Sunshine Daaaay (Painting Your Fuse Box So It Blends In)

Our freshly painted laundry room makes me want to sing (and dance and dress) like this:

Yup, it’s bright and happy in there. First I repainted all the trim (with Olympic No-VOC semi-gloss off-the-shelf white) and painted the annoying brown quarter round near the baseboards, so it blended in with the white trim. I applied three thin coats of the same Olympic No-VOC paint (no primer because I used the same method with success in the living room five months back and I’m lazy). Then when it came to the wall color, we decided to use the leftover paint that we used in the adjoining kitchen (remember when we painted that beastly paneling here?). Why that color? To brighten things up and connect the two spaces since you pretty much see the kitchen as soon as you step in the side door in the laundry room.

Since the laundry room is such a small space we knew a different color might interrupt the flow and make it feel a lot smaller than something that would connect slash elongate it. We might add a subtle stencil or some other paint treatment down the line if we want more mojo in there – but once we hang window treatments and a new dangly light fixture and add lots of other stuff (art, storage, etc) we’re not sure if it’ll be too much for the tiny room. So we’re waiting on the whole stencil/stripe possibility.

Bee tee dubs (yes I just spelled out btw, and turned the w into a dubs) the color is called Sesame 381 by Benjamin Moore (color matched to Olympic’s No-VOC paint in a semi-gloss finish). Our small semi-light-filled laundry room has a door and window that let in light from the carport, which isn’t super bright but it’s a lot brighter than our windowless kitchen. So the artichoke-ish grellow (green + yellow) tone:

  1. is a smidge brighter
  2. reads a little more yellow than it does in the kitchen
  3. is so insanely cheerful

We’re psyched. Who doesn’t love a happy little laundry nook? As soon as I started cutting in I knew it would wake up the whole space.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

And here she is now with a slap of how-you-doin’-on-this-fine-morning color (along with some other changes covered here):

Oh and if you’re wondering what that white board is in the pic above and below, we heard setting stacked appliances on a nice thick piece of plywood that goes against all three walls can stabilize the machine for a longer life. So we did it. And I painted it white because when we add shelving to that side of the nook it’ll blend in like chin hair on a mountain goat. Made that up. Think it’s catchy? Nah, me neither.

Some of these photos look a little more neon and booger-ish than it does in real life. In real life there’s zero booger resemblance and it’s definitely not neon. Which is a relief. It’s light and sweet – like liquid sunshine. And here’s why we knew this room could handle some happy color:

  • We’ll add a ton of white shelving to temper the color (along with the white washer/dryer).
  • It has a window & a glass door as well as a doorway into the kitchen to break things up.
  • Eventually when we have wood floors in there it’ll be even more subdued.

Oh and as for that crazy metal fuse box cover that we had going on – remember this?

We just rolled/brushed a few thin and even coats of paint right over it. Didn’t even prime. We did that in our last house to hide a just-as-obvious one in the corner of the den – and four years later it still looked awesome. See if you can find it here. Metal actually takes thin coats of paint really well (like spray paint) so by being sure not to glob it on and opting to do more thin coats (as opposed to fewer thick and globby ones) I got some nice coverage. And it still opens and closes easily (tip: do that a few times between coats to ensure that things still work smoothly and nothing gets gummed up with paint). In short: thin and even applications = the painting holy grail.

Total spent for this phase of the makeover: $0 (thanks to trim and wall paint that we already had leftover from the kitchen). Wait, we did buy a pack of rollers so it was actually $8. Of course we still have plans for adding a ton of function (and a good dose of looks-nice stuff, like art) to the room – and that blank wall in particular. So that painted fuse box won’t just sit there looking, well, painted. We’ll share those details as we go.

As for the to do list, here it is as it stands today:

  • Paint the odd brown quarter round near the baseboards glossy white
  • Redo all the dinged up trim (also in semi-gloss white)
  • Paint the walls
  • Replace our dryer hose with a safer all-metal one
  • Add adjustable built-in shelving in that nook next to the stacked washer & dryer <– we can’t unstack them and put them on the long wall since the room is only 3.5′ wide so the doors wouldn’t even open
  • Replace the hinges and knobs on the upper cabinetry
  • Get a new light fixture <- DIY something? maybe a small chandelier?
  • Add a window treatment (maybe a homemade one?)
  • Add other functional storage near the door for shoes, Burger’s leash, etc
  • Hang some art to keep it cheerful and obscure the giant metal fuse box

Mmm, crisp white trim might also be the painting holy grail. Doesn’t it look so great with warm greeny gold? This photo is probably the most true to life when it comes to the actual paint color and how it looks in there. It’s a little lighter in person, but this is the yellow with a hint of green tone to a T. It’s just like an artichoke heart.

