Closet Doors

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As August pushes it’s way through..(way too quickly)…I’m trying to wrap up projects like the bedroom closet. When we rebuilt the closet I left the doors as they were with the intention to refinish them. It was the last major project on my master bedroom list. Glad to say they’re finally finished. Wheewwww!!!!



The first order of business was to order up the special laminated shoji screen paper and tape required.  These special papers are amazing because they’re very thick and then they’re laminated to keep them clean, strong, and very easy to work with.

As usual this project has taken on a life of it’s own.  Much like every project we take on.
I thought it would be so good to go back and look at where we started, as it always makes me feel better about taking so damn long.  When we bought this house the master bedroom closet looked like this…..

Lovely, isn’t it?!  The curtained area to the right is the closet.  Pull those curtains back and it’s pretty much an unfinished mess.  I knew we would have to completely tear it apart and rebuild it.  You know you would too!!! This was just YUCKY! (sorry no pictures of the inside)

The project went through many stages… which can be see here, here, and here. But we basically tore it up, put up sheetrock, installed lighting, and then built in sections for clothes and shoes.

Yes, it’s magic!  Finished in a snap.  Don’t you just love blogs!  (who’s kidding who… this took forever)  But yes, big improvement!

The doors that would replace the old curtain were found at an estate sale about 8 years ago (maybe more… who’s keeps track!)  We found 5 shoji screen doors for $5 each and couldn’t pass them up.   We had no idea what we would do with them so we hinged a couple together and used them in our old house for a while.  (see them behind our couch…… years ago)

We got sick of them (they were huge) so we wrapped all 5 of them up and stored them in our attic for the next 8 years.  When we moved into this house we knew they would be perfect for both my closet and the closet in the guest bedroom. It also meant we didn’t have to buy anything.  YAY for repurposing!  Richie cut the bottoms of the doors off and reattached the frames.  They were a prefect fit… unfortunately their condition was really poor.  The wood needed refinishing and all the paper had to be replaced. So I got to work.

I carefully removed the “grid” insert from the door so I could tear out the paper.

All the wood… (yes, every little tiny square!) was sanded smooth and even.

After the door and the grid insert were all sanded (damn, it was a pain!)
I decided to use a rub on polyurethane, as the parts are so small I didn’t want a lot of drips or built up areas in the corners.  If you’ve never used a rub on, it’s great and so easy.  It’s best for small jobs, detailed furniture, stair banisters, etc.  It dries super fast, too!

Once the finish was dry I began applying the special double sided tape made especially for shoji screens.  They fit perfectly on all the thin pieces of the frame.

The new paper was pressed back into the door and the newly refinished grid insert was tacked back on top.  So many freakin’ steps!!!  But it looks so much better.

I did this for 3 doors.  Once I was done Richie says… “it doesn’t look any different”.
Okay, at this point I could either cry, beat him to a bloody pulp or just hang them in delight and move on.  I decided to proceed with all three.  And all three felt amazing! (laughing)

Of course I had to disagree with sweet husband who makes me crazy, because clearly they don’t look the same.
(left-new, right-old).  The anal retentive in me could not leave them as they were.

So here they are all hung and looking fresh and new.  I’m satisfied and I guess that’s all that matters.  After Richie recovered from his wife beating he agreed… they looked better!

We also got our new TV for the media cabinet in the living room, which allowed us to move the old (much smaller) one to the bedroom.  We got it all hung up with a nice wall mount stand.

I told Richie I was beginning to feel like we were turning our bedroom into a resort hotel room with the new king bed and the wall mount TV.  I have never used a wall mount for a TV before and I have to say “it’s so cool”!  Has anyone else used one?  It’s nice to have it up and out of the way.  It extends and swivels.    ROOM SERVICE PLEASE!
It’s a 36 inch but it looks so tiny on the wall.  I’m diggin’ it!

We’ll eventually hide all the wires in the groove of that beam that runs down the wall and then cap it so you won’t see it.  We ran the cable so it comes out of the wall right behind the TV.  A plan we made 3 years ago for this room… and it finally came together.  If we’re anything… we’re patient!  Three cheers for progress!!

Okay, I know that was a very long post but I’ve found that I’m doing fewer posts (which gives everyone a break!) but they are a little longer…  (sigh) ……..

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  We’re also still working on painting the back of the house and it’s looking so good.  Can’t wait to share that in the coming weeks.  The search for a new mattress is still on… hope to wrap that up soon too.  Thanks to CT over at Living Analog, as we are challenging and encouraging each other to finish projects X,Y, and Z by the end of August.  So far so good!  We’re both kickin’ ass and burning incense!!

Have a good week… and thanks for reading!

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43 thoughts on “Closet Doors

  1. teakhound

    I agree with you that the shoji screens look much better and practically brand new now that you’ve cleaned them up. It must have taken hours but the effort was definitely worth the final result. Looks amazing!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Speaking to someone who has sanded ’til her little fingerprints were gone (ha ha)
      I appreciate that. It was a shit load (excuse me but it was) of tedious sanding… all worth it, of course. Thanks Cam…sweet as usual.

  2. Seat12

    Cheers to all of those great estate sale finds and garage sale finds that are too good to pass up! The beauty of this is that you actually use those great finds! (Oh, the stories my garage could tell!)

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hello sweet friend! Nice to see you here. Cheers and high kicks for them, indeed! (okay, I’m too old for high kicks… but ya know). Those finds have helped us create a home we otherwise would never be able to afford. Of course it also creates lots of sweat and hard work to get it done…. but there’s so much joy in that too. I have no idea why we bought them (laughing), which only freaks me out because it was like it was meant to be and the “home improvement Gods” of the future must have known. :-)

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thank you Jayne! You’re someone who is very creative and definitely understands what it takes to make or restore something… so I appreciate that!!!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Oh goodness… you have no idea. (okay, you’re building a house… you probably do!) One more to scratch off the list. It feels good, Kelly. The DIY thing is over-rated! It’s so much work. HA H AHA HA! (kidding). Can’t imagine it any other way. I bitch and complain … but in the end I’m alway proud and satisfied.
      Thanks for the Horrray!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thank you so much!
      Okay Shirley, I kind of had to giggle because my first thought was publishing it was almost as much work as refinishing them. (giggling)
      “finished” is relative. I’m starting to think I’ll never be finished with anything. Ahhhh, homeownership… what a beautiful and exhausting thing. :-)
      Hope things are going well at your place. Enjoying that new sink!!?

  3. kibster

    Beautiful! Love the screen..Everything is so nicely organized too. I am in need of a closet makeover! The only thing we can really do is put some shelving up, but it would make my life easier. I also love the cantilever for the TV. I’ve had two and I love how you can adjust them. Our walls in this house aren’t as thick as our others, so we’re trying to decide if we should do it.
    Also, I just saw this on Pinterest and thought of you. Have you seen it?

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks, Kim! I love my new closet and the shelves have changed my life. My shoes were scattered everywhere. Seriously, I was starting to wonder “how the hell did they all get such a mess”. It’s like they came to life and moved around. Shoe party! Now they’re all in their places with bright shiny faces. :-)
      If you can add some shelves. DO IT! You won’t regret it.

      I’m loving the TV thing. I think we might do it in the living room too… if the walls can take it. That’s always the hard part is finding a spot that can support that kind of weight.

      Thanks for that pinterest link. Yes, I have seen his work. Rex Goode and John Follis did some amazing designs for Architectural pottery but I have never actually seen any in real life. Always have my eye out for some. Funny how two separate people with the same names, living different lives, were so much alike. Obviously both creative people designing amazing things. LOVE THAT! So glad you shared that with me. Very cool that you found it. :-)

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Kristina! Thanks so much. I’m still debating that rug…. but I do like the bold graphic design. Hard to go wrong with a stripe… especially black and white.

  4. poindextr

    so gorgeous! This style of door reminds me of that spectacular Cary Grant movie Walk Don’t Run. Completely perfect and a very impressive job of creating a custom closet!

