Basement Remodel With Painted Exposed Ceiling




I have waited so long to make this post, and even though we are not done yet, I just have to share our progress.

Finishing our basement wasn't something I thought we would ever do. With the exception of all of out fitness equipment, it remained a big empty space. As our son has grown older, we have started to feel that creating a fun area, might be a good thing for us and so, we started thinking about adding on a theater area, gym area and rec area.....what better place than the unused basement!

The one thing we agreed on, we didn't want to lose ceiling height by putting in a drop ceiling or sheet rock, so I started researching alternatives. What I found were basement designs where the home owners were painting the rough ceiling and beams black.  It gives a loft/industrial feel and I, FELL IN LOVE!!!

And now that our project is nearly complete....we still need to choose carpeting, furniture and decor....I am ready to share some photos. Hope you like! :)

Before...
Painted ceiling and framing




Drywall



Decorative touches



Finished product minus flooring and furnishing







I'm in love with the seating bench that was not part of the original plan! So happy our contractor recommended it!

What do you think of our idea to paint the ceiling and leave it exposed?

*wall paint is Wickham grey by Benjamin Moore*

UPDATE:

Finally got the carpet installed and we are putting together the gym and waiting on the arrival of our theater chairs. I'm still working on art work for the new spaces and we have to have someone take apart our pool table and move it downstairs but it's coming along.











Comments

Anonymous said…
wondering how you painted the ceiling? Did you roll it on or did you spray it on?
Lynn said…
The ceiling was spray painted but I suppose it could be rolled. Since the basement was unfinished, spray painting was the most efficient option.
Anonymous said…
Can I ask what colors you painted the walls and what color the carpet is? I painted by exposed ceiling black last year and now want to update the walls and carpet as well, but can't decide on a color.
Thanks!
Lynn said…
The walls are, wickham gray, by Benjamin Moore and the carpet is, harbor fog, by TrafficMaster.
Anonymous said…
Lynn,

Very, very nice and your blog is a life saver. We are remodeling a 70’s house for our downsize, but the ceiling is full of newly sheet rocked “boxes” which hide the heating/air components. White is not right at all because all the different angles give off shadows.

Could you share the ceiling paint color and the finish you chose?
Lynn said…
Thank you so much! I am actually not sure what the name of the paint color is, but what I can tell you, it is a matte black, and our contractor used a black tinted primer, first. All the paint that our contractor used was by, Benjamin Moore.
Rebecca said…
Well, this is fantastic! I am IN LOVE! We are looking to finish our basement as well, and I'm thinking this might just be the way to go. May I ask what type of light fixtures you used with the exposed ceiling?
Lynn said…
Hi Rebecca,

