Closet Makeover Using Shiplap

Toy Closet Design by

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Have you ever noticed that once a space is decluttered and decorated well people just seem to respect it more? That is what happened when we finished renovating our master bathroom and powder room!

And aren’t closets the WORST sometimes??

One time I had a friend give me the advice of picking off the five most frustrating spaces in the house and just getting those organized.  It’s the whole 20/80 rule, focus on the the 20% that gives you 80% results.

For me, this walk-in closet is the most anxiety producing space in my house.

I love it because it is the only closet space in the whole downstairs area, you can walk inside it, it has a gorgeous window and a french door.

All of which give it plenty of potential.

You can follow this project along in more detail by following along on Instagram.

Shiplap How-to by

However, I dislike it very much because whoever came before us used flat paint, the lath and plaster is chipping and crumbling, there is no light and it is a terrible catch-all space for all the junk!

I have to declutter it several times a year and it still looks so bad.

If you walk thru the door and turn right you see these shelves, this is where all the toys are kept.

The week before Christmas I had my kids go through and declutter using the KonMarie method.

I believe in teaching kids this valuable life skill.  Here is a decluttering flowchart if you want to do this with your kiddos.


Farmhouse Closet Makeover by

Then, if you turn to the left, you see this. I use this space more like a pantry for household items.

First, we cut into the wall so we could add some lighting.

Before and After Closet by

I chose these jelly jar lights by Hampton Bay. And only $5 each at Home Depot!

Next, we removed all the shelving and purchased 4′ x 8′ sheets of underlayment (thin plywood) from Home Depot.

These were cut into six inch strips using a table saw (you can have Home Depot do this for a small fee if you want).  Cut them the long ways.

Cheap Shiplap Tutorial by

Starting at the bottom, we installed the “shiplap” using a nail gun, finishing nails and a level.

We had read that a lot of people use a couple of nickels placed between the boards to get the spacing just right, but our kept falling out.

 My husband ended up just cutting a thin strip of wood to use as a spacer- see below.

Installing Shiplap by

Continuing adding planks up the ceiling, we finished with a simple crown molding and quarter round along the floor.

Faux Tongue and Groove Paneling by

Once that was done, it was time to paint. Normally, a painter would fill all the nail holes, but we decided to skip them and let them lend to a more rustic feel.

Because it was enclosed, it was easier to just mask off the floor, window, door and electrical components and spray the whole space.

One coat of primer and one coat of oil-based paint did the trick!

Note- once we painted, there were a couple of spots where the plywood bubbled. We decided to just leave the imperfections, again, for a more rustic feel.

Walk-in Closet Remodel by


Farmhouse Pantry by

I keep going to admire the new clean, bright closet. Let’s take a peak!

Vintage Farmhouse Pantry by

I thought I would put a curtain in here, but I decided against it because the original millwork is so lovely.

Farmhouse Style Closet by

The pantry side. . .

Farmhouse Pantry Ideas by

The toy closet side. . .

Farmhouse Toy Closet by

Next up we will re-install the shelving and bring in all the gorgeous vintage style containers- my favorite part!!

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Installing Shiplap in a Closet by

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  1. Vivian
    January 10, 2018 / 9:35 AM

    What a beautiful re-do!! I’d be going in and looking at it all the time!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 24, 2018 / 6:32 PM

      Ha ha, how’d you know? I go in there about three times a day!

  2. Brenda
    January 10, 2018 / 10:06 AM

    What a lovely functional addition to your home organization. The window is so nice not covered, and the french door with that window must give lots of nice natural lighting. Eager to see the shelving and containers in place. Your husband is such a great craftsman!

  3. Ellen
    January 10, 2018 / 2:09 PM

    Very nice!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 30, 2018 / 7:54 PM

      Thank you!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 31, 2018 / 5:17 AM

      Julie! You are so sweet, thank you for stopping by! xoxo

  4. Tanya Hulbert
    January 16, 2018 / 10:31 PM

    You know I love before and afters! I still can’t wait to see how you organize all your things back in there with those pretty labels and ribbon! Nice work you two!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 24, 2018 / 7:04 PM

      Thanks, Tanya, I can’t wait to show everyone the finished look! It is about 100 times better in there!

  5. January 23, 2021 / 10:07 AM

    Just read your amazing makeover. I just cleaned out my entry closet. You gave me the desire to do this project. Hope my finished project looks as great as yours.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 3, 2021 / 7:57 PM

      So glad, June! I hope you’re happy with the project once you’re finished!

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