Do you need to disguise a sump pump? I do!
Although I still need to do a lot of work to the basement, for now I’m concentrating on the corner that houses my new washer and dryer. When I say I really enjoy doing laundry down here, I mean it. It’s been several months now. I thought the newness would wear off and the eventually I would have mountains of clothes all over the place as before, but being so bright and clean, it motivates me to stay on top of things.
As I continue to work on my basement laundry room, I’m gearing up to tackle the largest eyesore: the sump pump. Since my laundry room is in the basement, a sump pump is a necessity - but it’s so ugly. Sump pumps are not pretty, but when I say it’s a necessity, I know from experience.
Sump Pump Failure
We had record rains last month and I kept a close eye on the workshop in the garage and basement to make sure there was no flooding or leaking. Then I dropped the ball! The day after it stopped raining, I didn’t check on the basement. I had a fan running all day to dry out some water seeping in through cracks in the floor.
Not wanting to leave the fan on overnight, I went to the basement to turn off the fan at 11:15 pm. Uh Oh! The sump pump malfunctioned and the basement was holding about 2” of water in about ⅔ of the floor area. I nervously waded through the water to see what was causing the backup. The float had gotten hung up and it hadn’t kicked on for hours. I was able to get it to kick on and pump out the water. Thankfully nothing was ruined. I’ll talk more about that as I tell you how I have covered up this necessary eyesore!
Cheap Hollow Core Doors
I recently scored these two hollow flat panel closet doors and decided they would be perfect to disguise the sump pump and the pvc pipe.
Easy Paint Technique
When I paint flat surfaces such as this, I generally pour a little paint on the project and then spread it with a brush or in this case a small roller. A wide 9” roller would cover faster, but I feel it’s a big waste of paint in the end.
Beef Up The Plain Doors that will Disguise Sump Pump
The doors were a little plain, and I had thought about making them look like barn doors but wondered what wood I could use. As I was beginning the project I remembered these trim boards I had. They are about ½” thick—just what I was looking for. I took a few quick measurements to make sure there was enough to do what I wanted.
The wide planks were ripped on the table saw. Did you know I’m happiest when sawing wood? I think these planks were cedar because there seemed to be a sweet aroma as I ripped them.
The boards aren’t perfect, but that’s okay. I love using reclaimed lumber for projects like these faux barn doors. It was quick and easy to frame out both doors.
Don't get tangled with the angles!
Making the cross braces match up came together better than other projects I’ve done in the past. Because the doors were perfectly squared I was able to cut the angles at 22.5°. The first end was easy to cut.
For the opposite end I marked them with a square to get a good fit.
Perfect fit! I’m loving how the doors are coming together.
After securing all the boards with wood glue and a nail gun, I was ready to add hinges. I used the hinges that came with my bi-fold closet doors-you know the ones I turned into French doors for my wall to wall closet makeover.
I couldn’t wait to stand them up to see how they looked. Thenk I put some thought into whether the centers should come together at the hinges, or the opposite side of the doors. I felt this looked better. What do you think?
I had to wait several days to get help moving these doors to the basement. Hinging them together and adding the extra weight became too much for this old gal to handle!
Where did the Sump Pump go?
The doors work perfectly to disguise the sump pump and the tall pipe that runs up to the rafters.
Look at my new fresh space! The sump pump is still there, but it’s no longer an eyesore. I have to do a double take now when I walk into my basement laundry space. The diy laundry cart still makes me giddy. I use it all the time.
The old table has been in the basement for probably 50 years. It was here when I moved in 42 years ago. I had only used it for storage, but I gave it a fresh coat of paint and now use it for folding clothes. The cheap plastic garment rack also got a fresh coat of paint and now looks right at home in my refreshed basement laundry space. The rug is a stenciled piece of vinyl wallpaper. When the basement flooded, I simply rolled up this faux rug and took it outside to hose it off. The paint stood up through the flooding and the washing. A real rug would have been difficult to clean and dry.
What’s your favorite part of my new space?
So, I used these doors to disguise a sump pump, but they could be helpful in a lot of other areas of your home. Maybe you have a water heater you want to hide? It could even give you some privacy for a home office in the main living area of your home. The possibilities are endless.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.