Friday, January 30, 2015

New Laundry Rom: Beadboard wall, Paint & Lighting

Welcome to the latest installment of our laundry room reno! We made some great progress this week that has me quite excited for the end result. Everything (so far) is coming together as I had envisioned.

On Tuesday we left off with the storage room looking like this:

The original plan was to have a wall of Ikea Pax wardrobes but after purchasing them, I realized that I accidentally bought the 23" deep model rather than the 14" deep, leaving just 27" of walking space since the room is only 50" wide. Oops. Not only that, but the ceiling has to be a few inches taller than the wardrobe height so it can slide in after assembly and ours was an inch too short. So scratch that plan.

After some Pinterest-ing I came up with an even better solution of open wood shelving which I think will look much nicer and help the room feel more open (more on that soon).

Instead of drywall (which requires several steps and more $) we decided to create a focal wall behind the future shelves with beadboard. Normally I would not recommend nailing headboard directly onto 2x4's without any drywall or hard surface behind it for support, but since it's not exactly a functional wall it doesn't need to be reinforced.

All it took was two sheets of 4x8's, cut to size and nailed up.

Done in an hour... easy peasy.

Don't judge my crooked jigsaw cuts... it will be hidden with trim!

After patching & sanding the nail holes, it was time for paint. To save money I grabbed the can we used on the plank and panel walls in our bedroom and the studio, Valspar's Ocean Storm (in eggshell):

I think the contrast will be a nice break from all the white walls and allow the shelves and storage items to pop.

Once that was out of the way, it was on to painting all of the drywall. My vision for this room is airy, clean and refreshing (just like fresh laundry), so I naturally chose white for the wall color. We used Valspar Signature color matched to Kelly Moore's Swiss Coffee which is a nice neutral white.

Goodbye off-white drywall!

PS—our photographer neighbor stopped by last night with his camera and took some wide angle shots for us, so all of the non-iPhone photos in this post are from him!

Here's a never before captured angle from the back of the storage room:

And one of the entire cabinet wall:

We skipped the paint here since we plan to tile over it. But oh, look at the difference. A breath of fresh air.

Brad also hooked up two of our lamps on the washer/dryer wall.

I picked up four in-store at Lowe's in the outdoor lighting section. $30/ea—total bargain!

We have them on dimmers for a little laundry room "mood lighting".

And painting the walls did help the ceiling look more gray, so that's good.

First thing tomorrow we're headed to Lowe's to buy materials to tile the floor. We've never tiled a floor or installed cement board so we're total rookies and a little nervous about it (we also plan to buy our own tile saw since there will be future projects). Any tips would be much appreciated! 

Last but not least... I mentioned some big changes to this blog earlier and can now officially announce that this blog will be moving to next Tuesday, February 2nd!

The new design is in place, the final adjustments have been made and the site is finally ready to launch. I am so excited about the new design... here's a first exclusive look:

And there will be a giveaway involved! I'll have a new post up Monday with a quick laundry room update, and then a final post on Tuesday linking to the new blog once it is live. Exciting stuff next week all around!

Wish us luck in our tiling adventure (and make sure to catch our progress on Instagram!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Laundry Room: Painted Wood Ceiling

My favorite part of this process so far happened yesterday—a freshly painted ceiling! Before I get into that, let's talk about what else we've done in the past few days.

We still have this back wall of 2x4's in the storage room:

It needed to be insulated first, so Brad got to work on that Saturday morning (and left a nice little time capsule for someone to discover in 100 years):

Our plumber also came by to make sure the plumbing was ready to go and close up the washer/dryer box:

Then it was the (not) fun part... prepping the ceiling for paint. Now, we have no choice but to go for the rustic look here (which I love) but there were some major flaws in this wood. The goal was simply to patch and smooth out the areas that really needed attention (i.e. the 1" holes in the joists where old pipes were ran and the boards that were completely shredded...

This took quite a bit longer than I had expected (doesn't it always?)... I spent a few hours Friday night patching:

Then a few more on Saturday, including caulking everywhere the boards met the ceiling. Sanding was the biggest pain. Wood filler is much more stubborn than spackle, let me tell you!

