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Clever DIY Laundry Room Cabinets & Shelving (That I Should Have Done Yesterday)

Inexpensive laundry room wall cabinets and laundry shelving ideas to declutter your small laundry room

 

In our home, we are always looking for easy ways to help organize our space. One day when I was doing laundry in our small space, I looked up and realized there was a ton of dead space above our current cabinets. I knew I needed to find a way to create DIY laundry wall cabinets and shelving for above our washer, dryer, and utility tub.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.  

What are the best laundry room cabinets?

You could spend a lot of money and get a custom-built laundry room. One day we may end up making our laundry room larger and we may reconfigure the whole space. But for now, this was a budget laundry room storage idea. I chose to get two 30” x 36” height cabinets to fit our space above our washer and dryer. 

We figured stock cabinets were a great way for us to get the height we wanted, but also a way to make this project pretty inexpensive. The quality of these cabinets is what you would expect.

Hampton Bay Upper Stock Cabinets as DIY Laundry Room Storage

However, I do like the look. Since these were only for our laundry room, I think they worked out well. I would not recommend these upper stock cabinets if you were using them in a kitchen or other high-traffic area since parts are still made of particleboard.

Our new washer recommendation

We had to purchase this new Maytag washer (which we absolutely love) after our old Samsaug washer went kaput.

We were not happy as that was the highest-rated washer at the time, but eventually, it was the model that had all of those recalls. I am so happy that we replaced this washer, but now it was time to really do a DIY laundry room upgrade.

We really are happy with our Maytag and it did match the dryer that we already had. We really didn’t want to purchase both, if we didn’t need to.

How to cheaply makeover a small laundry room?

Before Laundry Room makeover with old cabinets and wire shelving

After the new washer came, I started to look at how to improve our space. We debated about adding cabinets across the whole wall…

but thought that would make using our utility sink a little difficult. Therefore we can up with our laundry room storage idea of two taller stock cabinets and DIY open laundry room shelving above the utility sink.

What are the dimensions of our small laundry room?

For reference, you may want to know that our laundry room is approximately 7 ½ ft. by 6 ft.  We are able to just fit our new washer, dryer, and utility tub on the length of the wall with a little wiggle room in between. We do have large-capacity appliances, so I am sure we would have more space if we had a smaller washer and dryer.

How to paint wooden stock laundry cabinets?

Full disclosure, I ordered a paint sprayer and totally wanted to try using it on this project. But I was using the same paint color on rollers for our bathroom vanity and oak railing makeover. Therefore, I ended up just using brushes and foam rollers like I did when I painted the bathroom vanity cabinets. 

I do think that these cabinets would have probably turned out a little better if I had sprayed them. The cabinets were not nearly as forgiving as solid wood oak cabinets that I was also painting at the same time.

While these worked for our laundry room cabinets, I would say they are far from perfect. I may even end up having to sand a few areas and try to retouch some areas that seemed to take the paint inconsistently.

Supplies needed for painting cabinets

Old Rag

Enamel Paint in Semi-Gloss (We used this paint in Charcoal Blue)

*Latex Primer-We use Multi-Purpose Latex Sherwin Williams Primer

Brush- We like using Purdy 2 ½” Angular Trim Brush or equivalent from Wooster

Small High-Density Foam Roller (these are a must for a variety of DIY projects)

Small Roller Handle

Small Paint Tray-I love how sturdy & cheap these are

Hardware Pulls or Knobs- Here are the pulls we used. These pulls are plated but don’t look like it when they are up.

Extra Fine Sandpaper

Steps for painting laundry room cabinets and shelving

1. I did not think I needed to do this and I regret it. I would lightly sand the cabinets with extra-fine paper any rough spots you see. The doors had some wood shavings or extra particles on them.

2. Wipe down the cabinets before priming with a damp rag.

 

3. Use a primer (we love SW latex primer) with a brush and foam roller to completely cover the areas you need. I did not prime and paint the parts of the cabinets that I knew would not show.

Priming laundry cabinets before painting

4. Once dry, start painting the first coat of enamel paint. Use a brush and small roller (or if you are more daring this inexpensive paint sprayer that I have read great reviews on and have to try to soon).

 

5. Propping doors on 2 x 4s will make this easier for you. 

Also, I highly recommend storing your brush and roller in a Ziploc bag when you are not using them. This works as long as you are finishing your painting project in a timely manner.

6. Once they are dry, you are able to hang your cabinets.

Read & Watch More>>>>>>Step-by-Step Tutorial For Painting Cabinet Doors with A Brush and Foam Roller (With Video)

Where else have we used this charcoal blue color paint?

We cannot believe that we were able to use this gallon of paint on several DIY painting projects throughout our house. You can see the whole list of charcoal blue painting projects.

and be sure to out how awesome our painted bathroom vanity turned out!

Supplies needed to hang laundry cabinets

Stud Finder

4’ Level

Pencil

Shims (maybe)

Cordless Drill

3.5” Screws

Tape Measurer

How to hang laundry room cabinets above your washer and dryer?

1. Remove any existing cabinets or shelves. We had to take down both, but luckily we repurposed the old shelf and added it to our garage for extra storage! The wire shelf may need to get sold on Facebook using my tips.

Empty laundry room wall before laundry room cabinets & shelving added

2. Use a stud finder to find studs.

Stud finder used for laundry cabinet installation

3. Use 4’ level to mark the line where the bottom of the cabinets will be Determine the height of cabinets or how much room there will be at the top of the cabinets.

Learn from our laundry cabinet hanging mistake

At first, my husband just assumed putting the cabinets all the way to the ceiling would be a great idea. Luckily, I was easily able to see that I did not like the current height before my father-in-law and husband did too much work.

