A cheery paint color makes a laundry room feel more inviting.

Wall Treatments for Laundry Rooms

by Kathy Adams

The laundry room needn't be a drab, scary place that you'd prefer to avoid entirely. Dressing up the walls with a finish that's cheery and easy to maintain makes the space far more inviting, making laundry time feel more enjoyable and less like a mandatory chore.

1. Paint

A fresh paint color livens up a dreary or dark laundry room, making the space feel much more welcoming. Choose a cheery color such as apple green or bright yellow for a room that receives little outdoor light to make the space feel less foreboding. For walls that are visible from floor to ceiling, an ombre or fade effect adds a splash of style. To create the effect, start with a section of your main paint color, such as bright orange, then mix a little more white into the orange paint for each successive band of color. The end result is color that fades across or down the wall. Stripes or chevrons are other paint finishes that add a modern air to the room. Painter's tape plots out the design after a wall is painted one color, then gets peeled away after a second color is applied.

2. Tiles

Tile isn't just for bathrooms or kitchen backsplashes. Ceramic or glass tiles also add visual interest to a laundry room for a surface that can be wiped clean with a sponge. Cover an entire wall with tile in a neutral shade, or select a bold color such as cobalt blue for a backsplash-style area above a washtub or over the washer and dryer or a countertop.

3. Corrugated Metal

Corrugated sheet metal, the ripply material sometimes used for roofing, gives a laundry room an industrial or modern feel. Apply it backsplash style above countertops or the washer and dryer, or use it for an entire wallcovering that's easy to maintain. This metal comes in handy for hiding pipes, cables or unsightly areas on walls that may not look so attractive if left as is. Corrugated metal can also be painted any color you like, if you don't like the way it looks fresh from the home improvement store.

4. Beadboard

Beadboard, a form of wood paneling, gives the laundry room walls a country or cottagelike vibe. Covering all the walls with beadboard gives the space a complete makeover, or use it only on some of the walls for a more varied look. Paint the beadboard a warm or neutral color to give the laundry room a cheery or clean look.

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