I spackled/caulked/sanded for about 5 hours on Saturday before calling it quits. Sunday morning I made a few final touchups before our painter arrived. We hired this one out because it needed to be sprayed—we don't own a spray gun but we have a great painter that is extremely reasonable so it was worth every penny.

Oh, and staining the joists rather than painting crossed my mind for about 0.02 seconds but I decided against it because a) the whole goal was to make the ceiling appear taller, and all that dark wood would visually weigh it down, and b) there were so many imperfections that had to be filled that you would see it through the stain. Painting was the clear choice.

I wanted to keep it soft and light but instead of pure white, I decided to make things interesting and use the same barely-there gray on the walls in the rest of our house (Valspar's Montpelier Madison White—here's an old photo after it was painted for a good reference):

  And we're both loving the way it turned out...

Please ignore the rest of the ugly/distracting space right now... it's all about the vision :)

We had our painter spray the inside of the laundry box while he was at it. The inside shouldn't really be visible but you might catch a glimpse of it around the edges so it was done just to be safe.

I know the ceiling looks pretty white in these photos, but it's up against beige-ish walls so I think after I paint the walls white it will pop more.

Here's the view from inside of the storage room—and finally a nicely lit shot of both hard-to-photograph doors (with my iphone, no less):

And here's that storage room, insulated and ready for beadboard:

And the back wall to give you an idea of the size—it's small but I have some organization ideas, I'll make it work:

Usually paint will highlight all the imperfections on a surface which is why I spent so much time trying to patch everything up, but surprisingly, everything looks cleaner and less rustic than when it was just bare wood. Here's a direct before/after of a pretty bad peice:

Bam. How do you like those putty sculpting skills? I think it worked so well partly because the paint sheen is flat, it's a light color, and the lighting is shining below it rather than directly on it. And wow, the room feels like it almost doubled in size from the very beginning, even after we split it into two rooms... don't you think?

Same angle:

I know once we get the wall of cabinets in and washer/dryer installed it won't feel as spacious, but I'm loving how this project is shaping up. Let's hope we can keep this momentum going!

Now is also a good time to review our cabinet choices. Here's the mockup from Lowe's:

The sink will be different and there will only be one shelf centered on the right cabinet, but we've got the framework laid out and the cabinets should be ready in 3-4 weeks.

I chose this cabinet style—Diamond brand's "Hanson" style door:

In this color (Cloud):

It's a very pretty soft/warm gray and I can't wait to see how it looks with the lighting in that room.

On this week's agenda is installing beadboard on the back storage wall, painting it (in a dark gray) and painting all of the drywall white. That starts tonight! Hopefully by Friday it will be ready to share. Week 3—here we go!

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Laundry Room: Salvaged Door DIY's

Can we pause for a moment to take in the current state of our home?

We've been living in this dust for over two weeks—layers of dirt have been accumulating everywhere and any attempt to clean is futile as it is constantly being dragged through the house by the rotation of workers.

And our downstairs... well, we've pretty much quarantined it.

And all of this just for a laundry/storage room. We are so looking forward to this one to be over!

At least I managed to finish two of my DIY projects—the entrance and pocket doors. First, let's start with the entrance. Here's the original door:

Just your average hollow core flat panel. I had my heart set on something like this the moment I saw it on Pinterest:


Only, it would have to be black to match our other doors. After no luck on Craigslist and our local Facebook buy & sell, I made a trip to Habitat for Humanity Re-store and found the one...

It clearly wasn't in mint condition, but I like that old door character. And it was only $10—sold!

After bringing it home I realized it's the exact same door we have in our kitchen...

Sidenote — this was taken while our kitchen was still under construction!

After removing the hardware and sanding down all the peeling paint and rough spots, I used my favorite putty to fill in all of the major gaps. 

I've never had much luck with traditional wood putty (it always dries out and is cumbersome to work with) but this stuff you can mix with water to your desired consistency and it goes on smoothly (and it's inexpensive!)

