Our closet is in the master bathroom. It’s a walk in, though rather small. My guess has always been that it was a custom buildout when the house was rebuilt after burning down in the early 90s. The configuration never made a lot of sense, so being under a stay at home order, this seemed like the perfect time to tackle a complete closet makeover. When I found out the At Home DIY Challenge theme this month is Build it for the Home: Build to Organize,this was determined a match made in heaven!
This closet makeover post is sponsored by Pure Bond Plywood and Fasäde Decorative Panels.
Pure Bond plywood is formaldehyde-free plywood made with soy-based adhesives in North America. It’s high quality, environmentally safe, and cost competitive.
Fasäde thermoplastic panels are made to be used for backsplashes, ceilings and even full wall overlays. They are super lightweight, easy to cut, install quickly, and are very durable. I speak from experience, I have used them several times- in a former kitchen, and even on furniture.
Let’s start with some before photos. Here are some I took when we first looked at the house to buy:
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What you don’t see are some of the additions that didn’t hold up so well over the years. After removing all our clothes and storage out of the space, I took even more before photos.
Years ago, I put a lot of thought into how I thought the space might be best used when I was able to find time for a closet makeover. I did a lot of research and talked to several “closet experts”, then came up with a design I thought would feel less cramped, and work better for the way we tend to store and use our clothing.
I like graph paper when I am doing planning. However, graph paper is not terribly conducive to sharing online. (Full disclosure: the bad baby house goats we had this year chewed them up), so I managed to do a basic mock up of my thoughts using some random program I found on my husband’s ipad.
You can’t bake a cake without breaking a few eggs, right? So once I filled the rest of the house with the contents of the closet, I went to work dismantling it. A painters tool really comes in handy for this- there is a pointy part to cut through the caulk, and a stiff flat part to easily pry all the trim from the walls leaving minimal damage.
I was buying the paint for the front door makeover when I noticed a new product at the paint counter- Behr Scuff Defense. They had a display set up with painted samples of a typical flat paint and Scuff Defense in the same color. The durability seemed pretty impressive.
I L.O.V.E. flat paint. Why? Because with a flat paint mistakes and damage are quickly repaired without flashing (a repair spot your eye can see immediately due to a sheen change with any paint other than flat or matte), plus it doesn’t reflect a lot of light so it blends well into the background. However, lots of people do not. When I ask why, the main reason is they think a flat finish isn’t as durable.
BAM! Scuff Defense looks like it will solve all the problems and make everyone happy! (Let me tell you, I will gleefully use this product in my whole house now- especially in the hallways where my dear children WILL NOT STOP TOUCHING THE WALLS!)
I was SO excited to get rid of that beige. If you’re new here, I am not a huge fan of the color beige. For me, I find it uninteresting, boring, and mostly dirty looking. I have seen it done well, just not often. Admittedly, the color I chose here might not be for everyone. I love different and I wanted this room to be feminine and relaxing.. a mood that I want to keep going into the connected master bathroom when the day and funds finally arrive for a room remodel there.
Once the closet was totally empty, I gave it two coats of paint. MAN!, already it felt better, seemed cleaner, and fresher.
Really starting to see how bad that floor looks aren’t you? Me too. This is not something we are going to fix with this remodel… I will just prepare you now. (It’s best if you just work to ignore it, that’s what I am doing)
Here we go!! I started with dead center when you walk in. No idea why.. just what I decided. The unit would be plenty sturdy once it was fully up, it was just a little tricky figuring out how to get that first board up and stable enough to stay in place while I built the rest.
Since it would be hidden, I decided to reuse some of the wood from what was torn out. I cut some of the old shelf supports and screwed them into the floor.
Using the floor supports as a guide, I then measured out where the side support board needed to go. Then using a level, I made sure it the line was plumb and penciled it in.
Once I had the plumb line, it was easy to mount the center shelf supports (1×2 boards) so the shelves would be 12 inches apart. I then used the rear supports to attach the side panels and keep them in the proper place. It’s time consuming because every line needs to be level and you need to be certain you are attaching the supports into a stud. If you don’t, your shelves can pull off the wall if you put anything even slightly heavy on them. You absolutely don’t want that crash in the middle of the night.
I also mounted the supports for the double hanging side.
This is the point where I realized I should have fully painted all this before I put it up. At least using Pure Bond plywood, I was able to skip the step of sanding to smooth at the start. It came smooth enough to paint right away. So once I had the “skeleton” in place, I primed, sanded, then painted… and painted some more. (Behr Marquee Semi Gloss)
I added the side shelf supports on the unit sides. When you do your closet, make sure the sides are flush with the back supports and level as well. I used 1 1/4″ trim screws for this part. They have super small heads so it’s not a lot of work to cover them up if you want to. (They would never be seen once the shelves were covered with clothing, so I chose not to.)
While watching paint dry, I worked on the stair rails, and cut the shelves.
Before I started painting the shelves I used veneer edge tape to cover the plywood layers. It applies with your regular household iron and gives a smooth appearance when painting and makes the shelf looks like one full piece of wood. (I may or may not have an iron completely dedicated solely to use for this purpose….I’m admitting to nothing)
It’s kind of a big-ish space, until you need to move around and do things, so when the shelves were drying, it was easiest to just place them in the supports. It made me feel like i was making progress too so that was great!
