Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nursery Closet Update Part II

We have been working hard over here making preparations for the arrival of baby girl #3 and one of the biggest projects for her arrival is to have a functioning closet.  Her room has one of those step-in closets with a 9-foot ceiling so we really wanted to maximize the available space and of course make it budget friendly so I can do my happy dance!  (P.S. I am totally doing my happy dance)  I am too excited to wait so here is a little sneak peek of the finished closet :)

Before I get ahead of myself, let me remind you where I left you last time.  We had installed both Ikea Rast dressers and purchased all the material for phase II of this project.

I will apologize in advance for the lack of in-progress pictures, while my hubbie was working on the closet I was either with the girls or working on another project.  I will, however, do my best to give you the details!!

Before attaching the shelves to the dresser, we wanted to give it a little more substance so decided to add a pine topper.

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We purchased this at Lowe's for less than $11!  The only problem was that it wasn't wide enough so we ended up purchasing two in order to give us the depth we wanted and then used the Kreg Jig to put the two pieces together.

We debated on whether to stain the topper or to paint it the same color as the dressers, in the end we painted it all one color.  Since we wanted everything to look as seamless as possible, we did have to fill the slight gap in between the dresser and the topper.  Luckily, we had some spare wood out in the garage that was 1/8" thick and the perfect size to fill the gap plus a little caulk!

Now we did change one big thing on how we prepped the wood prior to applying the coats of paint, which was a HUGE time saver for us.  I did a little more research and found that a shellac based primer was an excellent choice to seal knots in the wood and had quick drying time.  We decided to go with Zinsser Shellac Primer.  For all of our painting, we decided to prime and paint outside to prevent any fumes and odors inside.  The weather last week was great so we took advantage and while the girls played in the backyard we set up an area to prime and paint.  I cannot say enough about this primer, but I will definitely say it is beyond awesome and has been a huge life saver for us especially in the time department!!

With the topper completed, it is time to add the two sides for the shelves.  For the shelving, we went with cabinet grade plywood, which only cost us $52, and we still have some left for another closet! The plywood comes in a 4'x8' sheet and we had Lowe's rip it into four strips, each 11 inches wide. Our first 1x11" board was used to create the two sides of our shelves, which are 33" in height.  Jeremy used the Kreg Jig to secure each side to the topper.  It seems the only picture I captured of this phase was on my phone :/

The very top shelf is also secured to each side using the Kreg Jig as you can see in the picture above. The shelf is the braced using a 3/4" strip, which Jeremy rip cut from a 1x2 board.  We went this route since the trim we plan to put on the front of the shelves would 'hide' the board that was bracing the shelf.

Once the top board was secured and braced into studs, it was time to move onto something we decided to add last minute.  We were thinking about ways to add a pop of color to the back of the bookcases...paint, wallpaper, fabric.  Well, we had some masonite board left over from our DIY wall chalkboard and decided to put that to use.  I painted it with four coats of the Sherwin Williams Gladiola that I used on the knobs.  It is secured to the wall using a little wood glue and the brad nailer.  From here, Jeremy was able to add the other shelves in the bookcase.  The bottom shelf is spaced 10 1/2" with the remaining two shelves spaced 10" apart and braced on all sides with a 3/4" strip.

Once the shelves on the inside of the bookcase were completed, Jeremy added a shelf on each side of the bookcase.  With all the shelving installed, it was time to add the trim to the front of each shelf.  We wanted to create a "chunky" look to the shelf so added a 1x2" to the face of all the shelves.  For the side of each bookcase, Jeremy ripped a 1x2 into 7/8" thick and attached using a nail gun.  We filled all the nail holes with wood filler and then sanded and touched up those necessary spots.  Sorry for the bad angle shot, but here is a picture of all the shelves (plus the clothing rods).

To have an anchor for the clothing rods, we used a spare 1x8" board that was cut down to 5 1/2" and the same depth as the shelf.  Jeremy added in some angle cuts, which match what is in our other closets.  We did have to purchase from Lowe's the holders for the clothing rod, which were about $2.50 each.  The clothing rod is the same rod from the original closet, just cut down to the appropriate sizes.

We are now in the home stretch!!!  All that is left is to install the baseboard so this baby will have that built-in look.  We found the same profile at Home Depot, but decided to add a little design with the additional block.

Sorry for the "unclean" picture, this was before a light sanding and touchups :)  The last hurdle we had to jump was the front of the dresser.  There was another gap between the dresser and the baseboard.  Initially, when we installed the dressers we added a 1x3" to the bottom of each one.  Unfortunately there was still a small gap now between that and the baseboard.  No problem, we have an abundance of scrap wood in the garage so to the rescue again!!  This time it was a piece of flat trim that Jeremy put behind the baseboard and with the help of caulk I can't even tell it isn't one piece.

Because I can't stop smiling when I walk in the nursery, let's see some more pictures :)

And because this wouldn't be complete without a good 'ole before and after picture!!

For now, we plan to leave the left side with one rod only for the longer clothing items in the future as well as a space for shoes.  We haven't decided if we will just purchase something to hold shoes or tackle another DIY....decisions, decisions!!

I know I gave a few of the price details throughout the post, but I wanted to include a breakdown and grand total for you all in one spot.

(2) Ikea Rast Dressers: $34.99 each (Christmas gift card was used for this purchase)
(1) Sheet of Cabinet Grade Plywood: $48 (we had a Lowe's coupon, original price is $52)
(3) Select Pine 1x2x8: $3.72 (again with a coupon, original price is $4.12)
(2) Pine Tread Topper: $9.62 each (again with a coupon, original price is $10.42)
(1) Gallon of Zinnser Bin Shellac Primer: $42 (still have over 3/4 left)
(1) Gallon of Behr Premium Hazelnut Cream in Semi-gloss: $35 (still have a little over a 1/4 left)
(1) Quart Sample of Sherwin Williams Gladiola: $4.50 (originally $7.50, but had a 40% coupon)
(3) Clothing rod holders: $2.42 (coupon, original price is $2.62)
(2) Pine blocks: $2.06 (coupon, original price is $2.28)

Grand total of $241 plus tax, with the Christmas gift card we actually spent $171!!!!  I know this doesn't include a few of the spare pieces of wood we had in the garage, but it definitely gives you a good estimate!  Our original idea was to go with a closet maid system that included three drawers and three shelves on top for $316 plus tax.  We were also going to add additional shelving to cover the entire width of the closet so that would have been an additional purchase of wood.

We might not have saved hundreds of dollars, but I am definitely loving our built-in system of six drawers and all that shelving! We might be crazy over here, but we are already sketching up a design for the girls' closet!

With much love,


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  1. This is precious! We installed a closet system in my son's nursery late last year. We were going to DIY it, but I was just too pregnant to help!

    1. Thank you so much!!! I love the slide out drawers in your nursery closet!!!!

  2. Love this! I have been pondering what to do with our future baby nursery closet (pregnant with our first) and this might be just the thing. Would love it if you shared this at our Motivational Monday party on Burlap and Babies!


  3. Thank you so much!!!

  4. Wow!! This is amazing and such a good use of space. I've Pinned your post! Thanks for linking up to Motivational Monday!

  5. Great idea! It look amazing. The color in side the shelves are great too. I used a patterned decorative fabric in the back of the shelves. It works too. I will definitely share. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Sabrina! I would love to see your shelves with the fabric!! :)


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