The goal here wasn't a factory smooth finish (if that's what you want, save yourself the headache and buy a new door) but rather less obvious wear and tear.

There weren't quite as many problem areas on the back.

After letting it sit overnight, I sanded it smooth and applied a few coats of my go-to paint, Valspar Signature in Dark Kettle Black. This time I used satin (I used flat on the two interior doors I've painted so far but it leaves wipe marks behind when you try to clean it, so I figured satin would be more durable).

This door was a couple inches larger than the old one, so our contractor Dave had to reframe it. Here's how things are looking now:

Sorry for the dark pic—it's really hard to photograph black doors!

Here it is in relation to the living room french door.

The last step is to frost the glass and add a Laundry decal. I'll be trying out spray frosting and the decal should be here in a few days.

One last shot from inside the room... I haven't decided yet if I'll keep the existing knob or replace it with the same "vintage" glass knob set I used on the french door.

Now—on to the pocket door!

This door leads underneath the house and will be rarely used—most likely only to gain access to the back of the washer and dryer if needed, so I wanted to keep the footprint small but make it aesthetically pleasing. My favorite way to do that?

Plywood panels, of course!

First I needed a door. The slice of wood we had before wasn't going to cut it...

Re-Store to the rescue again! I grabbed a 28" hollow core door that was part of a closet—forgot to take a before photo, but it looks just like this...

I was about to head to Lowe's to buy a pocket door frame, when out of the corner of my eye I spied one that they had just brought out. It was in good condition and only $20 (compared to $70 at Lowe's). Score.

So all that was left was my sheet of plywood, which I brought home and cut into strips with my table saw (refer to my original post for a step by step tutorial!)

Since the back will never be seen, I only had to add paneling to the front of the door. I also used wood glue this time and clamps so I got away with less finish nails.

Here's my instagram photo with both doors ready for sanding & paint...

I posted the pocket door frame last week, but here it is again as a reminder:

We later learned that it was designed for a 30" pocket door but Dave was up for the challenge. He simply added trim around the sides to close in the gap and we were good to go.

We installed a pull on the edge (you can barely see a sliver of it in this photo) but you can just as easily slide it with the edge of the trim, so I think I'll leave it as is since we plan to open it almost never. A quick paint touchup needs to be made in the center where it was scratched but other than that it's a done deal.

It looks more like a chalkboard finish in these photos because I had to edit the brightness since it's hard to see the detail—but it's very much black in person. Although I'm still having a bit of an issue with residue left behind when I wipe it down. Can anyone recommend any good solution + cleaning material that doesn't leave streaks?

You'll also notice something new on the right—our washer and dryer box is built! No more giant hole underneath the house!

We plan to add a drain underneath the washer, tile the bottom, seal the edges, paint and trim it out. The empty box below will be my first attempt at a DIY drawer (for laundry soap storage).

Our plumber has spent the past few days tapping into the kitchen lines and running hot/cold and drain lines for our sink on the other side of the room, seen below underneath the hole in the floor:

Today the new plumbing system will be tested and checked for leaks. Once the washer, dryer and sink are installed, our plumber will come back to get everything buttoned up.

And that's where we are at today! Still no pretty pictures, I know, bear with me here. Tonight I begin the exciting process of removing all of the nails/screws/stray pieces of metal from the ceiling, patching up all of the knots and holes and trying to sand it all down as best as I can. It will still be rustic looking, that's for sure...

But I'm excited to see how this never-before-attempted ceiling look works out. Brand new territory here, people!

We have painters coming Sunday to spray the ceiling so I should have some finished photos on Monday or Tuesday of that. Though I'll probably be too excited to wait and end up sharing on Instagram, so follow me there to make sure you don't miss a minute of this riveting renovation! :)

And one more thing... some big changes are happening around here. January is the season of clean slates and new beginnings, and I've been inspired to do something I've been thinking about for a while—a website rebranding and redesign!

This includes the blog, too. A new and improved version will soon be hosted at instead of blogspot. I'll share more in the coming week (it's all coming together behind the scenes right now and should be ready to launch in another week or so). Looking forward to a fresh start this new year!

Happy Weekend!