Laundry Redo Reveal

I had wanted to get at the dryer vents for quite a while to clean them. It was more a priority for me than for hubby. We hadn’t done it in the almost three years we’d lived here, and we didn’t know if the previous owner had ever cleaned them. I’d heard too many horror stories about fires caused by lint buildup. Hubs didn’t know what was in store for him other than he dreaded having to move the w/d out and then back again and then balance them.

The washer and dryer, with the old shelving. I forgot to take a pic before starting to unload the shelves, so this before pic doesn’t reflect all the stuff that was up there.  Ugly.  If you remember from some of my other posts, the whole house is painted sponge yellow.
It is a very small room.  Last year we had taken the double sliding closet doors on the opposite wall off to open up the space and then repurposed a dresser into a bench and put it in that space.  There was no time to repaint the bench because of upcoming surgery. 

Back to the present. Because we had to pull out the washer/dryer to clean the vent, I figured why not paint the space, and get rid of the ugly hole left in the wall by the former owner. It only made sense, since hubby wouldn’t want to pull out the w/d again.

We had never done drywall repair work before but watched videos and thought, “How hard could this be?”  It ended up taking three times to get the patch to look right. The paint would not adhere to the primer. So after the second fail, I got new primer, patch and mud. Three times a charm!

And once the painting got underway, I figured why not get some cabinets in there and really do it right!  Above the w/d was a wire shelf with all my cleaners and laundry items, plus other miscellaneous items that multiplied overnight. The shelf over the bench also held the coolers, plant supplies, brooms/mops and coats. The two sets of wire shelving on each of the opposite walls were messy eyesores. So we went from moving the w/d in order to clean vents, to painting the room, to installing new cabinets! It didn't take too much convincing to get hubby to agree, since he'd be in charge of cabinetry.

Here's a photo of painting the bench.
The only requirements I got from hubs in redoing this room was that he didn’t want a dark paint color. Other than that he didn’t care what I did.  So after painting I came up with these “bubbles” for décor. I used jars and lids dipped into paint colors to make the impressions.  I was not sure the idea would come across, but when hubs and two neighbors called them bubbles, I knew all was good.

Before painting, I figured why not get some cabinets in there and really do it right.  Above the w/d was a wire shelf with all my cleaners and laundry items, plus other miscellaneous items that multiplied overnight. The shelf over the bench also held the coolers, plant supplies, brooms/mops and coats. The two sets of wire shelving on each of the opposite walls were messy eyesores. So we went from moving the w/d in order to clean vents, to painting the room, to installing new cabinets!

On a shopping mission, I picked up a closeout cabinet for $74. However, hubby determined it was too large for the area. We relegated it to the garage and went on a fact finding mission to see what would look good, be functional and be economical. We looked at the major big box stores and didn’t find the solution. Off to IKEA, where we found the answer.

Then came hanging the new cabinets.  Hubby was so meticulous in assembling and hanging them (I helped with the hanging part). What a pro - spot on level! At that point we decided to also put cabinets on the other wall over the bench, so back to the store we went.  You can never have too much storage, right?

The bench painting was done, the room painting was done, the cabinets were hung. But the room was missing something.
What was missing was a counter top over the w/d but we couldn’t find one at a reasonable price.  We also needed someone to cut it and move it for us. We tried remnant pieces at the box stores, our local Habitat, as well as at specialty stores, all without success. We finally settled on a hollow core door from HD, with a price tag of $28! Hubby hung the rails for support and we notched out spaces for the hoses and cords. After priming, painting and poly, it looks great! Since we don’t anticipate it being used for anything heavy, it will serve its purpose great. I now have a folding area!
The “Fuzz” container for lint is made out of an oatmeal container. Colored duck tape was used to cover the box, and I used an old set of stencils to identify it.

And just so there’s no doubt, a sign tells everyone that this is the laundry room! It was constructed out of two cedar planks meant for grilling food. They were sanded, covered with two coats of primer and then spray painted and stenciled. The last step was to connect them together and this was done by gluing paint sticks to the back. I would do the stenciling different the next time around  – but that’s for the future.



And just so there’s no doubt, the sign tells everyone that this is the laundry room! The sign was constructed out of two cedar planks meant for grilling food. They were sanded, covered with two coats of primer and then spray painted and stenciled. I would do the stenciling different the next time around  – that’s for the future.

I repurposed wine and miscellaneous bottles to hold various laundry liquids - detergent, stain treatments, etc. I don't need to haul down heavy bottles every load. I just use these convenient bottles and refill as needed. They still need to be labeled, as well as the knobs put on the cabinets.

The lazy Susan was purchased at Lowes with a gift card I had. I gladly paid the .56 difference.

A view of the laundry room from the garage. I wish there was somewhere else I could store the brooms and mops, but not in this home. I don't want to hang them in the pantry.

So what happened to the cabinet that was relegated to the garage you may ask? Hubby and I hung it and I will never, ever go through that again. It was heavy and awkward and by far the hardest part of this whole project.  We lifted it onto the brace and I held it up while hubby screwed it into position. Because it was so heavy, we left the brace in place since it’s in the garage. I still want to paint it, though, as well as touch up some other holes left by the first wire shelf. The cabinet is hung higher in order to miss the car, dumpster cover and our heads. There's a ladder in the garage, so we just grab that, although I'm probably the only one that will need to get in it. It is storing painting pans and other paint supplies, things hubby is not inclined to touch.

I had this spare piece of lattice for years and wanted it out of the way. I suggested to hubby to hang it vertical in the garage. After he did that, I was looking at the space between the new cabinet and the corner and hated the old metal shelf there. It was rickety and not safe. I thought it would be a great place for more shelves and I could get so much stuff off the floors. Hubby bit his lip again and was going to hang the two shelves just removed from the laundry room when I suggested getting more shelving and putting up a whole stack of them.  I do my DIY and painting in the garage and wouldn’t have to keep moving the materials from downstairs to the garage and back all the time. He is such a sweetie! After getting over the idea of more work, he pitched right in with ordering, assembling and hanging.

The shelves are working out great, holding pots and gardening (for another week or two, anyway). Come this fall I'll have space to put them all away. By the way, the two yellow litter containers are holding potting soil. The containers are from our neighbor and they work great! Those bags are so hard to handle!

So, what started as an hour or two project to clean dryer vents turned into a month project. It was the first renovating done to this home since we moved here. We are proud that we completed the project ourselves, but we both admitted we were not fond of painting. From now on, we'll let others do that.

I'll post a few more pics in the comments.

Paint: Behr Sea Ice, P450-1 walls
Behr Rainwater, P450-3 counter top

Thank you for looking!

Suggested materials:

  • Paint  (Home Depot)
  • Cabinets  (Ikea)
  • Metal shelving  (Home Depot)

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