I'm looking for suggestions to finish one of the walls in my basement. I've included the pictures of the wall below. As you can see the doors are right up against the wall on both sides. There's absolutely no way I can build any type of framing to hand the drywall on. I was thinking about just plastering over concrete, but this wall is quite uneven, you can see with a naked eye that in the middle the wall curves in. Installing drywall over the concrete directly, probably wouldn't work for the same exact reason.

Unfortunately I can't move the doors, on one side (bottom image) there are stairs right up against the door and I can't move them because of the ceiling clearance. On the other side, the wall is concrete as well, and I don't feel like trying to remove concrete to move the door.

Any suggestions at all?

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  • Is painting the wall out of the question? Drylok (look for the Drylok Masonry link on that page) makes a range of products for patching, sealing and painting concrete.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 4:19
  • I can paint over it, but as you can see from the first picture there's a lot of bumps and dents in that wall, and as I said before, the whole wall is kindda uneven. Painting wouldn't cover that up, I think. Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 4:25
  • Is completely removing the door an option? Do the two rooms the door separates need to continue to be isolated rooms? Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 13:49
  • I defiantly can't remove door on the first photo. That goes to the garage that I use to park my car. I think that would be considered fire hazard as well as having exhaust fumes in the house every time I start my car wouldn't be great. Door on the second photo could possibly be removed, but I would like to keep it, to separate new family room from the storage room. Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


Looking at your wall photos, can I assume that seeing hinges on both left and right, the doors (2) meet in the middle? first we have to make some assumptions based on the yet unknown. if the walls are always dry, seasoned and pose no moisture or condensation issues, there is a couple of ways you can go ahead and finish he walls with drywall. i would consider putting a 1X6 up to a 1X10 finish pine board in the corners. This should clear the hinges. You can then install 1X3 strapping on the concrete wall with PL400 adhesive and short ramset nails or concrete screws. You can then decide if you want to install any blue moisture proof rigid insulation between the strappings. Then install a vapor barrier such as 4mil plastic over the strapping and then install drywall with 1 or 1 1/4 inch screws. You then can finish your drywall and build a neat trim at the ends onto the finish pine boards. The other alternative is to build a regular frame wall out of 2X3's or 2X4's and mount to floor and upper joists. This will allow more insulation and still allow doors to open almost fully, depending on the width of the pine trim at the corners. The wider the trim in the corners, the more fully the doors will open without being restricted by the new wall. If moisture on the walls is possible, you should really consider using Dry-loc or some suitable waterproofing before you even think about closing the concrete in behind a wall. Mold and mildew with ruin your good looking wall and potentially cause foul odors and a possible health hazard.

  • The walls are very dry. The whole basement is very dry. I've never seen a drop of water in the basement, even during very heavy rains that flooded the whole neighborhood. I think I understand what you are suggesting, and I think that might work. I'm planning on replacing the doors anyways, so I might as well rotate them, so that the hinges are on the other side, and the doors swing to the opposite of now. That will allow me for less clearance and I could possibly go with 1x6 or even 1x4 even. How would you suggest doing transition between pine board and drywall? trim? Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 16:21
  • Also, how would you secure pine board to the wall? Concrete screws? Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 16:22

I might suggest a simple "L" 2 piece pine trim set. after the drywall is installed, measure the difference from the face of the drywall to the face of the pine trim board you installed first. Rip a piece to that dimension and mount on the pine board on the wall and next to the drywall edge, so that it is flush with the drywall. Then use a piece of pine or perhaps a thinner mounding to finish overlapping the drywall and flush to the edge of the ripped piece. This should make a nice finished outside corner around the end of the drywall run. Again, you could secure the 1x8 pine to the concrete with PL adhesive and perhaps a couple of small concrete screws counter sunk, then use a little wood filler or drywall mud to cover the screw heads before priming and painting.

  • Thanks. Good suggestions! That's what I'll probably do. The only difference, is I might go with PVC board instead of pine wood. Makes me feel a bit safer, when PVC is touching concrete. And it will probably look a bit nice when I prime and paint over it too. Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 21:46
  • PVC or composite will work great. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 16:40
  • just thought.... PVC will not hold paint well. Use a composite product avail at all the box stores and paint it like regular wood. Composite is fine in damp locations as well. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 23:11

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