Old coal room?

glassapplesApril 30, 2011

Hi all,

We have put in an offer for a early 1930's 2 story bungalow(I think that is what it is!), anyway, it has an old coal room that I would like to turn into a storage room. How do I go about cleaning this room and making it usable? Is painting the walls an option? What kind of prep do I need to do first?

Thanks for any help!!

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Hi there! Can you explain further how the room is "unusable?" Is it a small room, full size? Does it have soot or dirt in it?

I have owned a 1925 Bungalow for 15 years. There is a coal room at the back of the home that is framed in wood and clean. It is maybe 4 x 4, but as tall as the basement. If you buy this home, these are the type of things within it that you should cherish. I am on vacation now, but if I were home I would take a picture and share it with you. I love how these peculiar spaces, tell the story and history of an old home.

The old wood floors in my dining room have a small square of different wood that must have been used to patch the area where the heat from the coal came up through the basement floor to heat the home. I respect these types of imperfections in my home and am proud of it's history that is so visible. You won't find an old "coal" room in the basements of any newly built homes!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Hi Traceee,

It is an ok sized room, about 10x5, so would make an excellent storage room. It has cement block walls and a concrete floor. I thought my husband had snapped a picture of it but he didn't :(. There is residual(is that the right word?) coal in the cement and flooring. I'm going to guess there is no way to get the all of the coal stains out of the cement? I'm worried paint won't adhere to it. Maybe it would be best to just frame it up and leave it as is.

You are right, new houses definitely don't have these *gems* :). I love this house and am hoping we don't get any big surprises that will kill the deal at inspection :(.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:58PM
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If the basement is damp, you might try a sealer/waterproofer first...if it is dry, scrub the walls with a wire brush, and then try a primer such as Kilz.

Hope it works! The waterproofing worked on my walls.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Thanks Columbusguy, that sounds like a good plan of action. I'll have to pick up a good dust mask to do the job!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:09PM
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