Bedroom Closet Part 3: Finishing the framing, drywall, mud and painting

Finishing a closet

Boy do I love this photo of Pixel a.k.a. the manager of home improvement projects. She’s always close by to make sure we don’t $%&* up.

Let’s take a time machine back to March when Dad and I were finishing up this bedroom closet project (read about the whole project from the start here, here and here). Remember I was pregnant and tired through most of the work, but luckily my dad did most of the heavy lifting and construction. My parents were getting ready for a road trip so we wanted to get the framing and drywall up before they took off to hike through many canyons and dusty trails of the American Southwest.

Ok let’s go back and walk through what we did…

Closet Diagram

After we got the electrical in, it was time to reinforce the opening with a double set of 2x4s on either side and a 2×8 header.

Removing bolts

One of the important things I learned during this project was messing with an existing wall can make things tricky. For instance, the wall had a 2×4 running horizontally that had to be cut out to install out 2x4s. Very tricky work – but something a reciprocating saw can pretty easily. Another issue we came across was removing the 2×4 bolted to the floor. It was a tight cut next to the exterior wall, so we used the metal blade on the reciprocating saw to slice through the bolt. With these obstacles removed, we installed the header and 2x4s in the opening.

Installing drywall into the closet

Next, we began to frame the closet in with drywall. Each piece was cut to size and then installed. A few pieces had to be trimmed to fit, but once we got them in, Dad used drywall screws to attach them to the 2x4s roughly in 16″ increments.

Trimming drywall for the closet

At this point, we had a day left before my father left so we wanted to get the closet door tracks in. We had to cut the tracks down to size using a hacksaw. I don’t have any photos of this part of the project, but let me tell you it was one of the most exhausting afternoons of my pregnancy.

I didn’t happen to have a metal blade for my hacksaw which made the process stupidly slow. Each pass of the blade made a high shrill cry and vibrated my pregnant body which was holding the track down. Looking back, we should have just gone to the store to buy the proper blade, but we didn’t. Eventually we got them cut to size and installed.

Mudding

With my parents off on their trip, I began to mud all the seams and nail holes in the drywall. You will notice we did not install drywall on the right wall. We decided to save a couple of inches and just paint over the cinderblocks instead.

I am a totally novice when it comes to mudding and texturizing drywall. I did an okay job especially with all my seams. Basically you mix up a trough filled of joint compound (the mud) or save time and buy the premixed compound. Then using a drywall knife, you smooth over the seam with the mud, then cover the seam with paper tape, let dry then sand. Then you add more mud with your knife until you get a smooth surface and that seam is no longer visible.

Texture of the closet opening

Working on the closet was a good place for me to practice texturizing since the interior would be covered in clothes.I used the plastic bag technique to match the texture of our bedroom walls. You crumple up a plastic shopping bag and add a little joint compound to it. Then stamp the wall with the plastic bag to give a randomized texture. There will be areas that are too thick and high, so run the knife over the wall lightly to knock-off these areas and create a flatter surface.

Working on the closet while pregnant

Like all my pregnant activities, this took longer than anticipated, but once I was satisfied with a nicely textured surface that matched the rest of the room, we were able to paint.

Painting the closet

Nate took over at this point so we could finish up and put the bedroom back together. It didn’t really matter what color we painted the closet since it would be covered, so we used up the remaining yellow we used in the baby’s room.

Organizing shoes

With Nate painting, I began going through all my clothes (still in the baby’s room closet) to figure out the best way to organize them in the new space. I considered many different configurations, but ended up using the IKEA Algot System along the back with a simple clothes rod. I’ll go into that in more detail next time.

Bedroom Closet To-Do List

  1. Frame back, side walls & bottom (both treated & untreated)
  2. Remove house siding from inside closet space (in shed) & install on back wall
  3. Insulate back wall
  4. Insulate floor & install floor board
  5. Insulate end wall & install end siding
  6. Remove bedroom wall sheetrock, 2×4’s & frame closet opening to sliding door specs
  7. Sheetrock back and sides of closet
  8. Tape, plaster & paint closet
  9. Install clothes rod and shelving
  10. Install sliding doors
  11. Add molding around closet doors
  12. Move clothes in

Our Improved Laundry Closet

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I’ve never talked much about our laundry area before on the blog. Our washing machine, dryer and water heater sit behind pocket doors in the back of the great room with a storage cabinet above them. Here’s a photo of the area before we moved in.

LaundryArea_Before

We replaced this water heater (along with a second one on the other side of the house) with a tankless model during Project Roof. Not only did we gain efficiency in changing out the old water heaters, but we also gained two new storage areas with their removal. Today I wanted to talk about the laundry area since Nate’s been working hard to finish it.

Laundry Area with Drywall

We gained quite a few feet of space next to our dryer and decided to add additional shelving along the top and then store other items in the bottom half.

Laundry shelves

Nate cut and installed two shelves along the top to match the shelving in our existing cabinets. These guys are nice deep corner shelves. Since the shelving is along cinder-block, Nate attached the supports with anchor screws that drill into the block very nicely and are incredibly strong.

Laundry Area Shelves: Painted

Then he painted the whole area. I don’t think we ever painted in the closet before so once painted the whole area looked so nice and clean. The new shelves now blend into the cabinets nicely. I have convinced Nate to leave the cabinet doors off because I like the look so much. The shelves are also quite high so we can fit all those tall articles like the ironing board, vacuum and golf clubs under with ease.

