Modern Master Bath Remodel: Part 5: Built-In Linen Closet

Saturday, April 28, 2018 -
diy bathroom master remodel shower linen closet tutorial before after

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This 
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I know it's been slow going, but we are getting SO CLOSE to being down with the master bathroom remodel! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, I tackled the linen closet, and I'm in love!

Check out the full series: 

Originally, this corner of the bathroom was actually the shower area. One of those builder-grade, cultured marble jobs. It was pretty small, and since we moved the new custom tiled shower to the spot where the tub was, we had the perfect place for a new linen closet. I know installing a linen closet where the shower used to be sounds odd, but it works really well. 

The old linen closet was across the walkway, but was removed when we built the water closet. (Don't you just love those honey oak doors?)

That's where I added the large, barn door medicine cabinet

Before I could start building the linen closet, I first had to tackle a little mistake leftover from the shower installation. When we added the mixer valves to the wall framing, we accidentally placed them a little too far forward. The valves still worked fine, but they stuck out a little too much and didn't allow the handles to screw down tight and flush against the shower wall. When I framed the shower wall, I did a really good job nailing all the supporting blocks. That was unfortunate because that meant moving them turned into a bog job. To make things more complicated, The plumbing was already in place, and I had to be careful not to disturb it. 

I decided the best tool for the job was my new Brushless Cordless Hackzall Reciprocating Saw  from Milwaukee. It's not as big and heavy as a standard recip saw, so it works really well for tight spaces. It's also much easier to control in a delicate operation like the block removal. 

Even though the Hackzall is small in size, it's brushless motor is a beast! It had more than enough power to cut through several framing nails. 

One of the keys to successful demo is having the right kind of blades on your saw. The Milwaukee Wrecker blades have hardened teeth and are designed to cut through multiple materials, including nail-embedded wood. 

Once the support blocks were moved back and re-secured, I could frame the header wall (the part that is above the cabinet opening) and hang the drywall. 

For the shelving, I used 1 x 2 cleats, nailed to studs in the wall, then I could add the 24" deep melamine shelves and nail them to the cleats. It was the same process as building our pantry when I remodel our kitchen

When we demo'ed the original bathroom, we saved the existing linen closet doors and face frame. Since the new closet was going to be the same width, there was no need to make new cabinet fronts. 

I attached the oak face frame to the front edge of the shelves using my cordless 18 gauge nailer

You didn't think I was going to keep those honey oak cabinet doors did you? I figured, to save money, instead of replacing them, I would deepen the color and get something closer to the walnut finish I used on my double vanity

First, I removed the hinges and gave the surface of the doors a good sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper. I didn't want to remove the old finish, just provide a little "tooth" for the next step. 

I've shared this secret with you guys before, but did you know you can darken and enhance finished wood with a wood toner? Yep, it goes right on top of an existing finish, and no stripping is required. I've made DIY custom wood toner in the past, but lately I've been lazy and just been buying aerosol spray toners from Mohawk instead. 

I sprayed 2 solid coats of toner on the cabinet doors, and sealed them with 3 coats of satin lacquer. Once dry, I used the original hinges to mount the doors to the face frame. The last step was to add the pulls and I was done!

The bar pulls I used are the same design as the ones I used on my double vanity . The are available on Amazon and come in several different sizes. I went with 96mm lengths on top and 320mm lengths for the bottom pair of doors

I'll tell you what; it's REALLY hard to get a good photo of a dark corner when the rest of the bathroom is flooded with bright light. But you can see, the finish on the oak doors is SO MUCH better than the dated stain they had before. 


The new linen closet is also quite a bit deeper than the original one. That means I have tons of space to stash towels and other random stuff. 

So if you need a reminder, here's the "before" and "after". 

So, here's the status of the remodel: All that is left to do is a little more tile work on the walls, adding the baseboard trim, and touch-up paint. Unfortunately, none of that is the fun stuff, so I'll need your help to stay motivated.  All the big stuff is done, so the next bathroom post will be the reveal! 

Like this project? Feel free to pin the image below to save the idea for later. 

how to remodel modern master bathroom diy upgrade linen closet bathroom

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