Month: March 2015

Laundry room makeover and so many wrong decisions

Warning: The following post contains the true story of me making stupid choices.  These choices resulted in a lot of work and unnecessary annoyance for everyone involved.



So remember back a month or two ago when I posted the most disconcerting photo of my laundry room and wrote something crazy about doing a “mini makeover” over the weekend….?  You know, just sort of whip it out quick-like?  Well, I’m happy to report that while, there are always more things I want to do, it is in a stable enough place to finally post my results.  But before I do, I need to take you back a week or so prior to that announcement to explain what inspired the makeover in the first place.

This is my before photo. Nothing to be embarrassed about here right?
This is my before photo. Nothing to be embarrassed about here right?

What you need to know about my laundry room….

  1. It is a teeny, tiny room, connected to my kitchen.
  2. It houses all my cleaning supplies, washer and dryer of course, the kitchen cabinets and microwave we removed from our kitchen (when we opened up the space into the living room) AND…. the litterbox and supplies for my hairy, super hairy cats. They conduct their finest business in there.
  3. People (meaning you, who pick up items from my house) can see this room, along with my other messes and unfinished projects everywhere. The cats, the mean hairless rat-dog….  There’s a lot of shame to go around, but my laundry room is especially embarrassing to me.
  4. All of the dials on my dryer had to be operated with a needle-nosed pliers. Also, the dryer setting was stuck permanently on permanent press (how fitting). But what made the dryer intolerable was that it made a very shrill, high pitched wailing sound the entire time it ran, which was for many hours. This added noise tension often resulted in my family yelling at one another for no good reason, spontaneous sobbing, and me coping the only way I know how, eating shredded cheese directly from my hand, like a sassy horse.

It didn’t start out that way, the dryer.  It went from a silly, and dare I say, adorable little squeak a couple years ago, to the howling noise of present day.  And often, we were so used to it, we’d zone it out.  That is, until someone would stop over while the dryer was running and say something like “How are you still sane?” ….. It does get one thinking.

We must be killer mentally strong.  Your welcome, kids. (They’ll thank me someday).

So, for a while now, I’d been keeping an eye out for something different, but affordable (cause I’m cheap, frugal)… and recently, I found just what I had been looking for.  An online auction house was auctioning off BRAND SPANKIN NEW appliances, all of them LG, many of them high end units.  So I went to work.  I started a log of every serial/model number, retail price, style, and rating.  I read endless reviews, watched YouTube videos and was well-informed before the start of the auction.  There were three interesting units that intrigued me, these were washer/dryer’s in one.  No! Not two units on top of each other, no sir….  I mean….. It washes and dries your clothes in the same chamber.  Automatically.  YES, this is a thing!  Let’s call it “the magical appliance that will save me from having to rewash my laundry because I didn’t get it in the dryer in a reasonable amount of time”.  Mildew, you have met your match. The negative reviews were… REALLY negative, but in general it rated around a 4.2 out of 5.  Not terrible.  AND it would free up a whole dryers worth of space in that tiny room, which would be fantastic.

The night the auction arrived I sat transfixed to the computer screen and watched in anticipation as the bids went up.  With a few minutes remaining, the only affordable choice was my third pick (its bids, “strangely” didn’t go up the way the others did).  The reason it was my third, was because the model had been discontinued.  But hey, none of these units would be covered under warranty anyway, so it didn’t bother me.  I should mention now, there was a little… teeny, tiny thing at the bottom of every photo in this auction, something about that they strongly recommended that all units be inspected in person, and that many of the appliances may have scratches and dents due to shipping errors.  But I couldn’t easily make the inspection times, and well, I figured they “had” to say that right?  And I’m cool with a little scratch anyhoo.  It’s character.

With my heart pounding I dramatically put in my final bid with a boisterous “boom!” and refreshed the page like a madman while giving my uninterested family 10 second updates. To my utter joy, I got the washer/dryer unit for $300!!  It was the most I ever paid for something sight unseen (although it did post several photos) and I was a little nervous, but hey, even with a few scratches, it was new.  It can’t be that big of a gamble.  And come on… I just got a really cool $1500 appliance for $300!  Jackpot!!!!!

So that same night, after the kids were in bed, I went to work emptying out my entire laundry room.  This new appliance called for a makeover!  By Friday night after work, I had the contents of my laundry room strewn all over my kitchen and was ready to get crackin.

I stopped at Ace on the way home from work and picked up a glorious taupe color to paint the walls and I asked for a quart of the best paint/primer they had.  “Spare no expense!” I proclaimed and waved my hand the way I would imagine a Queen would if she were really authoritative.  Turns out,  Ace’s best paint/primer in a QUART is $22…. Whaaaaat?  But no worries, think of what I saved on my washer/dryer.  I was feeling like a golden pot of the purest gold, and ready to take on the world.  (Anticipating home improvement projects have that effect on me).

