September 14, 2014

Lisa: Degrossification

My laundry room was disgusting. There were dusty, sticky pipes everywhere of all shapes and sizes, half of the ceiling was open to the floorboards of the bathroom above (for pipe/cord access), and the drywall had never been finished, so there were gaps and cracks all over the place. Don't even talk to me about the spiders that came in through all those cracks and built webs in the corners around the pipes where I couldn't reach. The cement floor had been haphazardly covered with vinyl self-stick tile in a nauseating yellow-with-brown-smudges fake ceramic tile pattern, and then patched with a different vinyl self-stick tile in a beige fake ceramic tile pattern. Plus, the whole thing was super dirty because I spent as little time in there as possible, and because it looked bad even when it was clean, so why bother?

I didn't have the budget to gut what was there, reconfigure plumbing, and install beautiful tile. Plus, I knew we would probably be totally redoing the basement in a few years, so I needed more of a "phase one" fix. My main goal was to end up with a laundry room that was not gross. After putting in some quality time on Pinterest, I got started, getting my color scheme from a cute ironing board cover and deciding to embrace the biggest of the pipes instead of trying to hide them. The other pipes and all the mess of the open ceiling area just got vacuumed and dusted and then sprayed a uniform white, which I think helps them fade into the background a bit. Prying up the old floor tiles revealed a sea of old (but still very sticky) adhesive that would never have come off, even with the strongest of solvents, so I scrapped the idea of a painted cement floor in favor of new vinyl tiles.


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Cost/Detail Breakdown

  • Ironing board cover: I bought it in January from compelledtocraft on Etsy for $24 ($28 with shipping).
  • Mesh self-stick drywall tape: from Home Depot, $5
  • Pre-mixed joint compound: from Home Depot, $4
  • Ceiling and pipe primer 6 cans of KILZ (Either Complete or Premium, whichever one says it works on iron) spray primer from Home Depot at $6/can = $36. I had to go back once for more cans, because that always happens.
  • Wall paint: 1 gallon of interior flat Glidden from Home Depot, tinted to match Benjamin Moore's Jamaican Aqua. A gallon was $21 with my discount, but I think I could have done it with just a quart. I used more of the paint in the downstairs hallway, and still have a bunch left over. A quart would have been $9.
  • Pipe paint: 1 quart of high gloss interior Glidden Premium from Home Depot, tinted to match Benjamin Moore's Tawny Day Lily. $14, but I got a 15% discount on both paint cans for "being the most patient customer," so $12.
  • Black/white vinyl self-stick floor tiles: These are confusingly difficult to find. All the self-stick tiles I could find in stores were made to look like fake ceramic tile, fake stone, fake wood, etc. (Dear vinyl tile users: you are not fooling anyone! But this is a rant for another time.) The ones I bought are by Stylistik, and I ordered them online from Home Depot at $30 for each box, one black, one white. I used less than half of each box, so you could say under $30 total, if you can find them in person somewhere. These were really easy to install, look great, and seem to be staying stuck down around the edges just fine. I cut the ones for the edges with my paper cutter, rather than springing for the special vinyl tile-cutting tool.
  • Black vase filler rocks: from Target, $5-7. You can't really see these in the after pictures, but they are covering the drain in the floor under the green table.
  • VIRSERUM frames: $13 and $25, from IKEA. I sprayed the mat of the smaller frame yellow with some leftover spray paint I had on hand.
  • EKBY MOSSBY shelf: $20 from IKEA
  • EKBY ROBERT shelf brackets: 2 @ $7.50 = $15, from IKEA
  • GRUNDTAL swing-out towel holder: $15 from IKEA
  • Rug: from Target, $15-20
  • Heat-resistant iron/ironing board holder: from Amazon for $20 back in January. The bummer is it sat on the laundry room shelf for eight months. The bonus is that I don't even remember spending that $20.
  • Metal garbage can: from TJ Maxx for around $30. Maybe $35.
  • Leaf-shaped bowl for collecting little items that fall out of pockets in the laundry: Already had it upstairs, unused, in the china cabinet, but I think I got it from TJ Maxx last year for $5-8.
  • Glass jar labeled "family fund": BURKEN, from IKEA, $5. We are so totally going to Disneyland in 100 years with the change I find in the dryer.
  • Total: Somewhere in the range of $320-$350