Sunday, February 24, 2019

Remodeling/Fixing Our New Home - The Closets

To recap so of the reasons it took so long for us to "officially" move into this place goes back to that leaky pipe and the nasty flooring issues I addressed in previous posts.  Yes, we did find that the floors in the laundry and the kitchen were soppy and warped too, so we had to rip up those floors as well.....yeah, so the saga continues on here.

One of the peculiarities of this house was the closets.  Even though this place was built in 1980, the closet walls (ceilings too) were made of paneling instead of drywall.  Thin, dark paneling.  An added bonus was that the wood had developed a pretty funky smell over the years, too.  Have you ever opened a drawer from an antique dresser and catch that pungent "old wood" smell?  Yeah, that's the smell we had going on here....especially in the master bedroom, the laundry and the pantry.


foyer closet before
Along the way, someone had tried to paint some of the closets, but it looked like they just gave up.   Most of the inside trim had never been painted and it didn't look like it had been varnished either....just stained and rough.
half-painted trim inside closet

half-painted trim inside closet
The doors of the clothes closets are these louvered ones, and only the fronts were painted.  I'm guessing that's because the insides needed some finish-sanding, too, and that was too much trouble for the original builders, sheesh.  All the dust and lint since 1980 was clinging to those unsanded louvers.  Lovely.
Closet door inside being painted finally
However, the previous owners did install new solid bi-fold doors on the laundry closet (below)....but they only painted one of them.  Why?  Besides being hard to open, they scraped the wood trim.  

Laundry Room doors befoe
Laundry Room before
Laundry trim rubbed by door
So, after the bathrooms were finished, Bruce, our handyman, ripped out the old shelves and yellow linoleum flooring in the laundry "room".  He and his son then hung drywall, boxed in the plumbing nicely, and helped me hang up these stock-cabinets that I found and painted white.  Later we cut the old shelves to fit in between the cabinets and voila.  Much more functional.  To finish off, he rehung the doors' track and that fixed the binding problems, and of course I painted.

Working on Laundry redo
Laundry nearly finished

Bruce and his son redid the bedrooms' closets with drywall and new shelving as well.

So, while they were working on the master bathroom (before they had started on the closets), I tore out the grimy, gummy wire racks from the master's closets and started hand-sanding the louvers.  They finally got painted on both sides, and the trim on the inside of the closets got painted, too.  When the guys dry-walled the closets, they hung cleats for wood shelving which, of course, I painted white.  While I was at it, I painted the bedroom's trim and the walls, changing them from a dusty green to Carolina Blue. (If you're wondering, we had moved our bedroom into one of the other (kids') bedrooms temporarily until we got our bedroom finished).

Master Bedroom new paint

Master bedroom inside closet doors unpainted
The two kids' bedrooms were a light brown/dark beige color.  Once all the stuff that we stored in them while working on the rest of the house was moved out, I painted those two rooms a buttery-cream and white.  It surely brightened things greatly.  One of the rooms has this chair railing, but the other doesn't.

Kid bedroom before
Kid bedroom new paint

Speaking of Closets again -- The foyer has a really nice-sized double closet that had been converted into a desk/office area by the previous owners.  They had been using the tiny pantry as a coat-closet. (Three kids and two adults!)  So, we tore out the office and returned the pantry to it's intended use with the addition of new shelving after replacing the paneling with drywall. We added lighting in the foyer and the pantry closets, too.  Ahhh, so nice to have a light in a closet.

Foyer being changed back to a closet
Pantry as a coat-closet, before

The attic access had been located in the pantry ceiling.  It looked like they just sawed a hole in the old paneling on the weird, and CRAMPED.  We closed it off and moved access to the garage area making it a bit larger and finished off with trim. Until then, climbing into the attic was a real pain.
Attic access before in pantry
We were so thrilled when the closets got finished.  One by one, we finally could start to unpack some and get some of the boxes out of the garage and the kids' bedrooms.  The whole redo took the better part of a year to complete with the help of our handymen.  We didn't work continuously on it though, because Bruce had projects to do for other clients, and we needed to take a break, too.  We ended up splitting it up into two major parts; the first phase was the bathrooms and closets, the second was the kitchen and living room. 

Yes, you guessed it...the next installment will be about the 2nd stage...the living room and kitchen.  So, until next time....

                                             ~~ Karen ~~


  1. You guys are so good at this stuff you should have your own show on HGTV!! Seriously!

  2. Oh, Terri, thanks, but I'm too tired to do this again, HA!!! Heck, I still have some painting I never got to (and it's been about a year now) that I keep putting off....and it's highly noticeable, too. I just ran out of poop. :)

  3. Since your previous post, we've had to face a plumbing problem in our house. At first we were told the ceramic tile and concrete foundation below that would have to be jack-hammered up to make the repair. Then a guy called a Leak Detector came out to the house and determined the source of the leak was not under the foundation at all but was in the bathtub faucet. A 16x20" hole was cut into the dry wall to find this. The repair of the leak has been made and now we are waiting on the dry wall man to come. We have matching paint to cover it all once he's done. It's turning out well but this is NOT our cup of tea. My hat's off to you as you tackle such things. You do a wonderful job of it.

    1. Gosh, Barbara. So glad it's turning out better for you so you don't have to jack-hammer the floor. It always pays to get a second opinion. Huzzah! Its always annoying to discover hidden problems. Not fun at all.

  4. Golly I'm getting sleepy just reading about this! This is all stuff we have to do too, I'm dreading it, we still have to get the old house fixed up and listed for sale. Maybe this summer we'll have more time and energy! Your house is looking wonderful, Karen!

    1. Heh-heh. Me too, Allie. Heck, all those closets are like little rooms and entailed so much work. All together there are 8 of them. Whew! Having Bruce and James here really helped alot. They kept me and Lee on schedule plus they knew what they were doing :) Maybe once the weather breaks you'll get a chance to finish up the old place and get that off your plate.


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