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Closet Upgrade

This upgrade was a long time coming!

If you follow me, you already know that our house was originally built as a small office building. This closet I upgraded, was used to house the company phone lines and cleaning supplies. It's taken ten years, but I finally found the time to go in there and upgrade it into a place to hang coats.

Yikes!! Check out the mess!

The first thing I did was pull out the wood ceiling and walls. Not as easy as you'd think! The back wall was installed first with the framing for the side walls installed over it.

That area behind the wall in the corner is the hidden nook area. I was thinking about putting a secret door in the wall, but I didn't for two reasons.

  1. I want to see how these rooms handle the the humidity.

  2. The nook is used for storage, so a door opening into the nook wouldn't be openable.

In the future though: Definitely! I will definitely make a secret door!

The old ceiling hid the top of the staircase and that opening is above the first floor ceiling.

Next step: adding the new light.

I built a frame to hold up the new ceiling and light fixture. I also wanted to cover the backs of the stairs like I did in the hidden nook area. There wasn't a light in here before, but there was an outlet, so the new light was an easy add.

There it is! I installed a twist lock socket because they're standard in Japan. I also started the drywall framing and hanging.

We have light!

Drywall time!

There's one of my room-to-room vents! Humidity is crazy in Japan and I'm hoping these will help. This one shares air with the storage room. There's also one on the other wall venting into the hidden nook. I have no idea if they'll work!

I covered the backs of the stairs with thin plywood and then framed it all.

After taping all of the corners, I applied a skim coat texture. A skim coat is a thin layer of diluted joint compound. It's an easy way to create flat and uniform surfaces on walls and ceilings so they can be painted or re-textured.

I made a smooth concrete texture in the storage room and hidden nook and really like how it turned out, so I did the same thing in this closet. I think it's easier to make a uniform surface than a textured one and this took some practicing.

For a uniform surface, I find that a long taping knife makes creating a smooth surface pretty simple. Scraping joint compound right on top of the drywall and pulling the compound down the wall will create a smooth surface. For the concrete finish, I made circular seams in the finish. If you make a texture and don't like it, skim coat over it once it's dry.

Sand down any rough spots before priming. You do need to prime! Primers fill tiny voids in the drywall compound for proper sealing and adhesion of paint or wallpaper glue.

*I used paintable caulk to caulk all of the seams in the frame around the back of the staircase

Color is important!! This green looks horrible on this wall texture. It's also too dark for such a small space.

That's better! This is the same color as the storage room and nook.

You cant really see the texture in these pictures, but it's there. It almost looks like wallpaper.

I hung the Dyson, put down some carpet tiles and hung a closet rod.

All finished! It came down to coats or shelves, and I didn't need anymore storage. I still like the idea of opening up the back of the wall and building in shelves...maybe in the future.


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