Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -

Coat Closet Makeover Reveal

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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.

Anyway, in our last post, I showed you how I built small storage shelves to house our assortment of hats and gloves and the Bissell Barfinator.

Coat Closet Storage Shelves -

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.

installing a coat closet shelf

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.

upcycled shovel to dowel rods
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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.

Spalted Maple and Mahogany Tea Tray | Woodworking & diy | How to make an elegant wooden tray | Handmade Victorian style wooden tray | Antique nickel metal onlay | #Woodworking & #diy |

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.

sanding a coat closet shelf

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!

installing a coat closet shelf

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.

installing a coat closet shelf

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.

installing a coat closet shelf

Anyway, since the side supports only fell on one stud, I had to install drywall supports for the second screws.

installing a coat closet shelf

The sweet sound of silence.

installing a coat closet shelf

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.

installing a hanger rod

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.

coat closet shelf

And that was it! Our Dinky Southern Coat Closet Makeover was finished!

Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -

It’s a whole lot better than this!

messy coat closet

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.

Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -
Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -
Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -
Coat Closet Makeover Reveal -

I’ll shut the door now and hope that I won’t need to remove the little green machine any time soon!

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  1. It looks GREAT! You always do a terrific job and your writing is very fun! SO sorry about your ears though ☹️

    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn! Hey, out of the three problems – hearing loss, ringing and sensitivity to sound, I’ll take the ringing any day over the other two! 🙂

  2. Greg, I’m so sorry about your hearing and very glad that Handan sent you to the ENT. The closet is beautifully maximized storage – love it! I have to tell you that in the first picture I thought you were standing on top of the shelf in amongst the coats! lol The stack of hats looked like a shoe and the blue coat sleeve looked like a pant leg.

  3. Well made me chuckle picturing you and Handan doing your “spirited river dance” …..haha.. You do have a way with words! But, gosh..the whole ear thing is such a shame. Fingers crossed the ringing goes away. My ears started that whole ringing thing a year ago. I first noticed it when I was going to bed one night. I kept saying to hubby, “do you hear crickets or cicadas singing”? Of course he didn’t. This went on every night. Then one day I noticed it during the day as well. It almost made me go out of my mind. Finally went and had my ears tested and I have the hearing loss thing going on too. Tried hearing aids for a while ( as that should diminish the ringing noise), but I still could hear it, only louder..Plus, I could not stand the feel of them in my ears. Anyways, I guess I have learned to live with the noise and don’t notice so much anymore . I do hope yours will go away, Greg. Apparently, tinnitus is a very common thing.

    1. Thank you, Colleen. Yeah, the funny thing is, I’ve had tinnitus since high school, and like you, I’ve learned to live with it. This new ringing was tinnitus times ten! It’s at a level I can live with in case it doesn’t go away. By the way, I came across this video as a potential cure for tinnitus. I tried it, didn’t work, but apparently it does for many people. Give it a shot! –>

  4. Looks great! Very organized and a great use of space, and free is fantastic! Sorry about your ears; I hope they heal completely soon.

  5. Oh dear Greg that was nasty with your hearing , good for Handan making you seek medical help. I developed Tinnitus after my carotid artery leaked and I had stents put in, it seems Aspirin can cause it if taken for some time, I had to take that and a powerful blood thinner while waiting for my surgery and for some time after. It’s got better but occasionally have a sudden loud ringing which thankfully doesn’t last more than a minute or two. The finished closet looks fabulous, you two have a knack for making the best use of space and coming up with ingenious ideas to make it all fit.

  6. The closet looks awesome!! That’s a really amazing use of the space in there. I know you did this project without spending a dime and that you like the look of plywood edges. (I do at least. I think it looks cool). I, did however, run across another DIYer who showed how to use edge banding to give plywood a finished edge look:
    Have you ever used it before? What are your thoughts on it if you have?

    1. Thank you, Rachael! I have used edge banding before, but for the life of me, I can’t remember when or on what, lol! I will soon be building a bookcase in our living room, and I may end up using it again.

  7. Looks great! Sorry to “hear” about your hearing loss and tinnitus but glad you got to the ENT quickly and got some hearing back. Good PSA for using hearing protection – ???

  8. Love your make overs! I have a closet … Joking, first I have to make up my mind what I want to use it for. My sympathy and empathy about your hearing. My hearing loss, from the incredible pitch of my dog’s warning bark i think, is sadly total and permanent. And I have news for you and your readers, it is noisier now than when I could hear. The ringing steps up and gets creative. Bells, chirps, typing, overlay the constant sound of cicadas, when fancy takes. It’s maddening and occasionally painful. Seriously, folks, protect your ears and hearing.

  9. It looks great! Also sorry about the hearing loss ?. Is this y’all’s first summer in Georgia? (Yes, “y’all’s” is a word. In the south, anyway. ?) If so, Handan may actually be a bit warm. Jus’ saying.

    1. Thank you, Valorie! This will be our second summer here. Handan absolutely loves the summer weather here – it reminds her of her of where she grew up in Izmir, Turkey.