Thank you to Cedar Safe for supplying me with cedar planks for this project. I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are my own.
We have had this closet for the past few years that has been a dark and terrible hidden secret in our home. Well, it was a hidden secret if you are a blog reader, but if you are a local friend, you may have been personally terrorized by it. Thanks to Cedar Safe planks, and a day of labor with my better half, it’s now a beautiful DIY cedar planked mudroom in a closet!
This is a very small space, in a very small hall, but even so, it was a huge eyesore before. One door kept falling off, and they were just ugly hollow bifold doors. Finally, the other door fell off, and plans fell into place. It sits right across my kids art wall, which I adore. I shared this post on instagram when I first started plotting.
As you can see, it wasn’t functioning for us at all. Luckily we have two huge closets in the guest room just off this hall, and I was able to move all coats to one closet there. The bushel basket of shoes is just sort of sad and pitiful. I can’t even believe I am showing you this atrocity… go wash your eyes, or take a shot of vodka, whichever will help you forget it.
I began by stripping down the closet, removing all of the old hardware, shelves, hang bar, and old door tracks.
I sanded, primed, and painted all of the trim. I spackled all of the holes in the wall, and sanded the walls smooth.
Note: It’s probably best to remove the trim, plank, and then replace the trim. We did not have that foresight. We are amateur plankers.
Meanwhile, thanks to a top from Jaime of That’s My Letter, I laid my planks outside to fade in the sun a bit. They did not need much time- only about 30 minutes. When they first come out of the box, they are very purple, but the sunlight helped fade them to a normal cedar color. As you can see below, the top plank is fresh from the box, and the bottom plank is slightly faded by the sun.
Once the cedar was faded, I piled it up and got it out of the sun immediately so that the planks would not warp or dry too much.
Before we were able to start the planking process, we marked where the studs were in the wall with lines up and down the wall so that we would know where to nail our planks.
We were ready to star planking! For this project, we needed a few tools:
- Nail gun
- Mitre saw
- Safety Goggles
Safety first of course. And we all know that the couple that goggles together stays together. And yes, I totally know that Chris looks like Bono here. I am not married to Bono. If I were, I’d probably live in some British castle somewhere, but that’s another post.
We started with the back wall, as we knew the sides were shorter and we could save smaller cut pieces for those. We laid out our plan with a 3-row rotation plan. I was in charge of the mitre saw and all of the cuts, and Chris was the nail gunman.
We lined up the first plank with the corner, used the level to make sure it was level prior to nailing, and then nailed it in with two nails in each stud it crossed over.
Now, these planks are tongue and groove on all sides and made to fit together. So the next step was measuring how long I needed the next plank to be, but also making sure I made the cut on the proper side so that the cut side would butt up to the corner. I wanted the tongue and groove side to fit with the other plank perfectly. I measured, and used the mitre saw to cut it to the right size, and then we lined up tongue and groove, made sure it was level, and then nailed in place.
We continued doing this up the back wall, following our 3 row pattern for variation.
Everything went rather smoothly, with the planks lining up. One glitch that we had was an awkwardly placed thermostat wire. Our thermostat is on the dining room gallery wall, with its electric wiring traveling through this closet. See that wire there? Thermostat. Boo.
We unhooked the thermostat (after turning off electricity on the breaker first!!!), and we pulled the wire out. I carefully measured where on the next plank the hole needed to be placed, and then used my drill to create a 3/4″ hole for the wire to pass through.
We checked the plank before we nailed it in place, and it lined up perfectly. We secured it in place, and then wove the wire through the hole and back into the dining room where we finally attached our programmable thermostat, replacing the thermostat from 1979. Welcome to 2015, Bustamantes!
Anyhow, we kept going up the back wall with the cedar planks until we came close to the top. I do not have a table saw, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to cut planks to reach exactly to the ceiling. So our plan is to add crown molding in the near future and cover the gap we are left with.
Once the back was done, Chris had to get get ready for soccer, so I took over and did all of the cutting and nailing on the side walls. Can you spy the two planks that were put on with the wrong side out? No worries- they are faed by now!
The only trick to working my way up the side walls was that I had to make sure the planks on the side walls lined up with the planks on the back wall, and that they were level. It wasn’t so hard, just something to keep in mind should you plank an area.
Once I was done planking, I stapled the wire up into the corners of the space to hide it as much as possible.
Now, once we had the planking done, my plan was to get a bench or build one to fit perfectly in the closet, but then I happened to be touring a home on Apartment Therapy and this image stopped me in my tracks. I loved it!
This inspired me to send Chris off to Ikea immediately for the Kallax shelf, and 4 white baskets! He picked them up, but was home so late the night he picked them up, that we didn’t have time to put it together. But with sheer determination, I was able to assemble it on my own the next day, and even comprehend the Ikea directions to some degree. Winning! I have plans to add some legs to this piece still, but we’ll get there eventually.
For now, it’s perfect in our closet now mudroom! I brought in a mirror I have had for a while at Sweet Clover, and some other accessories. We each have a shelf for our shoes as well as a basket for our smaller accessories.
I could not be happier with this project. It’s a brighter, cleaner space that now serves our needs.
The shoes all lined up make me very happy! Once I add legs, the shoes will line up on the floor, and we will have more shelf storage.
As you can see, I moved the old deer mount advent calendar into this closet and it works perfectly to store our keys. And yes, we have a lot of keys. Some of them, I don’t even know where they go to, but I am afraid to throw them out and then discover I need them. 😉
I also brought in some favorite books and a deer (duh!).
And a vase with a squirrel on it. Both the deer and vase were thrifted finds I spray painted white several years ago.
Not only is this space now beautiful thanks to the Cedar Safe planks, but it really flows with the rest of our house and the hall is much more inviting and not such a creepy place.
Here you can see how it sits in relation to our front entry.
And of course directly across from it is the kids art wall, which just makes me smile every single time. At the opposite end of the hall, you can glimpse the pale pink guest bathroom.
This project really only took us one day of serious labor, and the prep I was able to complete in about an hour the day before (minus trim priming and painting). Chris and I are not serious power tool people… we’ve only once before done a project that required us to really put our heads together and plug in our saws (our industrial pipe built ins), so I was a little nervous about taking on this Cedar Safe planked closet. But in the end it turned out to be a relatively easy way to beautifully update a space as long as you use the proper tools. And I should also mention that it smells AMAZING! I used to avoid walking down that hall because the closet was so hideous, but now it’s gorgeous and even smells lovely!
And I am left feeling so confident with this project that Chris and I will be taking on another DIY together this summer. We are 2 for 2, so let’s see if we can make it 3 for 3
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