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Mount High Closing off the Coat Closet: From Bi-fold Door to Hinged Swing Door

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Mount High Closing off the Coat Closet: From Bi-fold Door to Hinged Swing Door

Something we have been wanting to check off of our list since long before we started our renovation, was to transition our coat closet doors from bi-fold style to a swing door style.  With the bi-fold setup, we found ourselves with less accessibility on the right side of the closet, items would fall down behind the door and we would have to remove the door to access them, and the ease of opening/shutting the doors lessened over years of use and abuse.

Up until recently, we had been living without any closet doors at all, you can catch up on our last coat closet update here.

As I shared in my last kitchen update, we had converted a set of bi-fold doors to hinged swing doors.  I had also stained them with a walnut finish and wasn't loving the results.  After a lot of moaning and groaning and not being able to get the finish right, I decided to just paint them white for now.  I have a feeling they won't stay white forever, and a part of me died a little inside when I primed over the stain, but it was the right choice for us at this point.  I am hoping (fingers crossed) to bring in some better suited wood tones in another way down the road.

For this project, we used:

Because we removed all of our previous trim during demo, we were starting with a blank slate doorway. Also used (not pictured above):

For the new door, we needed to add a slightly shorter header to our frame, so we did that with a simple 2x4 scrap board.

We then installed the door jamb kit, which we cut to size with a miter saw.  The shims ensured each side of the jamb was straight and level.

The shims can be cut in a variety of ways; we used our oscillating tool for a quick zip (and with a helper we also kept a shop vac nearby to snag any indoor cutting dust).

The jamb was affixed to the door opening with our brad nailer.

As Bryan worked on installing the jamb, I prepped the bi-fold door to be finished.  First step was to remove the existing hinges and lay the doors out to be sanded.

I started with a rougher sanding block and worked my way to a finer grit for a super smooth finish.  Once both sides of both pieces were completely sanded, I wiped them down with a slightly damp rag to pick up any dust particles.

As we know I then stained the door slabs.  Fast forward a few weeks later, they received two coats of oil based stain-blocking primer to prep for paint.

Once the primer was dry, each side received two coats of Benjamin Moore's Simply White in a Satin finish.  It is the same paint used on our fireplace built-ins, and is a very close match to our cabinet and trim color.

Back to the frame again... After the jamb and trim were installed, we were able to measure for hinge placement.  Once we determined where the hinges would be placed on both the frame and the doors, we traced an outline of the hinge with a pencil.  Bryan then used a chisel and hammer to notch out a place for the hinges to be installed.

Quick Tip: Do this step after you paint the door jamb.  It will make your life much easier, I learned that the hard way.

We pre-drilled our hinge holes and then affixed them to the jamb with screws.

Waiting for the doors to dry...

Once the doors were dry we were able attach them to the hinges and install the door hardware.

To hold the doors in place while closed, we affixed a magnetic door catch to the top of the frame, as well as magnetic hardware to each door.

The best part?  Well, that we finally have finished closet doors of course!

But really the special moment is that these doors offer a full swing, opening all of the way back to the wall and giving us complete access to the closet space.

This project wasn't all that difficult once we got moving with it, definitely another one of those, "Why did we wait so long" moments.

One more project off of the dwindling kitchen list (and a few new ones added): 

  • Install HVAC/Range/Downdraft
  • Install counters
  • Set island cabinets
  • Install hardware on island cabinets
  • Replace garage door
  • Install flooring
  • Frame in refrigerator
  • Finish installing cabinet side panels
  • Install cabinet toe-kick
  • Install cabinet crown moulding
  • Panel gap above fridge
  • Trim floors, doors and windows 
  • Finish toe kick in front of dishwasher and around island
  • Install backsplash
  • DIY a coat closet door
  • Add shelving and/or doors to nook above coat closet?
  • Update dining room cabinets/legs/moulding
  • DIY message center

I still haven't quite decided what I plan to do with the area above the closet, my mind changes every couple of days.  We don't really need it for storage but I am not sure that I want to keep it open or exposed.

As far as everything else goes, just a few more pieces of flooring to patch in down the hall (which we are laboring away on Labor Day), as well as some trim to finish up and we will basically be done with the construction portion of the renovation (until we potentially start back up with an entryway addition...  #holdme).  And we still (STILL!) don't have a working range/downdraft/HVAC setup and I am not sure we can handle cooking on an electric hotplate for much longer.  Fingers crossed that is all sorted out shortly and we can start backsplash sourcing/shopping within the next week or two.

Until then, our oldest son's bedroom is in need of a few small updates and I am quite excited to switch gears for the next couple of days.  More details this week!

You can follow all of the kitchen progress here.

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