Our dining room closet has undergone a major overhaul this week, readers. Once upon a time, we painted the dining room (the very first room we painted in the house in fact) but stopped short of painting the inside of the closet. Now, for most people, this wouldn’t be a problem. I mean, who paints the inside of their closet in the first place? Nothing wrong with builder beige or plain white, amiright? Well, it turns out the answer is the fine folks who painted a room AND closet this fine shade of peachy orange:
We took care of the room part, which had already been painted a more acceptable sky blue colour by the time we moved in, and it was finally time to tackle the closet. Before I could paint anything, I removed the closet shelves and bar that were still in there from when our dining room was a bedroom. The previous owners never used it as a bedroom either, this was a craft room when we first saw the house.
My inspiration for this whole makeover came from the closet at my favourite local yarn store, Shall We Knit? in Waterloo. The shop is in a house, which has been turned into a business, and this lovely little closet features items for sale.
I loved it so very much that I based all of my plans on this look, and went searching for dressers that would fit inside the closet. The shelves would just be shelves, but I wanted the dresser to keep small items tucked away, and I wanted it to look nice on its own. A few weekends ago we made a trip to Ikea for the organizing necessities for the closet makeover. We picked up brackets and basic wooden shelves and a simple unfinished wooden dresser. The $80 dresser was the perfect width and height to sit inside the closet, and it gave me the option to paint it whatever colour I like, rather than putting up with Ikea’s favourite finish of the moment. While I waited until yesterday to finally put up the shelves, I had this puppy assembled the day after we bought it. The dresser sat alone in the corner of the dining room while I got to work on banishing the orange. After taking down the shelving unit that was screwed to the wall, I dug the screw anchors out of the wall and spackled up all the imperfections in the closet (there were a lot).
It took a week of popping in there after work and sanding and respackling and priming before I was ready to paint. On my last weekend off, I procrastinated until Sunday before getting down to painting business, but I knocked it off quickly and had two coats done by the end of the day.
The closet sat for another week before I pulled up my DIY pants and put up some shelves. I measure and marked the two shelf board for a quick trim (they were about 8″ too long for the closet, but a reasonable depth, and super cheap). While I sent Dan off to the shed to dig out the circular saw, I measured and marked the wall. I was lucky enough to find a stud, so I based all my measurement on the placement of that one stud. I’m not storing exceptionally heavy things on the shelf, but it always makes me feel better to know it’s going to be sturdy. Dan is officially in charge of sawing, drilling holes, and screwing things into the wall, so I set him loose with my very precise wall marks.
First bracket went up without a fuss, but we all know the first one is the easy one.
Like all the walls in our house, this one is also bowed slightly. We found this out when the second bracket was in place on the wall, in the exact correct place for a level shelf, and it was not at all level. The trick here was just like our kitchen shelves (aka the relationship testers) where the bracket needed to come away from the wall just a touch so the shelf could sit level. A few smacks of a hammer also came into play.
The second bracket and the upper shelf went up smoothly, and in 45 short minutes, my plan was complete!
I didn’t waste any time in putting all of my treasures into their new home. Although, the shelves are just sitting on the brackets, so I didn’t put any really heavy things on them in case things get tippy. I have to paint the shelves and the dresser before I secure things for good.
I stopped in at Rona today to pick up paint chips so I can decide on the colour. I’m leaning towards either the same light grey as the one we used in our bathroom and bedroom, or one shade lighter than that colour on its original paint chip palette. I didn’t get home until after it was dark, so I will check colours again in natural daylight before I choose something.
My other current little project is very similar to this one, but even more satisfying. I’ll give you a hint and let you wait impatiently until my next post: it involves covering up another unfortunate painting choice.