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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back to School: No Mudroom?! Make Your Own

When we bought our new house six months ago, on my wishlist was a mudroom. Unfortunately, we picked location and good bones over a newer house with a mudroom. Not to worry, inspired by countless projects on the Internet, I created our own mudroom in this tiny corner by the garage entrance. Going to show, no corner is too small to have your own organzied area for the kids' coats and backpacks.


- MDF (aka Medium Density Fiberboard - if you've never worked with you, YOU SHOULD! It's technically paper, but does the same job as wood for trim and other projects when painted and is SIGNFICANTLY cheaper. Think pennies on the dollar!)

(SUPER AWESOME TIP: Home Depot will actually use their special saw -- that's mounted on the wall -- and make cuts for you. Their policy is two free cuts and then each additional cut is 50 cents. I strongly suggest you have them cut the MDF for you. Who knows, you might make friends with a worker and get all your MDF cuts for free!)

- Get two large sheets of MDF. One in ½" thick and the other ¼" thick and have the nice people at your home improvement super store cut it for you. You will need the following pieces

The Boards (The piece(s) that go horizontaly. I put one board across the could also add one to the bottom instead of a baseboard or on top of the baseboard)

- ½ thick x 3 ½” wide board for the top x (measure the lenght you need across your wall and have them cut this)

The Battens (The pieces that go vertically)

- ¼ thick x 2 ¼" wide for the battens x (the height you would like them)

The Ledge (this piece can be ommitted as well, but I like it for the mudroom, as we are always using it for odds and ins (random keys, lunch money, or occasional item that needs to be put in the garage.)

- ¼ x 2 ¼" x same length as your board for the piece for ledge

The Molding (that supports the ledge so it stays up. If you omit the ledge, you will not need this piece)

- 11/16” x same length as your board and ledge for cove molding

- Brad nailer or brads and old fashion hammer (I actuall have a brad nailer, but since our recent move it is MIA)

- Liquid Nails or Gorilla glue (I used Gorilla glue, but it grows as it dries)

- Ball Hammer (it isn't 100% necessary, but so helpful to punch in the nails)

- Spackle (to cover up the nails)

- White caulk (to seal the seams for even coverage)

- Pencil, level, tape measure (to measure and mark where you want your boards and battens)

- Primer and paint (I used latex aka waterbased paint for this project)

- Good brushes, mini roller


1. Measure and Mark the Wall
Measure the height of your battens and placement of your board; mark with a pencil (you're going to paint over it anyway)

2. Apply Glue
Apply glue as directed and place the top board on the wall.

If you use Gorilla Glue like I did, warning, it will grow as it dries. The directions tell you to let it set for a few minutes after applying and before placing them on the wall, but I will go on to tell you it will grow, not just that few minutes before placing it on the wall, but long after you've hung it on the wall with glue and nails. It then will need to be wiped away and watched. I had put mine on while the kiddos were at school and watched it for about 30 minutes, wiping the extra that oozed out. I left for 30 more mintues to pick up the kids, and when I returned, more had oozed out and had crusted over. Now, I couldn't easily wipe it up, I had to use a box cutter to cut and scrape it away -- so fun :o( So, if you use Gorilla Glue, use it very, very sparingly and watch for growth for the first hour or so. My friend Stacy recently did a project like this and used Liquid Nails. She didn't experience any growth. I plan to do a similar project in my boys' bathroom, and I think I will stick to Liquid Nails. I'll let you know.

3. Nail it in
After the glue has set for a few minutes on the wall, hammer in the brads (or use a brad gun) to secure the board.

4. Glue and Nail the Battens
Follow steps 2 and 3 and add the battens to the wall.

5. Add the Ledge
Using the glue, add the shelf, quickly followed by the molding. The molding is necessary to hold up the shelf.

6. Cover the Nails
Use the ball-head hammer and drive the nails deeper into the wood. This should cause an indention.

7. Fill the Indentions
Fill the indention with white caulk and let dry. Lightly sand if needed.

8. Caulk the Seams
While this might not seem neccessary, caulking the seams helps finish the project and prevent weird places in the seams where paint seeps in and causes bubbles/holes.

9. Prime & Paint

10. Add Hooks

Now you're ready to hang coats, hats & backpacks. The perfect late-summer project to make your back-to-school mornings and afternoons easier.

No, it's not the mudroom I had dreamed of, but I was able to use the nearby coat closet for further storage, thanks to these cute cubbies I picked up at Target. When you get lemons, make lemonade.

1 comment:

  1. OK Lori! I am loving all your ideas, are you ever coming to AZ? I would love to see what you would do to my house. I can do work, I just have a hard time figuring out what the heck to do! I need to come visit you.


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