Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Friday, June 30, 2017

Our Old House - Laundry Room Makeover

This week I worked on an Our Old House project.....

Originally, when we bought this house, this small room had been a pantry with a sink. The previous owners had added some modern light oak cabinets and also had the refrigerator and dishwasher in this section. There is a larger main kitchen that had only contained the stove and a small set of cabinets original to the home,

To me, it didn't make much sense to have the sink and fridge and dishwasher all crammed into this little pantry, but the stove out in the main kitchen with the table and chairs?  It was sunny and bright but tight quarters.  Only one person at a time could be in there cooking or cleaning up. 

This Part Happened Four Years Ago:
We decided (four years ago when we bought the house) to revamp this pantry room a bit. That meant moving more items into the main kitchen room.

First, we added more cabinets to the main kitchen. I found some beautiful 100+ year old ones that came out of a mansion in Fond du Lac. I lovingly refinished them and we installed them all along the north wall in our main kitchen.

We also added a large island of dark woodwork to match. Inside the island on the other side we installed the dishwasher underneath.  This is the way the main kitchen looks now.  Ahhhhh I love it!

Now back to that smaller pantry room----  our solution four years ago:

We pulled out the lower cabinets and sold them on Craigslist. We also moved the refrigerator and the dishwasher into the Main Kitchen leaving the smaller pantry room basically empty.  We laid new flooring to match what we had in the main kitchen.

Our plan was to now make this a First Floor Laundry Room! 

That is when we moved up the washer and dryer from the basement and the laundry sink too. The laundry sink is important because our washing machine has a wonderful feature called "Suds-saver". (I had this on my washing machine in Green Bay and loved it)  When doing multiple loads of laundry I can have the sudsy wash water pump out into the sink.When when I'm ready to start the next load I turn the switch to a feature which pumps it back into the washing machine. By creatively managing the loads, doing the least dirty light things first, the same load of wash water and soap can be used two or even three times depending on the items I am washing. Saves on water too. I used to use the third load for Steve's work clothes, which were usually pretty grubby. Now that he is retired, I'm only doing two loads lately.

Anyhow, the light oak modern cabinets always kind of bugged me. They were not original to the house and the woodwork didn't match. I am a "Matchy-Match" kind of girl.  See how they do not match the dark reddish brown original woodwork of our home?

Fast Forward to This Week:
I had considered going over the cabinets with a poly stain varnish to try and make them a darker like the rest of the woodwork. But the more I looked at them and how dark they were in that room as it was, I decided I would paint them white! Yes! From a person who abhors painted woodwork, I was going to take a brush and roller to paint over these cabinets. Blasphemy I tell you!

Steve HATES painting, so this project was totally all on me.

First I've removed all of the cabinet doors and brought them down to the basement and laid them out on saw horses. From there I sanded all the surfaces with a palm sander to rough them up a little bit. Then I gave it a coat of Liquid Sandpaper. This product helps prime the wood and makes the previous finish kind of sticky so the new paint will adhere better. I opened up the windows in the basement for fresh air to help with drying in between coats.

My prep work also included the front face frameworks 
of all the cabinets up in the laundry room too. 
I used a small foam roller to avoid any brush marks. 

 I didn't bother to do the insides of the cabinets. 
It's only pantry storage and laundry supplies in these cabinets. 

The Next Step was to apply a primer. Well I had this wonderful primer paint mixture that was for exterior painting. So I used that and I figured it should hold up pretty good. I gave it all two coats, thoroughly letting it dry in between. The last coat, I used some white enamel paint on both sides of the doors.

Now while that was drying, what I needed to do was to prep the walls and ceiling in the laundry room. They were a deeper golden yellow, not quite a Harvest Gold of the seventies but still pretty dark. I had half a gallon left from painting my sewing room... a soft pale lemon yellow.  Lighter and much softer and muted than what was on the walls and ceiling right now.

Up on the ceiling there was a little bubbled up area in one corner. I got up on the ladder and started chiseling away at it with my putty knife. Rut Roh! Here it was a big wide swatch of fibered seam tape. As I pulled on it a little bit I realized it was traveling across the entire width of the laundry room from one side to the other! It had been covering a long skinny crack. Well, there was no going back now. I had to pull the whole piece off!!!