So I get home and start painting immediately, to excited to change out of my work clothes, and sure enough, it’s going on very nicely, very nicely indeed.  Unfortunately, after the first coat was finished I noticed some holes that needed to be filled so I decided to do the right thing and spackle over the holes. Then I painfully waited for the hole filler to dry, sanded it down AND….

repainted the whole wall again!

No problem.   Moving on.  Except… after the second coat, I realized that I didn’t like the way there was no wall texture over the spackled nail holes, so again, wanting to do the right thing, I went and got my texture spray, and sprayed those areas, which really got texture, just about everywhere.  And then I got to wait, some more.

Then I got to repaint most of the wall, again!  Hooray.  (I’m saying hooray a little sarcastically here) Yes, this was annoying, but no worries, I was still so, so pumped about my new purchase.

It was about that time that I got a call from Ryan, and when I asked him enthusiastically how the pickup, and the laundry unit looked, he could only say “not good”…, and the tone of his voice told me he was not messing with me.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, he pulls into the driveway, and upon inspection, my new, super fancy, washer/dryer literally looks like it had rolled off a train down a steep, pointy mountain and off a cliff, into a cave of some sort.  A gross cave.  Both sides were caved in considerably, there were scratches everywhere, but the main concern was that the area surrounding the door where one would “hope” to have a good seal, was dented in about 3 inches.   I was embarrassed and disappointed, and $300 is over a “dressers worth” of work, which is a lot of work to me.  (I think in terms of dresser currency) And I had just thrown it away.  Squandered it all.  And, “Helllllooooo…. I’m in the middle of a laundry room MAKEOVER here. No way “Howly” dryer and his ugly washer wife was going back in there.” 

The auction photo, and yes, the dent is SUPER obvious now that I know about it. I just thought it was a fancy curve. (the mind sees what it wants to)
The auction photo, and yes, the dent is SUPER obvious now that I know about it. I just thought it was a fancy curve. (the mind sees what it wants to I guess)

Also…  an annoying side note.  I currently had the entire contents of my laundry room, the original washer and dryer, along with my “new” washer/dryer unit, (which was turning out to be a total ass), sitting in my kitchen.  Add a dresser into that mix too.  Because I seem to always have a piece of unwanted furniture in my kitchen.  That is waaaaaaay too much stuff for one room.

Thankfully, Ryan was kind and didn’t rub it in, he went to work taking off the front of the washer/dryer and pounding the major dents out.  If we could get a good seal, maybe we would still be in business!  I put on my hypothetical blinders (told you I was a sassy horse)  and went back to painting, at least I was almost done with that.  Makeover… ON!

Until I ran out of paint.  (Are you starting to feel the downturn of my golden evening?)

And now Ace was closed.  So instead of waiting until the next day to buy another $22 quart of paint.  I decided to run to Menards and do a color match with the dried paint on the lid.  (And yes, my inner voice was screaming at me that this was a bad idea).  Since it was late, the “experienced” paint person was gone, but someone was kind enough to attempt a color match for me.  Unfortunately, after 3 attempts at tweaking the tint on a new quart of paint to match, I gave up and went home, and ended up repainting the walls, for the 4th time with the new color of paint that was just… soo, soo close to the shade of the first three coats, only not close enough.  4th time’s a charm in my case.

During one of the Menards paint tinting attempts, on a whim, I decided to grab some lumber, because, why not make a built-in cabinet instead of those ugly bracket things I have in there.  Then I can hide all the cluttery stuff I have on my shelves.  And hey, I can totally do that myself right?  (That was my inner dialog, it always sounds so reasonable and makes everything sound so easy)

So while the 4th coat on my wall was drying, I decided to “whip up” a floor-to-ceiling cabinet while Ryan continued to play with the washer/dryer.  Once I got the lumber cut, I glued and assembled it on my kitchen floor, (it’s cold in my garage!) in between my three washer/dryer appliances and kitchen island, dresser, and piles of crappola I had everywhere.  It was an annoyingly tight fit.  Then I painted the cabinet white.  I used my go to trim paint which is high gloss, and is very durable and cleanable.  Unfortunately, it takes forever to dry.  But between painting the walls, and the two coats I put on the cabinet, I was able to install the cabinet (minus the doors I had yet to make) and finish the walls by 12:30 am.  Which is the next day.

So you’d “think” I’d had enough, but you’d be wrong.

I awoke with a new, inspired addition to my plan.  I thought that, on the wall behind the washer/dryer, I’d just, “real quick” install a horizontal white plank wall.  I already had wood for it, it just needed to be painted, cut and installed.  Oh… so easy.

