Cabinet Makeover + Cheap DIY Sponge Pattern

Where oh where did we leave off in regards to the laundry room cabinet…oh yes, paint.  I filled in the scrollwork and got it painted and then left you all hanging because life, as it usually does, got in the way.  Well, last week, after three straight days of all three kids napping at the same exact time, I finally finished.  See?
[Sorry for the sun glare in the ‘after’ picture…naptime also happens to be my take-a-picture-of-completed-projects time and at that time, in the laundry room anyway, the sun doesn’t play nice.]

It looks SO much better than the old wood thing it started out as, especially with those decorative holes and the scrollwork filled in.

So after I painted it, we set it back in the corner where it now lives.  Next up was installing a couple of shelves in the top part (we removed the very top shelf you can see in the ‘before’ picture because it didn’t extend all the way to the back of the cabinet, replacing it with a new one that did).  There were already holes drilled down the sides where I could place shelving pegs to hold the middle/second shelf, but they didn’t go up far enough to fit in another shelf at the top (the previous one was held in with wood supports that we removed).  So, I drilled my own holes. 

First, I measured where I wanted the shelf to go.  It was as simple as measuring up from the next shelf down (the second shelf) and making a few marks that were vertically in line with the existing peg holes below.  I had to make sure that when I drilled the peg holes, I didn’t drill through the sides of the cabinet.  But, the holes needed to be deep enough to fit each peg.  So, I stuck the drill bit in an existing peg hole and taped off the end where it met the 2 (20)

Then I drilled a hole where I had made the peg marks, only drilling until the tape touched the cabinet.   photo 3 (9)

photo 4 (11)

It was an easy way to prevent myself from drilling through the side of the cabinet.

Later, I simply inserted the shelf pegs and the shelf.  You can kinda see how the pegs (purchased at Lowe’s) work in this picture:
  laundrycab (9)
There are four – two towards the front of the shelf and two towards the back – that hold up the shelf. 

Next, let’s talk about the cross pattern on the back of the cabinet.  What you saw in that ‘after’ pic above was not my original intention.  Initially, I wanted to draw a pattern on with a gold sharpie paint pen.  And I did, but I only got as far as the very bottom of the cabinet…thankfully.  When I had finished drawing the pattern late one night I thought I might as well go in and put a coat of Polycrylic over it for extra protection to stay ahead of the game.  But, when I started painting on the Polycrylic, my (painstakingly) drawn on pattern was smearing and disappearing right before my eyeballs!!
  photo 1 (19)
[Take a picture.  It’ll make you feel better…not.]
Water-based yo.  DON’T USE WATER-BASED SHARPIE PAINT PENS IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON WIPING-DOWN OR PAINTING POLYCRYLIC OVER YOUR MEDIUM!!!  I don’t know if I’d be sane right now if I had figured that out AFTER I had drawn the pattern on the entire back of the shelf as was the plan…I’m going to say not sane.

So, after I mourned the pattern, I wiped off the Polycrylic and what I could of the pattern and painted right over the top of it with white paint, to start anew.  Onto plan b.  Instead of the sharpie route, I sponged on a cross pattern using a sponge brush I had laying around.
photo 2 (22)
I cut the pointed top off of it and used the flat surface that gave me to sponge on two intersecting 1 (13)
I had a picture of the sponging in-process but I can’t find it so hopefully you get my gist.
IMG_5345Each cross is a little different and the whole pattern is very imperfect but I like it.  I semi-measured, semi-eye-balled cross placement and for the most part, everything’s pretty even.  I used a test pot I got for free with a coupon (color:  Desert Hotsprings by Valspar and from Lowe’s) so plan b didn’t cost me a dime…a slight condolence after my sharpie fail.  :)

I sponged the crosses onto the entire back of the cabinet (minus the electrical box door) and was planning on sponging the tops of the shelves as well but in the end I only sponged it onto the bottom two, wood shelves.  We ended up buying an uber-cheap remnant of laminate for the top two shelves and I didn’t know if they’d hold up being painted in a laundry room cabinet that was going to hold some hefty stuff.  So, I kept them as they were.
laundrycab (15)
I went back and forth between sponging or not sponging the electrical box door.  (Anthony did such a great job cutting out a little hole for it, no?)  On one hand I thought it’d look great it if was sponged and blended (hopefully) right in to the back of the cabinet but on the other, when we move someday and (possibly) take this cabinet with us, I’m sure I’d be cursing myself for making my future, moving self have to paint over the crosses on the panel when I had 10947 other things to do.  So, for now, it stays plain jane.
laundrycab (8)

There’s still a lot of organizing to do on the cabinet which involves the need for some new storage bins (anyone have any ideas where I can get cheap storage containers??) but it’s a lot better than the pile-up we had before:photo (7)

laundrycab (19)It’ll look even better once I figure out a better shoe storage solution next to it and I might even cover the front with a fabric curtain to just hide everything.  Time will tell.

Oh, and can I just go on a tangent here?  I found this tip on Pinterest last week on how to avoid plastic bag clutter by folding your plastic bags and storing them that way so that they take up less space and so I folded all of our bags (they’re all hanging on a knob I screwed through a hole in the top right of the cabinet – like the knobs I placed on the girls play fridge).  Five minutes later I placed them back into the bag whence they came and look at how much of a difference it made:
Same amount of bags; just folded.  Crazy, isn’t it?!


  1. Good show. Good show. (My favorite part was the glimpse of your electric blue nail polish on that drill. Snazzy.)

  2. It looks lovely, though I'm so sorry about that amazing pattern that got wiped away. It's nice to know that even real, true DIYers make silly mistakes - it gives me a bit more confidence to make a mistake. :)

    And WOWZERS about the folding of the bags!

    1. Thanks Bonnie!

      Mistakes...oh mistakes. I've made my fair share but apparently they say that's how you learn so c'est la vie, right?

  3. New follower here. I just stumbled upon your adorable blog. You have a beautiful family and I love your love for paint! I, too, have twin girls. I look forward to following along!

    1. Hi Natasha! So happy you found your way here and I love that we have so much in common!!