I should have done this wall to wall closet years ago, instead of having these awful mirrored by-pass doors.
I have been living without closet doors since we put down the new laminate flooring. Removing the closet doors meant that we would need to FRAME the wall for closet doors. I actually resisted when Rodney suggested taking down the larger mirrored doors and remove the carpet. Leaving them (and the carpet) would have been a huge mistake. It’s better to take the time to do home reno projects right the first time even if it seems daunting at the time.
I didn’t take any before pictures, but I found this very old image to share with you. These three mirror doors went from wall to wall and ceiling to floor.
When I took the carpet up in the master bedroom a couple of years ago, I left the doors up and couldn’t get the carpet removed inside the closet area. This is the day we started on the bedroom flooring. Rodney talked me into removing the closet doors and the carpet. I am sooo glad I listened to him.
I’d like to say this is staged. It is not. It’s real life folks. Living without closet doors for a couple of months? Wouldn’t you think it would be neater? If you’ve done home repair and renovations you know you’re whole life is turned upside down while it’s going on.
Wall to Wall Master Closet redo
Basically It took me about two hours to empty the closet and put it ALL in the guest room.
In order to frame the closet we needed to mark the walls, the ceiling and the floor.
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Frame the wall to wall closet with 2x4’s
Each side frame was snugly pushed in place and secured with molly bolts.
There was a LOT of math involved in this closet door framing/installation. Positioning the 2x4’s that would go in between the pairs of doors needed to be spaced. Rodney made little “shoes” in order to attach the studs to the floor and ceiling. I’m sorry, I don’t know the correct terminology for the building terms.
This is how the center 2x4 sections were attached to the floor (and ceiling).
Add studs for frame and header on wall to wall closet
The original mirror doors didn’t have a header, that’s why they went all the way to the ceiling. Eventually, the new bi-fold doors turned french doors will need this header we’re putting in.
To fill the space in between the 2x4’s to make them more solid, we cut pieces and secured them with nails and screws.
Lulu Mae kept a close eye on us to make sure we were doing it right. If you’re regular around here, you know that she likes for me to take breaks and play with her. See her green ball over there in the doorway?
See? She loves it when we go outside to throw that silly ball!
Extra 2x4’s were added to give more support to the header material. We chose to use thin plywood (luan) instead of drywall.
Wrap rough 2x4 boards with plywood
The straightest 2x4’s were really ugly. We used thin plywood to “wrap” the ugly 2x4’s to keep them from snagging my clothes.
Paint framed in wall to wall closet
I decided it would be easier to paint as we went along. So at the end of the day I spent hours painting what we did that day. I used a 3" trim roller for the wrapped 2x4’s.
Add header to wall to wall closet
Yay! we have a header! Those extra 2x4’s we added aided in giving support to the plywood.
So, here we are being silly trying out the new doors! I’m loving the new look already!
Still more painting!
I have had enough with the tiny roller! It’s time to bring in the big guns to paint the SIX closet doors. Visit Homeright.com/diy to see how quick and easy it was to paint the new french doors made from bi-fold doors!
Master closet with french doors made from bi-fold doors
After painting the doors, the only place to let them cure/dry was in the bedroom. I love, love, love the way the doors look right at home here!
I removed all of the original hinges from the bi-fold doors. Basically they will now become french doors with these new hinges.
Install french doors for master wall to wall closet
Lulu Mae still hanging in there to make sure all goes well.
This is where I’ll keep it real, but spare you the details. As I said earlier, there was a LOT of math involved installing the closet doors.
At first the three spaces where the doors would go were too wide. We added some filler boards to make the space smaller. OOPS! when we put up the doors, they didn’t have enough clearance to close.
A little tweaking is in order
The doors were cut on the table saw, that is apparently out of whack, and there was too much gap between them. huh what? T molding was agreed upon.
To close the gap and aid in keeping the left and right french door closed, we installed t-astragal molding. I purchased mine from Home Depot online. At first I didn’t think I would like it, but after I painted it and it was installed I absolutely LOVE it. I think it really gives the doors a more finished look. The sweet bi-fold knobs are from D. Lawless Hardware.
Rodney made some really nice door stops. I attached magnetic catches, Command hooks and a full length mirror.
Saying I LOVE my new wall to wall closet with french doors is an understatement. It makes me smile every time I walk into the room. When the original mirror doors were put up we didn’t want to deal with building a header, so the doors were custom ordered and very expensive. I am not sorry they’re gone!
LOOK! I still have the chest I made from an old desk.
Having hooks on the back of every door is really going to help out the situation that we all have. You know—those clothes you have on for a couple of hours, then remove them and pile them somewhere? My spot was the antique cedar chest, and when it got full it was the slipcovered wooden chair. So, where do you put your clothes that aren’t ready to be laundered yet?
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Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.