After painting the laundry room ceiling in the bungalow basement by hand last summer, I became quite enamored with the limitless possibilities of white painted basement ceilings. I'm just not too keen on the extreme amount of labor required to prime & paint.
When we removed the old basement ceiling tiles at the onset of Project Basement,
we I thought it would be a fantastic idea to paint the exposed floor boards and joists exactly like the laundry room. But over my dead body was I going to paint that ceiling by hand. The room is huge. And no matter how much you think your friends and family love you, I guarantee they do not love you enough to help you paint 300+ square feet of basement ceiling by hand.
I went back and forth (and back again) with the idea of using a paint sprayer to finish the ceiling. I'm thinking "it would save SO much time!" Immediately followed by "it's probably NOT a good idea to use a paint sprayer in an occupied house." I'm picturing catastrophic scenarios where the paint comes shooting up between the floor boards onto the main floor of the bungalow. Mayhem. Havoc. I googled high. I googled low. I lurked in strange basement-related renovation forums. The only answers to be found were completely at odds with one another. Hmmm. So we decide to take a little chance. This could end up being one of our finer moments or an abject failure of asphyxiating proportions. Here's the how-to AND how it all went down...
Buy a paint sprayer at Lowes on Black Friday because it's more exciting that way.
Immediately return home with paint sprayer and leave it untouched in box until January when you can plan your painting project to coincide with one of the coldest days of the year. The coldest day of the year is key. If you have forced air heat (as we now do) turn the system OFF (coldest day of the year) so no paint is sucked into the ducts. Cover brand-new light fixtures with plastic bags.
Pore over directions in semi-floodlit-darkness because halogen light fixtures are now covered in plastic and unusable.
Fiddle (acquaint yourself with the product).
Refer back to directions.
Determine you will need a garden hose to flush out the sprayer system immediately following use. Locate frozen solid garden hose outside. If you're anything like us, the hose should be easy to find since it is exactly where you left it in August. Kick yourself and then bring frozen garden hose inside to defrost in the basement utility sink.
Subsequently discover that the outside faucet for the garden hose is also frozen solid. Devise a plan to thaw the faucet utilizing a frequent stream of hot water carried back and forth from the kitchen in really big mixing bowls.
Over and over and over again.
until your wife says "there's no way this is going to work".
And then? By some ironic twist of fate, it will work.
So you can DECLARE VICTORY in your t-shirt
in the January backyard on the coldest day of the year.
No time to waste. Back down into the basement. Dress for success
(and refer to the directions one more time for good luck).
In full painting gear with fully digested directions
and properly prepared equipment? Let the priming begin.
At this point in the story I retreat hastily upstairs (1 suit/1 respirator),
wrap myself in multiple throw blankets (no heat/very cold)
while Handy Husband applies the first coat of primer.
I'm sure it looked a lot like this for about 45 minutes:
Here's where the documentation lapses due to a bit of a frenzy
involving all 4 of our arms and rapidly moving paint brushes.
After the primer was applied, the freezing cold temperature
caused the primer to, um, thin a bit and dry ever so slowly.
Causing a lot of drip, drip, dripping all over the damn place.
Like on the floor and into hair/eyeballs and under shoes
and all over clothes that are NOW officially paint clothes.
Oh, and next time? You should probably wear a hat.