a metal door in a white and gray wallpapered wall, cleaning tools hung on the wall, a white washer and dryer, white cabinets with white baskets lined up on top and a water heater on the right side

Simple Garage Laundry Room Makeover, Part 3

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I’ve been having a great time decluttering, organizing and making over my laundry area in our little one-car garage. If you missed part one or part two, you can go back and read them to see where things started. 

Garage laundry area with white washer and dryer and white cabinets against a grey and white wallpaper wall, metal door on the left, water heater on the right, matching white baskets on top of the cabinets and two mops hanging on the wall

In this phase, I “wallpapered” the wall behind my washer and dryer with self-adhesive contact paper. I found a pattern I liked on the Dollar Tree website and ordered a case of sixteen rolls delivered to my house (you can usually only order in cases from their website). Supply list was stuff we already had lying around our house:

  • Measuring tape
  • Yard stick
  • Handheld vacuum
  • Damp rag
  • Step stool 
  • Utility knife (an x-acto knife would also probably work)
  • Wallpaper smoother (Is that what they’re called? Anyway, I used my dish scraper.)
cordless vacuum, tape measure, rag, utility knife, scraper and room of contact paper laid out on a gray and white piece of contact paper

I was not fast, but I was able to get this wall done in a weekend amidst a regular family schedule of church, a birthday party, etc. I used the measuring tape to measure the wall and used the yardstick to measure the contact paper and cut against with the utility knife. The contact paper has a grid on the back (which I didn’t notice until partway through the project) that makes cutting in a straight line much easier. 🙂

grid pattern side of contact paper laid against cardboard with a metal ruler on top and an open utility knife sitting above it

It seemed to work well to peel away a corner of the paper, position the corner where you wanted it on the wall, then gradually peel back the paper on the backside and smooth it down with my smoother on the frontside as I went along. That doesn’t mean I didn’t encounter wrinkles (I encountered plenty), but this option was much better than the one time I tried peeling the backing totally off and sticking the strip to the wall. Don’t try that. It doesn’t go well. 

A major upside: The contact paper adhered really well to the paneling. I’ve heard from some that getting it to stick to drywall if you’ve touched the back a few too many times can be tricky, but I didn’t find that to be the case here. I needed no extra adhesive of any kind. 

Grey and white patterned contact paper applied to a dark paneled wall over a grey metal door

A major downside: The contact paper was slightly translucent, so when it was put onto the dark background of the paneling, the overlap between sheets was very visible. You can see small white strips in the photos where the pieces overlap. This doesn’t thrill me, but if I had painted the wall with white primer before wallpapering, I’m fairly confident that would’ve eliminated the problem. 

white cabinets against a dark paneled wall with water heater and white washer and dryer in the foreground, open door on the far side of the wall, half the wall covered in grey and white contact paper

All in all, I’m pleased with how it turned out. My goal was to brighten the space and I think the contact paper definitely achieved that. I’ll do a separate post on how I’m actually organizing the space as I put things back, but for now, I’ve put up some of my trusty Dollar Tree organizing bins and I like how they coordinate with the wall. I feel like a laundry space should feel clean and fresh, and even though that can be hard to accomplish in a garage, I think this new look is a vast improvement from the dark laundry cave I had previously.

a garage laundry area with hanging laundry on a drying rack, a white laundry basket, a white washer and dryer, white cabinets, a black shoe rack, a water heater to the right and a metal door to the left. A blue bucket, white basket and black mop bucket on top of the cupboards.
My Laundry Area Before
Garage laundry area with white washer and dryer and white cabinets with matching white baskets on top against a wallpapered grey and white patterned wall, metal door on the left, water heater on the right, black shoe rack with some shoes on it in front of water heater.
My Laundry Area After

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