Last May we started our laundry room makeover. You read that correctly…we started a room over eight months ago. And no, it’s not done. Not even close. We are lots of things…fast is not one of them. That’s why it is hilarious to me when folks say “wow – you get so much done!” Take note of my laundry room people. Take note.
This crazy adventure began when we decided to rip out the flooring. It was hideous tile. In retrospect…maybe that wasn’t the right timing. Then we painted the trim. Our hood from the kitchen got vented and we built out the upper cabinets and painted them to hide the duct work that vented the hood to the outside. Then we painted the walls. Then we stopped.
Well by George and Ringo, this is the year that I will have a finished laundry room. Hopefully before LJ arrives…because ya know…babies create some pretty stinky messes.
So the first thing I did was finally paint the wall behind the washing machine. I used the same paint that I picked out before – Kerry Blue Terrier (which it looks nothing like the dog breed by the way…way more blue, less beard). The finish is Semi-gloss which is the first time I have ever used this finish on walls but I am liking it with the amount of dirt and pre-treater and water that splash up on the walls. It’s really scrubbable!
Then I decided that I wanted to do something completely Miley on this wall (aka crazy). It is my space…I am pretty much the exclusive launder-er and I just really thought an accent wall of fun and function would be great. At first I wanted an entire wall of pegboard…to hang the mops and tools and hooks for drying clothing. Then I realized that I probably would not be able to actually bend over to do laundry if all that stuff was behind me. Plus, nobody likes a hook in the back of the head.
So I decided to go with yet another accent wall. Go ahead…call me Hildi from Trading Spaces with my crazy obsession of making walls anything but plain painted walls.
Sooo…ombre it is.
It should be noted that an old friend of mine did a dropdead gorgeous wall treatment WAY ahead of the ombre trend and when I saw it, I googled her technique.
So the first thing that I did wrong was paint in the vertical. Don’t. Learn from me and my waywardness…paint horizontally if you attempt ombre.
The darkest color – Kerry Blue Terrier was on the bottom. Then I just mixed in white semi-gloss paint to be about 50/50 with that for the next layer.
Again. Paint horizontally.
Overlap the paint colors about two to four inches so that you can get the max blend. I blended by gathering a slightly damp paint brush and a squirt bottle with water. Then once I had about a three foot section painted, I would spray the overlap and blend by swiping the brush back and forth from the lighter color into the darker color.
You can see here in the glossy parts where my horizontal strokes met my vertical ones. Not a good look.
It was about then when I had to go back over my old layers and do horizontal strokes…because dang if I can see glare of two different directions. The third layer was half of the 50/50 mixture and half more white.
Then the final coat is just plain white semi-gloss – the same as the crown molding.
The glare is crazy in these photos and they are still a little wet so that’s why it looks a little nuts. I have considered doing a full glaze over the whole thing to get it smooth looking.
But overall, it looks like the sky…or the ocean. It’s very calming and fun. Kinda like the love child of the heads of Katy Perry and Lauren Conrad.
And yes, just for fun, I created a gif for you to see the ombre in action…cue the oohs and ahhs of Katie learning how to make a gif after extensive googling…
So that’s my wall…I think it probably won’t stay like this forever…but I LOVE that it is not ‘cucumber peel’ anymore and really it does bring a smile to my face…that’s what counts when you are spraying Oxi-clean on the millionth pair of dirty underwear.
Update : Looking for more info on something you see in our house? We have a Shop the Bower House page with paint colors and links to accessories, furniture and decor!
You are so brave!!!!
We are totally having a mind meld! I just made your “dumpster texture art” and I ombré’d it! It’s been fun following you guys! We have two boys too and I’m pregnant now!
Rachel @ casamarcelli says
Wow. What a creative idea. Also it is amazing to me how much brighter and whiter the trim looks now that the wall isn’t…yellowy? It looks so great. I need to get on painting my bathroom….maybe we’ll make that a project for…soon….
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! So pretty! I am thinking of painting my stair risers – and now I am totally going to use your technique to make them ombre. Start with my favorite color and just add a bit of white. Since I won’t be able to blend, i will have to make it more gradual, but I LOVE this!
I usually love your style… this wall is not my fave. However, kudos to trying something new.
Nicole B. says
Soothing & pretty. If some pretty paint makes doing your laundry less mundane, you go girl!
OMG Hildi. She always put up the worst accent walls, don’t compare yoirslef to her!! Did you see the ones where she stapled cheep fake flowers on all the walls of a bathroom!? I cringed.
I love it, KB. And I think a laundry room is the exact place to take risks like this, because it’s for your eyes and enjoyment only and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t involve removing a room full of furniture to fix.
