Laundry Room Makeover – Part 1

Upon moving into our first home I hated the laundry room. It was outdated, the flooring was warped,  and there was an old ADT system mounted on the wall. Do you know what an ADT system looked like before wireless?!? This.

 And all of the accessories surrounding the box was part of the system. All I can say is thank god for the advancements in technology!

 

Add a water heater and furnace crammed into the already small space and you have yourself one heck of an eyesore for a laundry room. See…

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, eww!

 

What actually triggered this project was two things 1) I love starting new projects when I have multiple projects that I already started that need finished and 2) It became the catchall room after our Loft got a makeover. So much that you couldn’t see the floor. Not kidding at all. It was getting to be so bad that my husband came home one night from work and told me that every night he comes home he plays the “trust” game. Meaning he trusts that he isn’t going to fall or trip over something and break his neck. He does work late, so by the time he gets home it’s dark, the lights are off, and the doors are closed. Thinking more about it now, his comment was fair to say the least. With that said, operation laundry room makeover commenced!

 

The first thing I did was create an inspiration board. I knew I wanted a modern look with touches of farmhouse & greenery. I fell in love with the Wash & Dry sign from Magnolia and knew that I wanted that in the laundry room, so I used the sign to set the tone of the room.

 

 

After I had an idea of what I wanted, I got to work! The first thing I tackled (besides cleaning it out) was tiling the wall behind the washer & dryer. I decided to do tile because we had three cases sitting in our garage that a friend gave us. Yeah, you read that right. GAVE us!! It was free ninety-nine. The tile sat in our garage for over a year so I’m glad I remembered it! Initially I had planned on using that tile to do a backsplash in our kitchen, but I installed my DIY open shelves instead. You can see that tutorial HERE.

 

After reading multiple tutorials on tiling, I felt confident that I could do it by myself. If you have been thinking about installing tile yourself then THIS TUTORIAL offers several good tips as well.

 

Below are the tools/materials you will need, regardless if you are using a manual tile cutter or electric wet saw.

 

Trowel
Spacers
Grout
Caulk
Caulk gun
Thinset Tile Mortar
Sponge or cloth towels
5 gallon bucket
Tape measure
Level
Pencil

 

If you are using a manual tile cutter I would highly recommend investing in the tools/materials listed below as well.

 

Tile file
Dremel 3000
Diamond wheel Dremel accessory
EZ402 Dremel accessory
Clamp
Safety eyewear

 

This is a list of additional tools/materials that you might consider, but are not necessary.

 

Tarp
Gloves
Painters tape
Putty knife

 

I would bucket tarp with the required materials if you are not planning to take up the flooring. Grout is EXTREMELY messy and will get EVERYWHERE! But since we did take up the flooring for this project, I didn’t care about the mortar or grout staining the floor.

 

The cost for the actual materials were pretty reasonable. Under $75. However, I didn’t have any of the major tools. My goal was to spend the least amount of money humanly possible, so I purchased THIS $20 tile cutter from Lowe’s. It was manual, and the process was PAINFUL, but it got the job done, so I would say it was worth it. Adhering all the tiles that didn’t require cutting was a breeze, but the tiles that required a special cut, ugh. Especially doing it with a manual tile cutter & a ceramic tile file.

 

Tip 1: if you use a manual tile cutter, treat it like a wet saw. After measuring out the tiles, I submerged them in water, and even poured water directly on the tile after the tile was secured in place. Doing this made it easier and the cuts didn’t look jagged.

 

 

Tip 2: Buy a tile file! Just do it. If you are using a manual tile cutter, the $10 you spend on this ceramic tile file is worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. A tile file will smooth the edges of the tile after it has been cut. I cannot stress enough how dependent I was on this tool.

 

 

Tip 3: Make all your tile cuts at once and write out the measurement on the back of each tile and on the wall where that tile will be secured. It was tedious, but it saved me a lot of time trying to figure out which tile goes where. Plus you won’t be able to see the pencil marks once the tile is up.

