So much is written about interior painting but very little is discussed online about painting the closets. For some of us, a closet is just a storage space and a convenient place to keep our clothes. Nobody ever sees them, right? Emptying the closets just for painting them seems to be a big hustle. What is someone to do with the contents when the painters are here?
The closet question always comes up during the site visit, by the estimator. The answer varies from “yes please”, to “no way I’m emptying that”.
If your home is a smaller condo, space is more limited and there is nowhere to store the contents. The painters don’t have much room to begin with, what are they to do with the closet contents? It would be nice to paint them but is it really worth the trouble?
What about the cost? Closets are relatively small spaces and don’t take much time to paint. Despite the relatively low expense, this is where some customers prefer to save money. If nobody sees them, why spend money painting them? This reasoning makes sense from the return on investment point of view. The money saved here can be better spent painting doors, trim, maybe a bathroom or two.
The process of painting the closets
If cost is an issue, the painters might suggest using the same colour as the rest of the room. Even if cost is not an issue, using the same colour will offer visual continuity everytime you open the doors. If the wall colour is very dark the closet will look dark and not very inviting to you. One solution is to paint it a lighter shade (monochromatic) version of the wall. The paint store can add a smaller percentage of the tint formula, 50% or 25% is best.
Another solution is to paint all the closets white. There is nothing brighter and it will definitely make the closets look bigger. White or light coloured closets will also help you find what you are looking for and eliminate the need for a light fixture. This is especially true in laundry rooms and kitchen pantries. Keep in mind that white has a tendency to mark easier, especially from shoes, belts and people in a hurry in the morning. Consider using better quality washable paint in eggshell or satin sheen.
If the closets are packed and you don’t see any of the walls, the colour makes no difference. This is the case for linen closets or the ones in a growing teen’s room.
What colour to paint the closet?
You decided to paint the closets, what is next? First of all, relax there is no need to panic. Residential painters do this for a living and paint hundreds of them every year. So here is what you do, it’s really easy. Take everything out of the closet and lay it on the bed. Not comfortable with that, then on the couch it goes! All of your belongings will be covered with thin utility plastic for protection.
The very same day you have everything cleared out, your closet gets painted, and on the same day, you can put it back together. How is that possible? The painter will start with the closets first thing in the morning. Paints today dry fast enough to allow two coats within an hour or two. After the walls and ceilings dry the closet baseboards are next. By the time you are back from work everything is dry and you can put your clothes back soon after. The outer side of the door (sometimes a bifold) can be painted at any time, even after the clothes go back.
That was easy! A lot of people find this to be a great opportunity to declutter and get rid of those items they no longer need. Think about it, your closets will now look clean and they will feel fresh, especially if this is a new home for you. Would you want to put your belongings into someone else’s closet? You already know the answer to that!
What is the best paint?
Very few of us wash the walls these days and more so inside the closet. Flat inexpensive paint works well for most of our customers needs. The shelving part is where most of the wear and tear happens and the painters might suggest that you paint it with an enamel acrylic. If you are painting doors, trim and cabinets somewhere else in the house, use the same paint for the shelving. Always keep in mind the the drying time of the coating if you are planning on using it the same day.
Preparing for closet organizers
Before moving in, the new homeowner may decide to install closet organizers. If the time allows it’s better to install them before moving in. To prepare for the new organizers the old shelving, hardware and sometimes the baseboards must be removed. Ask the painters if they can remove the hardware and repair the walls to prepare for the installers. After the installers do their job, have the painters come back and touch up any damage the installers created on the walls.
Whether you decide to paint your closets or not, call us at (416)733-7767 and discuss it with your estimator. If you don’t paint them it’s a good way to save some money. If you paint them, take the time to consider the colour and the type of paint.