There is a serious flaw in the design of washing machines and dryers. I am not claiming I know how to fix this flaw. But one day, someone will figure it out. Until then, we will have to handle it ourselves. What’s the flaw? It’s that huge, laundry-eating, eyesore of a gap behind the machines. It’s an 8-inch deep abyss at my house and it taunted me every time I walked by.
I mean who could ignore this? It gobbled up laundry, pens, and toys left on top of the machine. It gathered dust and daily reminded me of the plumbing and outlets that ruined my attempts at making the laundry room the cute and cozy room I dreamed of. It took me 3 years to find the time, but I had to do something about that gap. Last year, I started work on a laundry room makeover. I painted the cabinets, replaced the counter tops, and converted a section of cabinets into a mudroom. The gap behind the machines was the last big step in the makeover. I thought about attaching a shelf to the wall, but figured that really wouldn’t work. It would be too deep to be safely supported by just a back wall. Plus, I wanted something that could be easily removed when needed. It had to be a table in my situation.
I decided to go for a bit of a country chic look. It would work with the cabinet color, the old flooring, and the old kitchen (recently remodeled). You can see the laundry room from the kitchen, so I like the style of both rooms to work together. A laundry table is a bit of an unusual build. The legs are much longer than a normal table, so you can’t buy standard legs. And the long back and front sections can’t be cross supported because it would block the washer and dryer doors or plumbing and electrics. I was kind of stumped about how to handle that last year. I ended up just screwing the legs to the flat tabletop with leg brackets and hoping for the best. To create the tabletop, I used 5 boards of various widths to create a 28″ x 60″ top. These measurements were based on my available space and requirements. These would vary based on machine size and area available for the legs around the machines. I laid the boards top side down on a flat surface and clamped them together. I then laid 2 24″ boards across the boards at about 20″ away from each end. I pre-drilled for screws into each of the 5 boards on both cross pieces. Then I screwed the cross pieces into each board and attached the legs with the leg brackets. I then used my Ryobi Brad Nailer to add a 1×2 apron around the front and both sides of the table and attached molding to that apron, just for a bit more detail and to hide the leg brackets.
I got this rustic look by staining the boards with Minwax’s Jacobean Stain then applying Behr’s Polished Pearl after it dried. When the paint dried I grabbed my palm sander and lightly sanded across the entire top until I got the look I liked. This piece looked nice with the rest of the laundry room and worked well enough. It was a bit too wobbly though. The kids were always standing on the bench next to it and leaning on it. I needed to find a way to support it more, but like most things around here, it was put behind a long line of other projects. Busy, busy, busy…
During this past summer, we did a complete remodel of our kitchen that included new flooring in the laundry room. Since I had to clear everything out of the laundry, I knew it was time to fix that laundry table. I also decided to change the style a bit, to keep in theme with our new kitchen.
I removed the molding and apron. I attached a 1×6 across the back of the table, with glue and the Ryobi Brad Nailer, to prevent items from falling in the gap and to block the view of the electric and plumbing outlets. I then added 1×2’s along the sides of the table for a more finished look. This was really just an adjustment to the style. I wanted more of a clean look than I had with the molding, but still had to hide the leg brackets. I needed a 1×2 on the front, but realized I had a problem. With the new back piece, my table was barely squeezing through the door to the garage. I wanted to be able to get it in and out of the garage easily so that any work that needed to be done to the laundry room could be done without too much effort. I decided to add the piece to hide the leg brackets under the tabletop (see picture above).
To fix the wobbling, I added a 1×2 about 12″ from the top connecting both legs on each side. This added more stability, but I wanted more.
I cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood to fit the gap between the top and the newly added cross support. This gave it a lot more stability. I was ready to give the table a makeover now. I went with a white top (Behr’s Polished Pearl) to match the rest of the trim and molding in my house. I painted the legs, cross supports, and table edges in Sherwin William’s Hale Navy. And since I love stained wood, I stained the plywood with Minwax’s Jacobean Stain, my go to color. Of course, everything then got a couple coats of Rust-oleum’s Matte Ultimate Polyurethane.
I love this laundry table. It is so nice to not have to see that gap or the outlets. And we love having a place to drop things when we walk in the door. Hopefully, I won’t decide I need to change it again next year. 🙂
Feeling inspired? Want to create your own laundry table? Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need from Amazon. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!