Utility Room – From Mouldy to Marvelous

I wasn’t sure whether to write this blog… because it involves showing you pictures of our mouldy utility room. But I decided to share because I’m really happy with our marvelous new utility room and I love “before & after” home images!

So I’m going to start with the reasons (excuses) for living with a mouldy utility room for much longer than I want to admit…

After I last decorated this room we had two washing machine related floods. Our standpipe is a bit short and in an awkward position making it difficult to to get the pipe from the washing machine in the right position. Too far down and the water backed up and overflowed, too high up and the pipe can pop out.

These floods ruined the lovely wooden floor my Dad had laid (but he had also plumbed in the washing machine to be fair…). We tried to save it but it just wouldn’t dry out and the wood was badly warped. So Dad helped me to tile the floor and we now have a contraption to keep the washing machine pipe in place!

But these floods in an unheated room and leaving the floor sitting damp for weeks in an attempt to save it – meant that black mould crept in.

We also had water leaking in through the back wall at one point. Luckily it was nothing major – just minor issues with some wonky guttering, some re-pointing that needed doing and a broken slab sitting on top of our corner chimney stack. Fixing the issues stopped the water coming in but left us with more damp and areas where the top layer of plaster was just crumbling away if you touched the wall.

So that leads me on to why I left it for so long!

There are two reasons. Firsty – I knew it was a huge job and wanted to wait until we had some time to do it properly. It’s a storage room with a lot of stuff in it so getting everything out meant the rest of the house was a mess and we needed to know we could do the job fairly quickly.

Secondly – we don’t live in there! We store things in there and walk through the room to get to the back garden but we don’t sit in there and look around. It’s surprisingly easy to ignore the damp and crumbling walls if you’re not sitting and looking at them.

We’re planning to do a lot of decorating this year and telling ourselves that we’re not allowed to do the fun rooms until we’ve done the utility room motivated us to find the time.

Beardie did a fantastic job with some pretty toxic black mould cleaner and sandpaper (wearing a mask & goggles… health & safety first!) and got rid of the worst of the black mould (below left).

Then Dad stepped in and taught me how to plaster. It was only the top layer that was coming away, so we just needed to skim it… but I officially love plastering and am sort of hoping I need to do more when we decorate the kitchen!

I didn’t get a decent picture of just the plastering – but you can see the beautifully smooth re-plastered corner (above right) with a coat on damp-seal on it.

Before & After

The newly waxed cupboard and pallet shelves give us much more practical storage and we no longer have the garden cushions falling on our heads whenever we open a cupboard door!

Look… no mould!

Less cluttered hooks after moving our larger reusable bags and my yoga mat to the new pallet shelves.

And most importantly – Noodle loves his new window. As we haven’t put a blind up yet he has a fantastic view of the fence!

We used Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion in Air Force Blue and it easily covered in 2 coats.