Do you remember when Country Folk Art was a BIG decorating trend and the beautiful shades of hunter green were in? Well that’s where our closet was; still stuck somewhere in the ’90s. Apparently, when we last decorated the house, we forgot to paint the closet.
This project evolved simply because we couldn’t hang up a coat in the entryway closet; it was too full. Our eldest son moved out over a year ago, leaving his unwanted stuff behind, and our two girls had outgrown so many things so we declared it was time for a MAJOR purge in The Jasper House. Let’s start with the closet.
This is what we found: not only did we NOT repair the builder closet remains or repaint the closet when we installed a new closet organizer, we installed it on top of the new hardwood floor that was installed ON TOP of the old baseboard. Whoops!
So like a good d.i.y. couple does, we saw an opportunity to make this better and turned a clean out into a renovation! It was a quick decision. With our big family Christmas dinner coming up quick, it was a great time for us to do this. Everyone who visits will now have a proper place to hang their coat instead of the pile – 20 or so of them – that ends up at the front door on a coat tree. This year, we’re going to have a newly-painted and organized closet.
We quickly drew out a sketch on a sheet of paper – ’cause that’s how we do things here – and off to the reno store we went.
Thankfully Black & Decker sent us some tools to make the renovation quick and easy.
Here’s what they sent:
“MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE”
(best advice ever)
Materials Needed For This Project
- 5 sheets of 12″ x 5/8 x 8′ melamine (we chose a prefinished white)
- wood glue
- 2 closet shelf hangers
- coat rod (cut to length of closet)
- 4 butterfly drywall anchors
- Drywall compound or putty
- BLACK + DECKER tools
Let’s get started.
Empty the closet and remove old shelving and brackets, and shoe organizers. Sand holes and repair with with drywall compound. Let the compound dry fully and sand lightly.
Paint, and let the paint dry according to instructions. Apply two coats, if necessary. Note: we chose a dark colour for the closet as we found that when we removed everything from the old one, the paint was still in great shape after all these years. We kept the colour dark to hide the nicks and scrapes from hangers and boots.
Measure your closet width to determine the top shelf above coat-hanging brackets and the top of shoe organizer. Cut two lengths to fit. Note that both the jigsaw and circular saw can be used for this part of the project, and we did try both for comparison. The jigsaw is better for shorter cuts, in general, and cuts like holes or doing scroll work (such as making marquee letters or scripted words), whereas the circular saw is better for cross cuts, especially because it had a laser to keep you on track while cutting. We like the power the corded circular saw had and it made cutting the lengths to fit pretty easy work. I have read though that many diy’ers say that a jigsaw should be on the top 5 list of tools that anyone starting off their toolbox should buy as it is a really universal tool to have on hand.
Finish off the edges using the mouse sander. When you cut pre-finished melamine it creates a splintered edge that needs to be sanded off. Since this was my job, this little tool made a big impact on me and was the perfect tool for this job in particular. Quite literally, in seconds, it gave me smoothed, finished edges with very little effort. Sanding is one job that I don’t particular like, but can I say I just LUV this mouse sander. (If you know anyone who does detail refinishing work, this tool is one they won’t know they needed until they have it.)
Measure the shelf inserts for height. Decide how many shelf layers you want – we decided on 3 on the left (under the short coats) and 2 on the right (under the longer coats). For this project, we recommend a height of 6″ – 7″ to comfortably fit both men’s and women’s shoes and then 17″ on the other side for rain and tall winter boots. (Note: We decided to split up how the coats are hung because we’re on the hunt for 3 baskets for the gloves and scarves that we will keep on top of the shoe shelves on the left side of the closet. My favourite Ikea baskets are too large and so I’ll update this post when I find properly fitting baskets.)
Once all the material for the shelves is cut, layout the ends (or sides) of the shelf organizer to mark where the inside shelves will align to the sides and make a mark for guidance. Apply glue to the end of the shelf, affix it to the side marking, and use the screw gun to fasten the shelves to each end from the outside.
Once shelves are assembled, install them in the closet, side by side. If your shelves fit snugly together, there’s no need to attach the two shelves together, but if you’d like, you can screw them together before inserting them into the closet space.
Screw the two individual units to the outer closet walls for stability. Affix glue to the tops of the shelves (left, middle, and right walls) and add on the top shelf. You can add on some weight to the top of the unit until the glue dries to make sure everything fits together perfectly.
Determine your coat rod bracket location height. Note: we decided that we wanted all the coats, both short and long, to fit in this space, across one long bar, and so we raised the bar (from the traditional height) to accommodate the larger, longer coats. For maximum strength to hold the eventual weight of all the coats, each shelf bracket should be affixed to a stud, but if you cannot find a stud or it doesn’t measure up to be able to use one, use a butterfly drywall anchor instead to make the attachment permanent. Finally, screw the shelf to the top of the coat rod brackets.
To finish off the project (now that we know how pretty baseboard makes everything look), we installed painted, white baseboard to match the rest of our house – after the organizer was installed – but this is not a necessary step and is not included in the materials needed above. If you wish to add it, simply measure the 3 walls of the closet and up the numbers for the length of baseboard needed. The height of your baseboard should match the rest of the trim in your house/dwelling.
(Mr. Max, like always, just had to know what’s going on and so he got right in the middle of the final look-see.)
We learned about something cool and so unexpected – SMARTECH.
BLACK+DECKER has a SMARTECH™ app. Connect the BLACK+DECKER app to your SMARTECH™ / SmartTech™ batteries via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can view the current charge of your battery, turn on or off the USB charging port, enable or disable the battery, and locate your battery when lost. The app is available for both iOS and Android – click here for the Android link. Neat!
The finished look.
After the closet was constructed, we found every coat we could and added them in to see how many could fit (total here came in at 20 with room for more!) I can’t believe how many black coats we own.
We’re ready for our Christmas Dinner guests. Can’t wait to taste that turkey.
It’s a toss-up: a 50/50 split on the comments we’ve heard so far from those who say we should have painted a lighter colour and those who like the dark. What do you think? Is light or dark the way to go when painting a closet? We’d love your feedback and any tips that you may want to add from having done a closet reno project yourself.
(Note: All coats and shoes purged were delivered to a local clothing collection initiative)
This post is sponsored by BLACK + DECKER, however all opinions expressed and the d.i.y. experience are my own.
For BLACK + DECKER product information, d.i.y. inspiration, and support, I invite you to visit the official BLACK + DECKER website.
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