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Family Storage

By: Danny Lipford

Double-Duty Laundry Room and Pantry Closet Storage
Chris and Laney are raising their three young children in a half-century-old house which they bought a little over 2 years ago. They’ve updated several areas in the house, but the laundry room has been untouched since they moved in. The room is awkwardly laid out and wallpapered with a dark jungle print that makes it seem smaller than it is. The laundry also needs to serve as a pantry for the adjacent kitchen, but in it’s current condition it doesn’t serve that purpose any better than than it performs as a laundry. So our job is to make it more attractive and useful for both purposes.

Painting the Wallpaper

If the prospect of scraping wallpaper doesn’t appeal to you, you’re not alone. In some cases painting over the stuff makes much more sense than removing it. The best candidates have a smooth paper finish rather than a textured or vinyl surface. The paper should also already be well adhered. If it’s already peeling it will only get worse as you apply paint.

The first job is to fill any holes or divots in the wall surface. Drywall joint compound is the best material for this because it’s easy to work with and sand once dry. Next you’ll want to apply a coat of oil based primer over all of the wallpaper. Because the primer is oil based it will seal out the moisture in the finish paint so it can’t reach the water based adhesive behind the wallpaper. The primer will also create a great bonding surface for the finish paint and in this case, block out the bold print of the wallpaper. Once the primer is dry, the room is ready to paint with the color of your choice.

Creating Horizontal Folding Space

Because space is at a premium in this room we really don’t have room to add a countertop. So we’re going to re-arrange the dryer and freezer to put them side-by-side to take advantage of the flat surface on the top of both appliances. To eliminate the scratches and rust on the machines we’re painting them both with spray paint in a bold black color that will make them stand out while it hides dirt.

Creating A Pantry

Re-arranging the appliances requires the removal of the makeshift pantry shelf in the corner so we’re moving the pantry to the underutilized closet . With a little design help from ClosetMaid we are able to efficiently use all of the space inside the closet and an accordion door from helps hide the contents when it’s not in use. If attaching your pantry shelves begs the question of which fastener to use, check out our article on Testing Wall Anchors and Picture Hangers for some useful tips.


You may not realize it but a laundry room can generate almost as much humidity as a bathroom. The process of washing and drying clothes may put less moisture in the air but it goes on for hours and hours each day. That makes the addition on ventilation to this space a very important consideration. The Broan vent fan we chose to add is equipped with a humidity sensor that automatically turns the unit on when the humidity reaches a pre-set level so it’s both effective and easy to use.

Repairing the Back Door

The back door to the laundry hasn’t been used in over a year because it was blocked by the freezer. Once we open it up we discover that the weatherstripping is shot and there is some rotten wood around the door casing. The door trim that’s too far gone is replaced with new cellular PVC trim that won’t rot no matter how much moisture it gets. The smaller damaged areas are repaired with auto body filler putty before the areas are painted to match the existing color.

Other Tips from This Episode

Using Hair Dryer to Warm Leather Before Conditioner

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Easy Tip For Applying Leather Conditioner

Most leather boots and furniture can be revitalized with a leather conditioning oil or cream. But this trick helps it soak deep into the leather grain. Watch the video.

Globe Electric USB Port with Nightlight

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
USB Port with Nightlight

This product combines two of the things we need into a single device. It’s an LED nightlight that also includes two USB ports for charging your various devices. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.



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  • Martha Millan Says:
    March 11th, 2018 at 10:17 am


  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Says:
    March 4th, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Hi, Susan,
    We are so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the show!
    Thanks so much for reading and entering the contest, and thanks for the suggestion of a craft room.
    Take care,

  • Susan Montross Says:
    March 3rd, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I entered a contest recently Then I had a brainy idea,I have a craft room that needs help.I don’t think I’ve ever seen you do one .Don’t get me wrong I put in for other projects.Just a suggestion. So love love this show watching right now.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Says:
    March 1st, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Hi, Deb!
    We used Titebond glue all over the back of the beadboard paneling and we drilled the beadboard into the wall.
    Thanks for watching!

  • Deb Rose Says:
    February 28th, 2018 at 2:41 am

    I am going to be redoing my laundry area and that fold-down drying rack would be perfect for the space. I’d love to be able to make it at just a bit more than a 1/3 of the price!! I saw how the drying rack frame was made and the beadboard was attached to the wall, but I didn’t how the rack portion was attached to the beadboard or how the rack could be lowered down to be used. Is there a tutorial somewhere I could follow?

  • POLLy jamison Says:
    February 25th, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    There was a cleaner advertised on the program… bath cleaner for glass doors I think and a cleaner for mold and mildew shown being used on a basement. Please what is the name of this product?

  • Vicki Baker Says:
    February 24th, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Loved this episode on Family Storage. Great ideas I will put to use, and it looked great after you finished!

    All my best!

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Family Storage