Showing posts with label Our Laundry Room. Show all posts

A Lighter & Brighter Laundry Room

Hi friend!  I kind of took an unintentional blogging break (but intentional social media break so I guess it just kind of follows?) over the holidays and so now here we are toe-deep into 2019!  To backtrack, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!  We stayed home this year (our usual has been to travel to family every year) and we just had a grand old time.  It was care-free, so very peaceful, and so good for us in preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  How was yours?  Did you travel?  It’s always a brave undertaking to travel during Christmas, right?  We did get a few things around the house done too – we painted our master bedroom and bathroom!  I’ll have more updates on them later but things are looking so much better!!

Today, I’m just going to jump right back into it and show youl what’s changed in our laundry room. 

Here’s what it looked like right before we moved in:

IMG_6827I took this picture in the afternoon, when the lighting is the darkest in here but even so, this room is bright for the first part of the morning and darker throughout the rest of the day.  We brought our own washer and dryer with us and the two that were left were pretty old and dirty so it was nice to get ours up and running again (our previous, temporary rental had a washer and dryer so we stored our beloved Frigidaires in the garage for that six months and I missed them dearly). 

DIY Plywood Countertop

The laundry room.  The phrase doesn’t exactly bring up feelings of love and longing, does it?  No, for most it hearkens feelings of being buried in mountains of cotton and polyester and lost in seas of unmatched socks.  Or maybe it’s the monotony of it all that comes up – wash this, fold it, put it away, and two days later, there it is again.  Times that by a hundred and repeat it by a thousand and four and you’ve piled a nice slice of semi-despair onto your plate.  And maybe you’re one of those people who doesn’t mind doing laundry (which also means you probably don’t have kids) so I guess maybe you can’t relate and that’s ok.  Personally, I’d rather do laundry than dishes so I guess I’ll keep my cup half full with that.  But, there’s hope.  We have recently discovered that a pretty laundry space makes doing laundry a little, a little less of a chore.  You don’t even have to spend a lot to spruce up your space.  Last weekend we crossed off something that’s been our our to-do list for years – crafting a new wood countertop to be placed over the washer and dryer.  We love how it turned out and we’ve been shaking our heads at how long we waited to do it because of how easy it was.  Of course I typed up all the details for ya in case you want to make one of your very own.

Before we pull up to the new top though, let’s do a little refresher.  Here’s the laundry corner of our laundry room, sans any sort of countertop:

Welcome Home

Lately I’ve been plugging (slowly) away at a few small projects; little projects that I can get done during the first half of naptime and that don’t cost much, if anything.  This is one of those projects.  This wall of our laundry room has pretty much looked the same for a couple of years or more.
 welcome home

The mirror on the wall is one I toothpicked a few years ago and it’s still there so that I can grab a quick glance of myself while walking out the door; trying to make sure I don’t scream overwhelmed-mom-of-toddlers in my soon-to-be public appearance.  (It usually shows that I do anyway…oh well.)  

While I was cleaning out the laundry room last week though, I took the chance to hang a few more things on that wall.  It’s the wall that greets you when you walk in the door so it should be a happy place, right? 

I’d like to think so.

This says “happy”, yes?  Maybe?  Better than before at least?  Okay.  We’ll just go with that.

I relocated a cross to the wall from the entry way (it hung there awhile back) and whipped up a little watercolor print spouting “welcome home” to all who enter. 

I used the same paint and technique I used to paint this watercolor print in our dining room.  Anybody could do it.  Seriously.  Chances are that, even if you don’t have the best handwriting pen/pencil-wise, it probably looks pretty cool in watercolor.

Then, I grabbed some leftover coral-colored paint I had left from painting this desk, and rubbed a little bit over the bumps on the edge of the frame just to add a little more color to an otherwise neutral wallscape.

This frame has seen better days; it’s a little scuffed and could probably use a new coat of white paint, so I knew that if I didn’t like the coral, I could always give it that touch-up coat right away to hide it.  But, as it turns out, I kinda like it.  I’ll think I’ll keep it that way for awhile…until that touch-up coat, that is.


Oh!  And I moved the diy roman shade that hung on the front door prior to its cloak in red-orange to this door.  I don’t think it’ll stay here forever but for now it’s much better than the boring brown shade that was there.  :)

See ya later!