Long story short, that took all day and a good chunk of the next.  And again, mainly because the stupid paint refused to dry.  And my laundry room is tiny, and it was just a frustrating process.  And I still had all those appliances in the kitchen.  I also removed the old trim and put in new, white painted trim, which we have slowly been doing throughout the house.

One thing that bothered me in my makeover room was the ugly space over the wash/dryer.  (Yes, Ryan got it to work, with a few minor glitches we have to deal with. And some… ahem… cosmetic issues).  I didn’t like the look of the cords.  So I made a little shelf to hold laundry soap and added a paper towel holder, just for fun.  I also added a small hanging rack, and a cool industrial curtain rod, because I couldn’t fit a normal sized curtain rod in my space with the cabinets there.   I got a new curtain panel at Target to match the rug I already had.

Here’s the little clothes rack, and the “quick plank wall”. Do I have too many floor cleaning tools?
My little shelf, yes, you can still see some of the cords, but it’s better, and it actually serves a purpose.
There wasn’t enough room with the cabinet for a normal curtain rod, so I had to improvise. But I like it!



Over the next week, I made the doors to the cabinets, which I love, and because it was the first cabinet I have ever made by myself (yay!), I bought latches to keep the doors closed because I knew they wouldn’t stay closed on their own.  (and they don’t)  These I bought on Amazon, and in searching for the cheapest set that still had good reviews, I ended up accidentally purchasing them from China, and had to wait 6 weeks to get them.

Oh, the waiting!

My latches, too cute, almost worth the wait. And I really love the cabinets and the fact that I made them myself!
DIY laundry room makeover.  DIY laundry storage cabinet, ship lap wall.  by de-uglied designs
And here’s the final photo, Sorry the photography is off, I couldn’t get a good photo to save my life.


So that is it.  I still have to deep clean the drips off my floor, but like I said, it’s stable.  And deep cleaning may not ever happen.  Ever.  My house is no “Pinterest house” it is real and it is usually messy.  Sometimes gross.  But usually just messy.  I chose to leave the laundry in the bins in my photos because, they will never be empty, so why lie, and I was too lazy to empty them anyway.  I am proud of my laundry room mini makeover, I love my cabinet especially and everything it hides.  My washer/dryer is doing the job of a washer/dryer, and did I mention it plays the most delightful tune when it is done?  Gotta love that.

And yes, I know the microwave is weird in there.  I deal.

Some gems of knowledge I learned along the way:

  1. I NEED to stop saying I’m going to “whip up”, or “whip out” a project. It’s never that fast, or that easy.  Why am I so easily fooled by these words?
  2. High gloss paint dries so much slower than the paint I use for furniture. It is painful and unacceptable.  I just need to walk away and let it do it’s job.
  3. Fill in your nail holes and texturize BEFORE the FIRST coat of paint. And duh… I knew this, I just don’t always follow my own rules for my own house (oh, and did I mention I ended up using the same nail holes anyway? Yep)
  4. DO NOT PAINT IN YOUR WORK SCRUBS. Seriously Jessie, you paint walls like a pig.  Embrace this.
  5. Whenever possible go inspect your auction items in person, so you won’t be in for a rude surprise when your purchase totally sucks.
  6. Just wait and get the exact paint you need, whenever possible. Don’t risk a color match on a completely different brand of paint, with an inexperienced color mixer.  Patience…. Also, if you’re going to paint a wall four times, it might be wise get a gallon in the first place.
  7. It is annoying to install an unnecessary plank wall in a small area behind a washer/dryer. Just paint it next time. You can barely see it anyway.  (although, I do love the plank wall)
  8. Don’t order hardware from China unless you are willing to wait, which I am not.



That project was annoying to relive in writing.



So now, I’m going to be taking a break from home improvement projects, I got to get my butt in gear for the Junk Market, which is just around the corner!!  Man life is busy.  Have I mentioned my daughter is in JO volleyball?  (some of you will understand)



Oh, and, if you would indulge me in shameless self-promotion, I have entered two pieces into the General Finishes paint contest.  (which is turning out to be a popularity contest it seems)  General Finishes has some of my very favorite products of all time!  If you get a chance, click on the link and vote, no registering, or anything, I promise. (ahem… this gorgeous piece is available at the studio right now!)  Here is my second entry, you are allowed to vote for as many as you’d like.  And it’s worth taking a look at the other entries, (for inspiration only of course… no voting!)  Kidding… there’s some good competition, no shortage of talent out there, that’s for sure!  Thanks for voting, and thanks for reading.  And if you get a chance, please subscribe to my blog!


You guys are always the goldest of golden followers, thanks again.


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