So now, instead of just spackling one little area I had to do a complete plaster patch repair job. I hauled out a bag of plaster and the tools and mixed up new plaster. I eased it up into place and made it as smooth as I could.

While that was drying, I decided to go ahead with painting the ceiling and walls. I could paint up to the fresh plaster and just take care of the rest of it in the morning. I painted the upper portion of the walls that were original plaster.

On the lower portion of the walls, there is a kind of funky vinyl covered wallboard paneling stuff kinda grayish-white. I decided I will throw a coat of paint on that too. If it doesn't hold up, we can always yank it off. I would love to put a white beadboard wainscotting in here and it would really dress it up. That can be my backup plan if this does not hold up.

Also, as a backsplash when it was a kitchen, there is a wide sheet of a mottled printed cream Formica being used as a backsplash between the underside of the cabinets and the trim rail. I really don't like that color so maybe someday in the future I can add beadboard wainscotting back there to to match. That's where Steve can come in and use his talents by doing the woodworking for me. For now this is a kind of interim solution to improve the laundry room.

I cleaned up my mess for the evening, popped a couple of Aleve in my mouth and took a nice long soak in a bubble bath!!!

After the plaster dried the next morning, I used the sanding tool and took down the high edges and smoothed it out as best I could,  I put a coat of primer on the patched crack and now I was able to paint over it and make it match the rest of the ceiling and walls.  Voila!

Now it was time to bring up each of the doors and install them back into place. I had carefully numbered each one with a tiny marker on the hinge itself so I would know what order they went back on.

The original white ceramic knobs look just fine on the cabinet so I attached each knob back into place. Don't you know it, on the very last door, the very last knob would not screw back in properly. I tried to force it with the screwdriver (which of course it slipped) and jammed right up my fingernail! Owiee Owiee Owiee!!!

I got all of the doors back into place, put the curtain back up, attached to fire extinguisher back on the wall, and put up the hanging rail on the other side for the clothing hangers. It was originally a dish towel rod but it works well for hanging clothes as I unload them from the dryer.

It's hard to take pics in this room because of the bright light coming in through the window. So I pulled down the shade and now it appears darker than what it really is. Believe me, it's a very soft light lemony yellow and nice bright white cabinets to match the white washer and dryer and freezer.

There is a really neat swinging door that leads out to the main kitchen. We usually leave it propped open, but it is also handy to block off the noisy washing machine sounds from the rest of the house.  We also close off the dogs into this room when we need to contain them in one spot. They have not figured out how to push on the door with their noses, so it is essentially doubles as their little indoor doggie room too. 

I cleaned up and put away all my mess and tools. It felt so good too have a bright clean fresh light airy room. This is the last room in the house to get painted. So during the last four years every single wall in the house has been coated with a new fresh coat of paint since we bought Our Old House!

I would like to take this time to wish 
our oldest daughter a 

It seems like yesterday she was a tiny baby in my arms.  Awwwwww Erin and her happy family are on the road heading out for vacation with Waylen's folks in Oklahoma.  Happy Birthday On The Road!

What a beautiful, accomplished woman you have become! 

 First and Last Days of school....

One of my most favorite camping pics of Erin

 Where does the time go, sweet little baby girl? 


I just wanted to pop a few more pics on here.... I was sitting out taking a break in the front porch. I just LOVE how the clematis on the south side is climbing up, covering the windows.  I zigzagged thin white string across the window frame, wound around tiny white nails.  I looks so pretty, even from the inside.

Plus it makes a nice shade from the sun streaming in 
on the south side on the porch. 

I am also working on a new quilt... I got 8 blocks done, and it is slow going and putzy challenging, but fun! Nice to work on during the rainy days we have been having lately.

I am also keeping myself busy with some new rugs on the loom.....  My elbows both were suffering from a "tennis elbow" condition the past 6-7 weeks since we built the fence. Now they have healed enough to slowly weave and take it easy. It's hard, because I tend to push myself and overdo it.

 I am really liking this new pattern! 

Well, it is back to another doc checkup today.... 
all is well and I think I am doing fine. 


  1. Good job. The white cabinets look good in the tiny room. Dark wood would have been oppressive.

  2. You have accomplished so much, and so creative. I, too, love the white cabinets,and the lemony yellow. Your daughter must have a beautiful spirit. She is lovely in a way that shines,and bubbles in her photos.


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.