A Closet Makeover

February 3, 2011

Greetings!  Welcome to any of you stopping by for a visit after my brief appearance on The Nate Berkus Show today !  You can read about my trip to the studio here.  To learn a bit more about me, visit my About Page, and if you want to catch a glimpse of some of the projects I’ve worked on over the past two years, browse my Project Gallery!   You can see all of the rooms in our home here as well.

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My friends, after all that traveling in January, I returned home to realize my personal closet was a complete disaster.  Absolute chaos is no exaggeration.  I couldn’t see the floor, and anytime I moved something, I could see particles of dust floating through the air.  The time had come to end the madness, I needed to purge!  Shoes, clothes and anything else that was dated, damaged, or never worn at all went out the door.

I found things in my closet I’m embarrassed to mention.  Things that haven’t been worn by any member of this household in years.   I’m talkin’ pantyhose, swim diapers, flared trousers, and *ashamed to admit* post pregnancy velvet lounge pants.

By Saturday afternoon the closet was empty, the dust bunnies were gone, and I had rid myself of any embarrassing bad fashion.  Then I looked at those walls, and got a crazy (but typical!) idea.  I decided I was tired of the brown shelving and wanted to paint them gray.  Oh, and I also wanted the hint of perfect peony pink on the walls.  Completely and totally girl.

The Mister then told me I was crazy.

So then I reminded him that he had his own closet with brown laminate shelving off our bedroom and he could keep his brown shelves, fondle them, caress them and sing sweet love songs to them.  As for me and my closet, we were going girly glam all the way.

Here is the perfectly fine and totally acceptable space, and I’m sure that many of you will agree with my Mister, it’s a very nice spacious closet.

closet before

I envisioned something completely feminine, more like a boutique!  So I painted the shelves and the walls, switched out the chandelier, and refinished the jewelry chest too.  Then I put only half my clothes back inside and I think I’ll just live that way forever.

cg kates closet after

Originally, I thought about this pink and gold wallpaper on the walls, but after considering the cost and the extensive and precise trimming required to install around all that shelving, plus the fact that I’d have to wait for a swatch then order and wait and wait and wait for the wallpaper to arrive while all my clothing was strewn everywhere, I took the simple route and opted for paint instead.  Off I went to Benjamin Moore.



I chose ‘Mellow Pink’ for the walls, and ‘Pewter’ for the shelving, plus I added a clematis stencil in champagne and silver metallic paint, and scattered the whimsical stems around the space.

cg closet shelves after

I’ve painted laminate before, and like I mentioned here and here, the trick is to use the right primer.  Oil based Zinsser has always worked for me, and it’s one of my paint closet essentials, so that’s how I covered up the brown laminate.

priming closet

I use a foam roller for the easiest and quickest application.  Don’t worry about perfection, just even coverage, and it’s OK to see traces of the color of the laminate underneath.


Once the primer was dry, I cracked open one of BM’s perfect grays called ‘Pewter’.  Do you use the nail trick?  Puncturing a few holes in the rim helps drain your paint so it doesn’t collect in the lid.  When you go to close your paint up, it makes for a cleaner seal!

nail in rim

I also added 1 part metallic silver to 3 parts ‘Pewter’ to give the gray a subtle shimmer and sheen.  You can only see it up close, but it’s oh so purtay !

mixing paint

Remember when I found that free chandy for my kitchen at Habitat for Humanity Restore?  I also happened to pick this one up too.  A quick coat of white spray paint and a ceiling medallion adds a bit more glam to this closet space.

white chandy

This jewelry chest I’ve had for over ten years, it’s originally from the Bombay Company but I wanted a fresh look, so I painted it!  I’ll show you how I did it next week.

jewelry chest before and after

So that’s the quick tour of this new and improved space !

cg stencil tray

cg closet

I think I’ll add that extra shelf eventually (where the stencil is) but for now, I’m so loving this bright and pretty space where I store my clothes !

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