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September 2021
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Laundry Room Makeover 2

In our last posting on the laundry room we had installed the cabinets. This is the state of play in our last episode. The cabinets are pre finished inside so we will leave well enough alone. The outsides of the cabs are solid red oak face frames with red oak faced plywood inserts. The sides are raw particle board.

Since this is a ‘wet’ location we want to protect the surfaces. We will primer and apply two coats of Behr Semi Gloss Interior Enamel. It has everything you want in a paint. Excellent body, wonderful brushability, excellent coverage, and a reasonable drying time. Actually we are painting the entire room.

Because I am basically lazy, I only want to do things once. So to paint the cabinets I am taking the doors off and painting them in the garage.

This does a couple of things. It allows me to paint the doors flat, minimizing paint buildup in the lower corners, and not having to fight the door to paint the face frames on the hinge sides.

After applying primer and paint, I took some wire coat hangers and made hooks to hang the doors. I am using the garage track as my hanger. You don’t need as much space to spread out the doors, and you can only work on one at a time.

Note: Remember to unplug the garage door opener when you do this.

Having painted and installed the doors, here is our painted  laundry room. We also applied a coat of polyurethane to the small shelf over the units and on the cabinet side next to the dryer. Just a little added protection for these areas.

On the left end we will install a little white board for notes and a key holder below.
The overhead shelving will hold all of the industrial size packages of paper goods and other things. On the right side some hooks will hold the step ladder and some brooms and other cleaning paraphernalia.

Here is the other side of the laundry room.

Here is where we started.

Laundry Room Makeover 1

Laundry rooms are where you hide your washer and dryer. Denial is futile. It doesn’t matter how much you paid or what color you got, you end up putting it behind closed doors. The trend of having glass doors on washers and dryers is silly. Are you really gonna pull up a lawn chair and have a Mohito and watch your clothes spin? Maybe once. Any more than that, you may need help or a life coach.

This doesn’t mean that your laundry cannot become a useful and productive room of your house and make you a better person. Here is a laundry makeover to get this room to pull its own weight and make the household run smoother.

Exhibit A:

Washer, Dryer, and overflow from Costco or Sams Club. The room is 11′ long and 5 1/2′ wide. In reality the useful space is only 8′ as the doorway between the garage and the hallway to the rest of the house sucks up 3 feet.
Exhibit B:

Not a lot of room since the door to the garage and the back hall are on the other side.

First up is to get the stuff out. The good news is that they have most of it on a rolling shelving unit.

Pay attention to the wall outlet.

Here we have installed the utility cabinets. We needed to move the washer and dryer over about 4″. We found the studs previously and used this information to screw the cabinets to the wall. These are the same cabinets we used for the storage project a few weeks ago. We needed to reverse the door swing for this application, which was easy. two screws, flip the doors and we are done. These units have an oak frace frame and oak doors. The edges of the door frames are beveled so you don’t need handles.

One modification we did make was to cut a hole for access to the wall outlet. This is the only other outlet in here.
Outlet Detail

One of the things that I think about in remodeling is to make spaces as efficient as possible. In this case the clients are young professionals who used to have lives before the arrival of the heir apparent. If you have children, you know what this means. Kid proofing your house becomes a priority. Stuff that you take for granted, especially in the cleaning arena, suddenly become the enemy. The other thing that parenthood brings is a large uptick in laundry usage.  So here is an opportunity to consolidate cleaning and safety.

As part of my evil plan to get as much cleaning material out of the rest of the house and corral it into this room, the decision was made to install some more cabinets over the washer and dryer. We had enough room for 2 24” wide upper cabinets.

These cabinets having face frames have a reveal that is a 1/4″ larger on either side of the cabinets.

Here is the first cabinet going up. The door has been removed to make this easier. The Front side of this cabinet has a 1/2″ spacer attached at the top and the bottom.1/4 + 1/4. The other side has a 1/4″ space so the cabinet will be flush with the utility cabinet.
Spacer and cabinet assembly detail

Spacer Detail

This spaces the cabinet and also blocks off a pathway for dust falling down.

Spacer Detail

To install this cabinet I used a piece of plywood and a 2×4 scrap to act as a stop for the bottom of the cabinet and a couple of squeeze clamps to hold it in place as I screwed through the back of the cab into the studs behind the wall. I used 2″ screws as the cab back is 1/8″, the backing strip is 1/2″. the drywall is 5/8″(being an exterior wall) giving me a solid 3/4″ penetration. I also screwed the cabinets to each other with smaller screws.

The second cabinet is a repeat of the procedure, with the following exception, screwing the face frames together.

Face Frame Detail
Face Frame fastening detail

Here are the cabinets installed.

There is that foot of space above these units, that gives me an itch. Yeah, I am gonna scratch it. Hollow Core door panels to the rescue! In this case rescue does double duty. We salvaged a pair of 18” panels from the neighbors, and are going to put up some shelves.

Here are the door panels installed. The scrap from cutting them down will fill in that area over the corner of the tall cabinet.

Here is the other side of the room. That is one of those daylight tubes. Works quite well in here.

As you can see paper towels fit up here nicely as well as bulk things like 30 packs of TP, kleenex, and other bulk items. The wall cleat extends all the way to the doorway. This will contain hooks for the ladder that normally lives here as well as holders for various brooms and cleaning widgits on a pole. It also can act as the base for a smaller shelf if they need more space.

There is one more little detail. This is just annoying. For some reason, I suspect laziness, the builder decided to put the outlet for the dryer and the water box up high.

A little shelf solves this problem.

Here is our project ready for paint. The laundry room is now a useful productive member of this household. with tons of storage,

Remember I asked you to pay attention to the wall outlet? It too is productive.