All the lighting is recessed with the theater side having a dimmer switch. Our contractor left us a box where we will be able to add a hanging light, over where the pool table will sit.
mgolusin said…
Hello, have two questions. How much paint did it take? And how did you hide the insulation between the joists on the outside walls? Did you just paint it or put wood blocks in between each joist?
Lynn said…
Hi Mgolusin,
The ceiling is not insulated but behind the walls is insulated. We didn't alter the ceiling in any way other than neatening up all wires and painting. I honestly have no idea how much paint they used for the ceiling. I know we have a 5 gallon pail that they left us and it still has a little bit of paint left.
Lauren Lee said…
Did you have to move your ceiling duct work or just painted it black too? How tall are the basement ceilings now?
Lynn said…
Hi Lauren Lee, We did not move the duct work, they were painted over. The ceiling height is 8ft.
Jordan Tyler said…
Looks great! I'd assume you painted over all the romex wiring (usually white and yellow in color) and thats what you used to to power all your outlets and can lights? Looks like you sprayed your can lights, did you spray the insides as well when they were assembled in the joist and just tape off the socket portion so no paint got inside where the bulb screws into? I'd imagine the paint sticks to just about anything in the joists, did you clean the joists prior to spraying? Thanks!
Jordan Tyler said…
Also any type of sprayer you recommend? Did you buy or rent one?
Lynn said…
Hi Jordan,
Everything was cleaned before they painted. We had the ceiling and whole basement professionally done so I really have no idea what type of paint sprayer they used. All the can lights were added after the ceiling was painted.
Lynn said…
Also I forgot to mention that before we had the basement finished there weren't any outlets in the basement, really. We have one by the hvac unit and by our well and water heater.Those areas have their own rooms and are unfinished. All other outlets were added during the remodel so those wires are behind the sheet rock.
Anonymous said…
I love the look! Was wondering though since you didn't put insulation in how is the noise and does it stay warm?
Anonymous said…
I think it looks amazing. I have seen the urban look before on ceilings but never in black. I think it makes the rooms seem taller. Almost like a night sky. Gorgeous. My question is : have you lost any efficiency in heating or a/c without a finished ceiling?
Lynn said…
Thanks so much! We are really enjoying the space and I really need to add some new pictures since we have it almost fully furnished now. As far as the heat and a/c we have not really noticed any change.
Alex Salvas said…
How long did it take to do the painting and what is the covered size? It looks very nice and this is what I want!
Lynn said…
Hi Alex, It took them 3 days to paint the ceiling. The sq footage is approx 1200 sq ft.
Whitney said…
We love this looks and are doing the same! We are getting ready to do our lighting now. What size recessed lights did you use and did you use a trim on the can lights or just the can? I'm having trouble finding LED recessing lighting kit that does not have a white trim.
Lynn said…
Hi Whitney,
There is no trim on the can lights. If you are having problems finding black trim you could always paint them. Our cans are 6". Have fun with your remodel!
Anonymous said…
Love the photos. We are doing the same with our basement. Our ceilings are only 80inches. Without insulation, how is the noise transfer? We are considering an inch of spray foam for sound insulation and the painting the spray foam black also.
Lynn said…
Thank you. The noise transfer is not too bad. You can hear some sound from upstairs if you are in the area of our basement that is below the kitchen but nothing that is too distracting.
Anonymous said…
I absolutely love your basement. We are empty nesters and we are planning to finally remodel after 20 years. The area is half of 1500sq ft, 2 car garage shares the space. I love the custom woodwork and the ceiling. How long did it take and did contractors complete all of the work? My husband has claimed the area as "his retirement getaway."
Lynn said…
Thank you! We started the project in May and it was completed the beginning of July. Our contractor did everything.
Robert N said…
Hi Lynn, i'm hoping you're still answering questions about your basement. the ceiling, and basement, turned out fantastic from the looks of your pictures. there was an earlier question asked that i'm not sure i could make out the answer. as it relates to the lights, were the cans first added and then painted? that is, without the trim/baffles? if the cans were added after the ceiling was painted, the cans would be a silver color that stands out from the black ceiling. i'm asking b/c i just added the rough ins for the can lighting but i wanted to save some money on the ceiling by not drywalling and i think this is the way to go.
Lynn said…
Hi Robert! The cans were added after the ceiling was painted and I believe our contractor painted them before installing because they are definitely not silver. I hope that answers your question. Good luck on your project!
Jeff said…
Hi Lynn, thanks for the post and nice pics. Helps to see the finished look to get some ideas. My wife and I are having our basement finished and are still a bit undecided on the ceiling options. I like the look and the concept/access of the open ceiling. One question I had was what your contractor did above the walls in between rooms. Is it just open above the walls? I.e. I can't tell if there is something in the space above the walls between the ceiling joists, or does it just pass through to the next room. It looks like from the pics that you it sectioned off into at least 2 rooms. Thanks!
Lynn said…
Hi Jeff, So what the contractor did with the wall that seperates the 2 spaces, was bring the sheet rock close to the joist, and then finished it off with crown moulding, so there is no pass through.
Jeff said…
Lynn, thanks for the reply. So no space between the crown moulding and the joists, but in between the joists above the wall is left open?
Lynn said…
Yes, so it appears that there is no space. I hope how I'm explaining it makes sense.
Jeff said…
Haha--yeah, sorry. So for example in pic 8 of 19, where you show a shot from one room looking through a doorway to the next, are there blocks of foam or wood painted black in between the joists above the doorway/wall?
Lynn said…
Through the doorway on picture 8 the joists are horizontal, so on that side the sheet rock and moulding create no pass through. On the side you can see on picture 8, there is maybe an inch or two of space until you hit the joist, but it doesn't flow through. We actually never put crown moulding on that side in picture 8, because there are pipes in the way and the ceiling is a bit lower in that section. We had thought of maybe putting quarter round to give it a more finished appearance, but haven't done it yet. It's a small area though and the rest of the space is finished nicely with the crown moulding.
Jeff said…
Ok, one last question. :) What kind of light fixtures did you use, and did you paint them? Before or after installing in the ceiling?
Lynn said…
We have recessed lighting and they were installed after the ceiling was painted. The cans are black. I'm pretty sure our contractor painted them but he could have possibly purchased them already in black. There are 14 lights total throughout the whole basement.
Joe Tomaselli said…
Did you insulate the exterior walls? If so the insulation is exsposed due to the ceilings not being finished. Any issues with that stuff in the air?
Lynn said…
Hi Joe,