    1. Stacey Post author

      That’s so great!
      Thanks, Diane. Custom is a very fancy word for “winging it” around here. HA HA!
      We’re definitely throwing caution to the wind … hoping it doesn’t blow back in our faces. So far so good!

  5. Storypiece

    Wowzers… the doors are amazing!!

    1. Boys are weenies… there is a HUGE difference in those doors! They are stunning and you know you would’ve been sitting in your resort inspired room looking at those old doors being annoyed. Nice work!!

    2. Crap… now I need to add closet organizers to my must have/need list. So pretty!

    3. I need to add staining wood to my must try list. I’ve avoided it, but everything you’ve done has such a rich look… I really want to try it.

    Thanks for showing the “before”. You guys have worked hard… I’m sure the Goode’s would be proud.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Blahhhh… they are weenies! I was thinking of a much more crude word but I’ll keep it clean… for now. :-) I laugh and joke about poor Richie but really he keeps things light around here. Honestly he’s not an ass… he just likes to mess with me and watch me light up. Such a sick individual! I think he likes the look of horror on my face when he says things like that.

      Danielle, staining in the easiest thing you could ever do!!! You cannot mess it up… I promise… it’s impossible. The only thing you could do to screw it up is to leave it setting on the wood too long. Seriously, you just wipe it on… wait a couple of minutes and wipe it off. PERFECT! Then the clear coat is just as easy as long as you don’t use too much or it will puddle. I really like the rub on stuff. I had never used it before. SO SIMPLE! A lot of people use water base but the oil base is what I prefer. The quick-drying stuff only takes about 15 minutes to dry. It rocks!

      I wish I had started this blog the day we got the house. I see lots of bloggers doing it and they are capturing so much good stuff. We were so overwhelmed and busy that I didn’t start for almost 2 years later… so I love going back and pulling those “before” pictures. Always makes me feel better. Thank you for saying that. You’re the best!

      1. Storypiece

        Ha!! Richie and Tyson would SO get along. They make life interesting and I’m sure wouldn’t you change a thing about his shenanigans.

        Thanks for the tips. I’m definitely going to try it. I have a piece in the garage that I was planning on painting, but I think it will be prettier stained. I’ll keep you posted for sure.

  6. Alex @ northofseven

    Every time you do a post I die of wonder and awe at your handiwork. My Dad has wanted Sogi screens for years. He’s planning on building a very Japanese style ‘cottage’ in the near future. $5 a piece? That’s a really good deal. And yes I can tell the difference!! Please I just re-did a card b/c the #8 was imprinted upside down and to the human eye no one could tell (one loop was smaller than the next) and I was like I don’t care b/c *I* know it’s wrong and had to re-do it. Game on! They look _____! awesome!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Alex…. you’re so sweet to indulge me! :-)
      How cool! A Japanese style cottage… I’d love to see that. I’ve always love the screens and now that they’ve improved on the papers … they’re even better.
      The fun thing is at night. When the bedroom overhead light is off and the closet light is on, the doors just glow with beautiful light. It’s kinda pretty. And of course $5.00 each makes them even more appealing. (I’m such a cheap skate!)

      Oh we are so alike. The upside down 8 would have made me c r a z y!!! I’ve learned to just fix it and suffer through the pain… it’s always worth it. That’s the downside to being a “do it yourself-er”…. you notice every flaw and have to fix it or it drives you mad. I tend to ignore the little flaws when someone else does the work. So funny. And feel free to say say fu@#k or any “descriptive” word any time you want. It’s my blog and I say “BE YOU”! I certainly let them fly. :-)

  7. urban rustic

    Stunning Stacey. Such a good story. I’m in awe of your patience and ability. Of course it looks better [Men are such stirrers.] Awesome that you held on to the screens for so long, and then they finally had the perfect purpose. Love hearing/ seeing stuff like that. Looking forward to your next instalment.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Sandy! My patience is starting to get on my nerves!! (LOL) It’s a good thing we enjoy this stuff… otherwise I’d be in the nut house. Holding on to something that long seems ridiculous… but it all worked out and I’m happy we did. Crazy thing!

