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DIY / Tutorials Remodeling Repurposed

Closet Renovation Using Reclaimed Barn Wood

Back in late winter, it was finally time to give my much used and much abused family mud room (walk-in-closet) a closet renovation like its never seen before.  We live in a 1952 ranch home that has some great amenities in it, and this closet is one of them.  It totally suits us because with 6 kids (8 people total) one can quickly accumulate a little bit.  Just take how many coats, shoes, hats, gloves you own and multiply that times eight (don’t forget we live in Ohio which requires 4 seasons worth of apparel)…you get the idea.

 

So here it is.  Let me give you a tour…

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces…perfectly vintage river stone linoleum, funky 80’s wood paneling, bare bulb fixture in main section, as well as a pull-string bare bulb fixture above hat shelf (you have to reach up to turn that one on if you are so inclined), 12″ ceiling tile in main ceiling that doesn’t match tile in hat shelf ceiling, no floor trim, outdated closet within closet. I could go on, but I think you’re getting the picture.  Yes, I even added my watermark to actually claim this as mine.

I should have taken a picture of the before I emptied out the tractor trailer truckload amount stuff we had stored in here.  It needed some love, eh?

First, I tore down all the tile along with all the extra things little friends that live in ceilings leave behind. Let’s just say I wore a mask, gloves, and a bandanna on my head.  yick.  All the while, trying to save the trim and anything else that could be reused.

Next for this closet renovation, I decided to wire up the lights so that they both would turn on when you flipped the switch.  In order to do that I had to drill through the beam (shown below) to be able to connect them.  Some genius guy wired the two fixtures separately to our breaker box, which meant one had a pull string. No fun.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesThis was no easy task because the drill bit I had was not long enough to reach all the way through, so I started on one side and then tried to match the hole on the other to connect the two.  I wanted to hide the wiring up above the trim, so I had to drill right against the ceiling. A typical drill doesn’t fit up there very well.

Once I had the hole, I cut the hat shelf light fixture wire and fed it through, then spliced it with our new main ceiling fixture.  Note: before doing any electrical work you need to shut off the breaker for that room!!  ‘In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t learn the hard way. tsk.

For the ceiling, I used some wood luan panels (thin, smooth ply) we had in our stash that my husband grabbed from his workplace trash pile.  Can you believe they were the exact width of our ceiling…perfect!!  Replaced the trim, but didn’t hang the fixtures until the painting was done.

Then, it was time to put in the built-in shelves to that empty far-right pocket.  Previously, I just stacked big storage tubs there, but this time I wanted shelves for my husband and I to put our shoes/boots.

While typing this, my heart is racing because I did the stupidest thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I have been using our table saw for over 12 years, as well as my husband. I have always given him a hard time about keeping the guard on.  Well…this time I didn’t keep it on. It’s by God’s grace that I did not lose two of my finger tips on my left hand.  Sorry if you’re squeamish, but just warning you they put those the guard there for a reason.

I did severely cut my fingers while catching a piece that flew up off the table – DUH!!!!  Thank the Lord we had just put on a new, clean blade.  I’ve never been so mad at myself or had the pain similar to birthing a child outside of birthing children.  Thank you to the healing power of our bodies, I am am able to type to you now.  This closet will forever remind me of my stupidity, and thankfully I’ve only suffered nerve damage in my tips.

If you know me, I am as stubborn as a mule and continued with my painful fingers to finish that closet because I wanted it done… and not in 3-months-from-now done. NOW.  Just picture me managing a drill with one hand and my other hand wrapped up.  I’m also so stubborn as to not go and get stitches, which I know I should have had done.  ahem.

Here’s the photo I sent to my mother in an email telling her to only open it if she could stand to look…

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesShe could have strangled me over the internet once she opened the picture when she got the nerve after a days time.  Ha!

Sorry there are not more pictures of work-in-progress. My injured hand was not going to let me mess with photos.  I did manage to snap a picture of my cute little helper though.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

On to the painting… Yes, you can paint paneling, just make sure to wipe it down and prime with quality primer.  If it’s been stained, you’ll need to use a stain-blocking primer.  Since my closet was so dark, I wanted it white.  I knew it would show me all the dirt that was there, but that’s fine by me…the better I can tell when to clean! And because the rest of the adjoining room was just painted white earlier that previous summer.

We decided to go over top of the linoleum with your basic peel & stick vinyl tile since it was in even and pulling it up would cause pits in the sub floor.  (This is where I had to step out and let hubby take over) We really had hoped to put down ceramic tile, but budget didn’t allow.  We figured we could yank the tile up at a later point.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesOnce the tile was down, we added the baseboard.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesYou have no idea how excited I was to say goodbye to that river rock linoleum.  When you have 6 kids within two years of each other, there just isn’t time for this type of work, especially when you are a DIYer.

Remember the mismatched accordion type hooks on the wall?  Those had to go.  I needed more hooks and I wanted a rustic look, so I went back to my stash of barn siding that I used from my valances in the adjoining room and my garden.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesCan I just say this closet renovation was the best thing I have added to my house yet.  Each kid has four double hooks to themselves, with a few leftover for bags and such. BONUS: I even got more of my favorite barn wood in my home. cha-ching!

