The Grotto

Welcome to Joe’s Bar and Theater

Category Archives: Finishing

Primer, Paint, and Trim

primer01As soon as the drywall was done, I hung the doors and Mary started priming. When she asked for the primer to be tinted at the local big box hardware store, the girl behind the counter looked at Mary as if she had three heads. Mary finally convinced her that not only can primer be tinted, but that you get better coverage with darker colors when you use a tinted primer. And of course as this is technically our basement (despite being actually above grade), we want dark colors to help emphasise that this is our cave.

primer03For the trim in the bar and billiard rooms, I’m using a mix of MDF pieces and stock trim to match the rest of the house. I think this is most important in the columns, so that they look like a design feature, instead of the big one in the middle of the room looking like I just boxed in a couple of steel poles. In the theater, I’ll be milling custom trim out of MDF.

primer05Instead of using a roller, painting the columns with a brush gives them the appearance of painted wood, which better adds a textural richness. Fortunately for me, Mary does all of the painting. Unfortunately, I do all of the painter’s caulk, which is freakin’ messy, as the best tool for smoothing it is one’s fingers.

primer06As the theater entrance is already a step-above (literally), I figured a fancier entrance would be needed, so I matched the trim of our foyer instead of doing the basic trim that’s around all of our other doors.

Category Archives: Finishing


dw01In the last house, we drywalled the media room in the basement ourselves. I said we’d never do that again. After getting a couple of bids, we hired Buddy’s Drywall, who did a fantastic job. This was the smartest thing we’ve done so far.








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