Just in time for summer, I’ve finished our Epic Dinky Coat Closet Makeover. Take a good long look, because once that closet door shuts, it likely won’t be opened again until October.
At least not by me.
Now, as for the Shivering Sheila I’m married to (aka the Turksicle), she’ll be in and out of that coat closet on a daily basis until the pavement starts to melt in August. Then she may scale it back to every other day. That woman never met a temperature she couldn’t happily greet with long pants and a sweatshirt.
Since then, I’ve installed the main coat hanger rod and a new shelf above it. Let’s take a look at that process and then see how it all turned out.
Because I added another space to hang vests to either side of the storage shelves, I needed to install the new main hanger rod higher than the old one. To determine where to put it, I used Handan’s longest coat as a measure.
Back in the basement, I already had my hanger rod that I’d cut from an old shovel handle we’d been hanging onto forever.
I was determined to complete this entire makeover without spending a dime, but I hadn’t accounted for the top shelf when I collected all my plywood. I searched everywhere in the basement, but I had no more 3/4 inch plywood long enough to make the shelf.
Then my faltering, middle-aged eye spied a black board in a lonely corner. I remembered it well. It was the first photo prop I ever made – oak planks glued together edgewise and painted black. It served as a background in some of our old posts, like my spalted maple and mahogany tea tray.
I snatched it up and had a closer look. Sure, it was only 1/2 inch thick, but it was made of stout oak. I could have laid that board between two stones and invited Handan up on it for a spirited Riverdance without it showing the least bit of duress. We used to build warships of wood like this and give them cool nicknames like “Old Ironsides.” If oak can withstand a cannonball, it could certainly serve to hold a few baskets of winterwear in The Navage Patch coat closet.
But the black wouldn’t go well with the white closet and wood-toned shelves, so I took a sander to it and brought back its natural color.
Back upstairs, I used our amazing self-leveling laser level to mark where the shelf brackets would go. I cannot speak highly enough of this tool. From hanging picture frames to big jobs like installing our laundry room industrial pipe shelves, this laser level has saved so much time and frustration. It’s my tool pick of the decade!
I used scrap plywood for the shelf supports and screwed them into the studs.
Quick PSA: I injured myself during this project, and it may be an injury I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. That shelf support was a nice, tight fit in the closet, and I needed a hammer to whack it into place. Without thinking, I used a metal hammer on that piece of wood while my entire body was in the closet. That single hammer strike cause a sound so loud that it made me wince in pain.
Feeling silly, I went and got my hearing protection, a rubber mallet and finished hammering. I kept those muffs on for the remainder of the job. All seemed well. The next morning I was standing in the kitchen and out of nowhere, my left ear exploded in a deafening ring and became sensitive to almost all sound. Then I noticed that I’d lost half my hearing.
Thinking it would pass, I told Handan not to worry. But of course, she worried, and she made me wear cotton in the ear. That certainly helped with the sound-sensitivity. When the ringing and hearing loss were still there a couple of days later, I went to an ENT. A hearing test revealed that I’d lost 40 decibels of hearing in my left ear. For comparison, the best ear plugs out there reduce noise by a maximum of 33 decibels. Turns out that hammer strike damaged the nerve. They put me on prednisone, and thankfully, I’ve since recovered most of my hearing and the sensitivity is gone. But the ringing is still there, and I’m kinda thinking it will be forever.
So learn from my mistake. Wear hearing protection when working with hammers or power tools, especially inside and double especially when in small spaces.
Anyway, since the side supports only fell on one stud, I had to install drywall supports for the second screws.
The sweet sound of silence.
I showed you the rod brackets I made in the last post. Unlike the ones for the storage shelves, I made these from 3/4 inch plywood, and I didn’t put a notch in them. This main hanger rod is permanent.
I also didn’t bother securing the shelf to the brackets. We’re not planning to put anything heavy on there, and it’s not going to move or fall.
And that was it! Our Dinky Southern Coat Closet Makeover was finished!
It’s a whole lot better than this!
And the best part is that I didn’t have to spend any new money to do it! I already had the paint and the wood scraps.
I’ll shut the door now and hope that I won’t need to remove the little green machine any time soon!