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. Jerri says

    I am so addicted to your blog and look forward to your updates!! I even went to Sherwin-Williams the other day to buy the awesome brush you’ve mentioned and used it yesterday to paint a hallway that used to be wallpapered. I do have a question, though about ‘cutting in’. I’ve noticed that we sometimes can see the difference in the paint, especially close to the ceiling, even though we paint it the same number of coats as when rolling. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for motivating me. In fact, I’ve been eyeing some bright green paint for my kitchen…LOVE the inspiration room you shared!

    • says

      My tip would be to cut in and then roll afterwards. By rolling as close to the trim as possible (over some of the cut in part) it’ll help blend it!


  2. anne says

    I’m failing to see the white-painted board that the washer sits on…? I know I’m probably being a dope, here. I’m cool with that. :)

  3. Barb says

    I knew you would continue the same color into the laundry area…Brilliant!!! It looks wonderful and anxious to see the shelving and art work.

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT STYLISTS. My hairs looks so perfect the minute I leave the salon. The next morning or when it is next washed…..never will it look the same. I agree with you. What is it about stylists? I always ask them if they would like a job on a daily basis to make me look this good ….. no takers yet.

    I also think the best part of a haircut is the shampoo part. Nothing better than having someone massage your head. What do you think? It almost makes me fall asleep!!!

  4. says

    Oh man this looks SO good! I love how bright and cheerful it looks, I should spruce up mine a little, I think it would make laundry more “fun”. And what better way to start your morning off than with a little bit-o-Brady? Awesome.

  5. Sarah says

    Every time I see pictures of the new kitchen, I can’t get over how much better it looks. All that wood paneling in there always gave me anxiety when you’d pop photos of it into old posts. I just want to sit in that new green paradise and eat breakfast all day long.

  6. Brianne Franklin says

    ooh, that window is BEGGING for a roman shade! like it said to me, “I would look hawt with a roman shade.” I swear. It did.

  7. says

    Just curious on 1 thing. You used semi-gloss for the walls? We just finished repainting our kitchen and went from (a too dark) satin to eggshell (trim in semi-gloss), I thought the ‘sheen’ was too distracting (although the biggest error was the too dark color, it’s my fatal flaw). I wonder if it just varies from paint manufacturer to another.

    • says

      I like to use semi-gloss in all kitchens, bathrooms, and mudroom/laundry room areas- just because it’s easier to wipe down. We also have plaster walls so that seems to suck up paint more (so it doesn’t appear as shiny) so if you have drywall you might prefer eggshell, which is also an awesome choice. Oh and you said you used a dark color- that’s why! Darker colors look a lot more reflective and shiny- even flat paint would probably look kinda glossy in a dark color. Hope it helps!


  8. says

    It looks so sunny and inviting. :) I have one of those fuse boxes in my hallway leading to our bedrooms (old house), I was able to use our framed photo with signed matte from our wedding to cover over it. When we need to get into it, I just take it down. I had to remove a little handle that slides in and out. For now it’s in our tool drawer when we need to get in there. But, it made the space feel less industrial and more pretty. I’m not sure if you’d be able to do that though as their are other gadgets right next to it.

    • says

      We have a laundry basket so things come out of the dryer and go into the living room where we both fold on Karl or the bedroom (where we fold on the bed). It works out great except when Burger or Clara try to “help.”


  9. Teresa says

    I love the color! VERY cheerful. I hadn’t put much thought into our laundry room until I saw yours. I am afraid that my “empty” weekend is now booked. lol Thanks guys for the inspiration!

  10. Brittany says

    I wish I had your cutting in skills. Even with the 2″ brush I can never get the right amount of paint on the brush to avoid drippage and make it go exactly where I want. :( I’m seeing a new video opportunity….?!? :)

    Also, I’ve made reading your posts one of the best parts of my day by making it snacktime. As soon as I see there’s a new post I grab my snack. Food & decorating. Heaven.

    Lastly, got around to watching designstar last night and I wanna punch Kathy in the mouth. She is a total be-yotch.

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