Posted by Nicki Clark on 21 May 2013
Everyone, meet my new laundry room shelves. Shelves, everyone. I first have to confess that I should have taken before photos. I really really should have. Because, believe me you guys, my laundry room looked like a hot mess before these shelves came along (let's be honest, it's still not a beauty, but it's MUCH better). Everything was heaped on top of the washer and dryer in no type of order whatsoever. Our laundry soaps. Hanks toys and sundries. A gigantic juicer. Dirty kitchen towels. All fighting for space atop our appliances. And it drove me nuts! For the last year+ every time I went into the laundry room I knew there had to be a change. And so, over the weekend, finally a change there was: enter the new laundry room shelves.
We already had a small, high shelf installed in the laundry room that came with the house (I used to to store cleaning rags and our iron), so Ty and I decided to just match the three shelves we wanted to install to it, since it was just about the easiest type of shelf to build and so they would all match. Brilliant. The original shelf was constructed by installing three individual furring strips along the back and side walls, and then placing the shelf on top of the lip they create. Easy peezy.
So, Ty measured out the pieces we would need, and then I headed to Home Depot to pick up the wood and get it cut. Important to note, when taking measurements for the side pieces, you should take the stud distance into account. You will notice the side furring strips for our shelves extend beyond the actual shelf depth (so did the ones for the original shelf); they needed to go out that far so each of them could be fastened into two studs, providing adequate shelf support. Make sense? Okay good. Moving ahead.
Once we had the wood at home, I laid out a drop cloth in the garage and used some leftover paint to make those babies white white white. It took a couple coats and days, but after they were all beautiful and dry, Ty used our electric drill to install the furring strips (he drilled pilot holes in them first to keep the boards from splitting). Then we plopped the shelves on top and stood back to admire our handy work. Ta-dah! But. "Ew," I thought. "Those edges look disgusting." I must admit I hadn't sanded the boards at all before painting (it didn't occur to me that I should have sanded them until the first paint coat was on, and at that point I was way too lazy to start over), so I knew they wouldn't look good. But they honestly looked even worse than I had anticipated. Gross. Thankfully, though, caulk is a miracle worker. It took about 30 minutes of meticulous work, but after caulking all the way around the newly installed shelves and furring strips, the shelves went from feeble to fabulous. I swear, caulked edges make things look a million times better. And now I have four (count them four!) happy little laundry-room shelves to use to my fancy. Not to mention it's so good to be able to see the tops of the washer and dryer again. And push their buttons without reaching around a bunch of stuff. Couldn't be happier.
The whole project cost about $40 and took a combined total of about 3.5 hours of labor + Home Depot run time.