Suddenly I actually feel like doing laundry. Weird.

Psst- You guys were all so sweet about my haircut yesterday. Seriously, I almost got a cavity. And I definitely got all awkward and clammy and blushy. Basically the opposite of cute. Anyway, rest assured that my hair will never look that good again (you know stylists possess some other-worldly powers to create a hairstyle that no one can replicate at home). So stop being so dang nice. It’s making me rashy.


  1. says

    Well, I don’t know if I love the color, but I think it will look much better once you’ve crossed a few more items off your list. The Brady Bunch, however, is a classic. No room for improvement. Ha. Just curious, what are you going to use to make the shelving adjustable? Wire shelving? Wood shelves on with metal adjusters (like your bookcase)?

  2. says

    Looks awesome! I think some nice stripes like in your last bathroom would look awesome in here, but I like the idea of a stencil too. It’s such a great colour!

  3. says

    It looks great! I love the yellow! My bedroom in high school was bright yellow and I named it the yellow submarine. One of the hardest things about owning a home is picking a color palette for the main floor. Do you guys have any tips?


    • Rachael says

      I saw a really cool episode of Color Splash Miami where they talked about color palettes for a whole home. They way they did it was by using the HGTV paint line (of course). It comes in collections like “cool” and “warm” and I think there are 12 colors in each collection. Then David demonstrated that you can pick any colors out of the 12 and they will match any other color in the collection.

      If you like the HGTV colors, I’m sure you can always color match them to cheaper paints (I have a feeling they’re expensive). The HGTV paints are by Sherwin-Williams and you can find them here:

    • says

      Good to know! I inadvertently chose one of those HGTV colors for my living room, which apparently also happens to be part of their Rustic line (I think rustic is just in my blood inside and out). It’s good to know I can go back and choose other colors that will match….because I’m at a loss!

    • Tia says

      Thanks for sharing that link Rachel! We close on our new house tomorrow, so that is really helpful!

  4. says

    I painted our bathroom/laundry room a similar color (although mine read more “bright greeny-greige”) and loved it – I told my husband that laundry actually makes me smile now. What a difference some paint can make!

  5. says

    What a difference! It’s gone from dark and icky to fresh and inviting!

    I’m in the process of painting my kitchen the same color. What you call artichoke heart I call celery. Potato, potahto. :)

    My laundry is cobalt though. Sort of regretting that now, but there is no way I’m tackling that space again in my lifetime.

  6. says

    The color looks great in that little room!

    I got a question for you: how did you paint the wall on the left side of the washer/dryer? Did you have to move the W/D away from the wall to paint it, or were you able to squeeze a roller in there? I’m asking because we have a similar setup in the bathroom and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to paint the wall in that corner. Thanks so much!

    • says

      I just stuck my paintbrush in the crack against the wall as far as it would go. You can’t tell that the rest of the wall beyond that isn’t painted since the color isn’t tooo jarring (it’s bright and happy but it’s not like I used navy or black, which might make it more obvious). You could also probably put your machines on sliders and try to gently pull them away from the wall a bit. Hope it helps!


    • Jessica says

      Have you seen the infomercial for those sliders that you can use under furniture, appliances, etc? I am in awe that they used them to move a car….they just stick these tiny little things under each tire and this scrawny little dude just starts spinning that car around. I’m sold!!! I guess I’m easily swayed… :-/

    • says

      Yes! And once I have shelves on that side that I can actually reach (as opposed to the overhead cabinets that only tall John can use) I’ll be giddy!


    • says

      Now, this is a little more rustic but it did the charm for us for shelving. We have an older wooden ladder, and I used that for laundry for months (until someone needed it for a project! Boo!). When we redo the laundry room I plan on putting it back up, and then making custom shelving (maybe old flooring or something) between the rungs. I’m kind of pumped about it.

  7. ang says

    i love how you’re using all your dream colors and not ‘keeping it safe’. i think they’re beautiful <3 and anyone who says other wise– has tan walls! lol

  8. Ginna says

    This is great! I’ve been wanting to paint our laundry room but have been intimidated by trying to paint behind and next to the washer and dryer. Any tips on how you tackled that?

    • says

      I just stuck my paintbrush in the crack against the wall as far as it would go. You can’t tell that the rest of the wall beyond that isn’t painted since the color isn’t tooo jarring (it’s bright and happy but it’s not like I used navy or black, which might make it more obvious). You could also probably put your machines on sliders and try to gently pull them away from the wall a bit. Hope it helps!


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