One coat of primer and two coats of paint on each side and it was looking snazzy! Big shelf DONE! On to the right side!
Taking a good, long look at that right side… I wanted shoe shelves and long hanging together. The hanging needed to be in the back to keep the bulky part from hitting you in the face when you walked into the room (figuratively and literally I suppose).
The shoes shelves were built in the same way with about seven inches in between them.
Did I learn my lesson about painting the parts first? NO, I did not!
Mounting the shelves and supports for the closet hanging bars on the double side was quick. I was excited to get those up because after researching, I decided on oval shaped bars as they take up less room, are sturdier, can hold more weight, don’t require large support structures, and are (in my personal opinion) more attractive. They would also only need one center support instead of one every 16″.
I did the same “paint the shelves and let them dry in place”. This time while watching paint dry, I installed the corner shelf supports and front trim on the wide unit. I used 1×2 boards the full height of the unit and then needed a support for the front pieces. It was easiest to use the ceiling for that.
Once the shoe shelves were all dry, the long trim was installed on those as well. (You can see that ceiling support in the photo below) I also mounted the shorter hanging bar in the corner.
SO close to being done, I can feel it! That corner shelf required a bit of finageling on the floor to make it all work. I screwed a diagonal front support to the floor working around what was already in place.
Then several measurements were taken to make sure the layout was correct.
After priming and painting, it was ready to go.
This was the fastest part of the whole project. After all that work I could NOT just leave the ceiling looking like that… and that fluorescent lamp was killing my vibe with it’s dirt yellow, headache inducing glow… “Up” just looked worse and worse as the project wore on and I knew I had to do something about it.
I bounced around the idea of painting it and remembered how much I truly despise painting ceilings… so I reached out to Fasäde and asked for some of their Portrait panels. They didn’t have the brushed aluminum in stock so they offered to send me the matte white. This color is designed to be painted any color you want. I’m honestly glad it worked out this way because now I can share how incredibly easy it is to paint them too.
There is no real prep to start painting. The panels were new and the matte surface acts like a primer. I only needed to be sure they were clean and dust free. I used Metallic Silver spray paint to lay down a thin first coat.
The second coat filled everything in and the panels dried SO quickly.
After I shut off the power to the closet (at the circuit box), I pulled down that ugly light fixture and was met. with. this…. SKREETCH… Did you hear it?
Sigh… this happened in the apartment so it wasn’t a complete surprise. I had just “hoped” it wouldn’t be this way. There is no access to above the ceiling since that is my daughter’s room, andI was a little worried about the weight of a light fixture pulling too hard on the easy to do “old work” box. Adding a new work box with hanger bar is probably better, just a lot messier than I would have prefered.
Replacing the ceiling box
I am not an electrician. If you have no experience with this kind of project, I HIGHLY recommend you hire a licenced electrician to complete this task for you. This is how I did it, PLEASE DO NOT attempt this if you are not completely confident in your skills. Electricity can kill you!
Double and triple checking that the power was off to the room, I used a drywall saw to cut a trench in the ceiling for the box and hang bar. The trench went from one stud to the other and I set the drywall piece aside for later . Then I traced out a circle around the box on the ceiling and cut that out too.
After threading the wires through the box, it was shoved up in the ceiling,
and the support rods were screwed to the studs on either side.
I used a block of wood to span the trench that was cut and screwed it in place through the drywall on both sides.
Remember that piece of drywall I saved? Trimming it up and screwing it into that block of wood holds it firmly in place and it fits perfectly.
Patch and Prime filled in the gaps around the repair. I debated priming the ceiling all over again but honestly, once the panels are up, no one will ever see this mess, right?
Bringing the panels into the closet, I held the first one in place to get a feel for where the hole needed to be cut. I used a piece of computer paper to make a template and drew it out on the panel.
I poked a hole in about the center of the circle and used kitchen shears to cut the traced area out. You could also use tin snips or honestly, probably household scissors. These were close by and I didn’t feel like walking across the driveway to get my tin snips.
After a dry fitting to confirm it fit properly, I used adhesive on the back of the panel to secure it in place. (This picture is FAR more adhesive than you need). A few spots here and there is enough to keep it up.
Placing the panel against the ceiling, I pressed it in place to get the adhesive to grab all over.
It was simple to straight cut the next panel to length then just match and overlap the ends. I went on to the next row and just kept going. It probably took no more than an hour to fully install- most of which was me climbing up and down a ladder.
Ceiling trim finished off the space perfectly. (no pictures of this, I was so excited, I completely forgot- DOH!)
Fancy ceilings need fancy lights so I installed this flush mount crystal chandelier. The end result makes me SO happy!
Isn’t it amazing?!
Let me show you the entire finished space: I LOVE this closet makeover and it seems to hold more and the layout works better for us.
Just a quick reminder of where we started:
Pretty drastic wouldn’t you say? I am absolutely ecstatic about the final result and am so grateful for the support of PureBond and Fasäde. For more information on their products, please visit their sites or feel free to ask me- I love talking about both of them! PureBond has excellent information about what makes them so special. Fasäde has a fabulous site to give you ideas and show photos of lots the products in use as well.
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PureBond and Fasäde have provided products to me in exchange for sharing them with you. All opinions are my own and always will be.