Quick Laundry Room Makeover

Mar 11, 2020 | Laundry Room, Projects

We are on the hunt again for a new house… It seems like we can never pull the trigger so this time we’re saying that if we can find the perfect house, we’ll move. If not, we’ll stay. No pressure since we already live in a nice house.

With that mindset, I’ve been slowly making repairs and renovating the house because if we move then it will be ready but if we don’t find anything we like, we’ll be living in a nicer house with the new renovations. Win/Win!

So everything was progressing at a leisurely pace until last week when a random Facebook post made me kick it into high gear. I have a neighbor who’s a realtor and she posted that she has a client who is looking to buy in my neighborhood. She listed what her client wanted in a house and it fit my house to a T! Because the idea of selling without a buyer’s agent (and saving 3%) is too good to pass up, I told her that she could show my house in two weeks. EEK!

In preparation, I’ve gone through my house and listed the things that should be at the top of the repair/renovate list before the showing. The laundry room made the list because it’s a small room so it can be done quickly and for cheap and, more importantly, it really needed some attention. It was so unorganized becuase there was no storage space. In a day and a half, I fixed this problem and love the way it turned out!

I installed shiplap and two shelves and then added storage baskets and a few accessories like faux plants and cute little signs. I also found a glass drink dispenser that had been collecting dust and used it to store my detergent.

Before going into details on how I installed the shiplap and shelves and styled the room, let’s take a look at how the laundry room looked before:

And all of the below crapola was sitting on top of the washer and dryer:

So now to the nitty gritty of the renovation. After emptying out the room, I measured the width of the wall that I wanted to install shiplap and shelves then headed to Home Depot to pick up my supplies. The shiplap I chose was 6 inches tall so I bought enough 8 foot pieces (plus 2 more for mistakes) to cover the wall. For me that was 11 pieces of shiplap (including 2 for mistakes which I ended up returning).

I also picked up some plywood for the shelves and had Home Depot cut them to size. All you have to do is ask and an associate will cut the wood for you so long as the cut is more than 12 inches. I always ask them to cut the pieces a little longer than I need though just in case I either made a mistake in measuring or they were not careful in their measuring. I can fine tune the length at home with my miter saw. But if you don’t have a miter saw, just measure carefully at home and make sure the associate is also careful with his or her measuring and you should be good.

My shelves are 15 inches deep for the bottom shelf and 13 inches deep for the top shelf. It looks better to have them be different depths otherwise they look too bulky.

I also bought shelf brackets and made sure there was enough of them to support the shelves not only from the back but also from the sides since the shelves are so deep. I didn’t really want to install brackets on the sides but I really, really didn’t want my stuff to come crashing down because I paid too much attention to aesthetics and not enough to good construction.

The tool that was the star of the show was my Ryobi brad nailer that I bought for another project. I did a bunch of research before buying it and heard nothing but positive reviews and the reviewers were absolutely right. This tool may be my favorite one- the nails never jam in the machine, you can adjust the pressure of nailer and also the depth of the nails, and it’s super easy to use. Point, press, and shoot- it really is that easy!

So your shopping list should look like:

  • 6″ pre-primed shiplap, 8 or 12 foot pieces (quantity and length depends on your room)
  • plywood, 8 or 12 foot piece (quantity and length depends on your room)
  • shelf brackets (I used these)
  • caulk
  • caulk gun
  • Ryobi brad nailer (you could hammer the nails in yourself if you don’t have a nailer)
  • 2″ brad nails
  • miter saw (you could use a circular saw or even a hand saw if you want a workout)
  • heavy duty anchors (I used these)
  • paint to use on the shiplap
  • spackle to cover the nail holes
  • sandpaper to sand the spackle
  • stud finder
  • level

The process of installing the shiplap was easy. With a pencil, mark where your studs are all the way down the wall a little past where your shiplap will end. Measure how long your first piece of shiplap should be, cut, and nail the shiplap to the wall making sure to hit as many studs as possible. I started nailing at the ceiling then came down.

One tip- Nail the ship lap on the bottom track part since that part won’t show and you’ll have less nail holes to spackle. Don’t nail on the face of the shiplap unless you have to. Fit the next piece into the track of the first shiplap piece then work your way down until you are at your desired height. Fill in the holes with spackle, sand and paint the shiplap, then caulk the shiplap where it meets the wall on the sides. Shiplaping is done!

For the shelves, I first whitewashed the wood by using the same paint that I used for the shiplap. I had Home Depot color match to my Ikea cabinets since the laundry room is right next to the kitchen and I wanted to tie those two rooms together a bit. I watered down the paint using 1/2 paint and 1/2 water then painted the shelves with only one coat of watered down paint using a rag. Be sure to lay something under the shelves because the paint is runny and will get on anything not protected! I painted the entire piece on one side then went back over it with a dry rag because I wanted the wood grain to show through the paint. Flip the piece over and do the same on the backside.

This part is where you might need an extra set of hands. Start with the bottom shelf. Install ONE shelf bracket at a stud then have someone help place the shelf on that bracket and hold it level (use a level for this!). Then mark where the other bracket should go and install that bracket (try to hit another stud if possible, if not, use a heavy duty drywall anchor). By this time you should have 2 brackets installed and depending on the size of the shelf, you’re done. If your shelf is big like mine are, you’ll need a few more brackets to make everything stable. I used 5 brackets on each of my shelves because they were long and deep.

I then styled the bottom shelf and based on the height of the stuff on that shelf, I marked where I wanted my second shelf to go. Install the second shelf the same way you did the first and the hard part is done!

Okay, now the fun part- styling and organizing! I went to a couple stores and found that Michael’s had baskets that best fit my shelves. Homegoods was perfect for the faux plants and the “You Got This” sign.

The “Clean” sign was from Target as were the cream, cloth baskets on the top shelf.

Because I wanted to save space as much as possible, I also got a magnetic lint bin from Amazon.

I also ordered some tags from Amazon that you can write on with chalk to label all my baskets and some glass containers for my bleach, fabric softener, and Downy smell enhancers.

Here is the cost breakdown for my laundry room renovation:

  • Shiplap $51
  • Plywood $41
  • Shelf brackets $75
  • Caulk $0 (I already had this)
  • Caulk gun $0 (I already had this)
  • Ryobi brad nailer $0 (I already had this)
  • Brad Nails $13
  • Miter saw $0 (I already had this)
  • Anchors $0 (I already had this)
  • Paint $14
  • Spackle $0 (I already had this)
  • Sandpaper $0 (I already had this)
  • Stud finder $0 (I already had this)
  • Level $0 (I already had this)

Total $194

I already had a lot of basic items on hand so my costs may be different than yours especially if you don’t have a brad nailer or a miter saw, but you don’t necessarily need those items; it just makes the job easier.

When the items from Amazon come in (the chalkboard tags, glass containers), I’ll update the final look on Instagram.

If you’re not following me on Instagram, you should! I update daily.

Questions about this project? Leave me a comment.