You guys…. I have been hiding a dirty little secret from you all. I am hanging my head in shame. Remember that time we made over our mustard yellow formica kitchen and turned it into a kitchen of my dreams inspired by colors of the sea? Well, there’s something that’s been lurking, hidden, remaining mustard yellow and just generally gross, but thanks to Ace Hardware and 31 Days of Color, I am no longer ashamed!
Do you see that teeny tiny closet back there….
Even Catcher couldn’t stand to look at it. Here’s the dirty secret that was lurking inside… mustard yellow, paint splatter stains on the wall (from me and my paintbrushes!), an old particle board shelf covered with bamboo paper…. YUCK.
I thought this closet would be the perfect place to add a more dramatic color and I chose Artistic Blue from Clark&Kensington to add a punch.
This color has that moody ocean vibe that i knew would work perfectly with the colors in our kitchen and dining room (which the kitchen opens to).
I knew that I needed to reorganize this closet a bit as well, but the first steps were stripping it down. I removed everything, the wood boards, hooks, everything! I started to prepare the closet for paint by filling all of the nail holes with Ace’s own spackling compound.
Once the spackle dried, I sanded the walls lightly, smoothed out as much as I could. In all honestly, I could have taken the orbital sander to it for very smooth walls, but this is a kitchen closet, and frankly, I don’t need perfectly smooth walls in there.
I then was able to directly apply Clark+Kensington Artistic Blue as it is a paint+primer in one – no primer needed! I gave it two coats, and that was all it needed which was impressive for a dark color going over a light color.
While the paint dried, I devised a plan. This is a very narrow closet, and really needed to have two shelves (otherwise we just make a mess of stacking things on the one shelf….. trust me). Because of the height of the door frame, I couldn’t fit two shelves reasonable at the top of the closet. I decided to add one on the bottom and sit the trash can and recycling bin on top of that, and then add a top shelf slightly higher than the pre-existing one.
I followed the same design of building the shelves that the previous owner had used. My local Ace hardware is attached to a planing mill and I was able to get some 1×4’s there that I knew would be perfect. I measured the back wall of the closet (24″) and cut two pieces to 24″. I also measured the depth (22″), subtracted one inch for the board that would be sitting on the back wall, and cut 4 more pieces (2 per shelf) in 21″ lengths. I drilled lead holes in those as well.
I knew that the studs were all located in the corners so I made my lead holes as close to the edge as possible.
Next, I started with the back boards, using a level to line my boards up, and then using wood screws to secure them in place. I repeated the same with the side boards. (Sorry for the photo quality here! I snapped this with my phone as I worked on a rockin’ Saturday night).
Once the boards were all installed, I painted them Artistic Blue as well, applying two coats.
While the paint was drying, I gathered some pine boards I had cut to the size I needed, 24 x 22 for the bottom shelf and 24 x 16 for the top shelf. I wanted the top shelf shallower because I wanted room to reach in front of it. I used Minwax Gel Stain in aged oak, applying with a rag with the grain of the wood, to give these pieces a rustic tone.
This stain went on beautifully, and I didn’t pre-condition my wood. Once it dried, I applied a coat of minwax polycrylic to seal and protect.
Once they were dry, I was able to rest them on the brackets I had made with the boards.
I added a couple other touches I will share as I show you the pictures of where this closet ended up!
Are you ready to see it? Here you get a sense of just how skinny this little space is!
I absolutely love how it turned out. It’s much more useful now, and the color makes me happy! It now fits in with the rest of our home!
I added brass hooks from Ace to the back board and we were able to hang our broom, mops, and dustpan. So much better than the old half broken organizer we had in place! These hooks are technically garment hooks, but they are so pretty, and deep enough to suit our needs here.
You can also see here how the newly stained shelf sits perfectly on the wood brackets I created with the 1x4s. And check out the gorgeous tone of the wood now! I love it! It fits perfectly with our rustic wood touches in our kitchen on our counters and island.
Another welcome addition was a new light. This closet had absolutely no light and faces the back of the house (light enters through the front), so it was always very dark in here. Ace carries these easy to install LED closet lights. I screwed mine in place on my support board. (And as you can see, this is where I hang my paint brushes once they’ve been washed). I chose to hang the light here as opposed to on the ceiling so that the kids could easily reach it as well.
It makes such a difference!
Moving down the closet, I decided to get a little crafty and created some vinyl arrows and lettering for our trash and recycling bins. Guests are always asking which is trash and which is recycling, but no more! Easy to read labels! I simply used a stencil and hand cut the letters. The arrows I free handed. Who needs perfection? And right below them underneath the shelf they now sit on, we have the perfect little space to store trash bags.
Because of the change with shelves, I was now able to place my basket of cleaning supplies in this closet, which frees up space in our guest bath closet! I feel another closet makeover coming on….
Thanks so much to Ace for providing me with everything I needed to make this closet shine! Be sure to check out their 31 Days of Color, which launched this month on ThePaintStudio.com! Every day in March, Ace will reveal a new Color of the Day at 12pm EST (Clark+Kensington Artistic Blue, which I used for this project, is today’s color of the day!) Plus, you can enter to win the 31 Days of Color Sweepstakes daily for a chance at a $10,000 makeover or $50 gift cards, and Ace is giving away free samples of the Color of the Day each day to the first 1,000 entrants on ThePaintStudio.com. Check it out!
I am a member of the Ace Bloggers Panel and Ace Hardware has provided with the products used within this project. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware