Adding a shelf, or ledge, above your washer and dryer is such an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add more style and storage to a plain old laundry room. So after hanging cabinets and painting the washer and dryer in my laundry room project, that’s exactly what I set out to do.
If you’ve been reading all of my posts, you may have noticed I installed the cleat to hold the ledge a long time ago, before hanging cabinets or painting the appliances. It’s the same system I used to hang the shelves on the opposite wall next to the cube organizer.
But this time, I was staining the shelf and therefore the cleats. I picked up a piece of 1×12 poplar cut to the width of the wall, 76-ish inches. I also picked up a 1×2 that was 76 inches plus 11 inches for each side, so a total of 98 inches for that piece of poplar.
Since I got the 1×2 as one long length at the store, I cut them into the 3 pieces I needed at the house. Those measurements, if you’re replicating this at your house, are the length of the ledge itself, then 2 pieces that are the width of the shelf minus the width of the 1×2, so about 10.75″. I then took the edge of the 1×2 that would be facing out and cut a 30 degree angle on it to give it a little pizzazz.
After the stain dried and I applied a coat of polyurethane, I went ahead and attached the cleats (1x2s) to the wall. I had the top of the cleat at the same height as the taller appliance, the dryer. That way, even though fully supported on its own, the ledge could ‘rest’ on the top of the dryer.
Using a stud finder, I located the studs and attached the main, long cleat to them. Unfortunately the shorter cleats on the sides only hit one stud (in the corner). So I used the same technique as the cube organizer, pre drilling a hole so I could use toggle bolts to get a good grip on the wall. (Click here to see those details on my other post.)
I didn’t worry about filling the holes left behind this time since the cleat was mostly hidden by the appliances. And the silver coloring of the bolt blends in better with the stain than it did with the white paint!
Before I attached the ledge itself to the top of the cleats, I sanded and coated it again with polyurethane.
**Update~I forgot to mention that also before attaching the ledge, I used a jigsaw to cut a small notch at the back for the washing machine’s plug. Since the outlet was above the ledge but the plug came from below, I cut a notch out to accommodate the plug, give it room to be slip out in the event the machine gets moved or replaced, but still keep the ledge flush against the back wall.
Then it was ready to sit on the cleats while I used my nail gun to shoot nails from the top into the cleat. I used 2 inch nails at an angle so they went through the cleat and also into the wall a little bit. Don’t know if it actually adds any stability, but it gives me peace of mind! I applied the 3rd and final coat of polyurethane while the shelf was in place. That 3rd round of sanding and polyurethane really makes a difference in how smooth the finished results are!
And since this particular homeowner has the lovely laundry cart for her detergent and bleach, this shelf gets to be more pretty than functional!
At the beginning of the post I said this project was relatively inexpensive. Going with a nicer grade of wood for staining purposes (poplar) makes it cost more. The shelf itself was $40, plus the cost of the 1×2 cleat. Everything else used was on hand from other projects. But if painted shelves are your thing, you won’t spend quite as much if you use a cheaper material for your shelf and cleats like whitewood.
Stay tuned for the details on that fancy glass tile above the ledge. It was such an easy DIY, so I can’t wait to share!
The best part about this ledge is it would work for top-loading machines or front loaders. Could you see yourself using a ledge like this in your laundry room? Or would it just collect junk and mismatched socks? Share in the comments below!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea