So, the wife decided it would be alright for me to convert this basement bedroom from the Creating the Batcave post into an actual Batcave Home Office.
To see pics of the finished room, check out the Custom Batcave Home Office – as of March 2012 gallery
Here’s a refresher on what the room looked like before. Note how sad Spider-Man, Batman, and even Superman all look:
I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out if there was any way we could add real rock to the walls. Whether it was just tile mortar or concrete, it would probably look GREAT! But, when considering the weight of real rock, that was really out of the question.
The next consideration was foam. I’d seen several folks over at The Replica Prop Forum build something similar using foam. However, since I have no idea how to shape foam to fit my needs and the cost of just one foam panel is quite a bit, I gave up that idea.
So, with no good ideas in mind, I decided to go ahead and start the project. If this room was going to be a Batcave, it needs to not have this ugly ugly carpet and no drop ceiling!
I also decided that whatever I use to make this room look like a Batcave with rock walls, it was going to need something to hold it up – a skeleton. The answer to that was pretty easy, as the material had to be malleable and light-weight, yet durable. There’s only one answer: chicken wire.
I bought a bunch of chicken wire from the ranch supply store and went to work with a stapler. I quickly found that I needed something behind wherever there was a part that jutted out more than a few inches, as it’d need to stay put! I really just used anything I could find for that part:
So. What material for the rock walls that would actually look good? My next thought was crumpled paper. I got a bunch of butcher paper, crumpled it up, and threw it up on the wall and painted it lightly. It actually looked pretty good!
Looks pretty good, right? Yeah, yeah it does. A few problems with using paper, though:
- Uh it’s SUPER flammable. It’s paper! With paint on it!
- Bugs really love paper. They would just love to build their dream neighborhood in that stuff.
- Did I mention it’s ridiculously flammable? Yeah no thanks.
I ended up removing the paper. It’s just not a good idea. But what is a good idea?
At Home Depot one nice lil’ Saturday, I spotted this stuff called foam underlayment. It’s really just a thin layer of foam that one lays under something like a pergo floor to give it a small amount of softness and separate it from a hard substrate. I thought ‘will this work’? So I bought a roll and gave it a try.
After crumpling it up and applying to the wall … it looked pretty good! Durable enough, not crazy flammable (I tested), and could be molded just how I wanted it:
Next, it’s time to paint. It didn’t need to be super expensive or perfect at ALL (it’s a Batcave), so I went with the cheapest Wal-Mart paint I could find. I got one in brown, and one in black for a grand total of about $10. Then I applied the base coat with a Wagner Power Painter, which I do not recommend because it drips EVERYWHERE. Since it didn’t really matter in this room I just went with it and didn’t have my Graco X5 yet.
First, I painted the base layer with the brown paint:
Next, the black “highlights”. I also realized I needed to paint the ceiling joists in black so they would kind of fade away. Of course I couldn’t wait for a poster test!
Next, I removed the ugly fluorescent lights up above and added black track lighting. I have two tracks, both with 3 lights each. I also added a double spotlight over the “armory” area where the closet used to be. The lights were put on a dimmer switch so that it could be bright if needed, but normally dark like a Batcave:
Next step is to make this room really feel like a Batcave. So, what other items does the Batman have in his cave? Well yes, bats but I’m not going down that road. We all know how that turns out:
No, I’m talking about cool stuff like the Batcomputer, weapons, tools, and of course the Batsuit. So here’s the armory – where the closet used to be – with a couch because you need someplace comfortable to sit!
Any home office needs a desk and a computer, right? Especially a Batcave Home Office! So, my cousin and I custom-built a Batcomputer which sits below the custom floating desk I made, with 3 monitors:
The Batcave Home Office build finished up with little other things like adding a TV, blacking out the windows to add shelves in the frames, painting the floor black, and gathering all the other superhero stuff in the one room.
Bringing in the UD Replicas TDK Batman suit with custom cape, belt, and cowl back in the room really made it look awesome. Coupled with the custom Superman Returns and Spider-Man 2 costumes, the room is now a Batcave.
To see pics of the finished room, check out the Custom Batcave Home Office – as of March 2012 gallery.