Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Basement overhaul part 4

Phase 1 = Clearing the household storage items out of the area I’ve claimed as my workshop, and setting up shelves on the other side of the basement, away from the sanding dust and paint spray

Phase 2 = Organizing the rest of the back half of the basement (for my sanity because I’m a bit OCD)

Phase 3 = Organizing the middle part of the basement, on both sides of the center stairway

Phase 4 = Hanging "curtains" to contain airborne particles in the workshop, and reorganize the workshop area


We are now on to the final phase of my basement overhaul.  The goal of the entire project was to keep sanding dust and paint overspray off the household items we store in the basement.  I didn't notice it so much when I was painting our Hepplewhite dresser white, but when I worked on three turquoise items (nightstand, writing desk and faux bamboo chair) in a row, the dust accumulation became pretty obvious when I would open a storage bin to get something out, and end up with turquoise fingertips.  Yikes!

The plan was to install some sort of curtains to keep airborne particles within the confines of the workshop area. The workshop is the area at the bottom of the stairway, and there happens to be a beam running perpendicular to the stairway, allowing me to cut off the workshop at that point.  The two "before" photos below show the boundaries of the workshop at the edge of the stairs.  (Unfortunately I don't have a "before" photo spanning the entire area.)  You can just barely see the ceiling beam at the top of the photos.

Looking toward the area where we store our old sofa and club chair

Looking toward the area with the fridge and TV

I measured the height and width of the openings on either side of the stairs and went to Home Depot to look for plastic drop cloths to serve as the curtains.  In my usual fashion, I bought several sizes and thicknesses, to give myself some options.  I decided to use 2 mil drop cloths, which are pliable, rather than stiff.  You'll laugh, but one of my concerns was not being able to see my TV through the drop cloth!  Actually, even with the 2 mil I can't see through very well to the TV on the other side, so I just listen.

I'll go ahead and give you a peek of the results before I go into more details.

Is this a workshop or a biohazard zone?

I used my staple gun to staple the drop cloths to the ceiling beams, starting on the far end.  Rather than pulling them taut as I went, I left a bit of slack in between the staples.  I left the bottoms to hang down to the floor freely.  At the edges, I stapled down the sides where I met a vertical stud, but at one edge it was a concrete corner, so I just pulled the drop cloth as close to the wall as I could.

Apparently I need to get a better staple gun, because it was getting jammed all the time.  I think the hanging took twice the time due to the constant unjamming I had to do.  Rawr.  If you have any recommendations, please share!

Since we still need to reach the other parts of the basement, I created "doorways" for access.  I cut a slit vertically through the drop cloth, then overlapped the two pieces at the top a few inches.  When I'm working, I pull the curtains shut, but when I'm not creating a mess and the dust has settled, I use string to pull the curtains back at the doorways.

They're not the most beautifully crafted curtains in the world, but they work!  Since they've been installed, I have noticed sanding dust settling and swirling around on the floor on the workshop side of the curtain, which is much easier to vacuum up than if it had spread all over the basement.

In addition to creating the curtains, I needed to reorganize my supplies and also my queue of furniture and accessories awaiting makeovers.  Here are some additional views:



After (you can see the fridge and the organized drink storage through the doorway)




After (with a primered chair drying in the foreground)

Here's the full view of the curtains again:

I'm glad to be finished with the basement overhaul, ready to move on to "prettier" things.  As a matter of fact, I had three time-sensitive projects waiting for the curtains to be hung so I could get back to sanding and painting.  We have a cousin moving into her first apartment, so I helped her out by sprucing up some old and/or thrifted items.  I'm waiting for some photos of the finished items in their new space, and then I'll be sure to share here!

On a very different note, I couldn't conclude my basement overhaul process without sharing the ickiest part of the whole project.  I used our shop vac to clear out all the dead bugs and cobwebs, plus a lot of sawdust and other muck from the house construction four years ago.  Truthfully, that job probably took longer than the organizing.  Lucky for you I didn't take any before and after photos of that process!  Yuck.


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1 comment:

  1. What a great work space! It came out fantastic, so impressive :)


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