 

 

 

Even though I tried to avoid buying any power tools, by week 3, I caved. After several failed attempts of trying to do a 90 degree angle cut with the tools I had, I realized I either needed to a) have a professional do it or b) buy the appropriate power tools. So first I called all the local tile shops and the most inexpensive place I found wanted $109…for only 9 cuts! I knew the tool I needed was less expensive, so I broke down and bought it.

 

 

If you have not been introduced to a Dremel, and you plan on tiling a wall yourself, BUY THIS TOOL! There are several versions of a Dremel, so make sure if you buy one you get one that has multiple speeds. I bought the Dremel 3000, which was the least expensive one that I knew would cut the tile. If you buy a Dremel, more than likely it will come with a starter kit. HOWEVER, you’ll need to buy the diamond wheel and the EZ Lock EZ402 accessories. Both are sold separately and NOT included with the Dremel kit. I didn’t realize that until I got home, so I had to make another trip to Lowe’s.

 

 

When cutting the tiles, I used a clamp to hold it in place. I did the cuts on my kitchen island and just laid a tarp over the island for protection. It was messy and I would recommend doing this in a garage or outside. It was rainy the day I did this, so just did it in the kitchen.

 

 

From here, I am not going to go into crazy detail on tiling since THIS TUTORIAL does a really good job explaining the steps. I mean, why try to recreate the wheel?

 

I do however have a few more tips I would like to add after completing my first tile job.

 

Tip 1: I was lazy and didn’t wipe all the mortar off, so there was a lot that dried on the tiles. But instead of scraping with my nails, I used a putty knife and it worked like a charm and it didn’t leave any scratch marks on the tiles!

 

 
Tip 2: Clean out the leftover mortar and/or grout mix in the 5 gallon bucket immediately after your done. They both dry quickly and it is impossible to clean out after it sets. I went through 3 buckets figuring out the things you shouldn’t do. Bucket number 1 bit the dust because I covered the  bucket planning to  use it the following day. Bucket number 2 was letting the grout mix sit too long before cleaning it out.

 

Tip 3: Lay a tarp down/over anything you don’t want the grout to stain. Grout and mortar are both incredibly messy. Especially grout. I opted out of the tarp only because we were going to lay new flooring down. Otherwise, I would have used one.

 

 

 
Tip 4: Take off any outlet plates you plan to tile around before you start tiling. 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

 

This may sound like common sense, but this was my first time tiling and I thought the tile would look good around the plate. Wrong. It didn’t help that my tiles had beveled edges, so they stuck out like a sore thumb. However, the new outlet cover I bought covered the edges enough, so crisis adverted!

 

After three long weeks of tiling, grouting, and caulking I was done!

 

 

So pretty!!

 

Once the tile wall was done, I removed the baseboards. Initially I was going to buy rapid fit baseboards to put over the existing one, but when I was planning out how I was going to lay the flooring I knew I would need to remove the baseboards if I wanted the flooring to look right along the edges of the walls.

 

Removing the baseboards was actually quite easy. I used my handy putty knife and a crowbar and it came out easy peasy and still intact! I found THIS TUTORIAL to be super helpful.

 

After removing the baseboards it was time to paint the remaining walls, trim, and door. I went back and forth several times about painting vs. shiplap. Believe me, I LOVE shiplap as much as the next fixer upper farmhouse lovin’ junkie, but after tiling I was ok with just painting. I ended up going with HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams in Delicate White from Lowe’s.

 

This was my first time using this brand of paint, and honestly I was not super impressed with the coverage. I usually purchase  the Emerald line from Sherwin Williams. That stuff is AWESOME, but expensive. Since I had to buy the tools for the tiling job, I decided to use a less expensive brand of paint.

 

 

I applied two coats and let the paint dry overnight. More like over-week. I work full-time, so I feel that’s acceptable. Right?

