Laundry Closet Makeover with Step-by-Step Instructions
Hey, ya’ll! I have to tell you, I’m feeling super accomplished and proud of myself right now. As you may know, we purchased our new home around Thanksgiving. We spent a month cleaning, painting and working in the house before we moved in. Ashley’s dad also came down and batten boarded the hallway for us to give our entry a mudroom vibe (which I totally love!).
Of course, like most new homeowners we have a ton of stuff that we want to do to the house to make it feel more like a home. Recently, we set out to complete our very first home DIY project and I have to admit, we did a pretty amazing job. Our mission: renovate the laundry room into a stylish, functional space.
This was our laundry “room” before our project began. As you can see, it’s not actually a room, but rather a closet that is off of our kitchen. Our original plans were to simply tear out the wire shelving and replace it with wood shelving. Easy enough, right?
We headed to Lowes to get our supplies for the shelves, and that’s when it happened. I stumbled upon something remarkable; a box of double-sided MDF. On one side it was shiplap and on the other was wainscoting. Before I knew it, I loaded my cart down with boxes of this glorious stuff and decided that we were going to shiplap our laundry room.
I know it’s probably silly right? To renovate your laundry room when it remains hidden behind closed doors? Ashley spends a lot of time in the laundry room and I wanted to make the area a little more enjoyable for her (if that’s at all possible.) Considering we’re new homeowners, we don’t really have that many tools. In fact, before we moved I had a pink toolbag with pink tools, a hand sander, a drill and that’s pretty much it. Luckily, my dad had everything we need and loaned us his table saw and nailgun. Boy did our project go so much more smoothly with these two tools! If it weren’t for him, I’d be cutting the boards with a hand saw (which is doable) and pounding in nails with a hammer (also doable). The nailgun and table saw cut our work time in half.
We began the project by ripping down the old shelving and patching the holes that were left in the walls. After that, we painted the two side walls a beautiful navy color. Next, I measured the back wall to determine the length of the shiplap boards. I laid the boards out on my living room floor to determine the pattern that I wanted (I wanted the board sizes to be staggered). Once I had a configuration I liked, I marked my measurements on the boards and cut them down to size.
Starting at the ceiling, I began using a nail gun to secure the boards to the wall. After each board was placed, I checked them to make sure they were level. Houses have a lot of imperfections in them so you may want to check to see if your ceiling is level as well. I worked from the top until about mid-way down the wall. I decided not to place the shiplap from the ceiling all the way down to the floor simply because it would be hidden by the washer and dryer. There was no point in putting it up if nobody was going to see it. The boards went almost all the way down to the washer and dryer hookups so I didn’t have to worry about any weird cuts.
Once the boards were all nailed in place, I gave the shiplap a coat of paint. The boards themselves were already primed so it was really easy to paint them. The only challenging part was my paint was almost the same color as the primer so it was sometimes difficult to tell if I had missed a spot until the paint dried.
After the shiplap was up, it was time to install the wood shelving, after all that was the original goal for the project. I bought 2 1x12x8 boards and cut them down to size so that they’d fit perfectly in our laundry room. Once they were cut, I sanded down the edges and applied a couple of coats of Jacobean stain, allowing the stain to dry completely between each coat. This was the most time-consuming part of the entire project. Had it not been for the stain, I could have easily finished this project in just a couple of hours (and I’m a total newbie!).
Once the stain was dry, it was time to install the boards. I used two small pieces of lumber to act as wall braces for the shelves. I secured each brace with wall anchors and three screws to make sure those suckers weren’t going anywhere. These braces lined up perfectly with the bottom of the shiplap. Next, measured the wall to find the center. I placed marked this location and used a screw to secure a bracket in the middle for additional support (without it the board would have sagged). Lastly, I mounted the board on top of the braces and bracket and screwed the top board into each. I followed the same process for the second shelf.
With the hard work out of the way, all that was left was to cut shoe molding. This molding helped to hide any imperfections that may have occurred when measuring out the shiplap (wink, wink). The molding was nailed into the side walls to help finish off the look.
While my old man was over checking out my project, I had him remove the old light fixture and replace it with a hanging pendant to help finish off our farmhouse look. I’m sure replacing light fixtures is easy (I’ve now helped with 2) but I don’t mess around with electricity. With my luck, the entire house would burn down once the power was turned back on and the light switch was flipped on.
2 1x12x8 boards (the length of the boards will be dependent on the size of your shelves)
Paint Brushes/Paint Rollers
Begin by removing the wire shelving. Use a putty knife to spread a patching compound over each of the holes. Try to make the compound as smooth as possible. Allow to dry completely (or overnight). Once the compound has dried, use a sanding block to sand it down evenly with the wall.
Measure the length of the wall you plan on shiplapping with measuring tape. Arrange your boards on the floor to determine a pattern that suits your taste. Make sure the grooves are lined up accordingly so they will fit properly on the wall. Use a pencil and a 1’ level to mark where you will be cutting your boards.
Using a table saw, make the cuts for the top row of shiplap. While one person holds the shiplap even with the ceiling, use a 4’ level to check to make sure the board is straight before securing it to the wall with a nailgun. Adjust your measurements, if necessary, before cutting the remaining boards.
Continue the process of checking to make sure the boards are level, and nailing them into the wall after each row has been placed on the wall. Work from the top down.
Paint the shiplap boards, if desired.
Cut the 1x12x8 foot boards to fit the length desired. Sand the boards down with a sanding block and stain. Allow the stain to dry overnight.
To create the two mounting pieces for the shelf, cut and stained 4 1x12 pieces of wood. Measure where you would like for the shelves to be placed and secure the mounts to the side of the walls with heavy duty screws and anchors. I found it was easiest to predrill the holes in the mounting brackets and the wall before using the screws. Be sure to use a 1’ level to keep things nice and straight.
Once the side mounts have been placed, find the center of the wall. Use a pencil to mark where the center is and where the middle mounting brackets will be placed. Depending on how much weight you plan to put on the shelves you may need two brackets.
Place each of the cut and stained boards on top of the wall mounts and brackets. Use a level to make sure the boards are even. Use a drill to secure the boards to the mounts and bracket.
Measure the distance between the ceiling and the first shelf. Cut 2 pieces of shoe molding to fit this space and set aside. Continue this step for the space between the two shelves and the space from the bottom shelf to the floor. Use a nail gun to secure the shoe molding to the sides of the wall. This will help hide any imperfection in the shiplap measurements.
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