      Oh my husband is a stirrer for sure! He does it just to get a rise out of me so he can laugh. JERK! I always did fall for the jerks… but he does it so playfully I can’t resist. Ha Ha!

      I’m just ready to get to the decorating part of this project. When I see all the great stuff you post I just want to get after it! Thanks for the visit!

  8. the home tome

    Nice re-purposing and re-papering! Those doors look amazing (and they looked pretty cool in your previous home as well.)

    But enough about doors. Let’s talk SHOES. Nice collection and so ORGANIZED. My shoes are currently in a PILE in the bottom of my closet, total mishmosh. The way you have yours lined up so clearly and cleanly makes me think that you’ve never left the house wearing two different shoes :)

    1. Stacey Post author

      Oh yes!… shoe talk is much more fun than closet doors!! Too bad I’m always in clothes covered in paint … heels don’t got well with that attire. DANG! (oh that vision makes me laugh)

      My shoes were exactly as yours are…. all thrown in the bottom of the closet, separated from their mates … searching for them in a sea of heels and straps. So sad! I tortured my husband for weeks with drawings and ideas for those shelves. I had to get organized!!!! My shoes were counting on me.
      It turned out pretty good.

      Funny you should say that… sometimes when I find a shoe I like, I buy a brown and a black pair. So yes, I’ve definitely walked out with shoes that didn’t match. And earrings that don’t match… and I’m sure some of my outfits were questionable too. (giggle) So I’m feeling much more organized.
      Funny thing is… now that I’m so organized and the closet Richie made looks so lovely I have to go and cover it all up with doors. So ironic!!!
      Thanks, J!

  9. ScrapAndSalvage

    you should win the holy shit award. you don’t just do one project, you do ten. i LOVE your new closet (plus what’s in it. i can’t wear heals so i’ll take everything else). you and richie are hard core. you do in one minute what it takes me and j to, well, never finish – HA! you’re always a source of inspiration and creativity. ;)

    can’t wait to see the back of your house!! keep that incense burnin’! xo

    1. Stacey Post author

      Oh, Please, Please! I’ve always wanted a HOLY SHIT award! HA HA HA HA HA! You’re hilarious, girl. Really I would like to win a trip to a far far away place where there are no projects and everything sparkles… no sanding buggers are falling out of my nose, no paint is in my hair, and I actually have finger nails that are painted sexy red! HELL YES! Oh wait… sorry, I drifted off into a dream. :-)

      Thanks T! Funny thing is that I rarely wear anything in that closet. I’m always in a pair of Levi cut-offs and some old shirts all covered in paint and stain. I’m a fashion nightmare. Why can’t you wear heels? Really, I shouldn’t either… I’m like 10 feet tall when I wear them. That’s the blog drunk you’re feeling… it took me 2 days for each door. So it was not a quick thing. It seemed like it took forever. I need a nap.

      Thanks for being here… as always… you brighten my day and make me laugh so hard. (love those back aching laughs!)

      1. ScrapAndSalvage

        ha, i can’t wear heels because i trip over them like a fool jackass. i just never got comfortable enough in them to pull it off.
        i actually do wear nail polish at all times, but always in various stages of chipped. ha! ya win some, ya lose some. i say paint ’em red!!! :D

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Brittney! Some day you will have a brand new closet all sparkling clean with no termites and no 60’s wall paper. It will make us all jealous!!! I can’t wait for that. :-)

  10. Leena from Bye Bye Brooklyn

    Ooh la la, those screens look HOT! I swoon over your closet. How perfectly organized is that? And I didn’t miss that ginormous arrow tucked away on top of the closet. So cool! We’ve been on the lookout for a big arrow with lights for our kitchen, but no luck so far.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Leena! I’m always surprised that it’s staying so organized. I’ve NEVER had a closet that wasn’t a big jumble of CRAP…. you know shoes on the floor, clothes hanging half on-half off the hanger… belts so tangled that I’d just have to give up hoping I could keep my pants on. So it’s definitely changed my closet life – BIG TIME!

