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Painting tiny closets for tiny people

By on July 10, 2014


As we get ready to update the toddler’s bedroom and convert the spare bedroom into a nursery for the new baby, I took on the quick project recently of painting the closets in both rooms. Not a very dramatic or exciting job, but one of those necessary updates that I wanted to get done and out of the way before we started to work on the rooms themselves.

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Both of these small closets have enough room for kids’ clothes and storage. They were a little worse for wear on the inside – the wall paint was dingy and scuffed, with shelving covered in old contact paper. And neither have lighting installed. Eventually we’ll probably put in some kind of wireless light in each closet, but for now I thought that repainting them a fresh white color would help clean and brighten them up. The toddler’s closet was an old dull white already, but the baby’s closet had been painted a pale shade of peach (hard to see in in this less-than-stellar photo, but kind of similar to the room’s original wall color).

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

For the paint itself, we took advantage of Ace’s recent buy-one-get-one-free sale on Clark + Kensington paint. We hadn’t used this brand before, but figured that using it inside closets was a safe way to try it out. And I wanted a formula that included primer, to keep this (hopefully quick) painting process as streamlined as possible. We paid only about $30 for two gallons of the Premium Interior Eggshell Enamel, which I knew would cover both closets with extra left over for future projects. I went with a nice bright white called Illumination… although the toddler seemed more interested in the bolder end of the color spectrum.

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

And so a couple of weeks ago, I went ahead and tackled this project. First, I tested the existing paint for lead (I’m not sure when these closets were last painted), and was happy to see negative results. Painting over lead paint would seal and contain any toxicity anyway, but I like knowing what areas of our house are lead, and I’ve developed the habit of testing any surface I’m working on lately (we learned our lesson last summer).

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Before starting to paint, I removed the hanger bars and the contact-paper-covered shelving. Then I broke out the new paint and got to work. The job took a little longer than I anticipated – even though the closets are small, there are a lot of angles and nooks. And I did the inside baseboard trim at the same time (but I left the closet doors for another time). It’s hard to get good photos of these tiny spaces, but here are some detail shots of the process and end result.

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

I ended up doing two coats of paint on each closet – the C+K didn’t seem to cover completely after just one coat. Even so, I was pretty satisfied with the paint quality, and I was able to finish both closets in one day. Including the ceilings!

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Brighter, cleaner, and they even feel a little bigger now with their new coat of (aptly named paint color) Illumination! Just painting over the aged walls makes these small spaces seem more inviting.

I still have to do a little work on the shelving and the hanger rods. I’m thinking I’ll replace the existing rods with narrower ones so that we can hang things more easily. I’ll just have to pick up some dowels and cut them to fit. And for the shelves, I’ll either repaint those, or get some pre-made laminate shelving to replace them (if they’re a standard size).

And you may have noticed the freestanding shelving unit in the baby’s closet. The previous owner left it, and we don’t really need it in the closet, so we took it out and hope to repurpose it somewhere else in the house. Like in the playroom, maybe?

Painting Tiny Closets for Tiny People | Rather Square

Otherwise, it’s a great feeling to get this not-very-visible but necessary closet painting project off our to-do list. Now we can focus on the fun part – actually furnishing and decorating these bedrooms. We shared some ideas for that in our summer plans post, but we’ll be back with more details and a progress report on each room soon.

What un-glamorous projects have you had to do lately?

(linked on Remodelaholic)

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July 10, 2014

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