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesAaahhhh…tidy at last and bright.  At the flip of a switch I now get 2 lights on at the same time….genius.

I hope you are inspired to give you space a refreshed feel, even on a budget. You can do it! Do pin this closet renovation to inspire others too.

DIY Walk-In Closet Renovation with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

See the latest update to our space HERE and how we removed the dreaded BOOB LIGHT. ugh.
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DIY Farmhouse Style Bathroom Remodel by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces DIY Farmhouse Bedroom Remodel by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Categories
DIY / Tutorials

DIY: Barn Wood Shutters from Pallets

Do you crave the rustic appeal of barn wood in your home decor, but lack the barn?  No worries, because I will show you how to take a weathered old shipping pallet and turn it into fabulous rusty, crusty shutters.  No one will know they came from pallets once you’re done. (wicked smile appears…hee hee hee)

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com
DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Shutters via http://www.prodigalpieces.com

Seriously though, shipping pallets are one of the most versatile cast-off items you can get your hands on.  You can build just about any piece of furniture with them, assuming you have basic tool knowledge.  My treasure came via Craigslist, where I was able to acquire some weathered pallets that had an awesome gray patina and ready-made defects, which was just what I was after, for free – yes!

side note: Speaking of patina, I’ve got to share with you what one of my younger daughter, 5 yrs. old, said to me the other day.  We were looking at the cat carrier we were given for our new kitten, which has a some rust on the door, and she said, “Ooh, I love the rusty look, how pretty!”  Ha!  She’s seeing beauty where most people wouldn’t – rust.  Love it.  Back to story…

When one is desiring to acquire pallets, one must have a truck (aka accomplice). So I called up my mom (owner of said truck) and she happily came over to follow my kids and I on a treasure hunt through two huge piles of wood, pallets included. (Don’t worry, my kids stayed clear of the mess and had fun picking flowers instead).

Let me tell you, I not only got pallets, but scored an awesome blue chippy antique ladder, some railroad ties, and a garden trowel.  SCORE! I love treasure hunts…sigh.

Before jumping into pallet disassembly, I do suggest you read this article about pallets found here.  I also have some pallet safety related pins on my Pinterest pinboard found here.

Okay, back to said project.

It is totally possible to use a hammer, gloves, and safety goggles to do the work of disassembling.  I’m sure my neighbors loved seeing me vent on the pallets.  It does take a little elbow grease or a happy-to-please husband to dismantle one of these.  (note: gift to self was a Sawzall at later point).  You can also find an awesome dismantling tutorial here.

To get started on building, first you will need the height dimensions of the window you are going to be mounting the shutter next to.  I included the trim in my measurement, but you can make it any size you like.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com

My window measured 38″ high.  So, I cut three pallet slats 38″ long for ONE side of my window.  Don’t forget!  You will need to build two sets of shutters per window, so keep that in mind when counting how many slats to cut.
For one window set you would need 6 slats.

Next, I measured the width of the three pallet slats laying side by side, which gave me 11.25″. Just a note: If you want to build exterior shutters using this same method, add 1/8″ gap between slats to allow them to flex with the temperatures.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com
DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Shutters via http://www.prodigalpieces.com

Then, to hold the longer slats together, I cut two small slat pieces per shutter (you would need four of them for a complete window set) measuring 11.25″. These smaller pieces are the crosspieces to hold the shutter together.

Last, lay the longer three pallet slats on the ground and position the two crosspieces 7″ in from both short ends. Attach them using a zig-zag screw pattern being sure to catch all three slats if you are not using a hinge, otherwise use the holes the hinge provides.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com
DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Shutters via http://www.prodigalpieces.com

I left a couple blank screw spots in my hinge on my shutter so that when I attached my shutters to the wall, I could use a longer screw so there weren’t any extra screw heads showing.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com

note: If you don’t like the fresh cut color showing at the ends of your slats, just mix up some gray and brown paint with a touch of water to create a “wash”, and touch up the ends to make them blend in.

Last, mount your shutters to the wall and stand back in awe!

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com

If you want to do like I did and rustify (like my new word?) them by adding antique barn hinges, just check ebay.  Can you believe I found an entire lot that had just the right number of hinges I needed for less than $20?!  God is good!

DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Shutters via http://www.prodigalpieces.com

Viola! Not only did I help a local merchant clean up an unsightly pile, but was also able to create a lovely rustic touch to my home  The best part was to teach my kids to be resourceful with all that we are given.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com

Even today I am still using some of that pallet wood to build more projects, like my table centerpiece, a plate rack, and my rustic clock found here.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com

Want to see how to make the valance too?  Go to this post: DIY Barn Wood & Bedskirt Valance.

DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Repurposed Pallets by Prodigal Pieces http://www.prodigalpieces.com
DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Shutters via http://www.prodigalpieces.com

In the meantime, I’m using the same idea to make some shutters for the exterior of my home, which are painted and come from newer wood.  Just think of what you could do with this is a very versatile project.

Any questions?  Please feel free to ask!