      Oh the arrow! We do love the signs and rusty stuff. That is one of Richies best finds (in his eyes). He’s so damn proud of that sucker so we decided to showcase it in that spot. I’m so glad you like it. I have some sign letters I’m going to try to work in too. ooooooo, an arrow with lights would be AH-MAZING in your kitchen. Love the way that’s looking in my head. Totally cool. Good luck… if I should find one I’ll let you know.

      Thanks for the visit!!!

  11. Meghan

    Stop posting pictures of your closet, Stacey! I’m so jealous. I need to send you a picture of my wardrobe and make you feel bad (yes-I don’t even have a closet because in 1948 when they built my house, apparently one 2-1/2′ closet was enough for a Master bedroom, so my hubby has the closet and I have the wardrobe). Wipe away all the green envy on my face, and wow, Woman. Love the doors. The TV stand is great too… but you’re right, it does look tiny haha. Who watches TV in your house anyways, you’re always busy with house stuff, right?! :)

    1. Stacey Post author

      Ha ha! Thanks Meghan! I remember way back when… you were there when I first posted those “finished” closet pictures… It was my first post after I moved all my clothes back in. I’ll never forget how proud I was and you were so sweet to comment. So yeah… you’ve seen it way too many times… SORRY! HA HA!
      I feel your pain, girl. Our last house was built in 1924 or 28 I always forget… and the closets were tiny. It was a struggle to keep everything IN and to keep it organized. Its almost a shame to cover up all that hard work with doors. (LOL)

      I swear in “real life” the TV doesn’t look that small in the room. I had to laugh when I posted the picture because it’s like a tiny spec on the wall or something.
      You’re SO RIGHT! When the hell will I ever have time to actually watch it. (good one!) I was up unitl 1:15 a.m last night trying to fit in the last minutes of something relaxing… usually a few minutes of TV. Something mindless… so hopefully in the wee hours of the morning I can watch SOMETHING…. ANYTHING! (sigh)

      Thanks Meghan! Especially for being there then… and now. CLOSET DONE!
      No more closet posts. (giggle).

  12. Meg

    great job on redoing those shoji screens, when i live in japan with my family when i was in high school we had shoji screens in the windows and it was a pain in the butt if the paper was every ripped

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi Meg! Thanks for nice of you. Well, you definitely know how these doors are put together if you lived in Japan. VERY COOL! So yes, you’re right… it’s a pain. HA! Two of these three doors had rips and holes in them so I was excited to get them repaired. The great thing is the really amazing papers that are available now. They’re super heavy and laminated… almost like a sheet of plastic. I hope they last a while and I don’t put my foot or finger through them. (fingers crossed)…. because I can’t really imagine going through all that again. (sigh)
      Thank you so much for looking. I’m excited to have them done.

  13. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes

    Those look AMAZING. To me, the refinished one looks completely different… and an exhausting amount of effort to redo. Let alone inserting the paper? Cutting each piece? Taping it on? Making sure it’s square/even/not wrinkling… FUN. Not.

    The before photo? SCARY. And dark. You’ve come a long way. It doesn’t even look like the same room. It’s so bright and open now… The white screen panels do wonders for keeping that wall light.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Victoria, I can’t thank you enough for saying the before picture was SCARY and DARK! Seems strange to say… but honestly I thought for a very long time that maybe I was just being overly critical and it wasn’t so bad. Now I know and with your confirmation… IT WAS DARK AND SCARY and I’m glad someone else sees it that way too. :-) (laughing) I feel bad for painting so much white.. but I couldn’t help that “OMG, I’ve got to lighten this place up” feeling. It’s so much different than it was before and it’s good for me to see it and remember. THANK YOU!!!!!

      It was lots of work… but you know from experience… everything is. HA!
      The doors look really pretty at night when the closet lights are on. I’m loving them and glad I did it. I can’t wait to decorate and move in this room.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thank you so much!! I’m doing really well at putting everything back where it goes… especially my shoes. Having a place for them and my purses, belts, etc. has made all the difference. It feels good to have it all done.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Heather! It worked out surprisingly well and I can definitely recommend a by-pass door system. Attach the rail, attach the rollers to the doors and hang… pretty easy. Good luck with yours and thanks for checking ’em out!


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