Before I even began thinking about the laundry room redo, I started looking for solutions to our storage problems. The bathroom that is attached to the laundry room currently serves as our main bath. The original bath in the house is severely outdated and tad bit scary. Plus, after some piping issues this past fall, the water isn’t at full force. So, we use the shower in the back/newer bath. Yes, it is on the other side of the house and not really convenient, but to us it really isn’t a big deal. What did drive me crazy is that there isn’t a linen closet in the bathroom and the closet in the laundry room has two giant rods without shelving. I resorted to the trusty shelf I bought (and put together all by myself) in college. It wasn’t even close to right size, but it served the purpose.
If you’ve known me for very long, you know I have serious issue with things being “even” (i.e. the ends of a towel when you fold it, papers on a desk, magazines in a stack. I know, I’m a weirdo.). Clearly these towels were causing me to have fits every time looked at them. Something had to be done. The previous owners had a HUGE cabinet, that was way too big for the space, to solve their storage problems. I knew that wasn’t the route I wanted to go. I felt like if we put a decent piece of furniture with storage back there people would be a lot less likely to notice the missing linen closet. Of course, I wanted something cheap. I checked IKEA’s site and a few of my other favorite bargain spots, but I just couldn’t find anything that screamed “BUY ME!” A few times I spotted a piece I thought would work at one of my favorite second hand stores, but it still wasn’t ideal. This hunt went on for about 6 months before we were saved by another A-MAZING grandmother (how blessed are we to have all these incredible grandparents?)! This time Alex’s Grandmother Guance came to the rescue. She had decided that she no longer had a need for a light colored, I guess you’d call it maple, hutch. At first I couldn’t really see how I could use the piece, but as soon as I gave it a once over at Christmas, I knew it was perfect. Since I had to work a basketball tournament almost every weekend in December, Alex and Mitch (Al’s step-dad a.k.a Best Father In-Law in the world!) did all the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, during the move there was an accident and the middle drawer jumped to an untimely death. It probably would have survived if a stinkin’ truck didn’t smash it to smithereens. But once I got to thinking about it, we didn’t even need three drawers. If we had a fake drawer in middle I could store taller things in the section below. Good ole’ Mitch is making a new face to match the other drawers, so problem solved.
Mrs. Guance has the cleanest house I have ever seen in my life, so I was not surprised to find the hutch in great condition. I loved the sliding doors that appeared to be drawers on the middle shelf, but I felt like if I left the back on it may make the room look even smaller than it aleady is. So, I opted to leave it off. No worries though, it’s heading the garage since more than once person told me they have done the same thing and years later wished they had kepth the top portion of the hutch. This was also a good call because I eliminated the amount of wood that would need sanding. As I have gone through my DIY projects I’ve learned a couple of things. For instance, when you are sanding you don’t have to sand all the way down to the orginal wood grain. Of course I found this out after I had spent forever sanding the hutch to the very bottom. Live and you learn! Anywho, the top of the hutch is made of laminate and did not need to be sanded down but it would need a special primer. A quick trip with Diana to Eade’s solved this problem. She had used a primer called Zinsser for laminate before, which worked great for the this job too.
The rest of the piece could be primed with plain old Kilz and of course we seem to always have a gallon or two of that laying around. I used a 4″ sponge roller to apply the primer and a 2″ brush to get in to all the little crevices. Once the primer dried I used a 4″ sponge roller again to apply a couple of coats of Porter’s white high-gloss paint. The sponge roller gives a nice smooth finish when you are painting furniture and a hi-gloss will give it that shiny sheen look. Once everything had dried I applied a a coat of hi-gloss lacquer which I found in a spray (gotta love anything that comes in a spray can!), just to give the hutch a nice smooth finish and to protect it from nicks. Next, I moved on to hardware. The old hardware was just that, old. We’ve gone with brushed nickel on all of our fixtures because it is modern and traditional at the same time. Sticking to this pattern we headed up to Lowe’s to find a two single knobs and three 2.5″ inch handles, but we ran into a huge problem. Almost all of the handles came in 3″ and not 2.5″. There were only two choices – 1.) a hunk-in piece of metal that I could spray to match the knobs or 2.) a very slim rounded version. I went with choice number 2, even though I thought it was too thin to be put on anything. Hinges come into play when you are replacing hardware, but we already had a can of gray metal spray paint that we had used when we redid our kitchen cabinets, so I just sprayed those down to match the handles and knobs.
Not only do I have a work space on top of the hutch, but I have two drawers (one fake drawer), and two shelves below that are perfect for storing our towels. And the best part of it is is SUPER cheap!! The whole project came in around $40.00!