Please note: I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases if you shop through links on this page. More info.

How to Clean an Unfinished Basement Ceiling the Easy Way

Today was a very busy day, even though not much progress can be seen. The goal of the weekend is to tackle the unfinished basement. I’m having a housewarming/St. Patrick’s Day party next weekend, and this is the party zone. Here’s our checklist:

  • Cobwebs on the ceiling... gross.

    Clear the cobwebs. The entire basement just needs a whole lotta TLC. My first job was to clear the cobwebs off the rafters. I started with a duster, then moved to a wet rag, and finally settled on using the shop vac to clear the cobbys. This ended up being the fastest easiest way to get rid of them… plus I got to sing Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” while I did it. Win win.

  • Even out the floor. There are some parts of the floor that seem to have concrete piled up into lumps along the seams. I’m really not sure why. I think the previous owner was a DIYer like myself, and felt that building it up would fix some issue he was having. Anyway, a chisel and a hammer knocked this junk away, and the floor looks more level already!
  • My unfinished basement, before painting/cleaning

    Clean the floor. The floor is just dirt, and gross. First I vacuumed it the best I could with the shop vac. Then swept, and picked up the bigger things. Then vacuumed it again. Then my mom took over and actually washed the floor with big buckets of soapy water.

  • Let the light in! All of the windows in the basement are covered by layers of wood and insulation. I removed all the layers, just to see what kind of shape they are in. One is completely filled in from the outside, and one was cracked… but the other two are good. Even the one with the crack in it lets in sooooo much light! It really makes a big difference and soon I will fix up the cracked window. For now, we will just caulk the edges to seal them really good from the elements.
  • This is the Bat Room after I cleaned up the gross toilet (which we later replaced). We also took down the shower screen.

    Fix the toilet in the “Bat Room” — yes, there’s a sign on my basement bathroom door that says “Bat Room” — I think it’s incredibly funny, so I kept it. The toilet seemed to be leaking, and needed some chain adjustments (not to mention a really, really good scrubbing). After doing all we could, we decided to just ditch it and buy a new one 🙂 The bolts were rusted out and the tank was leaking… it just wasn’t salvageable.

  • Install a new ceiling light in the Bat Room. The current light had a little pull string on it. You then had to grab the light with both hands and gently shake it to get the light to turn on. Not ideal for a party. So, I suggested we put in a light switch and a different overhead light. We got a two pack of ceiling lights at Lowe’s for $20 (I’ll use the other one somewhere else), and my dad rigged it up to a light switch. Switch goes on, and so does the light. Problem solved!!
  • Remove the shower stall in the Bat Room. Basically, this is just a white screen covering the main waterline to the house. I believe that this type of basement shower was used in the coal mining days, just to get all the heavy filth off a miner so they didn’t dirty up the “nice” bathroom. We yanked out the screen, and down the road I’ve decided to just replace it with the old shower curtain rod from the upstairs bathroom, and an old shower curtain.
  • Sheetrock the Bat Room. This was my dad’s project while I vacuumed the and cleaned the floors. He put up drywall on the non-exterior wall, which covered up the wiring for the light switch. Taped and spackled, and it’s as good as new.
  • Paint the Floor. Alright, this is pretty ambitious, and I’ll expand on it in another post. But yes, we decided to also paint the entire basement floor this weekend. Ugh.
  • This is the completed "Bat Room" -- after the new toilet, painted wall, painted floor, and shower curtain

    Paint the Bat Room. The exterior concrete walls were painted with the proper paint. If you are taking on a project like this, make sure you use Masonry paint, and probably a waterproofing one (like Drylock). The freshly sheetrocked wall couldn’t be painted yet. The mud has to dry, but I’m planning on using just an exterior latex paint that I had leftover from a previous apartment. It’s lime green (Sherwin Williams SW6710 Melange Green) — perfect for my St. Patrick’s Day housewarming party! My dad actually asked me if I bought it specifically for that reason. It really was just laying around, but thanks for thinking I’m crazy enough to paint entire rooms for the holidays now. Actually, now that I think about it, that’s a pretty cool idea!


So, I think that’s it. Haha, there were actually many other little projects that we got done this weekend on top of these (organize office, hang pictures, painted shelves, hung shelves, installed spice rack, sanded and washed exterior doors)… busy busy busy!!

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Awesome! I have a similar basement. I would love to see the after pictures! Thanks for posting – this gave us some good ideas for ours! ?

Comments are closed.

Want to talk more about this article? Head over to Pretty Purple Door’s Facebook page to share your thoughts!

This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualiying purchases if you shop through links on this page (at no additional cost to you). View Site Policies.