I’ve been MIA for awhile here, mostly because we’re knee deep in the planning and beginning phases of a few big projects. We’ve spent lots of time researching and planning them, so by the time I finish with that I haven’t felt like spending more time on a computer. I have a bunch to catch up on here on the blog, though, so I’m going to try to post a project or update at least once a week!
After building the new coat rack, the plain closet door stood out to me like a sore thumb (and creamy yellowy front door and wall, but we’ll get to that another day). Not to mention what I normally saw…the mess inside!
We have plans to replace the closet door. We actually bought it last year when we bought some other doors on Craigslist, but it’s patiently waiting its turn to shine in our basement. Until we remove the carpet I won’t put in the new door, because I don’t want to cut any of it off the bottom. And I won’t remove the carpet until we can refinish the hardwood flooring sometime this spring or summer. Jules thankfully has never slipped or fallen down the stairs (which is more than I can say for her mother), but until the flooring refinishing day comes I want some padding at the bottom, just in case.
Anyway, the closet has been a mess since the day we moved in and I’ve been wanting to tackle it for awhile. After a day of work, I turned it around.
Now, normally things don’t get done here in a day. Almost ever, actually. But I had already bought new coat hooks and a storage shelf and had the primer and paint on hand, so I was prepared as possible.
First I removed the door and prepared it for paint. Unfortunately the white paint was chipping. It clearly hadn’t been properly applied (with primer under) because I literally scrubbed off what you see with a dish sponge.
The scrubbing took longer than I wanted, though, so I took it to our workroom and made short work of it with our electric sander.
With the peeling paint removed, I primed the door with no-VOC primer. (This was my first time using it and I love it. Pretty sure it was Zinsser, but I’ve already used the whole gallon on various projects so the can isn’t around anymore.) The priming coat was followed by my first ever use of chalkboard paint. I’m not sure I’d paint a nice door with chalkboard paint (actually, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t) but since this one has an expiration date, it’s nice to be able to have fun with it. I don’t have any pics of it until it was back on the hinges, so just wait until the end of the post.
While the door was drying I primed and painted the closet. There aren’t many home improvement projects less rewarding than painting a white closet white. Although to be fair, the “white” closet was far from white to begin with, so it’s much brighter now. I painted the walls a flat white paint (same as I use on ceilings) and the trim-work with our semi-gloss trim paint (Du Jour by Valspar).
Before loading everything back in I wanted to give the closet some spice. It’s so much more fun to look over and something fun than plain old white. I remembered seeing Mandy from Vintage Revivals use Sharpie paint pens to “wallpaper” her walls. A couple of bucks later I had two gold Sharpies just ready to “wallpaper” my closet. I decided to follow Mandy’s example and draw triangles to keep things interesting yet simple.
First I drew horizontal lines, beginning just under the shelf, 9 inches apart. Then I made tiny marks 6 inches apart on each line. Starting on the right, on the top line I made marks at 6, 12, 18, etc. inches from the side wall. On the second line I made marks at 3, 9, 15, etc. inches. Connect the dots and the triangle pattern was formed!
The whole process is pretty easy. Of course I was bound to make a mistake somewhere, though. And of course, that mistake happened in one of the few still visible areas after all of our stuff was put back in the closet. Someday I’ll go back and prime/paint over the errant line.
Since I know us (and we are too lazy to consistently use hangers) I installed coat hooks on the back wall for our less used coats. The most frequently used ones we keep on hooks by our back door. I also installed hooks at Jules’ height for her (and future kiddos’) use.
I only installed coat hooks on the right side of the closet because the left side houses our jogging stroller. The stroller is another reason hangers weren’t working out…the coats were always in the way of getting the stroller in/out of the closet. Above the stroller I installed a wire shelf I found on clearance at Target ($3 down from $12). I originally planned on using the shelf when I reorganized my craft/fabric closet, but it didn’t fit the way I wanted.
Because the width of the shelf is 24″ (exactly the depth of the closet, ignoring the door trim) I had to hammer it into place, but once in place, it was a perfect fit. On top of it we have two Dollar Tree bins (which fit perfectly, I might add) and our library book bag. The bins still hold our winter gloves and hats. I wonder what they’ll hold now that warmer weather is coming?
On the right side of the closet I installed wire hooks ($1 from the Dollar Tree…I think they call it a belt hanger?) for my most frequently used scarves. I have more, but they’re either in a navy bin on the new wire shelf or in my closet upstairs. Since the closet redo, however, I haven’t had to dig any out from other places. Maybe it’s time to donate the ones I never or rarely wear?
The top shelf houses our snow boots (unless snow is on the ground, which means they’re by the back door), my only pair of fashionable boots, my crochet bag, and our picnic blanket.
I’m finally posting about this project nearly two months after completion and I’m proud to say it looks pretty much the same. There are a couple more jackets hanging on hooks, but everything is still organized and pretty. This closet is in an easily visible place in our house, so it nice that it isn’t an eyesore regardless of whether the door is open…
I took that pic before we could draw on the chalkboard paint (the can recommends 3 days for the paint to cure before drawing on it), but trust me, we’ve used it plenty since and it’s been great. Jules is really into drawing right now so it’s nice to have another form in which that can take place. We keep our chalk on the new coat rack ledge and she only draws with supervision at this point, since she still likes to turn to the side and draw on the wall or baby gate.