New Use for Old Drawers: A Laundry Room Re-Vamp

By: Craftmel Mar 18, 2011

created at: 03/16/2011

We recently moved into a rental condo where, among a bazillion other rules, we can't paint our walls.  Which is unfortunate, because the last tennants "touched up" with flat paint over the existing eggshell finish.  It makes for an interesting pattern on the walls, but I digress.  Our drab laundry room not only was white beyond all sterile imagining, but it had zero shelving or storage.  The solution to our blah laundry room was found in a few castaways.  

A couple cast-off drawers found at a thrift store found new life with a coat of paint I had in the garage.  Using other items I had stashed around the condo, it was simple and cheap to make functional shelving that also added that desperately needed punch of color and fun to the room.

created at: 03/16/2011

Don't feel bad stripping a desk or dresser of its drawers for this purpose; the empty shell can be repurposed as well, like into a play kitchen for those kiddos that create all that dirty laundry. 

Sometimes, I am amazed what a little paint can do to a project.

created at: 03/16/2011

Now there is a place for everything (even those lonely socks), and everything is in its place.

created at: 03/16/2011

This nearly costless re-vamp made me a lot happier to enter my laundry room.  Now I need the courage to enter that room with actual laundry.

Have you repurposed lately?

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Barbara, I simply screwed through the drawer and into a wall stud in two places.  I painted over the screws so they aren't visible, and one year later, they still dont' budge!

I think it is a great idea and I have been looking for something to do with 3 leftover drawers from a free dresser that I canibalized to make a work surface (desk) for my scrapbooking. I was just wondering how you hung the shelf (drawer)? Thanks.

I think it is a great idea and I have been looking for something to do with 3 leftover drawers from a free dresser that I canibalized to make a work surface (desk) for my scrapbooking. I was just wondering how you hung the shelf (drawer)? Thanks.

what a great idea!  I would add a little step--reinforce where the front of the drawer attaches to the rest.  Sometimes the fronts loosen even under just the usual use, and with heavy bottles straining that.......


I LOVE it!  I have been hanging on to a few drawers for the purpose of making something artsy, but haven't yet gotten into the project.  Now that we're moving into yet another rental, I know my darling GF will complain that I'm moving those drawers with us again!  Maybe with this idea I can convince her that I'll use them for something handy and nifty in our new rental.  I can always find more later, when the art bug gets me.

Thanks for the idea and the beautiful pics!

the drawers don't look very deep in the picture and it never occured to me that you would not be able to open the lid if you lowered the drawer to just above the machine - 

The paint color is gorgeous. What is it? I already have cabinets up over my dryer and washer but I never thought about where to put loose change or anything like that..and well you know how the sock thing goes. I have a place for them but your way is cuter!

The washer is a top-loader, meaning I need to have clearance above the washer to open the door.  Also, when hanging anything on walls, the aesthetic rule of thumb is to have things at average-height eye-level if possible.  I am 5'4" and the center is level with my eyes, as far as I can tell.  You can call it personal preference, but making sure I could open the washer was a #1 priority ;)

why put them so high? don't you have to climb on the appliances to reach the drawer shelf

I would installed directly over the machine

That's exactly what I thought when we moved in! We are renting directly from the homeowners, a sweet old Canadian couple. I think they just want to play it safe; some people are terrible painters and can get paint on more than just walls. We do have to have permission to hang heavy objects, like mirrors and drapery panels, just because if they aren't hung correctly they can ruin the drywall. In the meantime, we just put colorful things on the walls to liven up our space!

Cool idea, but I have a few questions about the condo rules (off-topic, I know.) Back when I rented, we could paint as long as we re-painted it back to off-white when we moved out. Also, don't they paint between tenants? That's just weird. AND, you can hang stuff on (make holes in) the wall, but you can't paint? Okay, I'm done, now. ;/

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