Simple but awesome DIY walk in closet build (step by step)

Hey I'm Dan Perry and in this video i'm going 
to show you how to build a professional looking   custom closet like you see behind me here using 
basic tools and low-cost materials. Here's a quick   overview of the project: First you'll buy some 
three-quarter inch mdf, cut it down into shelves,   paint those shelves, and then nail them 
to the wall. Simple, yet effective.   Now here's what I'm going to cover in this 
video. First, I'll teach you how to build the   closet step by step so you know exactly what 
you're in for. Then at the end of the video,   I'll share some tips for planning and 
designing the closet.

Let's jump right in. The first step is to get a 
sheet of three quarter inch MDF.   MDF comes in 4'x8' sheets and costs 
between 30 and 40 dollars per sheet.   Then cut that MDF into shelves. So MDF is one of 
the easiest materials to cut. Now ideally you'll   have a table saw, but you can also just use 
a circular saw as you see me using right here To make straight cuts use a straight piece 
of wood as a guide and clamp it to the table. Now the width of the shelves can be as wide 
as you'd like for this project. I'm doing 12   inch wide shelves. Now you'll also want to 
cut strips of MDF to use as shelf supports.   That way you don't have to use shelf brackets. 
This is cheaper, easier, and better because shelf   brackets often get in the way.

So cut the 
shelf supports to at least two inches wide,   but you can certainly go wider if you plan 
to mount something to them like you see here.   You can then use a miter saw to cut the 
shelf supports to length. And here's a tip,   I recommend creating a cut list that specifies 
the dimensions of each piece before you start   cutting. It'll save you loads of time and I'll 
talk about this more at the end of the video.   If your shelves are longer than three feet long 
consider cutting out triangular pieces of MDF   to use as supports or just purchase some shelf 
brackets. Really up to you. And once you're   done cutting, sand any corners you want to be 
softened with some 180 or 220 grit sandpaper,   then dust them off and get ready to paint. 
The fastest way to paint these shelves is to   install them first and then use a paint sprayer 
to paint them, but this video is all about how to   do this using basic tools so we're just going 
to use a paint roller and paint them before   installing them.

The benefit of doing it this way 
is that there will be less fumes inside your home.   So set up all your pieces make sure they are clean 
and then paint one side at a time. Once that side   dries flip it over and paint the other side. To 
get the best finish apply one coat of oil-based   primer and then two coats of paint. Two coats is 
always better than one but it's really up to you   to decide if you really want to do that second 
coat of paint or not.

For a closet I usually   don't think it's necessary. Now one thing to note 
here it's important to use an oil-based primer.   If you use a water-based primer you'll have 
to sand the shelves before painting because   the water in the primer will cause the wood 
fibers in the MDF to raise up and make the   surface rough. This isn't a big deal, but for 
a smoother surface use an oil-based primer.   Now for this project I actually used a 
water-based primer because I don't like   to use oil-based paint products. Then I just 
sanded the tops of the shelves before painting   since that was the only part I wanted to be 
smooth and everything turned out great so   it's really up to your preference if you want to 
use an oil-based primer or a water-based primer.

Here you can see all the 
shelves and the shelf supports   after they've been painted 
and they are ready to install. While the paint is drying on the shelves now is 
a good time to prep the closet for installation.   For this project I had to remove the old shelves   patch a lot of holes and apply a fresh coat 
of paint to the walls before installing the   shelves. Here I just decided to use the same 
color paint that i used on the shelves.

Again,   this probably would have been a lot faster if I 
would have just installed the shelves and then   painted with a paint sprayer all at once, but this 
is the way i did it and you can't win them all. Now it's time for the fun 
part: installing the shelves.   First, use a level to draw lines on the 
wall where you want the shelves to sit. Then use a stud finder to 
locate and mark the studs   so you know where to nail the shelf supports. Use a level to drive vertical line down 
the wall to mark the center of each stud. Next, use a brad nailer to nail the shelf supports 
to the wall using the lines you drew earlier as   guides. I'm using two inch nails here and that's 
what I would recommend for your project as well.   Now if you don't have a brad 
nailer you can use screws instead.   Just use one, 2 inch long screw per stud location.

Careful planning and taking accurate 
measurements before cutting the shelves   makes this part much faster and easier, 
but no matter how well you measure   anticipate having to make a 
few cuts during installation. With my closet design I'm using 
a few vertical boards for support   and to separate sections of the closet since 
I don't want those resting directly on the   carpet. You can see me cutting the carpet 
and the baseboards to get it to fit here. And then just work your way from 
one side of the closet to another   until you have everything installed. I 
did this project over a period of five   days while working just a couple of 
hours per day. Now if I were to work   full days and do this process efficiently I 
could have finished this in about two days. Now for this project expect the planning stage 
to be the most time consuming especially if you   have a walk-in closet like this.

As always, 
projects like this are far more enjoyable   if you don't rush the process and 
instead try making an art out of it. As you can see using this pneumatic brad nailer   really speeds up the process I'm using 
it to nail three nails per stud location,   but again you can also just use a drill and 
some screws. It's just going to take longer. This same closet system can be used 
for pretty much any closet design   whether it's a pantry in your kitchen 
or a kid's room closet like this one. Once you have all the shelves installed make 
sure to tack them in place with a few nails. Now you can call it done here if you'd like but if 
you want it to look just a little bit better you   can go back and caulk all the edges and then paint 
over the caulking and any nails or screws. Again,   that's not necessary but it definitely gives 
that finished look.

And the final step is to   hang up the clothes rods, which you can buy from 
any local home store and then cut them to length. Now as you can see this makes 
a big difference to the closet.   It not only looks better, It allows you to store 
a lot more stuff without cluttering your closet.   This is one of those simple improvements that can 
really make a difference in your day-to-day life. Okay now that you know what to expect, let's 
talk about how to plan and design your closet   because that is a very important step so first 
you're going to carefully measure the width and   height of each wall in your closet and write down 
those measurements. Take note of any irregular   features that you'll need to consider with your 
design and take a few minutes to just sit in your   closet and really think through where you want 
everything to be.

Then draw a diagram of the   closet on a piece of paper and use that diagram 
to sketch out your design so you can figure out   where you want everything to be. And you probably 
want to create multiple to kind of play with it. So this process can be a bit 
overwhelming so here are some tips. First figure out how much rack space you need 
to accommodate for hanging your clothes. So how   long do you need your total rack space 
to be? Then identify any larger objects   that you're going to need to store in your 
closet like a laundry basket or a shoe rack.   Then with whatever space you have left, add 
as much shelving as possible in this closet.   I did 12 inch deep shelves that are spaced 
vertically by 12 inches which was just right.

The closet rods are spaced as 
shown here 44 inches off the ground   and then 36 inches apart. Now once you 
have your diagram shown and it's kind   of planned out create a cut list so you 
know exactly how large to cut each piece.   Be very careful here and think through everything 
carefully as it will save you a lot of time.   Now for more dimensions to consider when planning 
your closet, and pictures of other closets,   head over to If you enjoyed 
this video please like, comment, and subscribe. And one last thing. If you enjoy DIY projects 
and you'd like to learn how to turn your DIY   skills into a profitable handyman business that 
generates over six figures in income per year,   then head over to 
You'll find loads of free information   on how to turn your skills into a 
profitable local service business.

Thanks for watching, I'll 
see you in the next video..

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