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Bright and colourful laundry makeover

Building a Reputation
Building a Reputation


Fresh paint on walls, cabinets and floor tiles helped transform an old laundry.



The project


Our laundry was by far the most neglected room when we moved into our home last year, but with two young kids it's a room I spend a lot of time in. 


I wanted to transform the room into a space that was bright, fun and practical but not spend a fortune as we have longer term reno dreams that may affect the location of the laundry.


I decided to use paint, some simple storage solutions and adhesive tiles for this transformation and am incredibly happy with the results. This laundry has gone from a space I dreaded entering, to now being a room that evokes so much happiness for the whole family. 


I wanted to work within a budget of about $300 for this project. As I've been working on a number of projects around the house, I had a lot of paint already which reduced my spend, but I'd estimate I'd pay $400 if I had to buy everything again. I find Weathershield and Renovation Range paints to have excellent coverage and be good value to purchase with multiple projects in mind. 


The laundry before.






Step 1 


The first thing I tackled was the concrete sink. I love it, but safe to say it had seen better days. I gave it a good scrub and painted the outside using Dulux Weathershield in Winter Fog. Although it's an exterior paint, I chose to use Weathershield as I know it works well on concrete surfaces, doesn't need to be primed in most cases, and would be fine with water splashes. My next project is going to be refinishing the inside of the sink, but that's for another time. 




Step 2 


The back wall of this laundry is asbestos, and in good enough condition to retain, but it does limit the options. I'd previously painted all walls in Dulux Wash & Wear Natural White, which made an excellent base for my designs. 




I used a mix of sample pots in various colours, influenced by my 4-year-old who loves rainbows. Colours included: Pink Chi, Fairy Wings, Paw Paw, Lemon Delicious, White Box Half, Surf Wash and Tapioca. 




I used a pencil to roughly sketch my design and got to work first on the large blobs - two coats. The next day I painted the leaves and flowers, followed by the yellow dots.   



To draw the rainbow, I used a pencil on a piece of string to mark one arch, and then freehand painted the rainbow to the approximate width of 2 x the width my paint brush bristles. I wanted the hand-painted look for the yellow stripes, so I marked up the lines in pencil using my spirit level but didn't tape them. They are imperfect by design and I love it.




Step 3 


The cupboards and benchtop were a very easy clean up and painting job. I used Selleys sugar soap for the clean and sanded by hand to rough up the surface for priming. As we had a lot of Dulux 1step prep already, I used this as my primer. 


For the cupboard paint, I went with Weathershield again in Antarctica Lake Quarter. I could have used the Dulux Renovation Range cabinet paint as we have used in our kitchen before with great results. However, I had the Weathershield already and had already used it to paint the exterior door and liked the colour continuity. For the benchtop I used Dulux Renovation Range tiles and benchtops in Sea Foam. 


I cut in with a small paint brush, and then used a small microfibre roller to lay on and lay off the paint. This gives a smooth even finish. I always do two coats. 




Finally, I added the leaves and spots to tie in with the mural wall. 


Step 4 


The floor is made of old laminate tiles, and I am happy to keep it that way, especially as it's easy to clean in an external laundry. To freshen these up, I painted them using Dulux tiles and flooring Renovation range paint in Winter Fog.


The most important part of this job was the clean. I used sugar soap in warm water and a long-handled scrubbing brush to scrub off all the grime that had built up over the years. 


After the scrub, I gave it a good rinse and mop and then let the room dry fully overnight. The next morning I did a quick vacuum for any residual dust, and then got to painting, using the primer and then two coats of the grey top coat. I let it dry for at least eight hours between each coat, and then only walked on it using clean socks each time.




One tip for painting flooring is to wear socks and long fitted pants (like leggings) because they don't drag or stick to the previous coat when you are kneeling on the floor. 



I also didn't let anyone walk on the floor for a week, with the exception of the clean socks to do washing. 


Step 5 


There wasn't a splashback behind our sink, which wasn't practical for us. If we decide to move the laundry in future, I'll use real tiles, but as an interim solution I picked up these adhesive tiles on sale. It was relatively easy to cut them to fit around the taps and window sill, a bit of trial and error but a pencil to stencil onto scrap paper worked well.


There were a few bits that lifted under the window sill where there is a lot of sun, so I used some silicone to secure them in place. 



Step 6 


The cabinets already in the laundry were decent, but there wasn't anything for long or awkward shaped items. I picked up an excellent iron and ironing board holder which I then mounted to the back of the exterior door. Similarly, I mounted the broom and mop to the other door. This keeps the items neat and off the floor, easily accessible and didn't require additional cabinetry or drilling into the asbestos. 


I pre-drilled the holes and inserted wall plugs, and then simply attached the fixtures with screws. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.






Tools and materials

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