The Coat Closet is Done.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sooo last time, you remember, I did up the inside of the coat closet with a way funky paint job.  Today I'm here to tell ya, it's done, the closet, it's complete.  Woot!

The paint job with its new lighting.  Fancy.
If you recall, this itty bitty coat closet is just a smidge under two feet square, aka tiny.  Well, tiny in the sense that uh hello, Chicago winters anyone?  Heh, or really, Chicago weather.

Ah Chicago weather.  Here we need various different coats for various different weather scenarios:  rain, early fall cool but not too cold yet, late fall/random mid-winter day over thirty five not a heavy coat, it's damn freakin' butt a** do not even go outside cold, and a dressier version.

Or try all that weather in one day.  Hey, it happens.  I kid you not.

Multiply that by two people and how do ya fit it all in a two by two closet?  Oh and a portion of your husband's mountainous shoe collection which somehow is larger than your own.  Hmph, do not like that.

Ummm, answer?  You don't.  You pull it all out, edit, start from scratch.

Before.  Now you see why I'd open it, sigh, then shut it.  No thanks.  Yes, those are coats stuffed on the shelf.  Pathetic.
So right, here are a handful of drawings I made on the storage aspect of it all. 

My goal was to get Mike’s colossal pile of shoes up off the floor, have them organized neatly, and provide additional linear feet of coat hanging ability. 

Ha, yeah I know, that’s a lot to ask of a wee itty bitty barely two foot square coat closet, amiright or amiright?!

And, not gonna lie, for more than half a hot second, I reeeaaaalllyyy considered shoving a pocket door in there and it reaaaallllyyyy would make some good hot sense but alas, it's our living room and wreaking installation havoc like that....eehhhhhh.....

Plus I don't think I'm mentally prepared for that again nor do I want to tangle with some whack-a-doo flipper issues and/or ducting and/or whatever can o' worms.  For now.

Ok, I had started with the paint job which yeah, probably seems a tad excessive.  But hey, like I said, every space in your home deserves to be special.

Rather than open a closet door and hurumph, sigh, it's just a boring closet ho hum everything in it is boring, isn't it better to open said closet and be excited?  Yeah, thought so.

“Ya know what I hate about closets, babe?” spills Mike one evening.  Who knew Mike hated something about closets.

“Tell me.”

“Ya turn on the light but you can’t see anything in there, it’s dark at the bottom.”

“Funny you should mention, babe, I’ve got a plan.”

I get the whachu talkin’ ‘bout Willis side eye and then change the subject.  Master of Subject Change I am, fyi.

“Well, it’d be nice to see some projects going,” he says.


Whaaaaaaaaaat?  Who are you?  “Ok babe, I’m on it,”

My next task was the lighting.  For that I came up with a simple solution:  LED rope light.*  Yep.  (You could just as easily use holiday lights but I went for a protected strip.  Hey, I know my husband.  And me.)

But how....there’s no outlet in the closet...where...power........Look up, examine the cheapie but not horrible fixture......oooOOoohh....

It's not bad.  It's kinda cute.
Ah ha! 

Get one of those light fixture bases that has an outlet in it and bam, problem solved!

Ok, remember back in the day, oh man this is gonna date me hard, when there were light fixtures with outlets in them?  

Why did they stop making those?  I guess they're weird.  How many people need an outlet on a ceiling fixture?  To accomplish my lighting plan, I did.  But finding one, good luck, heh.

Pull chain base with exposed bulb,* easy peasy.  One that holds a glass shade?*  Harder.  I didn't want the bulb to be exposed lest it gets knocked and breaks, see.

Where I purchased it?  Global Industrial.  The shipping of course was more than the darn thing itself.  But.  But, I got what I needed.  And trust me when I say it took a lot of searching, so you're welcome.

No clue why Finn wasn't over here sniffing this.
Ok, I installed that gizmo.  Of course it wasn't fast and easy and simple even though it actually is but eventually I got that thing up there.  I need more arms.  And ones with better rotator cuffs too please, ugh.

Ok, kinda hard to look at photo, sorry.  But you can see the lil' outlet there on the base.  Yay!
Starting at the bottom and using the enclosed clips, I attached the rope light along the casing.  Why.....uh, why did they put casing inside the closet.....I, I don't think I want to know.

Not realizing clips were enclosed with the rope light, I had planned on using cable tacks.*
Of course the rope is shorter than what I truly needed but Menards doesn't sell an eight footer.  It was long enough though.

Once I ran out of light, I tacked the cord neatly up and around the wall and plugged it into the ceiling light base.  Flip the switch......

Here I used a cable tack on the wall.
Voila!!  Lighting problem solved!  Ta da!  So proud of myself!  Woot!  We have light!