There is insulation behind the walls and it is covered by plastic. We have had absolutely no issues with any insulation in the air.
Jeff said…
Hi Joe,

Yeah, also, I'm assuming Lynn's exterior walls are done the same as ours--there is a top plate (i.e. a 2x4) that the studs are attached to, so that seals off the top of the wall behind the drywall--i.e. there is no open cavity on top of the walls with access to the insulation. Though it's not an exterior wall, see the design of the walls on the right in her 2nd pic. Make sense?
Jones Morris said…
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Lynn said…
Thank you, Jones Morris!
Anonymous said…
Looks beautiful! Thinking of doing the same thing, does any extra dust or debris fall from the ceiling since it is not finished with drywall?
Lynn said…
Thank you! I have not noticed any extra dust. Actually, it stays quite clean down there since my dog and cats are not allowed in that area.
James Jones said…
What is the first thing I should do when finishing my basement? Walls, carpet, drop ceiling?
basement remodeling contractors marietta ga
Lynn said…
Hi James Jones, I am not a contractor but the contractor we hired did the ceiling first since it was spray painted. Then he installed the drywall and we put in carpeting last.
Jeff said…
Hi James, you may want to do the framing of your walls first, electrical rough-in, etc., then you can do the insulation and drywall if you want as well, but don't paint the walls unless you are doing a drop-ceiling. The spraying of the ceiling will get paint on the upper edge of the walls. You doing it yourself or with a contractor?
Tom said…
Beautiful job! This is the exact ceiling I'm going for with black paint.
Question:
Did you immediately start painting the beams or did you do any prep work like sanding, filling etc? Thank you
Lynn said…
Thank you, Tom! The beams weren't really in any need of prep work but they did neaten up wiring before painting, and they also did a dark gray primer before painting.
Tom said…
Excellent. My beams are in good condition. There's minor imperfections ranging from chipping pieces or natural wear and wasn't sure if you ran into a similar situation. I'm thinking the paint will mask most of it and sanding would be counter productive. Did you use a Benjamin Moore or Behr paint? Thanks again.
Lynn said…
If it's minor imperfections you should be fine with just painting. We used Benjamin Moore. Good luck with your project!
Bryan Potter said…
was your ceiling affected by drywall dust? for any reason would you suggest painting after drywall? i am working on a similar project & was wondering about the correct order of paint ceiling/drywall or drywall/paint ceiling.


Lynn said…
Hi Bryan, Our ceiling was painted before the drywall went up and the ceiling was not affected by any dust. Since our basement was unfinished we decided to do the ceiling first to avoid over spray on the walls or finished flooring.