the joists "natural." I'm excited to see the finished pictures, because I think that will help maintain some sense space, visually.

And although they painted the joists, too, it reminds me of this project: