30 July 2011

DIY: laundry closet redo: the big reveal

Happy Saturday, everyone! Are you guys ready to see the finished laundry closet? Yeah?

You wish I’d stop talking and just show you, after so long?


Okay, then. Your concerns have been noted! But I am not quite ready yet. Sorry.

First, I want to say up front, all formally and with finality as if I have scads of readers that will be writhing in disappointment upon this statement: This is going to be the last in the unofficial “DIY Saturday” series. I know. I am sad too. I adore projects, and I adore blogging, and I adore schedules and routines! It was perfect! But the pressure to complete and feature a NEW project EVERY SATURDAY was sucking the fun out of it. Just like the projects themselves, this blog is a hobby, not a job. I've already got one of those, and it has enough deadlines.

So, sadly, today will be the last DIY Saturday post. But don’t think I’ll stop featuring my DIY projects! No way, dudes! Instead I’ll just post them whenever I please! I won’t have to finish a project by this Saturday but if I happen to finish it on Tuesday, by golly, you’ll see it on Wednesday! Or maybe Thursday, because who knows! It’ll be all spontaneous and fun and stuff! I hope! Again with the exclamation points to get you fired up because here comes the grand finale of DIY Saturday AND the laundry closet redo!

BEFORE the big reveal, there's a few more final steps, which I'm going to tell you about while pretending that you’re not just skipping it and scrolling on down because gah stop with the blahhhhhdiblah already.

Remember we started with this:

And when we left off yesterday, it had been all primed and board-and-battened (faux, at least) and caulked and pretty! But to really finish off the wall treatment, it needed one final coat of white paint over all the boards and walls to look cohesive. I also had to paint the ceiling another time (remember the fluffy clouds?). Mr. P sneakily captured me painting the final coat in my official painting t-shirt:

This is a good photo to illustrate how we did the ENTIRE project – crawling around the washer and dryer. You might be wondering why I was leaning over the washer and dryer instead of moving them out of the way. WELL. You tell me, where could they go? If we moved them out of the closet, they blocked the entire downstairs hallway and the door to the garage. If we moved them into the garage? They blocked the steps down to the car. So it was easier to do it this way, but it was still a pain in the neck. And my hips, and my shoulders, and my butt.

Anyway, after that final coat of white it looked... nice, I guess. At least an improvement from the bra and panties. But... WHITE. Bright, bright white. Uncomfortably white. And boring. So boring I didn’t take a new photo of it.

Let’s go back and remember my inspiration came from this photo:

Which, style-wise, was not unlike our kitchen:

So I painted the top of the closet the same green as the kitchen, as I had a half-gallon leftover from that project. Even as I was trimming it out with my BFF paintbrush, it was instantly transforming the whole room from “blinding white” to “this all sort of makes sense now, Sarah, thank goodness”:

And about this time is when I started bouncing up and down and calling out “Mr. P! It looks so preeeeetty!” followed by “Mr. P! It’s gorrrrgeous!” followed by “Mr. P! Mr. P! I loooooove it!”

He conceded that it looked better than the underwear mural, which I think was about as good as it was going to get from him.

All right, home stretch! Before I could put it all back together, I had to secure the shelves. Remember, they were ten inches deep, and wider than I am tall, so the middle needed a little extra support for any heavy items we store on the shelves. For that, I picked up two of these brackets at a recent trip to IKEA:

Don’t be jealous about my IKEA visit. I had to drive sixteen hours round trip for those brackets. (More on that next week!)

I debated leaving them black, or perhaps spraypainting them a nice oil-rubbed bronze – our kitchen has ORB fixtures, and the contrast has grown on me to the point that I think it looks stylish. But in the end, I decided I wanted the brackets to blend in with the boards as much as possible. After all, I didn’t spend all my evenings for a couple of weeks squeezing around my washer and dryer to install and paint that faux board and batten just to have your attention drawn to some dumb brackets. So I painted them with a coat of spraypaint that Mr. P picked up at the store for me after I sadly discovered I’d depleted my current can:

It wasn't quite the same white as the Behr Ultra, but close enough for me and for now. The IKEA brackets didn’t come with hardware, so I dug around for some screws from my random collection, and painted them too:

And now let’s take another moment to realize how under-equipped I was for this project. My drill (yes, mine, I purchased it before I met Mr. P) has become very nearly dead recently, thanks to an old battery that can’t hold a charge for more than a minute or two. For that, I am angry and resentful and sad, so I refuse to use it even for a minute. (What, you don’t harbor specific emotions for each of your power tools?)

Since I didn’t want to deal with the heartbreak of a dying drill, I instead manually bored my own pilot holes with a screwdriver. A power screwdriver whose lack of aspiration has me disappointed and concerned (again with the emotions) but at least it is more reliable than my drill. I had it set on manual mode to bore the holes, and Mr. P heard me grunting all the way upstairs. He politely came down and asked if I needed help because I was “making strange noises”.

I admit, it made me a little sad to bore holes in my beautiful board and batten, but I knew that installing brackets was better than the whole shebang collapsing one day under the weight of the two econo-sized laundry detergent carboys that Mr. P bought on sale.

Once the brackets were installed, I was able to put the laundry room back together. So here it is, you guys! HERE IT IS! THE BIG REVEAL! EXCLAMATION POOOOINNNTS!


So what got to stay on the shelves? The green tote on the top is a picnic basket, and I’m happy about how blends into the green wall. As for those boxes, one holds various clothes care items, while the other holds my sewing supplies:

Fabric softeners – liquid AND spray AND dryer sheets – are in the third one:

I picked up those boxes on impulse from Hobby Lobby for office organization, but they just look so nice in the laundry closet.

As for the rest of it, one of these days I might replace the TWO GIANT RED Tide containers with some homemade laundry detergent in those glass jars. Unnecessary? Yes, but surely prettier than the big red carboys. The other eyesores are the mini-cooler and the fabric/carpet cleaners, but who cares. At least they are accessible. And even with those, it’s still such an improvement.

Speaking of improvement, hows about a little before and after, eh?

*fist pump*

And with that, I have officially redecorated EVERY space in this house. Hooray! Except I think I might switch out the light fixture in the laundry closet somehow. And perhaps install some hooks on the boards. Or build a drying rack! And honestly, I haven’t exactly redecorated the guest bedroom closet. Or repainted the garage. And the flower beds outside are looking especially pathetic.

Okay, I still have a lot of work to do. I told you I wouldn’t retire the DIY posts.

But let’s just relax a moment and check out the view while doing laundry:

Yes. That was my vision, indeed.

Time spent:
Eleven evenings after work. Some evenings I worked hard, manual-labor-hard, for five or six hours, while some evenings I spent maybe an hour working and the rest of the time waiting for paint to dry. Here’s a general (and oversimplified) estimate of how long each step took:

Planning, including one trip for scouting and one for purchasing: 4 hours
Removing original shelf and spackling: 3 hours (including drying time)
First round of priming and painting: 8 hours (including drying time)
Installing pre-cut 1x4 horizontal boards, including trimming them to fit with my manual saw before it broke: 6 hours
Cutting vertical 1x2 boards with a broken saw blade: 3 hours
Installing vertical boards without a nail gun: 4 hours
Caulking: 3 hours
Second round of painting: 3 hours (with overnight drying time)
Painting and installing brackets: 1 hour (with overnight drying time)
Putting it all back together: 1 hour

I could probably have knocked most of it out in a weekend instead of after work for two weeks, but I wasn’t home for a weekend to do it. And if I sprung for the power tools? Definitely a weekend project.

Cost (rounded up to account for sales tax):
1 quart Kilz latex primer: $8
1 gallon Behr Ultra off-the-shelf white paint, satin finish: $33 (pricey, and I didn’t use it all, but we have a lot of trim and doors throughout the house that also need painting)
green Behr Ultra paint: free from kitchen remodel
1x10: $16 (1 12 ft. board @ $16 each)
1x4s: $7 (3 12 ft. boards @ $7 each, – I knew the nice lumber section man didn’t charge us for cutting it, but I didn’t realize we were undercharged on the actual boards until checking the receipt just now. Oops!)
pre-primed 1x2s: $15 (5 8 ft. boards @ $3 each)
caulk: $2
caulking gun: $2
2” finishing nails: $4 (box)
IKEA brackets: $8 (2 @ $4)
Rustoleum white semi-gloss spraypaint: $4
miscellaneous tools and supplies – measuring tape, yardstick, stepladder, hammer, spackle, sanding block, paintbrush, roller brushes, paint tray, canvas dropcloth, saw, vice grip, screwdriver, screws – already owned!


Which was just under my budget and ENTIRELY covered by a generous gift card from Mr. P’s parents. So basically? This laundry room redo was a gift from them. I have near-endless enthusiasm and sweat equity, so funds are always the limiting factor in my projects (well, besides time, but now without DIY Saturday I’ve eliminated that pressure!). Without the elder Dr. and Mrs. P’s generosity, I probably would have left the wire shelf as-is and painted over the mural with my already-owned green paint and brushes. It would have been fine, and completely FREE, but being able to execute a much more interesting project and have such a nice place to do laundry is just incredible. Thank you so, so much.

And of course, many thanks to Mr. P for letting me do this and helping me every single step of the way. I sometimes pretend that he’s always off doing normal things that normal people do, while I’m the one stuck in creating/remodeling crazypantsland. But the truth is, he supports my projects figuratively AND literally, both with ideas and volunteering his helping hands and generally going along with my plan. There are some steps that I couldn’t have done without him. Thanks, Mr. P!

Two final parting shots for you. Consider these the outtakes as the credits roll.

First, remember how I sawed all those boards like this?

Well, when Mr. P went out to get the spraypaint for me, he also returned with this:

Which is a sign of how well he understands me. If he’d bought me a new saw the night that my old crappy saw broke? I would be FURIOUS and CRAZY because I DID NOT NEED A NEW SAW and WHY ARE YOU UNDERESTIMATING ME and GO AWAY I AM FINE. But a week or two later? Best husband ever!

Moral of the story, #1: You CAN do this sort of project without real/power tools! Really! Almost everyone owns a hammer and a screwdriver, and they will cut all the lumber for you at the store. It is really freaking hard work and it will take five times longer, but you CAN do it.

And the second parting shot?

Don’t see it?

Moral of the story, #2: If you can’t completely eliminate an underwear mural, at least do a good job distracting from it.


Tina said...

hahaha! But it is totally gorgeous and I'm so envious... and completely redoing my laundry room in my head as I type this. This one would look so pretty done in board and batten, too!:-)

Christal said...

Loved loved loved this story! And I learned new vocab: board and batten. Looks absolutely gorgeous. May I please do my laundry there? Do I need to remind you where I am currently doing my laundry? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=674662798228&set=a.628299515618.2183217.4710973&type=1&theater

Shanna said...

Love the colors you chose... wonderful job, Sarah! I'm still snickering over the 'panty lines'! HA!!!!