 

After the walls were painted I tackled the flooring. Initially I was going to just lay the planks over the existing linoleum, but after reading several tutorials I decided to take up the linoleum and lay the planks directly on the concrete. The reason I decided against laying it over the linoleum was because the existing floor was warped in several places and not even.

 

 

It may sound like a lot of hard work, but taking up the linoleum was actually quite simple. The previous owner only had adhesive along the edges of the linoleum, so pulling it up was a breeze.

 

Look at that beautiful concrete!

 

 

Laying the planks down was also super simple and the only prepping I did before starting was sweep the floor.

 

Once the floor was clean I started laying the planks down. I started at the corner of the room behind the dryer, then staggered the planks from there. It was so simple that I didn’t even have to take the washer and dryer out of the room! Crazy right??

 

 

So much better!!

 

We used  Safari/Brown Peel-and-Stick vinyl planks from Lowe’s. I planned on buying the gray driftwood vinyl, but decided on a darker tone at the last minute. I am so glad I did! Now that the flooring is down, I don’t think the gray would have looked right with the color scheme.

 

Tip: In most of the tutorials I read, the bloggers were saying to use extra adhesive on the planks, but I didn’t  and I’ve had no issues with the planks coming up. However, I took the existing flooring up first. So if you intend to use peel-and-stick flooring and plan to lay the planks over the existing flooring, I would recommend using the adhesive. 

 

The floor isn’t finished yet because we are in the process of moving the water heater, so I will share more angles when it is finished in part 2 of this makeover.

 

Now it was time to start decorating the walls!

 

First up was the outlet on the tiled wall. I switched out the standard white outlet plates for antique brass plates. Such a simple change, but I love the brass, black, & white color contrast.

 

My amazing FIL installed an extender box for the outlet on the tiled wall. I wanted the outlet cover to hide all the tile edges around the outlet. I’m so OCD about things like that. I got really lucky that a normal sized outlet plate covered all the edges. I should have taken the outlet cover off before measuring the tile. Rookie mistake. 🤦🏻‍♀️ However, the plate covered it enough, so no worries!

 

Next, I hung the Magnolia sign & clothing bar.

 

 

I made the clothing bar using galvanized pipe. Super easy! I attached all the pieces, then spray painted it Matte Black from Rustoleum. The best part, I already had everything to make the clothing bar from past projects!

 

After the clothing bar was mounted it was time to tackle the shelf above the washer. I was anxious to mount the hardware for our shelf. However, after all my hard work tiling, I  was TERRIFIED that I would crack the tile when trying to drill into it. So I looked up several tutorials and THIS TUTORIAL was the most helpful.

 

I purchased the anchors, screws, and drill bit. I had standard plastic anchors on hand, but with the weight of the shelf and brackets I wanted to be extra safe so I purchased toggle anchors that can hold up to 159 pounds.

 

 

Also, screws come with the toggle anchors, but they were silver, and I wanted black to blend in with the brackets. The screws were only .37 cents so I just bought them instead of spray painting the screws that came with the toggle anchors.

 

If you intend to mount a shelf on a tiled wall you’ll need to buy a special drill bit made to penetrate tiles. Otherwise your tiles will crack.

 

 

As stated in the tutorial I referenced above, drilling into tile takes patience. I was extra careful and did not put any added pressure on the tile so I wouldn’t crack them. After about 35 minutes I had the brackets put into place and the shelf ready for decorating.

 

Step 1: Use blue painters tape where you will be drilling. Then make a dot on the tape where the holes need to be.

 

 

Step 2: Start drilling on low-speed. You can increase the speed slowly as you start to see the hole form. Continue drilling until the drill bit is all the way through.

 

 

Tip: Make sure the size of the anchors coincide with the size of the drill bit. Meaning, I used a 5/16 inch drill bit, so purchased anchors that were 5/16 inch in diameter.

