November 19, 2011

Doing away with another closet.

You must think I’m crazy to get rid of closets, and really I am, since I don’t have an actual ‘storage room’ in my house.
BUT… I think I will be happier in this instance with what I create vs. loose.

Let me quickly apologize for having been so absent. My goal for quite some time was to post at least one project a month… feeling like I do at least that many projects, and I could get one thing posted.
That clearly halted this last summer, and I am going to happily blame my job. Work has been consuming, and when you come home mentally exhausted enough, the recliner looks much better than projects.
I have done some tiny projects, but I feel too ashamed of myself to post them; at least right now.

So, this closet… I have shared this photo, or a version of it before, This is the room that WAS a bedroom, my post is buried HERE. I converted this middle bedroom into a TV room because I don’t need 5 bedrooms.
I stuck my big ol’ tv in the closet, and it has always looked make-shift. This is where my recliner is.
My plan… to convert it into a bit of a storage unit cupboard with doors below and a place for the TV to sit. Who knows maybe one day I will get a big flat screen that will live happily in here… you know, when I have all that extra money I don’t know what to do with… giggle.

I started by going to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Took my measurements with me, and knew the size it would require for 3 or 4 doors. I ended up nearly leaving empty handed because I couldn’t find any matching doors. In the end, I realized that three I had discounted for far too large, in fact weren’t!  So I got em’ for $2 each! (yes, typical me). The edges would just need to be slightly cut down.

Then I headed to Lowes for wood since it was near the Re-Store. (I’m usually a Home Depot Gal, but I must say that the wood in Lowes was AWESOME. Cheap, good quality, and straight!) I left with all I needed including 3 sets of hinges for $26! (note to self: Lowes wood choices and prices were much better then Home Depot when I went there needing to buy one more piece.)

Once home I noticed the doors had this plastic lamination over the fronts of them and it had started breaking free in a few places, so I scraped that right off! They are MDF underneath. These will get a paint job. I measured and determined I will have to take off the ½” molded edge on the table saw so they fit.

I cut into the carpet, removed the closet shelf, sprayed texture over the area it was missing, and then painted it white. Then I built my frame. 

The frame looks flimsy, but it is reinforced, and it’s not just one little layer of frame. All glued and pinned together. (I also added a tac strip under this newly cut carpet edge) The wood looks white cause I used a spray primer on it before I built it.

Then I got some cardboard and made a template for the top… A large bit would have been nice, but I used what I had, and just taped it together with packing tape. I used small thinner pieces for the angles so I didn’t have too many thick layers of cardboard to deal with and possibly messing with my exactness. (that would have been hard.)

Then I went in search of something I could use for the top. Off to Home Depot. You may remember when I made my DESK, I used 4 hollow-core doors for the desk top. I kept this in mind as a possibility, but first went to counter tops. Nothing... I wanted white, and I wanted it affordable, and they had neither. I was fully prepared to go to IKEA and see what they had, but I ended up looking at doors. The width I needed was 27.5”, and when I found a 28” door for $21 which was only 2.5” too short on the length, I said “It’s mine.” Since the closet is a funny shape that tapers at one end, the 2.5” will be totally hidden, and provide a place where wires could come from below to the top if needed. (I say IF because I plan on drilling a hole at the back in the middle for cables.)

My template needed the back and sides exact, so I didn’t worry about the cardboard lining up with the front edge of the door. Marked my lines, then cut the puppy.  The kitty watching is Glory. She’s a fan of projects… she’ll hang out and watch anything, even when my compressor comes on; she’s not phased.

Since the cut edges will be totally hidden, I don’t need to worry about the hollow holes showing. 
(In the past when I’ve had to worry, I used the scrap I cut off to fill the hole. It’s a slight pain-in-the-butt since you have to remove the vertical cardboard inside the door a little way, then from the off-cut remove the solid piece of MDF that was the doors edge. (realizing this might not make sense) Then this piece needs to be cut to size and glued into the open faced hole creating a new solid edge.)
Moving on…
With a little adjustment, cutting a little extra after the first fitting, the door slotted right in. It’s so tight I’m not even going to nail it. Paintable caulk along all the edges…. And then a paint job.  I realize that this old TV might scratch a painted surface, so I think I will need to just sew a thin white cloth for the TV to sit on. 

Since I had the TV cables entering the closet from the front before, I decided to solve my little issue by drilling holes through the drywall in the closet wall. 
Right of this closet is a closet in the room behind it.
I drilled holes near the floor so I could feed the cable and electric through both closets and have it end inside the cupboard.
The distance is near enough the same as it was when the cables were tucked in from the front. (You can see my cable issue in the first picture) Since these holes are totally out of sight in both closets I’m not going to worry about the raw drywall edges. I did make sure I was far enough away from the studs, so as not to make my life hard.
As I mentioned earlier, I drilled a hole in the middle at the back for TV cables to pass through.
I’ve painted the top with 4 coats, and attached the doors. I used knobs I already had, and might keep them. They seem a bit small, but I like how they don’t call attention to themselves.

I stuck my big old TV back in, and it looked rather floating, so I went in search of something tall. Not set on this décor plan, but it doesn’t matter since I got what I was after. A new and improved cupboard. (And the room looks bigger, which was an unexpected bonus.) (Natty in recliner, ready for some John Gidding.) 

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Andrea Amu said...

Natty!! I sure would love if you lived close by! I need you to come do some home improvements for me! This looks awesome!

Anonymous said...

Eine tolle Idee. Gefällt mir.

Trixi said...

Amazing job you did! You were the first blog I started following, so I think its great to read from you again.

jennifer said...

welcome back I was missing your reno posts.
I really like this project.

Suzanne said...

STILL fricking amazing!

Kristi Teacher said...

This looks wonderful and definitely inspiring for something similar I want to do in a spare bedroom. Thanks for the ideas! :)