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

    It’s funny how a nice laundry space really does make you want to do laundry! When we lived in my in-laws house their washer & dryer were in the basement in a closed off room with the boiler and water heater. Dingy and gross. Our new house has a laundry room (with almost identical yellow paint to yours) that is much more pleasant and I actually enjoy doing laundry. I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon enough though ;)

  2. Amanda Feste says

    Sherry you’ll get all rashy — Your hair looks AMAZING, along with your “new” laundry room. I L.O.V.E your blog, thanks for all you do for your readers.

    P.S. You mentioned once that you guys do the blog for your own “journal” process – maybe another post on other things you do for traditions, journaling, how you basically remember what you do when (other then Johns’ math brain)

    • says

      I think the short story is that we take a lot of photos, hang a lot of meaningful objects and items to remind us of fun times that we’ve shared, send ourselves postcards on trips to remember the details, etc. We try to document and display things in a way that it’s not too hard (otherwise we wouldn’t do it) and it’s kind of easy and fun!


  3. Melissa says

    Love it!! :) oh and I think you may have just talked me into cutting hair. It’s half way down my back and curly, I’ve been putting it in a side braid for far too long now. lol Wish me luck!

  4. Eilene says

    I want to leave work right now and do over my laundry room/half bath in that same color!!! Looking at your laundry room makes me cheery! Nothing like this little lifeless cubicle. Blah!

  5. says

    LOVING the color! A cheerful color is a must for chore rooms. Can’t wait to see the finished product…it actually makes me wish we had a laundry room (or even a nook) as opposed to the w/d just living in the corner of our garage. I need some inspiration on making that area more inviting…

  6. Krystal says

    Thank you for posting the Brady Bunch video. I will now have Sunshine Day stuck in my head. It will be a nice break from having “U Can’t Touch This” stuck in my head for the past four days. Seriously, it’s been driving me nuts…and caused a horribly embarrassing moment when I couldn’t contain myself and started busting a rhyme and a move at work.

  7. says

    That looks fabu! Now you need a a big plush rag rug right in front of the washer/dryer.

    I also want to point out how relieved I am that you went warm with the color. When I painted our nursery pale yellow, I chose a color more on the cooler side and it ended up looking a little neon because the room is so small. (surprised it drive my little girl crazy)

    Keep up the great work!

  8. says

    Go get yourself some salon quality shampoo and conditioner(I recommend Biolage) and a fat, vented round brush and you can have that hairstyle all day, everyday! Coming from a girl who thought my hair would never look as good as when the stylist did it, turned cosmetology student! I learned the power of quality products!

  9. Ashley says

    Sherry, just curious… can you reach the buttons on the dryer up there?!? I’m 5’3 and I think I would have to pole vault up there just to be able to turn the dryer on

  10. Sarah says

    Hi, the kitchen & laundry room look great! Care to comment on your choice to use semi-gloss for the walls? I’m used to using semi-gloss at trim but then dialing back to satin, eggshell or even matte on the walls. Does a semi-gloss sheen run the risk of the walls looking too “shiny?”

    • 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. Hope it helps!


  11. says

    Love the yellow! Also, as for the fuse box thingy, we had one in our old house that we turned into a chalkboard. Actually, the guy who redid our kitchen turned it into a chalkboard. I saw the plans for it in Southern Living—frame around the outside of it, door that he built then painted with chalkboard paint. He even added a ledge for chalk and eraser. Just a thought. Haircut is adorable, by the way.

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