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Mudroom Makeover

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Iron Ore, Sherwin Williams, built in cabinetry, mudroom, dark cabinetry, modern mudroom

My mom has been wanting to do something with this mudroom for years. She has not touched this room since she moved in nearly 8 years ago. The builders picked the wall color, floors and cabinetry.

We can all agree that the cabinetry and floors are STUNNING, however the color scheme was not my mom's favorite. This is probably why this was the least used room in the house. If I am being honest...the cats had their litter boxes in the room and that was it haha.

some before photos of the mudroom

One day a few weeks ago my mom and I got to talking and I convinced her that Casey and I were capable of transforming this room. Normally she hires out for any sort of home improvement project, but our recent history of successful DIY projects convinced her. With my mom's blessing we began to transform this mudroom!

The first thing we knew had to change was the cabinetry color. It was an off white color that just didn't have any sort of WOW factor. My mom loves bold, so we knew a shade of black would be right up her alley. The rest of her home has a lot of color and she had never used black in a room.

The two colors we were deciding between were Iron Ore and Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams. Urbane Bronze is the Sherwin Williams color of the year and I thought the deep brown undertones would go well with the browns in the granite countertop. Iron Ore is another favorite dark color I have come across several times on the internet. It had more grey undertones, but still looked beautiful against the travertine floors.

In the end, my mom fell in love with Iron Ore, so there was hardly a debate! After deciding the color it was time to prepare the cabinets to paint. When painting cabinetry or any surface with a high gloss I recommend using primer first. My favorite primer (to date) is Kilz Adhesion as it adheres to a variety of tough surfaces without the need for sanding). When the primer is dry I recommend cutting in first with a 2in angled brush (you may need to lightly sand between primer and paint for a smooth finish). The short handle of the Wooster brush worked well for all of the tiny corners and nooks of the cabinetry. After painting all of the corners and edges I used a 4in roller of 1/4in nap to paint the rest of the cabinetry.

And yes, I know, this would have been a lot easier with a paint sprayer, but I used what I had!

Painting materials

It took 3 coats of Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Enamel to cover the cabinetry, but the finish was SO smooth. This pricier paint is worth it to avoid any brush strokes as it self-evens. With each coat I cut in the corners first and then proceeded to roll. Remember, it is best to apply several light coats than one thick coat and don't be worried after that first coat! It will look super light and uneven, but I promise the second coat will be magical (see below photos).

after the first coat

after the second coat and then after the third coat...magic right?!

Once the cabinetry was painted my mother and I both agreed that the wall color also needed to go. The walls, trim and door were all an off white to match the travertine flooring. I brought home Snowbound and Alabaster samples, and even though I thought the Alabaster warmth would tie in the floors a little better, my mom wanted a crisp, clean white, so Snowbound won.

With two coats of Snowbound on the wall the cabinetry was really starting to stand out in the most beautiful way.

Now, I originally told my mom that if we went with the crisper white then the trim would not work because the trim was off white. You always want your trim to be the same color or lighter than the wall color (if you are using whites). She was convinced that it would be ok. But after the Snowbound went on the wall I convinced her that the trim needed to go as well.

Originally she wanted to paint the trim a crisper white and then add a bold wall paper on the wall of the window, but after showing her a few inspiration photos of contrast trim she was all in on painting the doors, baseboards AND crown molding Iron Ore as well. With the bold trim detail I decided to forego the wallpaper because I didn't want the two to compete.

With all of the painting done it was time for the fun part...styling! I purchased new flush mount lights from Pottery Barn to replace the old ones and a new, over-sized, round mirror for above the sink. It is hard to believe that my mom went so long with a near empty room!

Casey does not like to paint, but he did come visit for moral support and to install the lights (electrical work still scares me) and to install the HEAVY mirror. He also helped me install a piece of art to cover the electrical box (my mom already owned the art).

From there all that was left was to bring in the old bench cushions and combine some newly purchased decor pieces with a few old ones from around my mom's home.

Everything that we purchased new I have listed below.

The mudroom was a success, my mom loves it AND she trusts us to complete more DIY projects in her home that she has been putting for for some time.

If you love the look of this moody mudroom, then you should check out our Office page complete with a DIY cane daybed, DIY fluted table, DIY canvas art and floor to ceiling Greenblack walls by Sherwin Williams!!


Q: What color white did you paint the walls?

A: Snowbound by Sherwin Williams

Q: What color did you paint the cabinetry?

A: Iron Ore in semi-gloss by Sherwin Williams, we used Emerald Urethan Enamel

Q: Where is all of the decor from in the built-in cabinetry?

A: My mom is a VERY stylish person, so we honestly just shopped her house for most of it! She loves books so I just took the covers off of some and color coordinated them. The few decor pieces we did purchase I linked above.


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