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Update Your Basement for Under $100

Fluorescent Lighting, Natural Lighting, Wall Painting

When I bought my first house, I was excited it had a nice open basement. I had visions of a grand studio to paint in, as well as a place I could finally leave all of my projects spread out with out cluttering up my home. My basement was a little dark and dreary though and definitely needed some updating. As winter approached I also discovered it completely lacked any warmth. Updating my basement for under $100 was an easy project that fit my somewhat meager budget. I hope you like these ideas for updating your basement for under $100, they worked for me and were easily to accomplish by myself in one weekend. You could do everyone of these projects and still come in at under $100 total.

Updating My Basement Walls

For some reason a previous owner had begun framing in my open basement with 2X4’s. Halfway through the basement update though they stopped, which lent a really half finished and sad air to the space that really distracted me from being able to focus on existing projects. In an effort to hide the 2X4’s and cinder block walls I decided to create some fabric curtain walls. I was on a strict budget and did not want to invest too much money on this temporary update for my basement decor, so I hung inexpensive sheets along the walls in my basement. I used heavy-duty upholstery tacks to press them into the walls right at the ceiling. I chose white sheets to lighten up my dark basement. It worked really well, gave the space a more finished air, and added quite a bit of warmth in a way that only fabric can. When I moved the fabric was easy to remove and take with me. When first hanging the sheets I experimented with gathering them, but finally settled on hanging them smoothly on the basement wall.

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Painting the Floor

Originally my basement floor was cold concrete that seemed to never be clean. I mopped my basement floor regularly, but could not seem to eliminate the gloom or the dirt. On a trip to the local Lowe’s I found some great epoxy floor paints that were perfect for adding affordable color to my basement floor. It was Quikrete Multi Surface Coating. The epoxy floor paint was meant for basements or garages and offered an updated and clean look. I bought the light grey paint and then rolled it on my basement floor. The change was immediate and very gratifying. Best of all the epoxy floor paint came with these great little sprinkles that you lightly tossed over the wet paint to give it a little shimmer. A gallon of concrete floor epoxy cost me about $55, including the shimmering sprinkles. My basement was about 450 square feet and I was able to update the entire basement with one gallon of epoxy paint.

To add a little more flair, design, or color to your basement floor for under $100 try painting a pattern on the floor. Diamonds and squares would be great but you could also paint the entire floor one color and then randomly paint varying sized circles. This would give a great modern look to any basement floor. It would also be a chance to for a more modern update as well as a way to add some extra color to a drab basement.


Lighting is a quick and easy way to immediately update the look up your basement. If you are luckily enough of have plenty of electrical outlets then add some lamps. More natural lighting is a lot cozier than those overhead fluorescent lights. To help my existing fluorescent lighting look more natural I found a great and affordable product online at www.fluorescentlightfilters.com. The Brilliant Solution Spectrum Environmental Lighting Filters™ are a super affordable product that make your fluorescent lighting appear more like natural lighting and provide a very pleasant effect. They are a simple sleeve that covers your exiting fluorescent bulbs and helps them to cast a more natural looking light. You can buy a 4 Foot Tube Sleeves for just $8.75 each. Now that is a great way to update your basement lighting for under $100. The best feature of this product is that you don’t have to throw away any perfectly good fluorescent light bulbs you already have. I also like this feature because it allows you to still buy the same affordable lighting for your basement, you just cover them. You can find this product online at http://www.fluorescentlightfilters.com/tubes.html. As an artist it was important for me to incorporate as much natural light as possible in my basement work studio and this was a great solution.

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