plan for our laundry room a couple of weeks ago, and as I decided to get started, I made a last minute decision.
A few years ago we added some storage to our laundry room with a DIY custom wall-to-wall built-in. Storage wise it has been everything we could have asked for, and more. Ultimately the counter we installed began to yellow, warp and bow, which was a major bummer. And I tried to keep things interesting for awhile with some temporary decorative paper backing, but after about six months of loveliness, it began to curl and peel from the moisture in the space. Womp womp.
Of course we always hope our changes will work out and stick around for a long while, but sometimes that just isn't the case. I sure did enjoy that paper for the year I stretched it out for, but in the words of Forrest Gump, "It happens".
When "it" happens, we have to grab a pooper-scooper and pick it up right? Initially, I planned to do another paper backing in this nook. This time I have been eyeing up a temporary peel and stick paper, which should affix to the wall much better than spray adhesive to a random board.
However, I decided to nix it at the last minute. I didn't want to risk it eventually peeling due to moisture from the hanging shirts, and I also felt it might be too busy in the hanging area with clothing and sewing essentials stored in front of it. I am still hoping to inject the beautiful paper in another area of the room, but for this nook, I decided to give the shiplap look a try!
Where do you stand on the trend vs. forever classic shiplap debate? I think that although trendy, it is also classic; I am truly split 50/50 on this one. But either way, I have been loving it, and knew this was the perfect place to play with it and try it out in our home.
We learned a few things along the way, so I thought I would share them with you today. First, we started out by purchasing two 1/4" thick, 4' x 8' Sande Plywood boards from Home Depot. This wood type ended up working OK for our project, but if I were going to do a larger wall in a more visible area of our home, I would definitely use a higher grade wood next time. As we ran the wood through our table saw, we experienced some minor chipping/fraying of the edges. This also could have been a sign of a dull saw blade.
Bryan and I began by running the sheets through a table saw, cutting 6" tall planks. The width of each plank was cut as we went, as our built-ins are not perfectly square.
The next step was to locate the studs and mark our wall accordingly. This ensured we were nailing the boards into the studs, making this entire project as secure as possible. We used a level to install the first board, and began at the bottom just above our floor trim. This was the easiest location to begin, however, it did leave a smaller strip at the top (which not everyone will prefer).
Once the first board was installed, it was just a matter of cut, add spacers (1/8"), nail, repeat. However, with all of the rain in the last week, this project took us much longer than we had expected. Days longer. We would set up the miter saw outside, and the rain would start. Take it down and move it to the garage. Skies would clear up; saw out, rain would come back out of nowhere. Someone was laughing and it wasn't us. Each night we would get a few more strips cut and then have to take a break. And of course we had just spent the previous weekend cleaning our garage for an upcoming garage sale, so we didn't want to fill it back up with sawdust. That said, it was hard to gauge the total time to finish all the way up the wall, and to also fill in the individual pockets to the right, but I would guess it was a good 3-4 hours just in measuring and cutting.
Bryan did a great job lining up the pieces in the side shelves to match the pieces in the larger area. That was no small task, as everything required special cuts and rips. But that attention to detail was so worth it in the end. Above you can also see the one cubby has new walls, we had to add a little extra width to prep for the new sorting drawers.
This project was also a case of the ol' "It gets worse before it gets better" saying. I was really wondering if this shiplap thing is all it has been cracked up to be; just up until I rolled on that brilliant white paint.
But before I could paint, I had to caulk every last nail hole and exterior edges (not in-between each of the boards). For this step, I just used regular paintable white caulk and a wet rag.
The last lesson I learned is that I needed to use a small craft brush paired with my favorite angled paint brush, to really get inside of every last groove. I am guessing people paint the wall behind the planks first, as well as the edges of the boards as they go? As I began I quickly realized that I didn't like the look of a small amount of paint in the cracks that would accumulate by simply brushing, so I was thorough about getting inside each groove with the craft brush.
And then I rolled! I used two coats of Behr's Ultra Pure White in Satin (the same paint we used on the remainder of the built-in initially). It is an enamel paint, so it should cure and hold up to any dampness from the clothing that is hung in this area.
The outcome is AWESOME! So simple and pretty! And such a bright difference in the windowless space already!
(I was finding it challenging to get back far enough for a wall-to-wall view with my lens - which is also curving the edges of the built-ins a bit... sigh.)
The new baskets will take the place of our previous drink bins that were used to sort the boys' clothing. Each boy will have their own wire basket, and their clothes will be placed inside of the basket as they are removed and sorted from the dryer. The boys will then be responsible for putting away the contents of the baskets as part of their daily chores, and also returning the baskets with any empty hangers from their room.
The baskets were inexpensive finds from IKEA (part of the ALGOT line). I purchased three wire baskets as well as three sets of rails/glides. We added a thin wall to the inside of the shelving cubby to create the correct width for the rails, and then just screwed them into the sides. This little setup was the perfect solution to work with our existing routine, and I love that I don't have to trip over individual baskets for the boys on the floor any longer.
To attach the labels, I used the Martha Stewart bookplates, which have an adhesive backing. Because they only had two thin wires of the basket to adhere to, I also used clear packing tape on the backside of the labels. Stick plus stick and these labels are not going anywhere!
The baskets are lightweight and have a stopper to prevent them from falling out when pulled forward, however, they easily lift up and out when needed.
Now we have to pick out the new wood counter for this side of the room, and fill the shelves back up with our belongings. The counter for over the washer and dryer has been ordered, and so has the base cabinet, sink and faucet. I also ordered some beautiful gold hardware, and I hope it ends up being as fantastic in person as it looks online.
I am thrilled that I can officially declare my love of the classic shiplap trend; in photos and in person! Now, where to use that fabulous paper... The ceiling perhaps?