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French Country Laundry | ORC™ Woodwork Week 4

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Choosing the perfect shade of navy for the French Country Laundry cabinets as part of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE™ has not been easy. Colors for the wall and ceiling tongue and groove boards have been easier to choose than the blue for the cabinets. Fortunately, paint is one of the least expensive parts of a major renovation project. 

The color scheme in the new laundry room is navy blue and white with white washed wood.  Lots and lots of white, a bold spot of navy, and white washed wood set the background for French Country style and accents. 

French Country Laundry ORC Woodwork color choices

The new unfinished beech cabinets were painted during Week 2 of the ORC™, hosted by Linda at Calling It Home and sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens. However, from the first week I have wavered between two shades of navy for the cabinets. 

F R E N C H   C O U N T R Y   L A U N D R Y

  W O O D W O R K   W E E K   4

Here we are in Week 4 for the latest updates, all about the woodwork. I am happy to report I finally have made a decision on the navy color for the cabinets. 

Before looking at the woodwork, take a quick look at how the laundry looked at the beginning of Week 4.  

French Country Laundry ORC Woodwork Insulation Finished in Ceiling and Walls
Never thought I would be so excited about insulation! The walls are insulated, the ceiling is insulated, and there is insulation stuffed into an opening between the exposed 4x4 post and an 8x8 post hidden behind the room's walls. The opening between the two posts was large enough for me to stick my hand through the wall to the garage. 

No more. That large gap allowing cold air to blow into the laundry is now filled with warming insulation. 

The horizontal wood strips are in place to begin nailing the vertical tongue and groove boards. 

Progress on all the woodwork to date... 

T O N G U E   &   G R O O V E   

W A L L S   &    C E I L I N G    

Take a look at the same corner in the laundry room at the end of Week 4. 

French Country Laundry ORC Woodwork Tongue and Groove Ceiling and Walls
All of the tongue and groove ceiling and wall boards are installed. 

C A B I N E T  D E S I G N   

French Country Laundry ORC Woodwork Cabinets made from unfinished beech from Home Depot
To keep costs within my budget, I bought unfinished beech cabinets online from Home Depot and had them shipped, with Free Shipping, to the closest Home Depot store for pick-up. 

Source: Home Depot

At the same time I ordered online two of the 21x12x36 inches cabinets, I bought trim panels that were in stock at the closest Home Depot store. 

Source: Home Depot
The sides of the cabinets are unfinished pressboard and need trim panels to finish the sides. 

The design for the cabinets in my updated laundry room call for two 21 inch wide cabinets with floating shelves between the cabinets which means the unfinished cabinet sides would be visible. The trim panels are painted the same color as the cabinets and will be attached after the cabinets are installed on the wall. 

C A B I N E T  C O L O R 

French Country Laundry ORC Woodwork Cabinet Door Color Options Between Behr INKED and VERY NAVY
The close-up photo shows a painted cabinet door and a painted picture frame. The cabinet door is painted with Behr INKED and the picture frame is painted with Behr VERY NAVY. 

Compare INKED with VERY NAVY 
in the photo

INKED has more green undertones than VERY NAVY and looks like a Colonial blue when viewed in person. When trying to choose between the two paints, I painted a small piece of wood using a sample of each of the colors. VERY NAVY looked almost black on the small piece of wood which is why the cabinets were painted INKED. 

After looking at both the cabinet door painted INKED and the picture frame painted VERY NAVY, I decided VERY NAVY looks better than INKED with the prints, with the gold cabinet hardware, and with the dark colors in the blue toile fabric on the chair. 

The gold cabinet handles pop against VERY NAVY. 

Yes, fortunately paint is one of the least expensive parts of a major renovation, and the cabinets were repainted in VERY NAVY.  

W H I T E  W A S H E D  C E I L I N G 

No indecision about white washing the tongue and groove ceiling boards. With white wash, the natural grain of the wood shows through, but the wood will not turn orange-y over time. 

1"x6"x8' boards  
Home Depot

We used Minwax Wood Stain, White Wash Pickling on unfinished tongue and groove 1"x6"x8' boards, usually available in stock at local home improvement stores. The boards have two usable sides. One side is a bead board pattern, and the other side creates a V-groove pattern. I like the look of wider boards and chose to use the V-groove side of the boards. 

Before buying boards, be sure to check each board for damages as well as to make sure the board is not warped in any direction. You may have to "kiss a lot of toads" before you find enough good boards for your project. We looked at about 50 boards to find 18 usable boards for my laundry room's ceiling. Some of the boards were rejected due to the grain pattern, but most were rejected because they either were damaged or warped.  

