The Great Popcorn Debacle Part II: The Laundry Room


I couldn’t live with the demon anymore, something had to give. Our laundry room was sort of an awkward hallway with machines on one side, coat racks on the other and random junk stacked everywhere. It was a good place to try out a ceiling idea because of its small size and I could redo the whole, dysfunctional and hideous room at the same time. Pinterest is full of great shiplap and faux shiplap ideas. Plywood strips hung as faux shiplap is an easy and inexpensive solution. I won’t bore you by re-creating the wheel with step-by-step DIY instructions, just show you the outcome.

We have a table saw, so ripping plywood into six or eight inch strips isn’t a big deal. Well, except for the part where, without a serious saw, 8’ strips out of a plywood sheet are going to have some inconsistencies.
That goes to one of those marriage-making, (or dissolving) high-volume conversations about how to guide 32 square feet of material by a saw blade in an exactly straight line together. It’s probably not a job for newly-weds! Be forewarned…
If your marriage survives but your cuts are slightly off, don’t panic. We found that the little flaws increased the gap between boards and lent more charm to the appearance.
Our laundry room is now one of my favorite rooms in the house (yes, I realize there is something inherently indicative of mental instability in that remark) and one of the cheapest and easiest projects we ever did. Bottom line, 3 sheets of cheap plywood and a gallon of paint and we went from “please don’t look there” to this.


The Great Popcorn Debacle

Part 1: The Demon and the Dastardly Delima
Once upon a time, a particularly evil and mischievous demon slipped from the bowels of the earth and possessed a home builder. The demon impregnated the builder’s mind with an idea that would cut cost and dampen noise in the houses he built. This idea took hold as post-war industrial America began to move to the suburbs. I wish a pox on this demon that brought forth the concept of popcorn ceilings. A pox I tell ya!

The thing with popcorn is….well there is just a lot of things. Under the best of conditions, the texture creates shadows and those shadows make the ceiling look dirty. At the end of a dirt road, where dust is part of life and upwardly mobile spiders are always looking looking for a new neighborhood to move into is most definitely not the best of conditions for this devil’s spawn to look it’s “best” in, if there is such a thing. Woe betide the housewife who thinks she can improve the appearance of her ceiling by cleaning it with a broom. She will spend the rest of her day cleaning the shower of white popcorn flakes that fell down on her neck and into every crevice in the room.

Several of our beautiful popcorn ceilings were enhanced with water damage resulting from the tornado. You can read about Our House and the tornado here.

The Popcorn Debacle has drug on for years in our house. How does a DIY-er solve the problem in a mobile home? Scrape, texture and paint? Dear Lord, I hate to texture when I DON’T have to do it above my head! No, please.

Cover it with something? Maybe. But what? Tin? Too industrial. Tongue and groove? Too expensive. The debate has literally gone on for about five years.

We needed a concept that was affordable and could be done in a weekend or two without resulting in any shoulder injuries. I wanted something that would add character to the house but that would not overwhelm the room.