 

After the anchors were in place, I put up the shelf.

 

 

 

I found the Crates & Pallet shelf brackets at Home Depot online. They were exactly what I was looking for. Durable yet modern. I’ve bought a lot of shelf brackets in my day, but none compare to these. The brackets come in several sizes, but I purchased the 12 inch brackets to ensure the shelf would be wide enough for the canisters.

 

 

I had to make sure to add greenery to this space, so I moved the wall planters from our entryway wall to the laundry room. I think the greenery brings this space together.
I also love the mini wicker basket for lint. I found this clever idea from @brepurposed She recently made over her laundry room and it is truly swoonworthy! 😍 I tied the basket to the hook using twine.

 

After the walls were decorated, I decided I was going to paint the door black. Initially I was going to change out the gold doorknob for a black, but I couldn’t find a black door knob I loved. I also didn’t look very hard.

 

I had the black chalk paint on hand, so I just decided to paint the door. It was a darker shade of white than the walls anyway. At least that’s what I told my hubby. 😂

 

 

I applied three coats and voila! New door. I still plan to buy a new door knob and hardware for the door, but it will be another week until that’s done. I will have the door finished for part 2.

 

Even though I still need to finish the floor, add the baseboard, put up the new blind, and change out the door hardware I am so happy with this transformation! It seriously looks like a different room!

 

 

I would consider myself a seasoned DIYer, but this DIY project had me in tears a couple of times. Of course I want to encourage you to DIY when you can, mainly to save money & give you a sense of accomplishment, But sometimes DIY projects are not all rainbows and butterflies. They can be time-consuming, painful, and at some point make you question your sanity. However, after all the blood, sweat, and tears I would do it again. Mainly because of the cost savings. I spent roughly $300 for this makeover (granted the tiles were free). If I would have paid a contractor to do it, we would have easily spent over $1000. Crazy!! So basically, this makeover would have never happened. 😑

 

 

Well friends, that’s it for part 1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you found inspiration to take on a big project and I can’t want to show you the final reveal in part 2. Stay tuned!

 

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DIY Shiplap Wall

So I have been swooning over shiplap since I was introduced to it on Instagram. I am a DIYer so I figured I would attempt it. It actually isn’t terribly difficult, but it had its moments. Probably because patience isn’t my strong suit. The great part of this tutorial is I will be pointing out my pain points in the hopes it will spare you some heart ache. However, I am so happy I did it! If you swoon over shiplap too, then read on.
First things first! Let’s go over some lessons learned in the hopes your project goes smoother than mine. 😁 

Lesson learned 1: Make sure you purchase decent grade wood. I mean it is going on your wall. I actually bought good wood & didn’t have any issues, but I watched & read several tutorials and this is the one thing people kept pointing out so I want to point it out to you. I purchased birch wood. It was $24.95 a sheet, but it has a very smooth finish & it was easy to work with. Using a cheap grade could result in warped boards. The wood was the biggest expense, but you will be happy you invested in a quality wood when you aren’t doing touch-ups a few weeks later.

Lesson learned 2: Paint your wall the same color you are painting the shiplap before you secure the shiplap to the wall. I did not do this, which resulted in me buying a tiny paint brush to get in all the cracks. It didn’t help that the wall was a dark gray to begin with. My husband even told me to paint it first, but in Carrie fashion I thought my way was right. Well it wasn’t. 😑

Lesson learned 3: Buy a nail gun. Or rent one. Or borrow one. Unless you don’t need to use your arms for the next few days, buy a nail gun. I hammered in roughly 30 nails a board. Somewhere in the range of 800 nails. My arms are starting to hurt even thinking about it. I couldn’t pick my 22 lb 1 year old up without moaning for the days following. If you want to do it the old fashion way, then you do you, but you have been warned. 😂

