Basement Renovations: Walls


Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy renovating the walk-out basement. This space was mostly unfinished when we purchased the home, and we are turning it into our innkeeper’s quarters. Once complete, it will be a finished suite with a kitchen and bathroom. To start the renovations, Josh gave the walls a new look by applying a stucco finish. Well – actually, before he could start updating the walls there was a bit of demoing to do.

For the demoing phase, Josh took out the existing cabinets, shelves, floating floor, and miscellaneous items in the basement and demoed the bathroom, which included removing the interior bathroom walls, toilette, sink, and tub. We then prepared the basement walls by scrapping off any old glue and paint. Next we applied a primer so that the stucco would adhere well to the walls.


The existing walls are cinder block and didn’t have too welcoming of a feel for a living space. To update the look and feel, Josh mixed the mortar (used for the stucco finish) and applied it to the walls in a sweeping motion with a metal pool trowel, creating a beautifully textured surface.


The finished look is classic and also kind of contemporary at the same time. It’s classic like old Italian and Spanish stucco and contemporary like modern urban and industrial spaces. We plan to leave it unpainted for now, but we have the option of painting it in the future if we feel inclined. To soften the space, I’m going to make curtains for the windows, use lots of area rugs, and populate the space with other textiles or wall hangings.



Updating the walls made a really big difference in renovating the basement into our living quarters. Next steps include re-plumbing the bathroom and pouring new concrete floors with an in-floor heating system! Check back soon for more posts about these renovations.

4 thoughts on “Basement Renovations: Walls

  1. Mike

    Im curious, did you put any kind of moisture sealant on the cement wall? I’m an hvac guy so my home renovation knowledge is either learn as I go or things that Ive watched/learned from others. If you get Netflix I highly recommend watching Holmes Home Inspection (i think thats what its called). Its a freaking awesome show and Ive learned things about home I never knew and quite a bit I probably didnt want to know, lol! (Some of the stuff about mold,asbestos and such will make you cringe!!)
    The premise of the show is that people that have recently bought a home, who may or may not have gotten a home inspectiom, start finding things seriously wrong that wasnt disclosed by the previous owner or the inspector. The guy always finds tons of stuff… A couple of times it was so bad they basically had to tear the house down and start over, lol. The show will have lots of practical stuff you can apply there!
    A number of basements they have done involve digging out around the basement wall outside to expose it, clean it and let it dry, then applying sealant then a barrier screwed on it to keep the dirt off of it directly. Then framing up a wall inside with mold resistant lumber, running electric, spraying in that expanding hard foam insulation, then mold resistant sheetrock. Pretty neat!

    Oh, dont remember if I posted on the page, but LOVED the use of copper pipe to make the shower curtain rod around the old bathtub!! Too cool! Found a picture on another site ehere a guy used copper in a similar fashion to hold rolled up towels on the wall. Like U shaped loops, maybe ten of them right above each other, to hold the towels! …lemme see if I can find it real quick…

    ….but honestly its better just to go to google and click on the image link and type “copper pipe towel rack” because sooo many cool ideas popped up!!
    Anyway really enjoying your updates!!

    1. ridgesidebb Post author

      Hi Mike! Thanks for your comment and great suggestions. We’ll have to check out that show. Josh monitored the humidity with a sensor and tested for mold, and it seems that the existing moisture barrier on the foundation wall is holding up, so we didn’t need to use a moisture sealant on the inside. So glad you liked our copper pipe curtain rod!


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