How to Finish Interior Basement Walls


If you have decided to remodel your basement, then you will have to probably start with your walls. Your basement walls are protecting your interior from getting wet. This is important if you want to completely turn your basement into a living space. Two wall types are common in most basements. One is the concrete wall, the other is a stud wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisture meter
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Respirators
  • Concrete sealer (optional)
  • Large wide-bristled paint brushes
  • Coarse paint roller inserts
  • Paint rollers
  • Extension poles
  • Masking tape
  • Concrete primer
  • Paint rollers (not coarse)
  • Paint sprayer (optional)
  • Extension cord
  • Paint
  • Foam board insulation
  • Wall anchors (to attach wall insulation to wall)
  • Knife
  • Wood strips (optional)
  • Drywall
  • Drywall knife
  • Joint compound
  • Drywall tape
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

Concrete Wall Finishing

  • Inspect your walls for moisture content or leaks that may be coming from outside. Use your moisture meter to check. Concrete walls that have moisture problems need to be sealed. Products can be purchased at your local hardware store.

  • Put on all protective gear. Apply your concrete wall sealer with your wide-bristled brushes or coarse roller inserts. Use the pole extension to reach the higher areas. Two coats are usually recommended. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding number of coats and drying time in between each coat.

  • Mask off any areas needed with the masking tape.Apply two coats of primer using paint rollers and extension poles or use a paint sprayer. Let dry in between coats. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

  • Apply paint using the same procedure as above.

Basement Finishing of Stud Walls

  • Install hard-foam insulation inside your walls. Cut with your knife to fit. Attach via wood strips that are attached to the wall behind the studs with specialized wall anchors. Wall anchors will vary according to the wall material type that you have. Consult your local building contractor for more help.

  • Install drywall by attaching it with drywall screws. Use your knife for any cuts needed. Apply joint compound to all seams. Tape the seams and apply more joint compound. Remove excess joint compound with your putty knife. Smooth out joints and sand. Now you are ready for primer and paint.

  • Apply primer and paint, as in section #1 above.

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  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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