If brush strokes being visible is the problem, you could use a self leveling paint like Benjamin Moore advance or add a product like Floetrol to your latex paint.
Kristen @ LoveK says
Yes! I totally know the episode you’re talking about with the flowers on the bathroom wall! Getting past the fact that it was ugly, all I could think about was all the hair and tissue fuzz that would accumulate on the flowers. Gross! Hildi was a trip.
Anna @ Gone Banannas says
This looks so pretty! It seems very fitting for a laundry room, too. I have no idea why..perhaps I am thinking of fabric softener, which makes me think of clouds…and sky…is anyone following me?
Cool! It’s appropriate for a laundry room. Kind of an “Ode to Faded Denim.”
Amanda B says
Yeah, I have to agree with Toni….not my favorite…I think maybe if it had more colors in the ombre (not just 4) and they bled more into each other I might like it better. However, if you love it, then rock on! Like you said, it is your room and I would do whatever it took to drag myself into the laundry room, which I hate hate hate. So kudos!
Rene @thedomesticlady says
I LOVE this! I wish I had a good place to do it!
Rene @thedomesticlady says
I was actually mad while watching the flowers get stapled to the walls. You know she knew that was going to look terrible. ARGH! The only one that came close to that was the house that she “wallpapered” with wine labels and the family was strickly a no alcohol household…and she knew it while she was pasting wine labels to their walls.
Decorators that don’t decorate to their clients lifestyle or wishes is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.
I will get off my high horse now.
Janet S says
It’s interesting that people build these nice big houses and it’s like oh yeah let’s throw in a laundry room on our way out. The house we are in has nice cabinets on both sides and a sink… But you have to close the door to open the dryer.
I’m empty nest now and it works but when my kids were home and we lived in a smaller house I wanted a big folding table and bins for them to retrieve their clothes.
Love the blue and the ombré is cool.
I thought the same thing watching that episode. How would you clean it?!!! The other episode i remember is when she wanted to dye some homeowner’s brand new white carpet orange! The neighbors refused to dye it!
I’ve been wanting to learn how to make a gif too. time to google that!
Debbie Downer says
*Another* swing and a miss.
IMHO the wall looks more like stripes than ombre- I don’t think they fade into each other very well. But I’ll give you a thumbs up for effort.
I love how commenters with something negative usually don’t put their names down. So easy to hide behind the internet isn’t it? At least Toni used her name and had a constructive comment.
I agree with Sandra!!
Amanda T. says
My favorite (she said sarcastically) Hildi wall was when she put feathers all over these poor people’s living rooms. That episode is tied with the episode where her and Doug made one house all white and the other all black. How ticked would you be?!?
Brandi @ Nest of Bliss says
Remember the “circus room”?
Kelly L says
This turned out really pretty! I like that it is kinda glossy, too!
Do you know where you got the fabric that is on the window? Someone asked me where my curtain fabric was from so I used an app (GoogleGoggles) and it told me the name and where I could buy it!
love your blog!
I got the fabric at a discount fabric store.
xo – kb
Laura M says
You need more positive comments, so I’m writing to say I normally am not a huge ombre fan but I think that a.) it’s super cool that you had the guts to try it and b.) it’s such a huge improvement from cucumber. 🙂 I like that you gave people tips in case they too wanted to do an ombre wall as well. Very nice post, and the gif inclusion was fantastic.
I didn’t realize the room wasn’t done. Just last week I showed my husband a picture of your laundry room and sold him on the idea that we could just paint an accent wall(or two) and skip painting behind the washer and dryer. Do you have any advice for painting back there?
I really like it and think you did a great job! I would never be able to even attempt this!! What are your plans for the floor? Are you planning to swap out the light fixture? (It looks like you have tall enough ceilings for a hanging pendant if you want one?)
She shoots, she scores! Why not have a little fun in a workhorse room? And pretty to boot!
“But overall, it looks like the sky…or the ocean. It’s very calming and fun. Kinda like the love child of the heads of Katy Perry and Lauren Conrad.”
THIS! This is why I love your blog. You are so speaking my language with this line. And the wall looks gorgeous.
I love it! Its so different from an ordinary wall but goes so nicely with the solid colored walls as well. I agree, its very relaxing and looks a bit like an ocean. I enjoy your red accent curtains in their too. Have you considered some nautical decor in their? Not that a laundry room really needs “decor” per say but I think with you ode to the ocean wall going, that might look cute. 🙂
We actually did switch out the light fixture! Here’s the post about it!