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?!

In the Corner

Wow-eee.  Life is busy, no?  Places to be, things to do, people to see, thoughts, more thoughts, kids, more kids, throw in a cold or four…add yours to the list because I’m sure you can relate!  That’s why posting around here has been minimal the past few weeks and why the project I’m about to tell you about has been in-progress for a month now and still isn’t finished.  You see, we’re on a mission to re-organize our laundry room.  I’m not sure why this whole process started…it might’ve been the annoyance of looking at this to long:photo (7)
The corner in question.  It’s organized ‘per-say’ – drawers full of painting supplies, spray paint, tools, paint chips - but overall it’s just a big heap of random stuff that’s really not the most aesthetically pleasing sight we ever did see.

Enter this big lug:
I found him at Goodwill a month ago.  At $19.99 his tall, dark, and not-so-handsome physique was just what we needed to take that corner of the laundry room to the next level of organization.  We removed the built-in lighting and also ripped out the top shelf, as it didn’t extend all the way to the back of the cabinet, in order to replace it with a few more shelves and left the bottom opening as it was because it’s the perfect size to accomodate our shop vac.

The plan was to paint him white before we put him in his place.  So first things first, I wanted to make him a little less country and a lot more modern by filling in the scroll work and decorative holes.

To do that, I used a plastic putty knife with this Elmer’s wood filler that we picked up from Lowe’s:
IMG_5073 I’ve used it before (to fill in holes in this desk and this dresser and cracks in this loveseat) and have been really happy with it.  It dries nice and hard without cracking.  However, it doesn’t sand down to a very smooth finish so I usually use it in conjunction with spackle.  More on that later.
Side note:  For the loveseat, I used a tube of the wood filler and when I went to use it for the desk, I found it had hardened near the opening, even though I had the lid screwed on nice and tight.  So, since the stuff towards the other end was nice and soft, I cut off the top of the tube and pulled from there, taping the opening off and storing it inside a plastic bag for extra protection against drying.
photo 2 (8)
Hoewever, when I pulled it out again for this project, the whole tube was hard and unusable so we that’s when we purchased the tub of filler, hoping its fate will be the opposite.  I’ll keep you updated but so far, so good (This just in!  Kelly told me she puts saran wrap over hers before she lids it and it keeps hers nice and nothardened!  Thanks for the tip Kelly!)

To fill in the scrolls and holes, I scooped up a large chunk of wood filler and spread it over the holes like I was buttering bread, making sure I pressed it in enough that it filled the entire area.  Then I drug my knife across the surface, scraping off excess.  When you do this you don’t want to scrape off all the excess.  There should be more filler than you need over your filled areas, sort of like a miniature hill.  You’ll make everything smooth and level by sanding the dried excess off later.  Make sense?  Here’s what the top of the cabinet looked like after I was done filling:
photo 1 (8)

So, after everything was filled and dry (since the holes were pretty deep, I waited a whole 24 hours to ensure the filler was completely dry), I went over it all with a fine-grit sanding block to remove the excess and level the surface as well as I could.
photo 4 (5)

I mentioned above that I like to use spackle in conjuction with wood filler.  Wood filler has fibers in it that make it unable to be sanded down to super smooth surface.  So, using this spackle and a metal putty knife (our plastic putty knife has some tiny divots on the edge so metal was better to get a smoother finish)…
photo 2 (7)
…I went over all the areas I had filled with the wood filler using the same technique, only with spackle.
photo 3 (5)photo 1 (7)       
After that was dry (I spackled in the morning and it was good and dry by late afternoon), I got out the fine-grit sanding block again and sanded everything until it was smooth and level.  After wiping it all down with a damp rag to get rid of any sanding dust, I was ready for paint.
photo 5 (2)

The cabinet front, bottom, and shelf are solid wood; the sides are particle board.  The wood parts had a few large knots which tend to bleed through latex paint (so I’ve read).  photo 5 (1)

To keep them from bleeding through my handiwork, I brushed a thin layer of oil-based primer over them first.
photo 4 (4) 

