Our Solution to Hiding Our Ugly Water Heater

I’ve been wanting to tackle this DIY project to hide our ugly water heater for a couple of years now. But, because of countless roadblocks, it was put off. I’m so happy that my hubby pushed me to finish it! I’m so pleased with the results and I wanted to share with you what we did and why we had to hide our water heater.

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A Little Bit of History

So, we have a small home in a rural community and we love it. It’s not staying very rural, lots of changes are happening in our community. Lucky for us, we have the beautiful country around us for now. If that ever changes too much, we may consider moving. For now, we enjoy it and we’ve made some changes to accommodate our growing family.

Our small home started out at 1200 square feet. It was built in the 50’s and we’ve been updating it very slowly since we were married in 2002. We’d been just fine in the house with the four of us. 2 bedrooms, one bathroom. But, it wasn’t going to last for long. The kids needed their own space. Boy and girl problems, ya know. In 2012, we had the opportunity to build an additional 700 square feet onto the house. It’s been great for us! We’re finding it’s still not quite enough room, but, it’s not like we can keep adding on to the house forever. Besides, we don’t know what the future holds for the community.

With the addition, we were able to move the water heater from the garage to the house. (Yes, yes, the water heater was in the garage…on the outside wall…imagine our gas bill for just a moment). Look at this picture of when we were doing the addition! Isn’t that hilarious? There’s the water heater hanging out where the garage used to be. Where the water heater is, the outside wall of the garage once was.home during renovationAnyways, we don’t have a basement, nor a utility closet in our house. So, the next best place for the water heater was our laundry room. I don’t love it being in there, but there’s not much I can do about it. I spend a lot of time in there, and I don’t want to look at the ugly water heater. No, thank you. My solution was to search Pinterest for options to cover up the water heater…search results came out none. So, I decided to get creative and come up with my own solution.

Hiding Behind Old Shutter Doors

I knew that I wanted to cover the water heater with something that was still breathable. It’s important for a water heater to have enough ventilation. I found a community member who was selling a set of closet shutter doors. It was perfect! I knew it was going to take some work to get these babies in shape, but I wanted to take on the project. These shutter doors only cost me $20 total! It was just a matter of elbow grease and spray paint.

hinged shutter doorsshutter doors with chipped paintshutter doorsshutter door with chipped paint

In my opinion, spray paint is the way to go when you need to paint something. It covers it much more evenly. Unless you want brush strokes, I say spray paint when you can! I personally love this spray paint.Rustoleum Satin Spray PaintIt has both the primer and the paint in it, so it covers better without me having to do a second coat. 3 single shutter doors propped up on cinder blocks on grass to be painted

single shutter door leaning against house


So, after cleaning, sanding, spray painting and distressing, my shutter doors were ready to hide the water heater. It’s amazing what a little spray paint can do for the appearance of old things. I wanted to keep a little bit of antique charm, so I didn’t fix all the flaws.

And you must have a hand sander when doing distressing like this. It’s faster and much less work. It was distressed in a matter of a few minutes. We have this one and it is perfect for my smaller hands.ryobi orbital sander

Before and After

water heater in laundry room next to laundry basket sorter
hinged shutter doors hiding water heater in laundry room

What do you think?  I’d love to know what you think about our project! Let me know in the comments below and please share this post with others!

Journey to Bravery Signature for Chandra; journey to bravery; mental health; simplify life; family life; self improvement; chandra's signature






picture of water heater in corner of laundry room with text - our solution to hiding our ugly water heater. picture of water heater in corner of laundry room with text overlay - how to hide your water heater.

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  1. Claudia Inspired by World

    February 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Such a good idea, and only for $20. Thanks for sharing!

  2. tachira wiltshire

    February 17, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I love what you did here . It looks like a closet . Such a great improvement and for so cheap as well . A great job 🙂

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