This nursery closet makeover is easiest one of the most dramatic changes that cost little to no money. This closet used to have the outdated wire shelving so when we were doing demo, we went ahead and took those down. Those outdated shelves were actually all throughout the closets in the house and Leo, being the carpenter he is, redesigned the closet layouts with new wooden shelves that he built. Our little babe’s closet is pretty spacious so before I actually gave it a painted makeover, we just had the wooden shelves with the corner built in for a little more storage. Even now, there is plenty of more storage to add if we ever needed it. But for now, that extra foot space is good for the big baby items that Lucas grew out of already.
Even though the painting took a lot longer than I expected, I’m glad I took the time to spice up this closet. I mean the before was definitely not worth bragging about because man, it wasn’t a pretty sight at all. But now it’s a closet you wouldn’t see in most homes and that’s what makes me happy! Cool closet makeover? CHECK. And all it took was some pencil drawing, a paint job, and some storage bins. And some pictures to prove it haha. Which were pretty tough to take and edit since there is like 1% of natural lighting that gets in there. Any who. That storage chest we actually got for 2 bucks at a garage sale and it is in fantastic condition! At the time the lady offered it to us, I actually had no idea what I would do with it but for 2 bucks, shoot I would think of something 😉 And wala, now it makes the perfect chest for Lucas’s toys that he doesn’t play with often. It’s definitely a better a solution than piling up his toys on the top shelf.
How We Did It
First of all, even though this whole nursery closet makeover process took a lot longer than just ordering wallpaper, it did save us money that I otherwise wouldn’t have spent in the first place because well…it’s a closet. As much as I love designing beautiful spaces, putting wallpaper in the closet wasn’t a necessity that I would spend money on right away because well…priorities! They’re just great.
What you see below is the before, before (when we bought the house) which isn’t exactly of the closet but the best one I found that looks into it. Let me tell you, this house has many different stages! lol. As you can see before I painted anything, Lucas’s closet was just a plain hot mess. I figured painting a fun design would make things a little bit more organized! Well not literally, but you know what I mean 😉 Keep reading to find out how simple and costless the nursery closet makoever really was!
1. Preparing to Paint
– Take down the closet poles and screws and anything else that might be in the way of painting.
The next few steps only applies if you have wooden shelves that you want to paint also.
– For any places that need a touch up, use wood filler to cover the imperfections/nails.
– After the wood filler dries, take 200-400 grit sandpaper and sand down all the shelves.
– Wipe down and vacuum all the dust from sanding.
I’ll tell you what I wish I would’ve done, because it would’ve made things easier later on!
– We used caulk between any gaps between the shelves and the walls to create a more clean look, but DO THAT AFTER YOU TAPE THE WALL OFF TO PAINT THE SHELVES. You’ll want to caulk between the tape and the shelves instead of taping after you caulk (like we did) because that way you won’t have paint seep through and still leave blotches on the walls. That’s what happened to me and I had to do retouching with white paint after, shown below.
2. Have an Idea And Measure to Draw (Unless You Want to Wing it!)
While the caulk dries (you have to wait a half hour at least)…
– Because I wanted the lines to have a certain space in between, we first drew the lines on with using a yardstick and a pencil. We started with the wall you see when you first open the door.
– You measure the width of the wall and start drawing the pattern from the middle, going all around the walls.
– We then started from the top of the wall FROM UNDERNEATH THE SHELF to create the “squares.” We went all around and then went to the top, above the shelf.
3. Painting the Shelf With Chalk Paint
With chalk paint, no primer needed. I skipped that part and it still turned out beautifully. Also before painting, make sure your tape is still secured. Which it should be with the caulk for a cleaner look.
– Using a regular angled paintbrush, I cut in the edges and started doing my first coat with the paintbrush on the flat surfaces too. However, I tried out a roller too and it made the painting go by a lot faster with no strokes seen anywhere. Since chalk paint is thick and you want to place it on lightly, use a less soft roller like foam or a velour roller. You can see below the difference between the roller on the flat surface and the brush strokes inside (first coat).
– Wait 24 hours and than lightly sand if needed, with 150 grit sandpaper (I only sanded the front surfaces). I just really hate sanding and figured there isn’t any point in sanding anything else. And also because, it has already been sanded down from when Leo built the shelves!
– Cut in with your paintbrush again and roll on your second coat.
– Let the chalk paint dry for another 24 hours (it dries a lot quicker than that but the 24 hours wait lets the paint cure. The longer it cures, the better).
4. Painting the “Faux Wallpaper”
– Take the painters tape off
– I got the stiff brush that Sherwin Williams had in store in the size I needed and even that wasn’t stiff enough. For more straight and accurate lines, use an extra stiff angled and small paintbrush.To be honest though, I kinda fell in love with the messy line look…more character right? 😉 Or you can paint against a ruler that you don’t mind getting paint on. Or a local craft store might have better options if you want an even smaller brush.
– Choice of paint
– Paint away over your pencil marks to bring the closet to life!
– There probably will be pencil smudges from drawing lines on the wall earlier so you can either wipe that off with baking soda or paint over it with the same current paint color (I went ahead and bought a gallon of the white paint so that I can retouch not only the closet, but everywhere else in the house).
– I used a tiny straight edged craft brush to make straight edges on the lines. It was impossible for me to make straight lines with the big brush I was using to paint without getting the green paint everywhere, as you can see the difference below.
– If you mess up a few times with the faux wallpaper, having the old paint color on hand is also helpful to retouch anything you mess up on. I used a small, cheap art paintbrush for this!
– I also had to retouch the black paint that got on the walls and I used an even smaller cheap, art paintbrush since it seeped through some of the paint (same brush I used to make straight edged lines).
I ordered some storage bins from Amazon that fit in the corner shelf Leo built and placed the ones I already had from Target on top of the shelf. That way, I have a place for miscellaneous things without making the closet look cluttered and messy. And like I mentioned above, that 2 dollar chest came into great use! I store Lucas’s toys that he doesn’t play with often or whatever else feels appropriate to store in it.
Those mountain hooks were made back when I was still pregnant and we finally just now hung them up…whoops. But oh well, they go perfectly in here!
– Below, you’ll also find a list of unusual and decorative storage bins from Amazon that I thought were great in price also! Sometimes you just can’t hide everything but these bins could do the trick.
Want to check out another simple nursery DIY that just might change your life forever (and save you TONS of money)? Create your own modern foldable, bassinet stand like shown here!
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