And the floor we want to tile…I’m thinking something light like a plank in white.
xo – kb
I just scooted the washer and dryer out of the way while I crammed this giant belly into random positions to get the brush back there 🙂
xo – kb
I think you must be craving change kiddo. You did that interesting paint treatment in the one bathroom behind the sink, and now you are trying the ombre. My thinking is you don’t really LOVE it, but by golly you get points for trying something new 🙂 And why not, it’s your space!
OR the time she put straw on the walls?!
KATIE…. NOTHING.. I REPEAT, NOTHING like her!
Oh! I forgot to say, bravo on the gif, good job. And that fabric in the window is just darling 🙂
Absolutely. It’s different. It’s new. I don’t love it like that whole “I-will-never-change-it-and-I-will-keep-it-forever” kinda way. I like it better than before and honestly…I like experimenting. For so long I did barely anything to this house and I feel like I am a teenage trying to figure out what style clothing I like…except it’s walls and paint and just a bit of fun.
xo – kb
omg, yes!!! The Straw!! Or the time she put sand in the room in the basement!
I missing Trading Spaces oh man how I miss that show. I still have the book 🙂
Mindy Pineda says
I just recently started following your blog and can I just say it’s absolutely stunning. I just started my own recently and it’s definitely hard work trying to come up with posts on posts on posts lol.
We are moving into a new house and I’ve always wanted to try the ombre look but was terrified. This turned out fantastic and I’m definitely considering it for one of our bathrooms.
Not that you have to like it, but if you look at the inspiration photo that Katie linked to you’ll notice that it too is more striped. Ombre doesn’t necessarily have to completely blend into each other.
I am a huge fan of ombre!
You are so brave doing all of these repairs while pregnant. 😉
Faux finishes just don’t seem to hit it out of the ballpark in your design choices.
Ooooh, this is so stinking pretty. Right up my wannabe zen master alley.
Also, this line slayed me: “the love child of the heads of Katy Perry and Lauren Conrad”
Karen J says
The wall is “nice”, however not for this room.
Julie @ Living on the Ledge says
That. is. awesome.
Please come to Wisconsin and decorate my house. Thanks!
Liz @ btb says
For your viewing pleasure:
I would’ve NEVER let that woman in my house.
Also, here’s her website:http://www.hildi.com/main.html If you click on “rooms” it shows you all the “fearless” designs. Ha!
omg.. the straw.. I remember that.
I am totally with you. Laundry isn’t fun, so best make your laundry room as fun and exciting as possible. I recently painted ours Tropical Waters by Behr. It is quite bold especially compared to the much more muted colors in our house, but I LOVE it. Makes laundry suck a little less. =)
I love ombre but this wall is unsuccessful. Maybe it would work on a larger wall in a bigger room?
In the “straw” episode, the mother in the home was like, “I have small children!” and Hildi said, “So what? they’re going to eat straw off the walls???” And the mom replied (exasperated) “YES!!!”
(And now that I have kids, yes, yes, they do pick anything off anywhere and try to eat it.)
Don Gilmartin says
Totally cool look Katie! I never knew that’s what the technique was called…I did the same technique a few yeas ago for my daughters room…all things “Tinkerbell”. I faded the walls from lavender to a midnight sky on the ceiling…But what i did was coordinate my colors to Design Master paint choices from Micheal’s. That way I could soften the fades as more of an airbrush affect where the water and brush still weren’t soft enough transition…The fumes got fun and i know baby Bower would be too happy, but it look great. It could have been just paint splashed on the wall for all my little girl cared…she was happy because “daddy” did it….
Karen R says
The wall looks great! (I think it was a total success!!) That was such a good idea to use semi-gloss on the walls. I usually use eggshell and my laundry room walls have spots all over them! I blame Brian! 🙂
I love that color but I wish the ombre was on the back wall so you could see it in all it’s glory when you walk in. Probably hard to do with a door there, tho. But it’s your house so I’m glad you like it. 🙂 And like other commenters, I wish it was a smoother transition, and not as chunky, but that’s just my personal preference. Can’t wait to see it all finished with whatever new flooring you pick! It’s definitely an improvement from before.
I like it! Love that deep colour as a base for this sort of thing. What’s next for this room?
We need to tile next. And then we hope to build a countertop with a sink 🙂
xo – kb
Kate S. says
Ahh, I love this! So peaceful, yet refreshing.
I normally love your style and everything you do, but for the first time I have to say….I dont like it. I even feel really bad for saying that, but it is not good. I still love everything about you just not your laundry room wall 🙂
This looks amazing.I’m a little worried to use gloss on my wall but I suppose I could use a quick dry as it’s water based.Thankyou for explaining your steps.Unlike the guys I viewed on YouTube.