Hallway Closet Re-do

When I moved into my (then) boyfriend’s (now fiancé’s, but always my Boo’s) apartment last year, I was really happy and excited.  I was also really energized to “de-boy” some of it.  You know what I mean, right?  Dark wood everything, huge oversized furniture (not complaining, Boo – so comfortable!), and of course minimalist.  I, on the other hand, love full (but not cluttered) bright spaces with exciting prints and white wood everything…

While we have very different design tastes, we did (and still do) lots of compromising.  As in, Boo agrees to all my crazy requests (spray painted coffee beans! 500 candles! 500 more pictures! 9 pillows on the bed!  I could go on…but you get the picture).  He is a good egg.

I had seen many painted closet door projects on Pinterest and was especially impressed by Shoestring Sophistication’s closet re-do.  We have bi-fold doors in the hallway that leads into our bedroom, and I knew I wanted to gussy them up with some shiny new paint.

Tools you’ll need:
1. Painter’s tape: I like frog tape because it gives the crispest seal – we used 1″ (you should be sure to have enough for your project and to tape up a drop cloth)
2. A level: any size would work, but a meterstick is best for this project because there are long strips to apply
3. An x-acto knife or razor to cut remove excess tape  
4. Paint – your choice of color, but I recommend getting a satin or semi-gloss finish (not matte or high gloss!) because they are much easier to clean
5. A foam roller brush
6. A paint tray
7. A drop cloth  
8. A step ladder to get to the highest point of the doors
9. A screwdriver to remove hardware on the closet doors

Here is where we started, sorry for the poor quality picture – it was taken at night:

Note: Because our tape would cover the white paint already in place, we just had to paint over the tape to get the design we wanted.  If you need to paint your doors before applying the tape then that should be your first step.  After the paint dries, follow the directions below. 
1. Remove all hardware on the front of the doors (such as door pulls) with a screwdriver.  The door pulls are usually very simple 2-piece contraptions with a handle secured by a screw.  Unscrew the screw in the back, and you should be able to easily remove the front pulls.  

2. Determine the size and shape you would like display on the doors.  We chose rectangles just like Shoestring Sophistication did: one smaller and one larger on each side of each door.

3. Measure your doors.  Ours are 80″ h x 23.5″ w.  In order to have two rectangles per side of each bi-fold, each small top rectangle must be 24.5″ h x 10″ w and each large bottom rectangle must be 50.5″ h x 10″ w.  There will be 1″ on each side every rectangle. Just as with the bathroom stripes you will want to be sure that your tape is in the proper space.  For example, 50.5″ is the total height of the largest rectangle, it is the measure from the top of the top tape to the bottom of the bottom tape. 

4. Measure and mark lightly with a pencil where your tape will begin and end for each rectangle.  This is where Boo helped me a lot.  He cut all of the tape into the correct lengths (which for the longest parts of the rectangle should be longer than you actually need so that you can remove the excess and still get a crisp edge.) 

5. Grab your level and begin to apply the precut tape, connecting the marks you previously made.  I started by applying the top of the rectangle (the 10″ piece) then applied the sides so that there is some overlap between the two pieces of tape at every 90 degree point. This helps to seal the corners and ensure you will not have paint leaking between the top and sides of your rectangles.  Run your hand over each piece of tape to make sure it is firmly adhered to the door.

If you are flying solo on this one, that is just fine…just go slow.  Cut, apply and repeat.  

(Picture Break)

Here is a picture of one side done…only three more to go!

Almost there…plus two rogue pieces of tape, or maybe this was my “holding ground” – the “green room” of painter’s tape if you will, sorry I cannot recall for sure.  I guess I was in a bi-fold door black hole:

6.  With an x-acto knife remove any excess tape that may be exposed.  Here is a shot of our tape before we Boo got on the floor with the x-acto knife:

 And here is the final shot right before we painted – I know the bottom of the doors look a little wonky in this photo, but trust me – it is perfectly level thanks to that neon little guy to the right:

7.  Tape down your drop cloth at this point so that your floor and baseboards are covered.  We made the mistake of taping this down before we started the project.  It was a bit of a hassle, and to save yourself some headache just do this right before you are ready to paint.  You will also want to tape off the areas directly around the doors (the walls and ceiling if the doors go all there).

8. Grab your foam roller and get to it!  Two coats should do you just fine.  Just as with the bathroom stripes you will want to remove the tape as soon as you are finished painting.  Rip it quickly…like a band-aid!

Here is the closet after step #8, can you see where the door pulls came off?  Sorry for another poor nighttime picture, this was an all day affair:

You are done!  Unless…you want to take it to the next level with new door pulls.  And we wanted to, and did!

Here is a close up of the old builder grade knobs:

9.  I picked up these little goodies at Home Depot for $5.97 each: 2 for these closets then 1 for the laundry closet, and installed them in about 35 seconds.  It’s amazing what a difference new hardware can make! 

Here is a close up of the new knobs: 

They are the perfect size to pull open the doors:

And look at that shine! A beauty…

And a shot from the top: 

Side note completely unrelated to painting hallway doors, but I am reminded of this because of the baseboards in the photo above: have you ever tried to clean your baseboards with a dryer sheet?  You must!  Not only does it work to perfectly clean and dust the baseboards, but it also makes your hall (or wherever it is that you are cleaning) smell like fresh laundry. And, really, who doesn’t love that smell?  Today I used Mrs. Meyer’s Geranium dryer sheets…now I want to sit in the hallway all day!  It smells that good…okay, back to reality:

Here is our final product, with one new knob and one old knob, just so that you can see the difference between the two.

Doors open:

Doors closed:

We are so pleased!  And by “we” I mean “me and my Boo” (who is a saint for allowing me to paint closet doors “for fun”).

Do you have closets to paint?  Are you thinking about it painting something else?  Please let me know, I’d love to hear your plans!

The Future Mrs. Wolf