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. Bonnie says

    Your laundry room looks great already (again evidence of the power of paint to transform a space) and I love that you maintained the flow and continuity with the kitchen color. It looks clean, crisp and happy! Gotta love that video too, Bobby Brady’s little solo moment cracks me up every time, as does the awkward choreography. A true classic. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ali says

    I seriously LOVE it in the laundry room! And I definitely think you should go for the stencil idea — that is if I’m thinking of the same Pinterest-popular yellow laundry room picture that I think you are!

    The hair is seriously adorable and you know it :P But I do know what you mean about never being able to make it look that good again. I’ve used every hair styling tool I own (which actually isn’t that many, but you know…) to try to replicate what my stylist does to no avail. She’s magical.

  3. Cindy says

    “Booger-ish” — HA! Looks great, especially in the last photo.

    Please stop trying to make “chin hair on a mountain goat” happen. hee!

    And I did my part to make you rashy but I’m not going to apologize for it. xo

  4. says

    Sherry (or John), question for you. I followed your recommendation to get the Premium XL Tight Spots brush for cutting in. But do I also use that brush for actually painting the trim also? Maybe I missed a poston painting trim (I just went to check under the painting tab), but what’s your advice for painting the trim? We’re doing our bedroom a bold blue and taking our cream trim to a nice bright white. Do you use the Tight Spots brush for the trim also? Thanks so much!

  5. Danielle says

    Since you posted the Brady Bunch video… did you know that the creator of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island passed away, I think, yesterday. Sweet coincidence and way to remember him!

  6. Alissa says

    Looks great! We painted our laundry room eggplant purple for fun…It’s amazing how much nicer the space is when the color of the walls can make you smile.

    And I think your haircut looks awesome! You look gorgeous in those pictures. You’d better get some benadryl cream for your rashy-ness, your readers love you. :)

  7. Amber says

    Glad to see you have plans to replace your dryer hose. We ran into trouble in our new house because we couldn’t get a HE front loader to fit behind the folding doors if we used one of the safe metal dryer vents. On top of that, our dryer vent and washer hookup were on the wrong sides, so the front loader doors would have been opening the wrong way (into each other) and they don’t make the washing machine door reversible. Doh! We considered stacking, but our electrical box is on the wall in that closet, and it’s on the side where the dryer would have to hook up! Double doh! After much hemming and hawing I decided to remove the folding doors and we just keep the door to the laundry room closed anyway. The baby would have just pinched his fingers in the door, and because the room is also a mudroom it tends to be a wreck. The guys who installed it were nice enough to run the connections criss-crossed so the washer and dryer are on the proper sides now. They just stick out ever-so-slightly from the closet space.

    My laundry room seriously needs a touch up, but is not a priority right now. It has the original (1971) linoleum floors in an orange, green and brown diapered pattern that I’m actually in love with. They’re only a little torn up under the washing machine, which you don’t see anyway. But the popcorn ceiling needs to be painted and I just kind of let the spiders have free-roam in there, so it’s covered in cobwebs! Oh well, we have bathrooms and bedrooms to make-over first!

  8. says

    Definitely happy, sunshiny, and lovely – I see lots of clean laundry in your future! I like that you used the same color as the kitchen for a seamless feel – what with the room being so small as so closely connected to the kitchen. Can’t wait to see the fun, awesome accessories you’ll bring in – any ideas on colors?


    • says

      We’re definitely going to use some white to cut a little of the color and keep it from getting too busy/chaotic since it’s small. And then we might bring in some of the tones in the dining room curtains (chocolate, teal, etc) just because we love those tones with grellow so much. Maybe even some deep teal like the guest bedroom too…


  9. Hayley says

    Great, now I am going to have that song stuck in my head the rest of the day! ;) The room looks really good though!

  10. says

    Wow that looks great! Can’t wait to see the rest of your ideas come together for that space. I like that you used the same color, which I’m loving by the way (or beee teee dubs as you said). I even out went and got a couple swatches from Ben Moore that were similar, including Sesame of course. I think a similar color in my kitchen would look good and not clash with the Chai Latte color used in the living room!

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