Basement Walls – Putting up Plyboard and Trim

Nov 15 2020
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Putting up plyboard and trim – finishing out our basement walls. Also painting the whole place out and making some changes in the kitchen! When Lodi and I planned the material we were going to use we agreed that neither one of us wanted to deal with drywall. Lodi in quarantine early this year meant he headed to Menards without me with this as the only thing I had to say about it, “Focus on inexpensive and light weight… I trust you.” To be fair I knew there wouldn’t be a ton of options – I was really just encouraging him to get something (anything) easier to deal with than sheet rock. I wouldn’t have been unhappy with plain old wood paneling on the basement walls – everything is paintable!

At first glance I thought it was identical to the plybead (fake beadboard) I used on the ceilings throughout the rest of the house but this is actually a slightly different material and doesn’t have the tongue and groove on the side. (It turned out to be easier to work with because of the lack of a tongue and groove actually…)

Using plyboard meant we could tack it up with a brad nailer and I can’t begin to express how using this material makes me never want to carry, or hang, or tape off, or mud, or sand, or prime, or paint another piece of sheet rock in my life.

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

There’s no comparison when it comes to the amount of time, cost and effort we saved on our basement walls!

And after the two back breaking jobs of the ceilings and those floors we deserved something easier for us to deal with.

Lodi did all of the hanging of the board without me. He cut out outlets and switches with a jig saw and used 2 1/2 inch brads to cover all of the basement walls. We also decided to just cover the window down here too as we preferred gaining more wall space.

(If we ever want the window back for any reason we can always cut it out.)

I had a light bulb in my head go off one day at my day job so we also did some rearranging in the kitchen.

We moved the base cabinet and the refrigerator from the back wall to across from the stove, making it a galley kitchen and making that back corner closet a lot more accessible. I was seriously getting into it before by climbing up and over the stove…

I’m not sure why I didn’t consider this layout initially! The kitchen really feels like it makes more sense now.

With Lodi finishing hanging the board I tackled the big caulking job of all of the seams etc. This space is over 100 years old so the basement walls are far from perfect but the caulk helped considerably.

With the caulking finished I painted it all out in a semi-gloss white paint.

With black floors and ceilings we agreed on black trim so we spent several days doing lots of coats of high gloss black paint on 1x4s. (I learned that trick when I trimmed out the house – painting all the trim is a pain in the butt but saves a ton of work painting it after its up!)

There really is nothing like trim to take a room from feeling like a construction zone to suddenly feeling complete!

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

What a difference!

Another trick I learned with trim is to put all of your full length boards up first.

Lodi helped with that, leveling as we went. After that I took one Saturday to tackle all of the cuts and complete the entire trim job. With my miter saw out in the garage I would take as many measurements as possible (sometimes up to twelve at a time), head to the garage, make all of my cuts and then put all of those boards up.

It saves a ton of running cutting as many boards at a time as I could but it still felt like I was on a stair master for five hours!

I was afraid this basement wouldn’t stay true to its 100 year old roots but I’m really liking how its coming together now that the basement walls are complete.

Its beginning to feel like an underground speak easy and I totally LOVE that.

Of course there is still a ton of work to do down here: The kitchen needs to be totally painted out, new open shelving installed, a new back splash and new hardware. The stairwell is still an unfinished nightmare and the bathroom requires a lot of work too – but this basement is practically a working space now!

Next up: Can’t wait to show you guys our lighting solution to really give this place a moody speak easy feel!

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

Comments

  1. Kathy H
    November 15, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Wow what a change. The basement is looking Great. If you don’t have an idea for the stairs yet… paint them. Of course make any repairs, sand them etc. Find a carpet runner with fun colors/prints( you may need 2 or 3 to be to match up prints ) then use double sided tape under the step part and staple it all down. I did that back in May, what a difference. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your emails on Sundays.

    • November 16, 2020 at 10:46 am

      Thank you Kathy! You read our minds when it comes to the staircase, great idea!

  2. MADELINE l NEWTON
    November 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    all of the work you guys are doing always looks so good …wow …

  3. November 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I love seeing everything you do to make over your old house ! Keep it up ! Thank you. I look forward to reading your newsletter each Sunday. Don’t stop !
    P.S. Is Lodi his real name ?
    Cynthia

    • November 16, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Thank you so much Cynthia! No, Lodi is his old nick name when we was growing up lol I try to respect the privacy of everyone when I mention them in the blog so I try not to use real names 🙂

  4. anna
    November 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Wow that’s a lot of work! Smart to reconfigure! Looks great and when you get the black ceiling covered it will look lighter and brighter. If it’s a rental eventually you might need to uncover the window for an egress, an exit and maybe secure the eletrical panel. Looks so much better!

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