Before & After: Home Studio Renovation!

I've written in the past about how a formal studio practice didn't work for me but I've always loved having a dedicated space for creative work, so I decided to give a home studio a try. Why: less financial commitment; easier access; and more privacy. (I sing when I paint. Loudly.)

When I discovered this dingy dark concrete room in the basement, I immediately saw it... a studio!

Maybe I'm crazy (my boyfriend certainly thought I was at the time) but I didn't just see a spider dungeon and THE ugliest burgundy-stained floor ever, I saw potential. With a little (correction: A LOT) scrubbing and a few coats of white paint, I knew it could be the new home to my art practice.

And I was right!

The Process (approximately one month):

  1. Removed EVERYTHING from the space -- old cabinets, shelves, light fixtures, and the table. One of the only thing I left was the vintagey metal fan, which would nearly cut my finger off while painting later.
  2. Deep cleaned. I scrubbed the walls down with antibacterial soap and hot water and swept all the cobwebs out of the rafters. 
  3. Sanded floor and walls. This is essential to prep for painting! 
  4. Swept and vacuumed x 10. You don't want dust on any surfaces before painting.
  5. Painted the floor and walls. (Paint listed/linked below). I laid down 4-5 coats on every surface since concrete is super absorbent.
  6. Sealed the floor (listed below). This puts a thin sheen over the paint, which makes it resistant to stains and easy to clean.
  7. Sanded + painted table. I also removed the laminate top and drilled on thin plywood (which they cut to size for me at Home Depot, easy!).
  8. Installed beetle kill pine wall.
  9. Installed lights.
  10. Moved in!


  • Broom + dust pan + shop vac
  • Lots of trash bags
  • Rags + bucket with hot soapy water
  • Sand paper + extension pole 
  • Paint brushes: rollers, regular ones, and an extension pole for the rollers
  • Drill, pliers, metal cutter (to remove shelf hammered into rafters by metal brackets)
  • Two gallons concrete & garage floor paint (25% leftover)
  • One gallon concrete protector + waterproofer (75% leftover
  • Thin plywood panel cut to size (I forget the exact depth)
  • Handful of screws for the plywood table-top

Decor/hardware updates:

And that's it! I'm so happy with how it's turned out. Although one day I'd love to have a more airy, light-filled home studio, I love taking what you've got and making the most of it. Whether it's a dark old room in the basement or an empty corner of the living room, I always recommend others have a dedicated space for creative work. It's a game-changer!

Please feel free to comment below with thoughts, questions, ideas!

Leave a comment