DIY Custom Master Closet: Part 3, The Details

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Okay, the last post left off with all of my cabinet frames basically constructed. Now it is time to get into all the little finishing details. First up, I had to deal with the raw edges of my plywood. There are a few ways to do this, including edge banding or a thick trim that overlaps the plywood, but I decided to go with a trim that was the same width as my plywood because it was cheaper and easy to install with my brad nailer. Once everything was caulked, sanded and painted it would end up looking great.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Then came the “crown moulding”. I put that in quotes because I obviously didn’t use actual crown moulding for this project. It is expensive and inevitably I end up screwing up the cuts which means I have to buy even MORE expensive crown and…I just wasn’t about it. I came across this pin from my sister-in-law and it seemed like a much more manageable option, so it’s exactly what I did! I ended up mitering my corners which gave it a really seamless look in the end.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!
For the base I just used simple 1×4 pre-finished white pine boards. They mimic the simple style of the crown moulding and again…cheap.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

You might also notice above that I used a simple strip of cove moulding in my two corners where my plywood met up. I also installed some of my hanging rods at this point. This was pretty simple…I used the rods that were in here previously and just cut them down to the new lengths I needed. Then I purchased some plastic rod holders at Lowe’s for less than $2 each. I measured how far down and over to install them on each side and then drilled them in.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Originally I was going to have all my shelves in a fixed position just using 1×2 pieces of wood as braces. However, I came across this peg hole jig and it intrigued me. At $35 I thought it was kind of expensive, but then I thought about the price of the wood supports I would probably have to buy, and about the fact that I’m crazy and there is no WAY I wouldn’t ever want to change the position of the shelves, and I purchased it. (And I’ve since changed the heights of the shelves like 20 times so GOOD CALL TARYN.) It is really easy to use. Just set it up next to the edge of the cabinet and used the included drill bit to drill your holes. The jig makes them all perfectly spaced and the drill bit makes sure you don’t drill too far. There’s a peg included to make sure that when you reposition the jig, it still lines up with the holes you’ve already drilled. It comes with like four pegs, but I ended up purchasing this pack of 100 on Amazon, which is more than I should ever need. In closing…I love this little jig, and am so glad I purchased it. It makes this DIY closet feel a bit more legitimate, I think.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

At this point, the biggest thing left before finishing work was to make my shelves. To make these I measured my openings, cut my plywood using my table saw, and then added the same trim moulding I used on the cabinet boxes to what would be the front edge of each shelf.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

It was now finally time to spackle, caulk, sand and paint everything. The paint made such a difference. I went with “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore, mixed at Lowe’s in Sherwin Williams Ovation semi-gloss paint. You may recall this is the same color I used in my master bedroom and master bath water closet. I’m loving this color.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

I decided at this point that I wanted to add cabinet doors to the bottom right and left of the long wall in order to hide some of the less pretty items we store in our closet…our luggage, file cabinet and dog food bin. I had NEVER done any doors before, so I really procrastinated this bit, but I finally took the plunge last week, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Let me just say though that these doors are quite massive, and almost everything I found online warned me not to make doors this big. BUT I really didn’t want to have two skinnier doors that I would have to swing into the center of the room, so I did it anyways. If it ends up not working down the line then I will have to re-evaluate, but, spoiler alert, they are working fine for now.

There are infinite ways to make a cabinet door, it seems, but I went with this tutorial from Remodelaholic which involved cutting a “dado” and sliding in a thin plywood panel. The only difference is that I decided to forgo the tongue and groove part, as I fancy my fingers and I figured I would probably lose at least one in that process. Instead I purchased ANOTHER little tool, this mini pocket hole jig. I always have refused to buy these things because they are a bit expensive and I never minded just drilling straight and then spackling the holes. BUT in a project like this, where I was using 1x4s, I would have needed like 6 inch long screws to attach them and there is no way that would ever work. SO I sucked it up and bought the jig and again…it has changed my life. So easy to use and great for flat projects like this.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!
Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet! Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

I screwed three of my sides together and then used the same quarter-inch plywood I use for all my shiplap projects for the inset middle section. I just slid it in to the dados I had cut, and then attached the fourth side.  Easy! 

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

The hinges I purchased came with a little template to mark where to drill your holes for the hardware. I did also have to purchase what is called a forstner bit to drill the holes that this euro-style hinge sets into. I could have purchased cheaper, easier to install hinges, but they would have been visible and those kind aren’t adjustable like these are, so I forked up the extra money to make sure I didn’t throw my new doors down the stairs in a fit of rage.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!
Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

After I had all of my holes drilled to the correct depth so that my hinges sit flush, I marked where to drill the other end into my cabinets, prayed that I wasn’t going to screw it up, and installed my hinges. And it worked!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

There was a small section of my vanity support that I had to cut out in order for the door to swing out. Also, because that vanity area was flush with the shelf next to it, I added a 1×4 board underneath both shelves that now would have a cabinet door underneath so that the doors would have an area to stop and there wouldn’t be any extra space showing at the top, like there is in the above photo. Does that make sense? Probably not. You will better see in the reveal post what I mean, so stay tuned.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

All I had to do now was fill and sand my pocket holes and my visible dado slot since I didn’t do the tongue and groove. They actually sell wood pocket hole plugs, but I bought them and couldn’t freaking figure out how to get them jammed in there, so I returned them and just filled them with spackle. Once painted it makes no difference.

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Building a DIY custom closet system in my walk-in master closet!

Okay! Now that we have gotten through all of those little details, it is finally time to show off the final product! Next time, of course…

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