Maximizing Laundry Room and Pantry Space

Chris and Laney are raising their three young children in a half-century-old house that they bought a little over two 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 its current condition it doesn’t serve that purpose any better than it performs as a laundry.

So our job is to make it more attractive and useful for both purposes.
Double-Duty Laundry Room and Pantry Closet Storage

Painting the Wallpaper

How to paint over wallpaper
Can you paint over wallpaper? Yes, it’s possible! We’ll show you how.

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.

Ready to paint over wallpaper? Watch the tutorial here>>

Creating Horizontal Folding Space

Placing Laney and Chris’ freezer and dryer side by side provides instant 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 of 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.


The Today’s Homeowner crew helped Chris and Laney with a laundry room redo.

We covered these projects in this episode:

  • Painting wallpaper
  • Creating a pantry
  • Adding ventilation
  • Repairing the back door trim

Check out the Family Storage episode article for more information and links to the products we used on this project!


  1. ok, now you did it I have looking for a way to fix our laundry room…I need that according door and would like to know where to buy it…That very setup was GREAT…. My husband always watch you but now I think he is sorry….I want that storage just like the one you did.

    Thanks, Barbara


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