Question about sealing a basement for a workshop.

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Forum topic by thechipcarver posted 03-18-2014 05:16 PM 837 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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216 posts in 1572 days

03-18-2014 05:16 PM

I was doing some thinking and have some questions, maybe someone can answer. I was thinking of putting a workshop in an unfinished basement. I have noticed over the past monthes, with all the snow melting (I live in Indiana), it is pretty dry down there. I thought, with the right treatment, it could stay that way and become a nice little workshop.

My questions are:

What type/brand of waterproof paint do you suggest?

Any suggestions on keeping it dry with wood storage?

Any other concerns I should have?

-- While teaching a class, a gentlemen once asked me: "When chip carving an intricate design, what do you do when you are almost finished and the wood breaks off?" I replied "Cover the kids ears."

1 reply so far

View jmos's profile


827 posts in 2364 days

#1 posted 03-18-2014 08:08 PM

I’ve got my shop in an unfinished basement. I used Drylok paint; it was readily available. It seemed to work fine; no moisture, and white is a much better color and grey. I just keep wood off the floor, either on a rack or stickered and don’t have any problems.

Other issues I’d think about are noise, dust, odors, and moving materials in and out.

If you put the shop in the basement it will be fairly loud in the house. Short of going crazy with sound blocking insulation, you’ll just have to decide if it’s a problem for you.

As far as dust, I got a good roll of duct tape (the metallic kind), some spray foam insulation, and some duck tape (the grey waterproof stuff), and closed up every gap I could find leading upstairs as well as in the HVAC ducting.

For both dust control and and to keep the kids out I built some 2×4 and plywood walls around my shop area and sealed them well too. So far I’ve had no issues with dust in the rest of the house.

You should think hard about where you’re putting your shop with respect to your hot water heater and furnace; you really don’t want open flames around solvents, finishes, and sawdust.

As far as odors, I usually find the wood isn’t a problem, but finishing smells do travel. Another thing you will need to decide if you can live with it. Due to odors and ventilation I consider spraying in my shop out of the question.

Lastly, how will you get materials into the shop and projects out; I’ve got one staircase, that comes from the living room, with a landing, and everything has to go in and out that way. I can’t even get a full sheet of plywood down the stairs. It’s a pain, but the only option I have, so I live with it.

On the plus side, my shop is always available, doesn’t require additional heat, and never gets too hot.

Feel free to shoot me any questions you might have.

-- John

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