Orange Wood-Cave Goes Polar Bear White

I could see the potential for this space when I was first looking at the house. It was obvious that the prior owners made updates, once upon a time. The woodwork was extensive and included the entire perimeter of the basement. You can see there is also crown molding and built-ins. The TV built-in has been redone, but the mini-fridge built-in is something that is still on my to-do list.

You can see, it was like an orange wood 80’s showroom down there. Easy fix, that I knew was going to take a long time. I wasn’t going to be able to use a roller for most of it because of all of the grooves, trim work and cutting in.

I used liquid sand paper to wipe it all down with before painting. I’d used it before on my banisters, railings and kitchen cabinets and it works really well. It’s the consistency of water. I use a wash cloth to apply it and then wipe back over the areas with mild soapy water to remove the white film that it leaves after it dries. Wear gloves. I’m not sure, but I think this would eat your skin off.


Once the glossyness was removed from the woodwork, I used Behr paint with primer. Even with that, I needed to go back and do 3 full coats of paint to cover up all of the wood.


Around the same time that I was painting the basement, I also found out that my Amazon Prime membership has music that I can listen to! I found an 80’s station, cranked the Billy Joel and Michael Jackson and got to work. Time was flying until it was 9 hours later and I still wasn’t done. I knew this was going to be a big job, but I’d estimated 1 day and it was definitely going to take longer than that.

I don’t know if the fumes started to get to me or what, but I decided to try a faux finish to make it look like grey barn wood. Holy crap. That was a big NOPE! You can see in this picture that I was also dealing with how to paint the bottom trim without getting paint on the carpet. I ended up pulling the carpet up and then tacking it back down when I was done painting.


Similar to when I was painting my kitchen, I started to wonder if I should also be painting the window trim. I didn’t want to add another day to this project, but decided that I had to do the window trim, too…


I spent a total of 400 years painting the basement. It included the panels, the windows, the crown molding and all of those wooden light fixture plates. Thank goodness I learned about the 80’s station on Amazon to help get me through it!


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