Yes I did a butt wiggle dance while standing on the step ladder.  Carefully of course.
Ok so next was the shoe issue.  Other than asking Mike to pare down his shoe collection, pffft, ha.  Because he won't.  Mmph.

Henceforth I make little shoe shelves.  Yep, shoe shelves.

Using the leftover birch plywood from my bathroom cabinet project, I cut strips of ply to 5.5" by 23.5".  Then, hacking up strips of 2x2 into twenty inch long pieces, I was set to assemble.

Yeah.  It's a shoe shelf.  Right?  Why not?
A little glue, a little tacking of nails, and shelves built!

Next, finishing of the shelves.  For that I went with two coats of Antique Oil* because a.) I haven't used it on a project and I bought it for some thing, don't remember, should probably use it and b.) it says high stain resistance.  Again, know my husband.

Ok!  Coming down the home stretch here!  Getting excited!

With some wood closet rod sockets,* it was time to hang the rods.

Wood closet socket whoo-ha-majigs, in their natural habitat, a closet.
Of course I managed to screw up the very first hole, piloting it too large for my screw-in wall anchor to hold a secure grip.  By the way, don't get these from Amazon,* they crack, split, explode, and refuse to go in the wall.

But dammit!  My plan was minutely measurement specific and this little mistake blew me up.  Rats.  Well.  What to do?

I moved the lowest rod up an inch. The nice thing about the wood socket thingamajigs are their large solid hiding ability size.  Sweet.  So by moving up the first rod an inch, my screw up hole was hidden.  Nice.  

I know, now I feel like the flipper.

My stud finder was freaking all sorts of out, I’m not sure why, but it missed the happenstance-ly accidentally discovered stud on the opposite wall.  At first when I drilled I feared I hit a duct so yikes, careful out there.  But it was a stud so that was handy and great. 

First closet rod in.  Which, I should mention, was reused from the original closet set up.  The second rod was merely a four foot piece of 1 3/8" poplar dowel that I trimmed down.  Money saving tip for ya there, yup.

Once both rods were in, it was shelf's turn at installation where I again could have used five arms.

Making my final turn here, it was shoe shelf go time.  Some wall anchors, two point five inch screws into counter sunk holes in the 2x2, and dun duh nuh nuh, shoe shelves!

Ah yes, wood scraps are quite handy.
Heh, it took a lot of math for me to get the spacing just poor head.

Am I happy with the end result?  Yes, sorta, and no

Yes, I’m thrilled with how the storage aspect worked out.  All the shoes are up off the floor, SO nice.  That makes it super easy to zip a vacuum in there, suck up sneaky errant dog fur without having to yank piles of shoes out. 

Yes, love the additional coat storage linear distance. 

Yeah.  Go coat closet, go coat closet!
The sorta?  Ehhhh, Iiiii'm not feelin' all the bare wood look.  Currently.  Mike thinks I'm nuts -- "whaddya mean you're having aesthetic's fine, it's a freakin' closet." 

Coat closet, reloaded.
A no?  The big shelf is mighty high up for my short self.  But, not the end of the world.  The shelf brackets?  Nope.  Eyesore.  Bleech.

No way, you can see stuff at the bottom now!  Holla!
But what I didn't plan for in all of this despite my zealous planning, the biggest no?  How awful the 2x2 looks.  Ratty and rough and generally yucky.  "Paint 'em black babe, that'll fix it."

Heh.  I think the final phase of black paint brainwashing conversion tactics have finally solidified.  Yesssss.

So in the end, the closet I should ultimately say is mostly done.  A few tweaks likely ahead.

But I know, I know, just a closet?  I've been so swamped with work and dog park planning committee (oh, yes, I'm the woot! VP of the Humboldt Park Dog Park planning committee) and baking and stuff and stuff....I'm trying oh so very hard not to be house and blog neglectful.

Beep beep beep....big project ahead as Mike is lighting fires under my slacking butt.

*The pull chain light base with outlet, chrome light base with outlet, the LED strip rope lights, cable tacks, Antique Oil, wood closet rod sockets, and screw-in wall anchors are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. I think you did a great job on the closet! It is very functional, which is great! If you do decide to paint it that will be a bonus look for you. You're a very entertaining person and you make me giggle! I always enjoy your projects, Thanks, Belva

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate all your very kind words and I’m so thrilled at your enjoyment! Thanks for reading along!

  2. I think what bothers you is that is looks unfinished. With the spectacular wall "art" finish and classic floor and lovely molding it just doesn't fit. Yeah I get that its just a closet but you are house proud, and there is nothing wrong with that

    1. Ah, yeah, I definitely see where you're going with that, the two styles don't go together. It's on my backburner to rework so thank you for the reminder! And thank you too for sharing your helpful thoughts!


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