You still want to do this? Sure you do! It actually wasn’t hard. It was just a lot of stop & go. I would have gotten this done in a lot less time if I didn’t have kids, a husband, or a job. 😂 But I do and I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. Except buying a nail gun before I started this project. 😁

Materials:

  • 4×8′ sheets of wood (I used 5 birch wood sheets total but this is all dependent on the width of the planks you want & the size of your wall)
  • Pencil
  • 1 lb. box of 1 1/4″ finishing nails 
  • Liquid nails (I used 5 total)
  • Paint (I used Gallery White from Behr)
  • Wood filler 
  • 120 grit sand paper block
  • 120 grit flat piece of sand paper
  • Outlet extender box (if you have outlets on your wall)

Tools:

  • Table saw
  • Jig saw
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Caulking gun
  • Paint brush or roller. 
  • Spatula for wood filler
  • Razor blade

The cuts will all be dependent on the size of your wall. My wall was about 14 feet wide & 9 feet tall. I decided to go with boards 6 1/8 inch wide based on how large my wall is.

Step 1: measure your wall to figure out the amount of wood you will need. Once you have all your measurements purchase the wood & gather all your materials & tools.

Step 2: Paint your wall the same color you plan to paint your shiplap. This is optional, but if you have a dark colored wall & plan to paint the shiplap white I would recommend painting the wall. I used Gallery White from Behr. 

Step 3: Using the tape measure & pencil mark where you want to make the cuts. My amazing FIL did most of the cuts as well as measured everything out. I assisted a little bit, but it was mainly him. We used a circular saw. If you have outlets you will need to use a jigsaw to cut the outline of the outlet(s). You can have Lowe’s cut the boards, but precision is key.

Step 4: If you have outlets you should install the outlet extender box before applying the shiplap. I did not do that, but again…lesson learned. We had two outlets. My FIL came to the rescue again and installed them for me while I was away on a business trip, but I found this very detailed tutorial on how to install them.

Step 5: Using your caulking gun apply liquid nails to the first board. I started at the top and worked my way down. I made sure to press the edge up against the corner and hold it for about a minute. Note: I wanted each row to look like 1 long board, but there are actually two. If you don’t want that look, you will need to alternate the long & short boards on each side.


Step 6: Using a hammer or nail gun. Hammer finishing nails in each of the 4 corners of the board. You should hammer a nail in about every 4 inches along the top and bottom of each board.

Step 7: Repeat steps 5 & 6 until all the boards are up.

Step 8: Apply wood filler to all the nail holes and any other places desired. I wanted each row to look like 1 long board so I applied wood filler where the two boards connected.

Step 9: Using the 120 grit sand block, sand down all the wood filler to a smooth finish.

Step 10: Using the flat piece of 120 grit sandpaper sand in between the planks for any hard to get to debris from the wood filler.

Step 11: Using a damp towel, wipe the boards to remove any dust or debris from sanding.

Step 12: Have a drink or 3 if you just did all that by hand & you don’t have to drive anywhere. 😂

Step 13: Paint your wall! I didn’t use a primer. I applied two coats total waiting 24 hours in between coats. Let the wall dry for 48 hours. I would recommend dabbing your brush on water to thin out your paint when painting in between the boards. If your paint is thick it can cause the paint to build up in the cracks.

Step 14: Using the 120 grit flat sandpaper smooth out any areas between the boards where paint has built up. Since I did this myself, I had several areas where this happened.

Step 15: Wipe the wall down with soap and water.

Step 16: Decorate away! Because I had just put so much time into this wall I didn’t dare use nails to hang anything. I used the M3 strips. You can purchase these almost anywhere. I got mine from Lowe’s.

Congratulations you have created a beautiful shiplap wall. The total cost for the wood, outlet extender boxes , finishing nails, & liquid nails was about $170. I had everything else on hand. It isn’t the most inexpensive DIY project, but it was a whole lot less than contracting it out.

I hope you found my tutorial helpful! If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Have a great day. Until next time. Xoxo