Sliding Barn Door To The Rescue: Replacing Our Generic Closet Doors
When I first bought my house, I didn’t think my closets could get any worse. They were small and ugly.
So, I painted the cheap faux wood white, and while it solved the problem aesthetically, it quickly became obvious that not only was form an issue, but function was even more-so.
A month ago, I became so frustrated with our master bedroom closet that I literally took a saw to it. Up until then, we couldn’t open the closet door to access our clothes without the door hitting our bed, and the closet system inside consisted of one shelf and one funky bent-metal “rod” that you had to weirdly maneuver your clothing hooks onto from behind. So in a fit of anger, I took the door off the hinges, sledged the closet system inside, trashed it, and cut the door jam with a manual saw.
This is what our master bedroom looked like the day I bought the home:
And this is what it looked like after we had our way with it. (Note the bizarre puke green paint inside):
As you can see, we managed to gain a foot width-wise to get more access to our stuff. We went from a 24″ opening to around a 36″ opening. If you plan on doing this as well, keep in mind that you’ll have to not only do some demo and drywalling and mudding, but you’ll have to patch the floors if you’re widening your doorway. In my case, I had leftover flooring from when we extended the flooring into our kitchen, so I used this technique to lay a few extra pieces down to make it seamless.
Admittedly, it was a lot more tedious work than I initially anticipated, which is always the case with home projects: We had to prime and seal the inside of the closet with oil primer to transition to latex paint; we had my parent’s gift us with their old closet system (thanks mom and dad!) which meant taking it apart and installing it in ours; we had to install a new door frame and stud to support the wall and weight of the door; we had to patch, drywall and mud the areas surrounding the door, inside and outside of the closet; we had to patch the floors and re-do the trim work; and then finally, we had to install the door hardware which in and of itself was a 2-3 hour affair in which we realized that we should have noted where the studs were in the wall when it was opened before drywalling as my plaster walls are so thick that a stud-finder wouldn’t detect any. We had to make a zillion test holes in the wall in order to find studs to secure the hanging hardware into the wall. And even then, where the studs ended up being didn’t line up with the pre-existing holes in the hardware, so we then had to use a drill press to create a new holes in the steel strip where it lined up with a stud. Phew! It sounds like a lot of work — and it was — but in the end, it was so so so worth it. We not only gained a foot in width, but in height as well, and thanks to the new closet system, we now have two rows of rods as well as two shelves which doubled our storage. A damn good weekend project.
This is our lovely barn-door now:
We not only finally have space for our stuff, like this cute polka dot ASOS dress of mine, but we’re able to access it easier thanks to being able to slide the door completely open without being stopped by our bed or getting caught on a rug! It wasn’t a fun job, I’ll admit, but it was so worth it in the end.
If you’re into the look and function of a sliding door, here’s a few to choose from and buy online (click the photo):