Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Laundry Room Counter

I am in the process of a huge overhaul of my laundry room.  Everything but the floor and trim is being changed out.  I’m doing this across a few blog posts because it’s been time consuming and a large project. 
I stumbled on a set of high efficiency washer and dryer on clearance last month, and was immediately drawn to the pretty shiny red.  That, and my old set has been through the wringer (no pun intended) washing my husband’s incredibly dirty clothes for 9 years.  As a water and sewer contractor, you can imagine how messy and yucky the later can be.
So I bought them, brought them home, and stacked them up to give me room to fold laundry.  I also painted the walls with the leftover paint from the closet that I did last year.  I had intended to do a counter space in here for a long time so that I could get away from emptying the dryer into a basket and never routinely folding laundry.  I know I’m not the only one out there who dresses their family out of the laundry basket regularly! 
So as a temporary fixture, I put in this table which is only 2 foot by 3 foot and doesn’t allow for much stacking considering the capacity of those babies!
So I set about a more permanent fix and there starts my big, time consuming project.  Keep in mind that my husband did help me cut the counter boards and hang the brackets (which really is a two person job anyhow) but the rest is my ideas, creativity, and hard work.  I’m very proud of how it’s turning out.
So first you measure how high you want the counter and make it level!
Then take two of these glued-on-edge shelves found in the wood working section of Lowes. (Let me insert here that I looked at some laminate counters, but for the price and the boring factor, I was determined to do my own)
Then you get a handsome man like this to cut the 45 degree angle to fit the corner.  Notice we are using a power tool in our hallway (we don’t currently have a garage) and it’s 9:30pm.  I hoped we didn’t wake the kids, but nothing can stand in the way of progress.
Then we put up 4 brackets like these from Lowe’s.  Since we were both working on it, I don’t think we took a picture.  Just make sure they are screwed into the studs!  I put two on each wall with one in the corner to ensure that it spanned across the joint between the two pieces.
I took over from here and did everything else.  First I glued the angled part together and screwed a couple small boards to the bottom to hold it together
I wanted the counters to look a little nicer, so I put a 1 x 2 edging on the front faces and the side that would not be against the wall.  It helps to have a cute assistant to hold the boards upright to nail the pieces on. 
When you get them all nailed on you have to wrestle the heavy thing through the deck door, down the hall way, through the laundry room door, and nearly break your back, neck, and arms trying to get it up on the brackets without putting a hole in the wall, the window, or bash the washer/dryer.
IF you survive that, it will look like this:
Next task is to screw the brackets from the bottom, fill the cracks with wood filler and sand, then prime and paint.  I chose Valspar’s Betsey’s Linen.  Here it is primed I think. (The paint is just a shade off white)
This is where I lost my mind and after the fact figure out that a camera doesn’t take and keep pictures without a Compact Flash card in it.  So I will explain what I did.
I taped a line of frog painters tape 3 inches and 4 inches from both the front edge and back edge to create a stripe.  Cut away the excess to give a nice angle where they meet.  Then I used my silhouette to create a stencil with Contact paper.  I put one stencil in the corner between my stripes and then eyeballed the remaining 5 stencils along the length of the counter. 
I painted lightly over all my stencils and tape with the same Betsy’s Linen as the counter to “seal” the edges and prevent the red paint I used next from bleeding under the tape. 
After that dried I put on two coats of glossy red acrylic craft pain in the negative spaces of the stencil and the taped lines.  This is what the stenciled areas looked like after I pulled the Contact paper off:
I wanted to seal the paint to make it stronger and somewhat waterproof, so I added two coats of Polycrylic.  It’s a water based version of polyurethane that can go over latex paint. 
And the final product of the counter looks like this!
Next on tap I made a new curtain that needs hung, I am working on shelving for the longer wall, and intend to make some fabric baskets to hide my laundry clutter.
Hope you enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. First I wanna say, how lucky are you to get those front loading units!!

    2nd, I think I will have to do my laundry room myself too, since it's only been "on hold" for 8 years now....I had everything for it the whole time. I will have to buy new paint because it's gotten so old.

    3rd, I love how your folding counter turned out! Love the pop of red to go with the W&D!