Okay, I realize it still doesn't look like much. But if you'll compare it to the "before" picture (right—click to embiggen), you'll see I've gotten a lot done—removed all the junk, swept the cobwebs off the ceiling, removed or reattached the stuff hanging from the ceiling, and, mostly, cleaned the floor and gave it a couple of coats of floor enamel. That was harder than it sounds, because, before I fixed the house drainage (new gutters and Roto-Rooting the drain to the sewer), the floor repeatedly flooded over the years and stuff that was left out got wet, dried, and stuck to the floor. I spent a lot of time on my knees with a scraper and a wire brush and various buckets full of cleaning potions.
The painted area is a little bigger than 10x13', by the way.
Oops! Once you get to working it's hard to stop. Thought I'd black out the windows at 2:00 a.m. and forgot, briefly, that blue masking tape isn't opaque. It's best to black out windows when it's light outside. I'll talk more about lightproofing when get around to doing it.
I also installed splitters on all the light sockets in the basement. This one shows a compact fluorescent bulb, which won't be what I'll use for white lighting, and an older Adorama LED safelight (no longer available), which I won't be using either—we'll talk about lighting in the future, too. The splitter arrangement, made out of cheap parts from the hardware store, is what I wanted to show here. The extensions are just to get the pull chains, which, obviously, allow you to select the safelight or the white light. I've seen 1-to-2 bulb-socket fixtures that already have pull chains built in, but I couldn't find any this time. (Should have looked online—I didn't think of that.)
Another nifty trick I've used in the past is to get a long chain extension and run it through eyelets attached to the joist. That allows you to reach up and turn on the white lights from wherever you're standing. I don't think I'll do that in this darkroom, but I thought I'd mention it.
Finally, I can't resist—my friend Jack McDonough sent me the picture below of his basement "darkroom." Classic.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.