Painting the basement ceiling.


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Old 08-15-11, 09:44 AM
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Painting the basement ceiling.

My basement has a 7' ceiling of exposed beams. I am converting the basement to a play area for my daughter. I had originally thought of installing a drop ceiling but due to the cost (about $4k) and the loss of head room I've pretty much abandoned that idea. Still, I'd like to do something to improve the look of the place so I'm now thinking of painting it white. My plan:
  1. Cover everything that I can't move with plastic sheeting. Also cover electrical outlets.
  2. Use my ShopVac to clean as much dust as possible from the ceiling, pipes, etc.
  3. Use a water mister and rags to clean the dirtier pipes, ductwork, etc.
  4. Use a power painter to spray everything white.
  5. Install my new light fixtures.
Concerns......
  1. I plan on using Behr "Premium Plus Ultra Interior Stain-Blocking Ceiling Paint" for the job as it's a primer+paint in one, and I've had great success with Behr paints in the past. Anyone have a better suggestion?
  2. I have a Wagner power painter but I suspect it won't be powerful enough to spray the ceiling paint, so I'll likely rent a sprayer for the job as painting with a brush would probably take me months. Does anyone think the Wagner sprayer is good enough or should I just go ahead with the rental?
  3. One gallon of paint covers 400 sq ft, but that's flat footage on drywall. My ceiling is exposed beams and wood. I am estimating that 400 sq ft of flat drywall would be about 150 sq ft of my ceiling. Agree/disagree?
  4. There are air ducts in the basement which serve our heating and central air systems. Is there anything special I need to be aware of before I paint these as well? Can I use the same paint as the ceiling?

Thanks for any tips.
 
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Old 08-15-11, 10:18 AM
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#1 - While a separate primer is better, it would probably be ok if your doing a 1 coat job. The biggest problem with using white is every crack/joint will show. I've painted several open basement ceilings with a dark or black latex stain. They look good dark but more lighting is needed. Another thing to consider is rust. The galvanized metal shouldn't rust but the nail heads that stick out from above will. They'd need a solvent based primer to prevent the rust in the top coat. Also any water stains in the wood will need a primer to prevent the stain from bleeding thru the white paint.

#2 - I don't think much of the wagner sprayers but it should be capable of spraying the paint - it might need to be thinned a little.

#3 - that's about as close as you can guess.

#4 - basically you just need to make sure they are clean! Newer metal ducts tend to have an oily surface so you need to make sure that's removed [if applicable] before painting.
 
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Old 08-15-11, 10:50 AM
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I'm glad you've had good luck with Behr paints, many have not.

I tend a little to the paranoid, so I think I would add a step and spray everything first with Zinnser 123 primer - I'm concerned about paint adhesion to some of the surfaces you have. This would also address the issue Mark mentioned of the exposed nail heads rusting.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 07:49 PM
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If not Behr, what would you suggest?

The more I think about it the more I think I'm going to use a primer after all.
 
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Old 08-21-11, 04:06 AM
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Generally you'll find better quality paints at your local paint store as opposed to a big box paint dept where coatings are stocked based on price rather than quality....... but I don't know that it would make a whole lot of difference for your job. About the only difference you'd notice for your application is a better quality paint might cover better.
 
 

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