Once those areas were dry, I primed the rest of the piece with some Kilz primer.  I reminded myself over and over to take pictures of the cabinet primed before I painted but still forgot.  Not a huge deal but just know that when I prime, I just make sure everything is covered.  Primer will probably always be splotchy and that’s ok.  Next up was paint.  It took me three hours on four different nights and naptimes to prime the cabinet so I opted to spray paint the cabinet with its final layer of latex paint.  Not canned spray paint though.  Some good friends of ours offered to let me use their paint sprayer so I used some basic white latex we had on hand (by Olympic).  This
Graco paint sprayer is what I used to spray on the paint.
graco sprayerIt was really cool to be able to borrow it so I could get a feel for how paint sprayers work and whether we should invest in one.  It definitely took me more time to set up and learn how to use it than it did to paint.   However, I apparently have a lot more learning to do because one side of the cabinet turned out really drippy…
photo 1 (6)
I either added too much water to my second round of paint or painted too close so next time I’ll have to pay attention to those two things to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I painted the cabinet outside and while it was drying, there were some things to take care of in its corner:
photo 2 (5)I wanted to paint the doorbell white (like I did our other doorbell), spray paint the electrical box white so that it’d blend in in with the back of the cabinet, and touch up the wall paint where we removed an old key box.

To spray paint the electrical box, I simply protected the area around it by taping pages of a magazine (thank you Franciscan Way) to the surrounding wall.
photo 3 (3)

Then I primed it with Rustoleum’s Clean Metal primer and spray painted it white.
photo 4 (3)

Then in went the cabinet!  We have yet to cut out a hole in the back so that we can access the electrical box without having to pull the entire cabinet out from the wall but so far so good!

Like I said above, we’re not done yet.  There are still a couple more things we want to do before everything gets put back and organinzed and those things started with a bang last night in the form of a DIY fail.  Stay tuned.

Also, a sneak peek!  The french door leading from the kitchen to the laundry room is becoming a reality…slowly!  We used an old wood door we found at ReStore, cut out the middle (which is now on top of the washer and dryer working as a countertop), and hung it!  I managed to prime it while I primed the cabinet but that’s all the farther we’ve gotten.
We would’ve had it finished a few weeks ago but the glass insert turned out to be more expensive than we thought so we had to postpone in order to save up.  A typical step in the life of budget-ridden folk, I guess.  :)  All the details on how that all went down up to come hopefully soon.

And that’s all she wrote…so far!  We’re moving the kids rooms around today which means that Sebastian is going to his own room and the girls are moving to another.  I’ll be crying out of sadness that they’re getting older and smiling out of happiness that I won’t have to tip-toe around my own room anymore to avoid waking a sleeping boy, all while I move furniture this afternoon.  What are you up to?  Any projects that have been in-progress for quite some time now or are you pretty good at starting and finishing without too much time in between?  Any paint sprayer users out there?  Any secrets or tricks I should know?  Spill ‘em!  I need to make this relationship work!  :)

Have a great Tuesday!

Anthro-Inspired Knobs


We put knobs on the cabinets in our laundry room.  A boring woo-hoo, right?  knobb4nafter
[Left was then; right is now…just to clarify in case the change is too teensy to notice.]

But hold up, they’re not just any knobs.  Nope.  They’re knock-offs inspired by Anthropologie that I spent a small sliver of everyday last week crafting.

Theirs are just to-die-for/swoon/can-I-marry-them gorgeous, aren’t they?  The $14 price tag, not so much.  Had we purchased these for our laundry room, our back account would’ve been set back a hefty $84 (six knobs) not including tax and shipping.  Mine cost me $3.  Bean for the win!

Here’s what they looked like before I got all snazzy on ‘em:  knobs 001
I have actually been wanting to put some knobs on those cabinets for some time because they just get so finger-printed and dirty so I headed out to our local ReStore one day awhile ago and snatched up six of these shiny gold knobs.  I could’ve gone gold with them to get Anthropologie’s look even more, and boy did I want to, but I  just didn’t want the gold to clash with the big chrome rings on our washer and dryer.  I mean, I’m all about mixing metals but this is one time I went matching.  So, silver they became.  

My first step was covering up the gold and getting them all nice and prepped for paint with a few coats of white primer (Rustoleum).
knobs 031
I made sure to leave the screws in the back to keep the paint from getting in and clogging up the hole back there.

