In preparation for my move to Pittsburgh, I was slowly creating ways to maximize storage in the apartment, so that when I got here I’d have places for my things too. One of the areas of the apartment that has (mostly) become mine is the hall closet.
I’ll have pictures later as there are LOTS of changes going on there now, but it is your standard accordion door hanging bar closet, but deep enough that on the left and right sides in front of the hanging bar there are shelves.
‘Living’ in there, on the right side’s shelves are our dry goods. The kitchen is quite small (as we have shared before) so this space in the closet is our only available pantry space. Weird to have in my closet, but doable.
Finally, hanging on the bar in that closet were all of Bill’s coats. Nope, that wasn’t going to work for me if I was to ‘own’ this closet. Some of those coats were seasonal and stashed in the back of his closet, but some were nice to have easy access to.
But we don’t have a coat closet, so we had to come up with something. You see, this is all we had for coats…
Just inside the door, Bill had long-ago installed a simple, 4 peg coat rack that’s done it’s job well enough, but after you have one thing on a peg, the next item you layer on nearly always falls off. The capacity just wasn’t there, and if we were to move our coats out here, we’d need to make a change.
So, naturally we headed to Ikea.
We found this guy, called GREVBÄCK, waiting for us. It’s billed as a hat rack, but what appealed to us was that it had both hooks along the back, but also the hanging bar for heavier coats. Plus the cubbies. I mean, who doesn’t like cubby spaces?
The downside was it only came in this walnutty color, and the wood was soft and a little flimsy. The hanging bar bowed a little too, which all just spelled short-lived. Instead, we decided to build our own. Little did we know we would begin a DIY journey that would take MONTHS.
We had a basic sketch in hand, and aimlessly wandered the aisles of Lowes looking for materials that would work. We decided on electrical conduit piping for the hanging bar, and then we found this handy pre-fabbed pine for the body.
Bill checked to find the straightest pieces to be sure our measurements would be as accurate as possible, and then had them cut down to the lengths we needed.
…until our limited weekend time was up. Please note the SNOW in the background. It would be 2 weeks before we were back to the borrowed garage to work on it again!
We added the shelf and Bill installed the hanging bar with a few blocks of wood and some creative thinking.
Next up, we added interior pieces to give the cubby spaces definition and increase the structural integrity of the box frame. In addition, the 2×4 used across the back would allow us to have a steady place to hang it from.
Now that everything was assembled, it was time for surface treatments. To make everything smooth, and to even out some of the joints that were a little wonky, I spent a good hour sanding the whole thing down. I started with the radial sander, then used a finer grit by hand after.
The top joint is smooth, not to do the side!
….Ok, here’s the thing though. So, I sanded it down real good. And then…… almost 2 months went by.
The photos above are all terribly lit because we couldn’t open the garage door due to the frigid winter Pittsburgh had this past year. Even the photo above of me sanding included a fully zipped jacket with a few layers beneath.
Yup, me again, only this time just a hoodie and with fresh, spring-green grass behind me!
To preserve some of the wood grain, I decided to swipe it on, let it set for a moment and wipe it off. When poly is added, it will have a nice shine to it and the wood grain will almost glimmer.
There she is, all stained and drying in the….overcast spring day. The next weekend it rained. And the next too.
But after a few weeks longer than we planned, the weather finally cooperated and I was able to add the poly.
Yup, that’s me, staining this thing, in a TANK TOP. We went from layered in winter coats to tank tops on this one, folks. That’s the price you pay for only having a workshop on borrowed weekends! 😉
Next step? Get it on the wall!
…. but today’s weather is fantastic, so we’re gonna hang it tomorrow.
Hang on, the full reveal will be tomorrow! (For real!)