With the home theater equipment on the way, it was time to paint! If you remember back to Deciding on a paint color I used Better Homes & Gardens Interior Designer to help visualize how different colors would look in the room.
For a big project like this I'd also recommend the Wagner Power Roller which made the job much easier.
How much paint to buy
As a general rule, you should plan on one gallon of paint covering about 400 square feet. A second coat will go a little farther. If you have an 8' foot wall, that means you'll need a gallon for every 50 feet of wall. (Don't bother subtracting for doorways, windows, or other openings.)
Add up the length of all the walls of your basement and divide by 50. Add about 10-15% to the total and round up. Here's an example for a simple room:
Adding up the walls: 12+12+10+8 = 42' lineal feet of wall, X 8' = 336 square feet. Adding 15% brings the effective square footage to 386 feet to cover. This means 1 gallon would be fine for a single coat, but you'd probably need another 1/2 gallon for the second coat.
Basement painting tips
- Buy a 5 gallon bucket (with a lid) and mix all of your paint together. There can be slight variations from gallon to gallon. You don't want sections of your wall to be different colors!
- Be sure to close the lid tightly to keep paint from drying out.
- Since you haven't added your flooring yet, you can save time by skipping the drop clothes. Just be careful not to track any wet paint upstairs!
- Apply paint as thick as you can without having it drip down the walls.
- Always paint two coats. The true color of the paint will come through.
- Be sure your first coat of paint has dried completely before applying another coat. It's best to wait until the next day.
- Use a 2" or 3" brush for cutting in corners, but DON'T do all corners first and then paint the walls. This will cause 'shadowing' where the corners look a slightly different color than the rest of the walls. You don't want the brushed paint to dry before you go over it with a roller.
- If you're installing a drop ceiling, be sure to paint first! Otherwise you'll have to mask the edges and have way more trim to cut in!
Painting the walls
Since I'm installing a drop ceiling, it made the painting easier too. I can just roll up the length of the drywall knowing the edges will be covered by the drop ceiling. Using the Wagner Power Roller, I was able to paint two coats over the entire basement in about 12 hours (over two days). Next, I was ready to insulate the ceiling.