How to Build a Custom Closet

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Adding a custom closet to a room can help it be more functional and enjoyable. Closets allow us to store items out of sight while still keeping them close for easy access. Taking time to create a custom-designed closet ensures a place for everything that needs to be stored and will assist in organization.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • 2- by 4-inch lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Drywall screw
  • Powered screw driver
  • Drywall
  • Drywall joint compound and tape
  • Putty knife
  • Fine sand paper
  • Texture mix
  • Paint
  • Custom shelving and hanging rods

Building a Custom Closet

  1. Sketch out the design of both the interior of the closet and of the room with the closet added. Detail how the closet will effect the layout of the room as it will protrude away from the existing wall into the room.

    Take time to outline where the shelves will be installed and what they will be used for. Mark where hanging rods will be and what will be used on them. Allow enough room between the hanging rods and the floor to prevent items from dragging on the floor.

  2. Select where the closet will be in the room. Because the closet will be protruding into the room, take time to ensure that the completed closet won't interfere with any doors or ceiling fixtures.

  3. Make measurements with the tape measure and mark with tape on the floor where the walls of the new closet will be on the floor. This will provide a visual of how much existing floorspace the new closet will use.

  4. Drag a stud finder along the walls to find the studs under the drywall. Use a pencil to mark the wall studs location closest to the outline of your tape. The overall size of the closet may need to be adjusted slightly in order to be able to anchor the new closet into the existing studs.

  5. Measure the 2- by 4-inch, or 2x4s, lumber. Cut the lengths needed for the walls of the closet. Secure to the existing wall studs and to the floor with long drywall screws. Take care to add studs to the closet walls every three feet of wall length to provide support.

  6. Measure and mark the drywall to required sizes. Cut the drywall along the lines with a circular saw and a fine drywall blade.

  7. Secure the drywall to the closet's frame of 2x4 lumber with drywall screws.

  8. Seal the joints between the new sheets of drywall and the existing wall with joint compound (also commonly known as drywall mud) and drywall tape. Apply a thin layer of drywall joint compound to the joint with a putty knife and press the drywall tape down smoothly on top of it. Place another layer of drywall joint compound on top of the tape. Take care to smooth the edges of the mud into the surface of the drywall. Wait for the mud to dry.

  9. Sand the edges of the dry mud with fine sand paper until it is smooth with the drywall and no edges or rough spots can be felt.

  10. Roll on a texture compound that matches the existing walls in the room and wait for it to dry. Once the texture is dry the walls can be painted to match the rest of the room.

  11. Cut the drywall to the required measurements and, using drywall screws, secure to exposed 2x4s on the inside of the closet. With a putty knife, press drywall joint compound into the joints between the pieces of drywall. Smooth a piece of drywall tape over it to create a seam. Add another layer of drywall joint compound and let it dry.

    Once the drywall joint compound is dry, sand the edges of the joints with a fine sand paper until the edges are smooth with the drywall and no rough spots are felt. Roll a texture compound over the drywall to match the existing texture of the room and let dry. Once the texture is dry, you can paint the inside of the closet.

  12. Mount the custom shelving and hanging rods in desired locations of the closet. Take care to secure brackets for shelving into the studs of the walls for extra support.



  • Photo Credit coats in closet image by Leonid Nyshko from

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