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Here’s a look at the cabinets from another angle with our washer and dryer. We got both second-hand when we moved in six (!!) years ago and they are going strong. When they eventually break, I am sure we will replace them with more efficient models, but we are happy to use these as long as they hold out.

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Before putting all our stuff back, Nate went through all our house supplies we stored in the cabinets and actually organized them.

Laundry Area: reorganized

Now we have all the supplies arranged by task or category.

Laundry Area: After

We also have room to store paper products and our handy orange toolbox and cordless drill.

Laundry Room: After

I love the final look. Everything is so nicely organized and a pleasure to look at. The new shelves give us so much more space. So big props to Nate for doing such a great job. He is slowly converting me into an orderly person and I think I like it.

Nursery Furniture and Art Work Blueprint

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I’m going for the desaturated filtered photos in this post because I though it would be fun to wait on the color versions until the final nursery reveal. SO these photos will give you the basic understanding and framework of the room and then I will amazing you with the full color reveal just like when an old black and white photo is colorized. PAPOW!

As I mentioned in the first nursery post, we had to make some decisions on what furniture from my office was staying and what to add.

Nursery Expedit Bookcases

My two Expedit bookcases are staying in here for storage. We stacked one on top of the other which gives us a nice big storage area. At some point we will secure the bookcases together and to the wall.

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My sister gifted us the nieces’ old crib to use and Nate found a changing table on Craig’s List he really liked. All the furniture is white except the changing table. We will probably wait and paint it after the baby is here since we have more pressing projects to tackle first.

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I know it seems out of place, but we are keeping my treadmill in the room. It’s really the only space it can go and I am not willing to get rid of it yet. Eventually it will find another home, but for the time being it will stay in the corner and hopefully not be too much of an eyesore.

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We’ve also put our old wingback chair in the room for the time being. We may upgrade to a glider, but I’d like to test this guy out for breastfeeding and if it works out okay we will invest in reupholstering it. Nate and I are trying to re-use as many items as we can for the space instead of buying an entirely new set of furniture. It’s more practical, but also it keeps with out eclectic aesthetic.

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I also went through all of the artwork we have in our collection and chose three prints to go over the crib. We received all three Berkley Illustration prints as gifts and I think they represent each of us which is kinda cool for the baby’s room. The tyrannosaurus rex is obviously Nate, I am the string-eating goat and then the cats are … the cats. It will be fun to pick out one for the wee one – maybe the narwhal?

I am currently working on another cluster of artwork to hang above the treadmill, but it takes a little time to put something together that doesn’t look to forced.

Okay, so here’s where we are on the to-dos:

Nursery To-Do List

  • Clean out the room
  • Paint walls, closet doors and trim
  • Put up gray curtains
  • Put together crib
  • Rearrange furniture
  • Organize baby stuff
  • Buy rug
  • Decide on artwork to hang
  • Make or purchase a few more art pieces
  • Put up artwork
  • Add teal accents
  • Make mobile
  • Paint changing table
  • Secure Expedit bookcases to wall/together?

Fascia decisions

Project Roof: Roof completed

Before refinancing the house, we have a list of projects we want completed. Obviously, the prison bath and bedroom closet projects need to be completed, but we have also have scheduled our house to be painted. You may recall that we ran out of time to paint the fascia after the roof was put in. It was too wet and honestly Nate and I were too tired to even consider taking it on ourselves.

At first, we were just going to contract our fascia and soffits to be painted, but the quote for having the whole house done was not that much more money, so we decided to get to just get the whole house done.

Front of the House

We are sticking with our same celery green, white and grey color combination. Last time around, we painted the fascia grey, but we are now contemplating painting them white to make them pop against the green walls.

Here’s a Photoshop representation of the two choices.

Fascia painted white

I really like the white, but am worried it is going to become stained over time.

Fascia painted grey

The grey isn’t bad, but it certainly doesn’t pop like the white.

So which one should I go with? The conservative grey option or just throw caution to the wind and select the white?

Painting isn’t going to happen for at least a couple of weeks so I have some time to make a final decision.

I also need to prune our fruit trees and flower beds before it starts which means harvesting all my kumquat and lemons. Expect some Instagram photos of the process, especially the fruit juicing stage which is a time suck but totally worth it. I am hoping to get it done this week to be done with it.

Building a Bedroom Closet: Part 2

Building a Closet: Part 2

With the closet framed, we were ready to bust through the bedroom wall and start working on the inside.

Of course nothing is simple on a build connected to an existing structure. You never know what you will find in the wall.

Building a Closet: Part 2

In our case, we had to deal with an electrical line running through the wall. We decided that we would have to move the wiring above the closet frame.

Finishing the back wall of the closet

But first, we finished the back wall of the closet since we could access it from the bedroom. We recycled the insulation from the just-removed wall and stapled it into the framing. Then covered the wall with a sheet of particle board that I would prime and paint later.

Dealing with the electrical line through the closet

Next, we moved inside to deal with the electrical line running right through the wall.

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After turning off the power, the line was cut so we could extend it up and around the closet.

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Our plan was to add an electrical box on either side (see the holes in the drywall) to hold the wires we were splitting.

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It took a little work to get the wires up and over the closet doors. We drilled holes through the 2x4s above the door and then had to maneuver the wires down the walls through many different hidden obstacles.

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We ended up cutting a series of holes in the wall to pull the electrical wire down. Then the wires were attached in each box.

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Once we are done with the all the structural elements we will install blank face plates to cover the boxes. Next we deal with framing the opening, adding support and getting the closet track installed.