The Laundry Room Makeover, Part I.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Righty-o right on, let's hop into the laundry room DIY makeover redesign business whoo-ha now, since I've teased it for far too long enough.  Right?  Right!

SoooOOoo, if you remember, we have this laundry space tucked in the back of the basement next to the creepy utility closet.  And from day one, way back seven and a half years ago (ugh that's an embarrassing amount of time to get at this project), I've detested it.

laundry room before
Laundry room before.
Don't get me wrong, I mightily appreciate a room dedicated to laundry.  This one, though, presented sooo many functionality issues.

Back ago, we opted for full-sized machines but stacked which was fine but then it wasn't.  

Further, the placement of the electrical panel, the dryer vent, the outlets, the water taps (and turns out the dishwasher drain), the sink, the width of the room, its height, the gas pipe.....every-freakin'-where I turned, a hundred little items added up to enormous frustration.

But ultimately now, I am excited about this room and the way it turned out.  Is Mike?  Iiiii dunno, he hasn't said word one.  Either that's bad or it's good, tough to call.  It might be a little loud for Pete the Rock Star Realtor's taste; we'll find out someday.

Ok, now, see, the entire redesign hinged on unstacking the washer and dryer which I have wanted for seven years, one hundred and eighty one days.  Mike, understandably, had reservations about unstacking so over time I convinced him, “babe, I measured, I drew it* out a hundred times, they fit, it'll work, trust me.”

And believe you me, I drew zillions of iterations where the machines were on a platform, one crazy stacked over the sink, here, there over wherever, on off this or that, or what-have-you so let's just say I was thorough. 

Sadly, it took ten months from project start to unstack though.  2020, yo.  

No worries, tasks needed accomplishing in the meantime.

Actually, wait, my whole plan entirely hinged on the gas pipe as it stuck out into the room like ten million miles or so.  That made it impossible to unstack the machines and have them side by side on the floor:  no room.

Thankfully a neighbor is handier than I so he came by, shortened the gas pipe in very short order.  Oh my word, I couldn't believe this was happening.  Like seriously, is this really happening?!  Laundry room progress, whaaaaaat omg?!  Off to the races now, thanks grandly to Carmelo. 

laundry room gas pipe before and after
Gas pipe before, top.  I mean, who does that, come on.  That's rude.  And Carmelo's fine work after, bottom.

Wow.  I couldn't believe it.  Wow.

Right, so next I had to get the spiffy draft blocker on the dryer vent closer to the wall.  Easy peasy with tin snips* and more crinkly foil tape.*  Heh, so crinkly....why can't it be smooth and tidy?!

Top left, draft blocker* way the heck out before.  Below left, snippy snippy.  Then right, tada!  Draft blocker snug.
Ok, next, onto painting.  

Time to get splashy with wahhh color! on the sink wall and the light switch wall, just basic ol' color blocking.  

using laser level to lay out paint lines
That laser level was very helpful here.  And, heh, for the only time ever, the stacked machines were helpful too.

Light switch wall before, left.  Blah boooorrring.  And see, white walls in dark spaces look super dingy and dull.  Then right, color-blocked and much happier.
In an effort to keep costs down, I went with the color previously in the main stair, Lake Superior.  As is customary, I did amass collect paint swatches and turns out this color was exactly the same as my top choice from the ol' orange big box store.  Done, and free!

Oh, so I also prepped the electrical panel with some spray primer which is just so easy.
See, you can prime it with a spray primer* and in seconds, it's ready to be painted to match your wall.  What a great way to hide the panel if it's located in an awkward place in your house.
Next move.....Ahem.  A long while back, and I do this and it's probably bad but it tends to pan out later, I bought something without a future use or destination.  Aka, no plan.  

It was a stencil.  Because I loved it, it had to be mine, in general, because.  End grain wood pattern,* ugh, so awesome!  (Whooie, the price has skyrocketed on Etsy.  I shopped around online, FYI.  This may be where I ordered it from, here.)  Reminds ya of the headboard, eh?!  Lookie at me tying things together, aw who woulda thought?!

Turns out, the laundry room became the perfect place for it.  HaHA!  Pans out.

Now, I didn't realize but the squares are huge, not what I was expecting as no measurements of the squares were offered.  But, it was totally fine.  Too cool.

Now, FYI, hot tip here, avoid spraying spray adhesive* (or in this attempt, pattern stick*) on your stencil to force it into stillness.  It becomes impossible, utterly impossible, to clean.  I know, I know, "everyone" does it and ayy, says do it but take it from me, impossible to clean.  And they're already a huge pain to clean.  Just use painters tape* and your hand.

Right, so did the math of stencil to wall space and came up a couple inches shy.  (I for once got math right!!)  No worries.  I'll paint a solid strip of color across the top and along the sides, the stencil will fill the field.  And too, knowing I'd like to reuse the stencil, I did everything within my power not to cut it.

Top, the ooooh so cool jumbo-sized wood grain stencil.  Bottom left, after mapping the wall, the beginning placement.  Bottom right, ack so happy!!
So I started this, had second thoughts on the color.  Yeeee, yikes, those damn second thoughts.

Worse, I overheard Mike walking in on the change one day saying “oh. Oh. OH,” got more nervous.  In rethinking in my panic, I almost went with taking the room back to white and a gray for the wood grain, or a gloss white to the flat white walls to tone my ideas down.

But alas, since this room is much like a powder room (diminutive, not oft occupied, generally boring, mundane in its use), I forged ahead with my big bold plans to liven up the space. 

So then fiiiiiinnallyyy the machines were down, whoooo baby, gaaaame ON!  Wrapped up the paint and then it was off to use up my accumulated stash of merchandise credits from Menards for my later moves. 

washer dryer unstacked
What a holy heck of a difference with the machines down, huh?!  Wow.  My goodness.  So much better.  And check out that stencil progress!  And yeah, I got weird with the color blocking but changed it back to a sole horizontal white stripe.
Next up though?  A sudden random out of nowhere tangent with the ugly plastic laundry sink.  TV announcer voice:  that will be coming up next time in our series, The Laundry Room Makeover so stay tuned, folks!

*The drawing link is an AutoCAD affiliate link.  The stencil is an Etsy affiliate link.  The tin snips, foil tape, draft blockers, spray primer, spray adhesive, pattern stick spray, and painters tape are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Wow horizontal plan worked so better. May I know how far from the wall, dk the machines now stick out( for the gas valve and dryer vent). Mine take up a good 1feet. Ugh Hate it.

    1. Thank you very much! It’s made a huge difference for sure.

      My machines are actually really close to the wall as I had the gas line shortened. A foot? Gosh, that’s frustrating! See if you can get things shortened to gain back some space.

      Thank you!


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