The Minwax white wash is water based and cleans up with soap and water. You brush paint small sections of wood at a time, and wipe off the stain with a lint-free cloth about 3 minutes after applying the stain. Another layer of white wash can be added to get a whiter finish after the first layer dries. 

Super easy to use, super easy to clean up! But, not for use on hardwood floors. 

W H I T E  P A I N T E D  W A L L S

I have loved vertical tongue and groove walls for decades, long before Fixer-Upper used tongue and groove horizontal shiplap in many of their remodels. One of the upstairs bedrooms has two walls with vertical tongue and groove walls painted a pale periwinkle blue, the color of all the sheetrock walls in my house. The garden shed / jardin chateau has vertical tongue and groove walls on all four sides. 

1"x6"x8' primed tongue and groove boards  
Source: Home Depot

Since the boards were going to be painted white, I bought primed boards for two reasons. One, time would be saved by not having to prime the boards: time saved both in time painting and in time drying. Secondly, the primed boards appear to be better quality boards than the unfinished boards. In 67 boards, only 5 were damaged. 

The laundry room walls are white painted 1"x6"x8' vertical tongue and groove boards, with the V-groove pattern, in Polar Bear 75 Behr paint. Behr makes another white paint called Polar White which is different from Polar Bear. 

W H I T E  W A S H E D  

E X I S T I N G  P O S T S  &  B E A M S 

Posts and beams already existed in the laundry room, but are only decorative, not structural. The house itself is a structural post and beam house, but the garage and the section that joins the house to the garage are traditional 2x4 structures. Posts and beams were added in the entry, half bath, and laundry room to fit in with the style of the house. 

The plan has been to white wash the existing posts and beams to match the new tongue and groove ceiling. After seeing the white painted walls and the white washed ceiling with the natural color wood posts and beams, I have decided not to white wash the post and beams... for now. After living with the updated laundry room for a while, I may decide later to white wash the posts and beams. 

Thanks to everyone on Instagram for letting me know which one of following three options you liked best. 
⓵ Painted white to match the walls 
⓶ White washed to blend with the ceiling 
⓷ Leave natural, unfinished 

The choice of Instagram followers was unanimous at the time of writing this post! 

Leave natural, unfinished! 

W H I T E  W A S H E D  F L O A T I N G  S H E L V E S 

Floating shelves will fill the space between the two navy wall cabinets. 

11½"x4' pine stair tread  
Source: Home Depot

The shelves are made from 11½" x 4' pine stair treads. The treads are available in stock at local home improvement stores. Pine accepts stain more readily than harder woods like oak and is less expensive than harder woods. The price of a pine stair tread is about ⅓ the price of the same size oak tread. 

Shelves will be white washed to go with the white washed tongue and groove ceiling. A nice feature of the pine stair treads is the rounded edge on one side which makes the shelf look more finished than a squared-off edge does. 

Since the wall cabinets are being brought out about 3½" from the  back wall due to the existing beam along the edge of the ceiling, the shelves will be deeper than 11½". To get the correct depth for the shelves a strip of wood from one pine tread will be glued to a full size pine tread. If the cabinets did not have to be brought out from the wall, a pine stair tread would be the perfect depth shelf to fit between two 12" deep wall cabinets. 


The new cabinets and floating shelves are installed, but it was already too dark to take photos for this week's post. 

Next week's schedule calls for door, window, and cabinet trim, baseboards, and touch up paint. Plus you will get peeks at how I am adding French Country style to the laundry room. 

French Country Laundry ORC Peek at French Vintage Blue Seltzer Bottle
Finally! Week 5's post promises to have a lot of PRETTY photos after all of the structural bones' photos for the past four posts. 

Progress to date...

French Country Laundry ORC To Do List Woodwork Week 4 Progress

All of the walls have tongue and groove boards, but the trim around the doors and windows, the cabinets, plus the baseboards, still need to be installed. Therefore, those lines on the To-Do-List are marked, "⅞√."  

If you missed previous posts for my laundry room ORC™, you can see them and my sources at Source List

You may also like to see my Pinterest board, One Room Challenge™ Botanic Bleu for materials and products I am using to create the French Country Laundry of my dreams. 

Each week I update both sources above. 

Check out the progress for everyone else in the ORC™at ONE ROOM CHALLENGE™. See their progress and the hurdles they overcame this week. Give everyone a little encouraging comment to help us finish up by the reveal date, sometime during Nov. 7-10.

Botanic Bleu is a blog about a French-inspired garden and home in a post and beam house on two acres in the countryside, twenty minutes outside Fort Worth, Texas. Built with help from family and friends, beginning with an old-fashioned barn raising, the house is now being transformed from American Country to French Country one day, one project, at a time. All done on a budget with easy-to-find materials. 

See Post and Beam Dream House for a series of posts about building the house and transformations from American Country to French Country over time. 

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