Once they were nice and dry, I flipped them onto their faces since I didn’t need silver paint there and sprayed the stems and backs with some Rustoleum silver metallic spray paint.knobs 032
I used the chrome silver, not the brushed silver, but I’ve found that there’s really not that much of a difference between the two.  The chrome is unfortunately not as chrome as the cap of the can would have you believe.  :( 

So after the silver was even and dry, I taped off the faces of each knob and took them back outside where I sprayed them with some plain white spray paint (Rustoleum…again).knobs 002

After I sprayed the faces white, I let them dry and made sure to leave the tape on (usually I’d take it off right away to prevent peeling but since the coat of white was so thin, I had no problem with it) because next up was…
knobs 003 
Yep, nail polish!  After a search through the Martha Stewart specialty paint at Home Depot left me hanging for pearl paint, I did some brainstorming and dug through my polish where I found this pearl color by NailSlicks.  I’ve never used nail polish in DIY and I wasn’t sure if it’d work but there’s a first time for everything, right?

Well, it worked and it worked well.  Here are the knobs after I painted their faces with my pearl nail polish: knobs 008
It’s a little hard to see in the above picture (I was lazy and used my iPhone for pictures) but they’re not perfect; the coat isn’t smooth and even.  But, that’s exactly what I needed considering the pearl on the Anthropologie knobs is laid in squares and not one smooth layer.  The nail polish was a little difficult to paint as it dried quick, making my desire for the imperfection in it all a little easier actually.  All I did was paint diagonal lines out from the center of each knob.  Here’s a closer look:
knobs 007
Also, I took the tape off each knob as I went because I was afraid, had I left all the tape on until I was done, it’d take the thicker nail polish layer off with it.

Next up, the design.  First I made myself a little stencil…I’m no good at drawing perfect shapes freehand.  Oh no, give me a roller and I’ll paint big Ws on a wall but perfect circles and squares you will not get.  Plus, from here on out there were to be no mess-ups or all would be lost.
  So, I actually just traced the design from the Anthro knob from computer screen to a small piece of wax paper, cut it out, centered it over my knob, and traced it on very lightly with a pencil. 
knobs 028

Then I used a silver sharpie (which I made sure matched the color of the spray paint before I started) to permanently draw on my design. 
knobs 030

Here they are, all designed!!knobs 036

Last, I spray each knob with several coats of the same spray lacquer I used on the knobs in the girls’ room to give them a nice glossy finish.  This part was a little disappointing.  I found that the lacquer dulled the silver a little and really didn’t even make it that glossy.  The faces of each knob were a little glossier after finished but not what I had in mind.  Either way, the knobs had a nice coat of protection and were ready for use.

knobs 017
So pretty, no?
knobs 018 

Back-tracking a little here…to figure out where I wanted the knobs placed on each door, I googled “where to install knobs on cabinets” and got my friend Lauren to send me a picture of the knobs in their kitchen.  The general consensus was that the edges should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the edges of the door.  After I did some measuring and marking, I cut out some circles the same size as my knobs from a piece of paper and stuck them on the cabinets to see the placement before the holes were drilled.  Fake paper knobs:
knobs 035
Later, after all the knobs were ready to be up and functioning and I was happy with their future placement after staring at the fake paper knobs for a few days, my main man got out his drill and drilled six holes.  And that was that.

knobs 023    

So, in the end I only shoveled picked out $3 for this entire project because I had everything on hand but the knobs.  If you had to buy everything for this project (somebody puh-lease make them in gold…pllllease!!), you’re looking at around $20+ (primer, silver, and white spray paint, tape, pearl nail polish or some sort of pearl paint, a silver sharpie, tape, and thrifted knobs) but you’ll have loads of supplies left over at the end to be used for other things.  So, when all is said and done, it’s a pretty cheap project…especially when you think about how much you’re saving by making your own version vs. buying the real things.  :)

knobs 020

So, anybody else DIY-ed some knobs out there?  What about knocked-off an Anthropologie or upscale object/design to save some cash but still get the look?  Or maybe you just save up/splurge for the real thing?  Either way, it’s fun to get some character up in herrr, no?

.           .           .

Someone say party?!  Yep, I’m cruisin’ in from March 2014 and linking up with East Coast Creative for their week of knock-offs!  Click over to see some pretty amazing knock-offs!