My Closet - Before and Nearly After

One of the more frustrating aspects of this remodel has been that it seems like EVERY corner and surface of this house is grimy, dirty and in bad shape. There hasn't been a single closet or bathroom that's been good to go. Not a single light fixture that wasn't partially broken, chipped or beyond cheap looking. And the story was the same with what will be my closet. (Although I have to give a shout out to those bathrooms - a coat of paint and new light fixtures straight up brought them from 1983 to 2013...pictures to come once we unpack the shower curtains, etc out of the POD tomorrow night.)

The problems in my closet were two-fold - the first being it just felt and looked so dirty. There was old, gummy tape that couldn't be scraped off and tons of old nail holes where I imagine someone once hung all their neckties. The wood pole was splintered and the shelf above it had somehow warped and wobbled when you set things on it. But more importantly, the closet wasn't practical. It only had one rod to hang clothes on with lots of dead space below and above it.

So my simple plan was to basically mimic what was already done but instead have two rows of hanging space. But I couldn't for the life of me remove the old 1x4s that were nailed to the plaster wall without doing major wall damage. They were in there real bad good. I decided to just leave the wood and remove the shelf and pole.

Then Annie and I headed to Home Depot and bought half the store. I had a 10% off coupon which doesn't sound like a lot but it's about as much as you ever get off at Home Depot. So I bought everything I could think of that I knew we'd need around the house in the coming weeks. Including a very, very exciting present for myself. A finish nailer and compressor! I'd been dreaming about one for years now and we decided to cash in all our credit card points for Home Depot gift cards. So guess what came home to mama!

Yeah, that's right - both shopping carts AND the orange rolling thing behind it were full of the stuff I bought on this outing. It was embarrassing. And thrilling. All at once :) Some get their kicks from new shoes and clothes. I get mine from tools. They make me swoon.

And between having a miter saw and now having a nailer, this project was easier than I ever could have asked. The nails went in like butter, people! It was glorious. With every punch of air shooting through that compressor hose, I went weak in the knees. My whole DIY amateur carpentry future flashed before my eyes and seemed more feasible and exciting than ever. It was like Christmas morning. And the pre-packaged Closet Selectives I bought as a back-up backed themselves right back into the car to be returned.

And I'm proud to say that my dearest daughter seems to be following in my tool-loving ways.

Anyway, I'd describe what I did but it was super straight forward and I don't know any of the terminology.

As you can see I had to leave the pre-existing 1x4 up on the wall but it will be covered by clothes so it ain't no thang. And once I can get the rest of my tools and supplies out of our POD next week, I'll fill in the huge holes from where the old pole went.

I did grab some wood filler and caulk and fill in all these old holes.

Then we primed the raw wood and painted everything using the leftovers from a sample pot of paint that I bought for the exterior of the house. I think it was Analytical Gray. And, yes, I've been scolded by my local paint store a dozen times over for actually using those sample quarts on real projects. They tell me there are no 'guts' to those sample paints and that I shouldn't expect any durability. But if they want me to waste those quarts they need to bring their prices down all around. Gallons are a hair shy of $50 a pop and we've bought over 20 between the outside and inside of the house. So far. And I haven't even chosen colors for the nursery. Or the dining room. Or the kitchen. Or the entryway. You do the math. So needless to say the closet got the short end of the stick.

So while this doesn't win the award for coolest closet ever, at least now it fits twice as many clothes in it and is decently clean. Being that it was the only room in the house now on the more finished end of things, it was lucky enough to receive all the odds and ends that we needed to do away with during the week of refinishing floors which is part of the reason I didn't get around to taking better pictures. And in the event that everything goes as planned (which it has yet, too, so not holding my breath. I mean how many people can say that the guy in the middle of skim coating your ceilings died of a heart attack last weekend?) the carpet in the master bedroom will be installed after lunch today. Wall to wall sisal - including the closet. Thus the nearly finished part of this post title.

As far as a little update on the rest of the house, things are finally coming along! The hardwoods are curing after the last coat of poly Friday, but we're going to go ahead and move in tomorrow night. The kid in my belly is darn near ready to come out and I'd love for his first nap to be in a crib, not a pack n play. Major progress has been made in all three bathrooms. Some of the light fixtures have finally been hung. The living and family room have been painted. The electrician came over to undo what I had screwed up and we finally have power on the first floor again! Yikes - I'll stick to cutting and nailing wood in the future. Electrical is a little - lot - out of my league as it turns out.

And dear, sweet John has finished his FOURTH - and final - coat of paint on all the ceilings throughout the whole house. Plus priming all the walls that previously had wallpaper. In case you're wondering, this is what that looks like.

John is a worship pastor at a church in Brookside and after service last week someone came up to him and told him he had some paint on his ear. And in his hair. Oops. My bad. I probably should have added it into our wedding vows somewhere that in exchange for all his house labor I'd be sure to thoroughly check his face and clothes for paint before he embarrasses himself. But in my defense he had paint on his eyelash and when I pulled it, he freaked out and wouldn't let me near his face the rest of the night. What more could I have done??

Anyway, nothing like working yourself to death only to still have a room that looks as far from unfinished as one can look.

But Annie has had some major bonding with her grandparents these last few days, and John and I have come a heck of a lot closer to a liveable living space for tomorrow. 


  1. This is like my own personal HGTV show!! Love following all the progress!! :)

    1. Melissa! This is my formal apology for not yet writing you a thank you note for the cute outfit you got us! I've been running around trying to get ready for this move...which is finally today! Movers comes in a couple hours. I've been thinking about you A LOT on this day! Here's to HUGE SUCCESS!!!

  2. The above comment came from me, Melissa Lord! :)

  3. Very Cute...try a product called Gloves in a Bottle on your hands and arms, if they aren't covered, works on ears, too. Get it at an art supply. Not sure about your hair! Paint washes right off!
    I'm with you as I have 'tool swoon, too'! Id rather wander a hardware store than the mall any day!

    And as a matter of fact... our tile installer was killed in an airplane crash the day before he was supposed to grout our saltillos tiles...I feel your pain...!

    Continued success with you new home and baby!

    1. What a bummer about your tile installer! I tried to install saltillo myself last year which was a huge mistake. That is not the ideal tile for an amateur to give her first go at tiling! ( I wrote about it here: http://wearethebrewers.blogspot.com/2012/07/change-has-arrived-part-3.html )

      And thanks for the advice and encouragement!

  4. I am the newest fan of your renovation endeavors! Thanks for leaving me a link on my blog. I will be following along for sure. Can't wait to see your progress. You have such an eye for style, it's going to be a lovely home.

    1. Thanks Dana! We move in to the house tonight...and then hopefully I'll dig out my camera and start taking some better pictures of how things are turning out!


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