Basement Movie Room Makeover

I've always wanted a finished basement, but, even though our current house has a big basement with high ceilings and lots of space, a "real" finished basement has never been in the budget. We finally decided to stop waiting and go ahead and spend a little money and do a lot of work to turn part of our basement into a finishedish space to use for family movie and game nights.

Here's what we started with--a typical storage space with yucky floors. We cleared everything out then painted the floors. Then we painted all the walls and trim, hung doors in the two doorways (not nearly as hard as we feared!), and hung a plank wall in on a framed but not finished wall. We decided to leave the ceiling unfinished for now to save on time and money. Then we moved on to the fun stuff: furniture and decorating.

My husband and father in law built the game table using a cool plan I found online to build a table from a single sheet of plywood. I found the foosball table at the thrift shop.

My dad actually made this dinosaur for the kids year ago; it finally found a permanent home in the basement.

We built the shelf for games and made our own inexpensive projector screen. I hung up movie posters I'd been hanging onto since my days working a movie theater in college. We used a futon we'd bought for our first apartment for seating. We've since upgraded to a nice sectional sofa, but the futon worked well for us until that was in the budget. We love this space; it stays pretty comfortable year round (we have a space heater that we break out in winter), and we hang out down here watching movies or TV or playing games nearly every weekend. There are more photos on my blog, as well as links to all the DIY projects I couldn't fit in here (the plank wall, shelves, projector screen, painted floors, table, etc).

Top Hometalk Projects

18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
17 DIY-Inspiring Kitchen Backsplashes
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
27 Gorgeous Update Ideas For Your Bedroom
17 DIY Decor Ideas To Get The Party Started
These Herb Garden Ideas Will Make You Want To Start One Of Your Own
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
Fake It Until You Make It! 27 Creative Hacks for High-End Looks
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • One9381927
    on Mar 29, 2017

    Did you have to pre-treat your basement floor ? What kind of paint did you use on the floor? Your basement looks great!!!!

    • Gretchen
      on Mar 29, 2017

      Thanks! We didn't pre-treat the floor (just cleaned it thoroughly), and it's held up really well for us (it's been....2 1/2 years now since we painted it, if my math is right). There's a link in this post to my blog post about the floors; I get into all the details about what we used and why we decided not the etch the floors there, if you're interested in more information. HTH!

  • Pamela Koleas
    on Mar 29, 2017

    Drape fabric across the ceiling for a more finished look.

    • Colleen
      on Mar 29, 2017

      We strung wire every 16 inches going both directions just below the ceiling then laid black plastic on the wire. The plastic was heavy duty, the kind farmers use to cover hay bales, etc. Easy to cut holes for the light fixtures.

  • Shawn Riordan
    on Mar 29, 2017

    how difficult was the plank wall?

    on Mar 29, 2017

    Now, what do you intend to do with the ceiling?
    • Gretchen
      on Mar 30, 2017

      Probably nothing any time doesn't bother us and it "fits" with the modern style of the room. If we ever do a full scale basement reno with plumbing and heat and air we'll probably have it done as part of that.

  • R lybolt
    on Mar 29, 2017

    My question the concrete floor has some cracks how do I go about filling them and with what

    • Andrew Bounader
      on Mar 31, 2017

      Hi, How big are the cracks and is the concrete / cement around the cracks stable and not crumbling and dusty in appearance? Also is the floor level or are the cracks at different heights or looked 'stepped' say out of level with each other more than 1/4" or 6mm? do the cracks go quite deep or more surface cracks? If they're 'minor' the easiest way to patch them is to use a bonding agent such as PVA adhesive mixed 50% with water and paint the crack then use neat cement if the cracks are fine or a mix of 50% premixed mortar or self levelling compound into a paste and pour it into the cracks, let it dry and then run a second coat over the surface of the crack to level it out, using a steel trowel (12" or 300mm wide) to smooth the surface and blend it into the surrounding area. Once all the cracks are patched and letting it dry for a few weeks it can be painted, to tell if it's dry enough place cling film over the patch and weight down the corners, if condensation forms on the underside fo the film it's still too wet to paint. Use a concrete primer and good quality flooring paint.

  • Glynda Phelps
    on Mar 30, 2017

    Uh, this is fabulous, but . . . what did you do with the things you had stored there??!?

    • Gretchen
      on Mar 30, 2017

      :) A lot of stuff got donated, and the rest of it moved to other parts of the basement.

    • Glo17054315
      on Mar 30, 2017

      use Concrete Crack Filler. ready to use, its in a plastic bottle

  • R lybolt
    on Apr 7, 2017

    I checked the cracks finally and some are just surface but one goes down to the dirt. It appears that when they poured the foundation it is not very thick. The concrete is stable how do I go about filling it, the floor is level is it possible that is what is called settling?

    • Liz French
      on Apr 7, 2017

      Hydrolic cement. You can buy it at a Lowe's or Home Depot.
  • Liz Toone
    on Apr 13, 2017

    Amazing transformation! How much did you wind up spending?

Join the conversation

2 of 39 comments
  • Eileenmarie
    on Apr 11, 2017

    Just a trend note here: A lot of people are deciding NOT to do a ceiling in the basement, and instead paint the whole think the color of the ducts, etc, or leave them a contract and paint exposed beams and even wall studs that are bared contrasting color (e.g.. shiny copper). The reasoning is that the ceiling in a basement makes the room feel a bit suffocating, whereas leaving it open feels more spacious, can be kind of industrial trendy, and is certainly easier when repairs need to be done. It apparently takes a lot of work, but the results I've seen online are gorgeous. Sorry I don't have a link, though.

    And BTW, great cost-effective solution. Love the old posters.
  • Gag4876457
    on May 27, 2017

    If you wanted to cover the ceiling you could use sheets either white, solid color, or a print. When necessary to do repairs it is easier to remove than something hard & solid. Might add some more interest.
Your comment...