When I set out to make over our laundry room, I knew I wanted to add a folding counter – someplace where I could fold clothes and also put supplies within easy reach. But I didn’t have money in the budget for something expensive or fancy. So, I decided to DIY it. Here’s how I DIYed a folding counter for our laundry room. Oh, and did I mention it cost less than $6?
First, I measured the space, to know what length and width counter I needed. I wanted the counter to span the entire space over the machines, and I needed to leave space in the back so that I could reach the plugs and water spigots, if needed.
I found two choices for a budget-friendly countertop. Option #1 was this:
It’s actually a table top from IKEA. I found it in the as-is section for $9.99. It’s not real butcher block or wood; just laminate made to look like it.
I found option #2 at the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It’s a cherry desk top from an office desk set. I don’t have a picture of the original because, honestly, I can’t find it! (I know I took a picture of it, but for the life of me I cannot find it!) Here’s basically what it looked like:
I posted the above graphic to Instagram and Facebook and, obviously, the winner was the desk top!
I chose the desk top because I liked the bright white paint on it and it fit perfectly in the space. The IKEA tabletop was just a hair too short and a little too yellow for the violet color on the wall.
For the desk top, since it started with a cherry wood finish, I first had to sand it down. I used 180-grit sandpaper, so that I roughed up the smooth, shiny surface of the desk top’s cherry finish.
I then primed it with Zinsser oil-based primer. I knew the primer would cover the dark wood finish and also provide a nice surface for the new paint to adhere, and I used oil-based primer because of the finish on the desk.
Next, I painted the desk top with white semi-gloss paint that I already had. I rolled on two coats over the primer coat for a nice, solid, even coat.
I attached a cleat on each side wall for the counter to rest on. I used 2 x 2 wood I had on hand and screwed it into the studs on the side wall. There isn’t a center brace for the counter because of where the water source for the washer is located on the back wall. The cleats work and the desk top seems to be sturdy enough not to need a center brace. I can always add it later if needed.
The desk top is just resting on the cleats; I didn’t attach it to them. Why? Because the fit was so snug that I actually had to take a rubber mallet and pound the desktop into place! It’s not moving. Like ever.
So there it is: my DIY laundry folding counter! Grand total spent? $5.50 on the desk top, since I had the paint, primer, brushes, sander/sandpaper, and scrap wood for the cleats.
What I love about this project, other than that it ended up costing me less than $6, is that I repurposed something that, while not meant for this use, is totally great for it. Think outside the norm when coming up with solutions for your spaces. I hadn’t considered using a desk top for this counter until I saw it at the ReStore and just had a feeling it would work. And, if it didn’t work, I was only out $5.50!