Saturday, February 11, 2017

From Cramped Utility to Utilizing a Mudroom

When we bought our house, there was so much that needed done. Although I didn't love the off-white tile in the kitchen, laundry, and half bath, I figured I could make it do. More than anything, it was a cost-saving measure, but time and effort was factored in as well. But then something happened to our kitchen floor that meant we had to do something... (see this blog post for that story).

So because we were now changing the kitchen tile, we realized it freed us up to change the footprint of the house. Projects that had occurred to us before and then were summarily dismissed because I didn't want to mess with the tile were now all of the sudden possibilities again.

The biggest was the utility room. It had a flaw--a big square of a closet butting into the mudroom space. While some may think getting rid of storage was a bad idea, this closet wasn't being used well anyway, and the better flow and more useful space had me excited.

This closet wasn't being well used from the hallway and took a quarter of the space from the utility room behind it.

Removing a closet would mean doing drywall (walls and ceiling), which also meant texture. And if we were already going to do drywall repair and texture, well, that meant I could do some updating on the half bath as well (see that blog post here). And that was how a "small" project of kitchen floor tile came to include so much more.

Removing the Closet

This part was easy. Clean out the clutter. Remove the door, shelves, and trim. Knock out some walls!

This gives you a better idea how much of the space it was taking up. (Sorry about the fuzziness.)

Removing Popcorn Texture

This really wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Just scraping it with the same taping knife my husband used for mudding worked great. But by the time I was done with two small rooms (the laundry and the half bath), I was glad I wasn't doing the whole house. (What's so bad about popcorn ceilings again? Now if it's glitter popcorn, well, I understand...)

Adding New Drywall

We did notice that the walls in the hallway were thicker than the walls between the kitchen and utility room (or maybe it was the other way around), so be sure to measure before you head to your home improvement store.

Because it was just the length of a door way, my husband didn't need to add any new studs. He just measured and cut to fit the existing opening and used drywall screws to attach the drywall to the studs from the door frame.

You can see the original door frame that will be in between two new sheets of drywall.

While he measured and cut as well as he could, he didn't worry about having it perfect, knowing that any little gaps would be covered by tape and mud in the next step.

Fuzzy, but you can see the ceiling repair.

Tape & Mud

Better known as floating the wall. This was the part I was most worried about, especially since there seemed to be a bit of a bow in the wall.

Tip: Always make sure the studs are level before attaching the drywall. If there's been settling or shifting, especially if there's been an warping of the wood due to water leaks, you might need to make some adjustments so that your drywall goes on flat and flush.

This was also the longest part of the project--or at least it seemed to be. It must have taken three-four days because after you apply the mud, you have to wait for it to dry completely, sand, and then float again with a larger swath and then repeat and repeat until you can't see the tape or where you begin or end on any of the seams. My husband did a great job on this though! And it was well worth the work and the wait.

Spray Texture

We rented a hopper and sprayed the new walls with texture. This is by far the best way to texture. Do not try the roll-on/paint on/aerosol texture. Those never match the rest of the house and scream DIY-fail.

Prime & Paint

Duh. Of course.


One of the things I really wanted in my new mudroom, besides the ability to walk through the room without running into a door or a corner, was a place to hang jackets and a place to tuck away shoes. If it had a bench, that would work well too.

My husband and I designed something to work for our space, and it's great! So much better than it was!