I can't believe I've been talking about rugs and paint swatches when there is so much more unglamorous grunt work to be done in the basement. If I never have to scrub another basement wall as long as I live I can die happy...
All of the energetic demo work has exposed an unfinished basement wall where the new storage closet will eventually be built. This is the only area in the basement with a moisture issue after heavy rain. The wall was covered over with built-in storage for many many years. As a result, the recently uncovered wall is rather funky.
Originally we planned to keep the closet door and frame (see below) and use it as a starting point for a new storage closet. As with a few other "originally we planned" ideas, we threw the plan out the window along with the door and all of the framing.
We found some vintage DIY insulation stuffed along the floor joists above the storage area.
The newspaper was so old it practically crumbled away. We were able to read one date (January 12, 1946).
The goal this weekend is to finish the wall (approximately 6.5' x 10') with a water-proofing paint to resist moisture.
HOW TO PAINT A BASEMENT WALL (STEP 1 - SCRUB): Scrub the wall with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) all-purpose heavy duty cleaner. The brand we use (Savogran) is powdered and can be dissolved in a bucket of warm water. Use a stiff scrub brush to remove the dirt, grease and mold. Wear rubber gloves! Depending on the concrete, it may take a few scrubbings to see a difference.
Allow the newly cleaned wall to dry. (STEP 2 - ETCH): apply Drylok Etch masonry cleaner. This stuff is no joke. Read ALL of the instructions and wear rubber gloves, long sleeves, eye protection and a mask. The chemicals will "etch" the bare concrete to prepare the surface for painting. You can actually hear it sizzling on the concrete.
Use a concrete patch to repair the cracks. We use Drylok Fast Plug, a powder that mixes easily with water. Wear gloves, eye protection and a mask. The Fast Plug sets VERY QUICKLY so only make as much as you can apply in a short amount of time.
The label recommends using a putty knife or trowel for application. I have found that using your fingers (while wearing heavy-duty rubber gloves) is much more efficient.
Apply the patching product to all cracks, chips and holes in the concrete wall. Allow to dry thoroughly before painting.
(STEP 4 - PAINT): Apply a coat of Drylock Masonry Waterproofer paint with a roller and brush.
Apply 1 coat and allow to dry. You will probably need a second coat for full coverage.
Apply second coat (if needed).
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's absolutely amazing what a coat (or two) of paint can do for the look and smell of a basement wall!