Make sure that you are able to reach your items while leaning over your washer. I realized I wouldn’t be able to reach the top shelf or even a lot of the bottom shelf if they stayed that way. You don’t want to have to get a ladder out to reach most of your items.

4. Put up and hold up cabinets while a second person puts 4’ level on the face of cabinets vertically to see if they will be plumb.

If they are not plumb, use wood shims to plumb (you might have to do this if the wall is in/out). Luckily, our laundry room was pretty square and we did not have to do this!

5. Use a cordless drill and 3.5” screws to anchor cabinets to studs. Each cabinet ideally would be anchored to two (2) separate studs that are typically located 16”s apart.

Attaching laundry room cabinets with drill

6. The big trick is to use a tape measurer and your brain to transfer the stud location from the wall to the inside of the cabinet. You have to subtract the thickness of the cabinet’s sidewall.

Wall Laundry Room Cabinet being installed over washer and dryer

7. Once cabinets are hung drill horizontally behind the doors to attach them to each other.

Man drilling painted cabinets horizontally to attach laundry cabinets

8. Put the doors back on the cabinets. You can also try to put the painted doors back before hanging, but we just thought this way was easier.

**Optional: Add hardware to your cabinets or leave them without. We loved the look and price of the hardware we used in our recent bathroom vanity makeover, that we decided to order those handles again. 

DIY laundry room wall cabinet idea from painted stock cabinets

8. Use drywall mud to fix any spots that previous shelving may have left and paint the room or touch up with the existing color. I love this color of Temperate Taupe by SW.

How to build extra laundry shelving with cabinets?

The main reason I did not want cabinets going all the way across the wall is because I normally buy a large container of laundry soap with the dispenser. I like when the dispenser can hang off the edge of the laundry shelf and over my utility tub. This makes it way easier to quickly add soap. 

Yes, you could transfer soap or put it in a pretty dispenser container (yes I know this is meant for drinks, but would be awesome in a laundry room). While I love how that looks, it just isn’t practical or worth it in my opinion. And if you read about some of our other projects, then you will know that practical and inexpensive are important to us!

Supplies needed to build extra laundry shelving over utility tub

We decided on these brackets to help create two shelves above our utility sink next to the upper stock cabinets. These brackets come in a variety of sizes and we chose the 9.25” width where we could cut 1 x 10” to our desired distance. 

After cutting the boards, we primed using SW latex primer and the same latex enamel paint that we used on the cabinets.

 

DIY laundry room shelves over utility sink

My husband made sure to attach the brackets to studs using anchors and the hardware provided with the brackets.

Once the laundry shelves were completed it was so nice to get them completely organized and ready to use.  The only dilemma that we have now is that we need to decide if the brushed nickel hardware pulls go with the black farmhouse type brackets?

What do you think? We figured we will live with this for a while before we try and decide if we should use spray paint to make the pulls match.

I like the idea of this hammered black spray paint to change the color. It is such an easy fix and we really got those pulls for super cheap…

so I am not worried.

Organized DIY laundry room shelves with farmhouse brackets

Need more small DIY laundry room ideas? Check out our list of 12 clever laundry room ideas.

Other laundry room accessories

We used to have a standing drying rack that we used regularly. The problem is that really didn’t fit in our space. Therefore, we decided to try to find a wall-mounted drying rack that we could attach to the wall opposite the dryer. We will see if we feel that we have more space once we start using this.

We figured we would be able to even add a fun hamper or hampers in the corner. I don’t know about you, but my kids (and husband) are always just throwing clothes on the floor in there.

In addition to the rack, we have just a simple white hook unit we use to hang clothes or other items on. I am sure eventually we will add or make a better hanging rack. And I am currently looking if I should add artwork or make my own signs for the laundry.

Large Gray-blue laundry room cabinets above washer and dryer

What is your favorite way to add extra storage or organization to your home?

I couldn’t believe how much more storage I had in these DIY laundry room cabinets and that my shelves were no longer overflowing.

I am so happy that we are finally using all the extra space in our laundry room for storage!

Follow us on Pinterest or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

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Kim klein

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Hello! Came across this while searching for how to hang cabinets over the washer and dryer. I love the idea of the shelves over the sink- can you tell me how far up from the bottom of the cabinet you put the first shelf, and how far apart they are? It’s a great look and I want to reproduce it! I’m so glad you link to everything you use - I’ll probably use smaller handles but I love those heavy duty brackets on the shelves!

Thank you!

Kim

Erin

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Hi Kim. I am glad you like our simple DIY laundry room makeover. The bottom shelf is 62" off the floor and the next shelf is 10" above that. The bottom shelf is also 12" above the bottom of the cabinet. I am shorter so that is why we chose to make our laundry shelves that height. We did 10" in-between as we knew we could fit smaller items like Clorox wipes, etc. You may want to look at some of the products you may put on the shelf and make sure they will fit how you want. I hope that helps! We love the farmhouse brackets that we even used the same ones and paint colors when redid a basement closet.

Elena

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Do you have any issues opening the lid of your top loading washing machine? Does it hit the cabinets?

Erin

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Hi Elena. Due to my hardware being large, the top does lightly rest on the handles, however, it is not an issue at all when loading. I just can't fling the lid open. If that would really bother you, then you could always hang the cabinets a little higher and even keep a little step stool in your laundry room. Due to my height, I didn't want to not be able to reach the upper shelf in the laundry room cabinets. Good luck with your laundry room.

Tammy

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

I love how detailed you are with explaining. Turned out great.

Erin

Saturday 24th of October 2020

Hi Tammy. Thank you for your kind words. We really do love this extra storage in our laundry room.

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