Since our house is a little older, 1961, it seems the more projects that we dive into, the more we learn about our house. This time we learned that whoever remodeled it previously, did a pretty poor job. We cleaned out the whole closet and removed the really awful trim that was once painted salmon, and learned that both the pantry and the laundry room were additions. The eat-in kitchen actually used to have an additional 3 feet where the pantry and laundry currently exist. While I do appreciate having a full “mini” walk-in pantry and having the laundry enclosed, I really do miss those extra 3 feet that I never knew I had…. until now. We could tell which walls were original because of the wood paneling, that is on all of the original walls, exists on the outermost walls of both the laundry and the pantry. The wall dividing the pantry and laundry from the rest of the kitchen is drywall and the wall dividing the pantry and the laundry is drywall. I realize that might read kind of confusing so here is what I think it used to look like vs. what it looks like now.
On the right side wall of the laundry closet, they added a sheet of drywall, that I guess was added for insulation and sound deadening. Sounds great, right? Well, it would have been if they had actually cut the drywall to fit the wall… Really people?… My husband and I have a term that we have coined… D.P.O. It stands for Dumb Previous Owners. Almost every project that we get to, we find a nod from the DPO in some way or another. So those of you who own or are considering owning an older home you not only have to factor in the cost of keeping up the home, but also the annoyance of having to correct things done by the DPO. We love our house; DPO and all. They might have made some questionable decisions but ultimately they were trying to make the house better.
Here’s what we did for this phase of the project:
- Removed everything! (stuff on old shelves, shelves, old washer and dryer, molding)
- Repaired the wood paneling
- Primed walls
- Painted 3 walls white and the paneling Peppercorn from Sherwin Williams
- Reinstalled the bi-fold doors
- Purchased wall cabinets
- Primed and painted cabinets Pussy Willow from Sherwin Williams
- Hung cabinets
DEMO AND REPAIR
First things first, we got rid of, or re-homed all the things that were living on our poorly organized open shelves. We removed the doors, and the washer and dryer. We made sure to thoroughly clean everything because… when was the last time you cleaned behind your dryer… Ew!
Please note the salmon, ill-fitting molding…We started repairing the paneling where the shelves were mounted and that’s when we noticed the drywall over the paneling that was cut just below the preexisting salmon crown molding. In the next few photos below you can see on the right wall where the drywall stops and the paneling begins. After we ripped out the molding and began prepping the walls for paint.
RE-INSTALL OF DOORS
We upgraded our laundry units to more efficient machines but in doing the research we found it difficult to find a washer and dryer that would fit the space. The dimensions were fine but the dryer vent came up through the tile on the floor meaning that we couldn’t push the dryer back as far as we needed to close the closet doors.We ultimately found a set that were energy efficient and were the smallest ones we could find without being a stacked unit. To better fit our new fancy machines, we decided to reset the track that the bi-fold doors were on so that the doors were flush with the molding versus their current position; centered in the door way. This gained us about 3 extra inches and was a perfect solution.
I knew I wanted to go dark with the wall color but given that there is not currently a light in our laundry closet and not a ton of natural light we decided to paint the paneling dark and the other three walls white in hopes to bounce a little light into the space.
The paneling is Sherwin Williams Peppercorn and the walls and ceiling are just a base white by Valspar.
PAINT AND INSTALL CABINETS
We knew we needed a different option than just open shelving so we opted for a combo of two cabinets with custom open shelves in between and below. More on the DIY open shelving later.
We purchased unfinished builder grade cabinets from Home Depot. We removed the doors and the hinges making sure to notate where each hinge was originally located.
We used self-etching spray primer first, then we used a foam roller and started painting. We used my favorite Benjamin Moore’s Advanced Furniture Enamel in Pussy Willow for the cabinets. Once the cabinets were ready we measured out where they needed to be hung and used a level to ensure they were straight. We were able to find the studs by way of math before mounting. Turns out stud finders do not work on 1/2″ thick paneling. We knew that our studs were 16″ apart so we found a stud that the outlet was mounted to and measured 16″ to the right or left from there to find the next stud. It was a round-a-bout way of doing it, but it worked. I never realized what a luxury stud finders were until I couldn’t use one. Whatever did we do without them?
Nevertheless, we got them hung and filled them up almost immediately. I still have plans to add some hardware to the cabinets but I haven’t found the right ones yet. Open to suggestions if you have a good hardware source.
It’s truly amazing how much a little bit of paint can do. Here’s a quick before and after for you to marvel at the power paint has.
Next up we will be adding crown molding and adding a light!!! YES, a light! We won’t even need an electrician. Smart homes for the win! The light addition is easily one that I am the most excited for.