Make your small hall closet into a new shoe closet with $20, salvaged materials, and leftover paint!

A simple and bold DIY shoe closet revamp. A dark, navy blue, and bold closet is perfect for storing your things.
Learn how to make your small hall closet into a new shoe closet! with $20, salvaged materials, and leftover paint!

Make Your Small Hall Closet Into A New Shoe Closet!

A couple of months ago, I got a wild hair to make over my shoe closet. Overall, I’m so happy to finally have a designated space for my shoes that is both pretty and practical. Read on for tips to achieve your own moody shoe closet on a budget!

How to build a DIY shoe closet system

Back when we first purchased our home, The Honey converted this standard hall closet into my shoe closet using materials salvaged from our living room bookcase demo

Then, to create the shelves, we used my tallest and largest pair of shoes to determine how high the shelves were to be. He used furring strips and L-brackets to hold everything in place.

how to build a shoe closet. Reusing wood from a bookcase we removed from another room, we built the shoe closet in the old hallway linen closet. The support the shelves, we screwed furring strips into the walls.

After that, we left the closet with only a primer coat in our haste to get rid of the cigarette smell from throughout the house. Here’s a brief rundown on the designing the shoe closet. At the time of construction, I owned about 45 pairs of shoes.

(To clarify, yes, I do store all three pairs of The Honey’s shoes in the shoe closet too!)

Why design a simple and bold DIY shoe closet revamp?

Three years later, it was time to purge some of my shoes. Therefore, I took that as a sign to finally finish the space. Furthermore, I just needed to work on a small project to get out of my creative funk.

Unfortunately, what I thought would be an easy project was a lot harder due to my indecisiveness! 

An ode to dark and bold closets

Our rental living room was dark, yet I still leaned into the moody vibe instead of painting the walls white. Knowing that my gold shelves looked fabulous against the gray, I decided it could be an ideal backdrop to my shoes, many of which are gold themselves! Additionally, I hadn’t used that color in our current home and I wanted to make use of my leftovers.

There isn’t a ton of representation for dark, bold closets. It’s okay to paint the inside of a closet any color other than white! Closets are a great place to drop in a pop of color. 

Make your small hall closet into a new shoe closet. A matte navy closets holds shoes. Orange, leopard, and silver heels, along with gold loafers and purple boots sit on the various shelves.
If I’m one of the only ones who loves paint a closet a dark color, than so be it!

Moreover, it’s perfect for color-timid folks who want to try something new. Also, don’t think that dark and bold closets are gloomy. Bright lighting will illuminate the space and get rid of the gloominess.

After a little hiccup, I realized that I really wanted to keep a matte look to the shoe closet. This is how I achieved the look for less than $20!

How to achieve a bold and simple DIY shoe closet revamp

For materials, you’ll need:

pouring primer into a paint tray

Step 1: Prime and sand

First, prime all surfaces. I recommend this primer because it covers pretty much everything evenly! Sand the shelves with 120 grit paper.

This should help knockdown the texture to be semi-smooth and perfect for the painting stage. Use your orbital sander carefully because you don’t want to sand back down to bare wood on accident.

Step 2: Clean

Vacuum all surfaces of dust residue left behind from sanding. Then, wipe the shelves with a microfiber towel. This is a good time to sweep the floor too. Keeping your workspace clean is imperative!

Wiping the shelves clean between sanding and painting helps for a smooth finish.

Step 3: Paint and sand

Begin to paint by cutting in with a small paintbrush. After that, roll on the paint onto all surfaces. 

A nap roller is fine for the first couple of coats for the walls and shelves. Me sure to sand in between coats with 220 sandpaper. When the shelves are ready for their final coat, use a foam roller for the ultimate smooth finish.

Step 4: Protect shelves

Finally, measure shelves and cut matte contact paper to fit. Peel back small sections at a time and use an old gift card (or credit card, or wallpaper applicator) to smooth air bubbles.

The contact paper makes the shelves easier to wipe clean. Also, the matte texture gives a monochromatic look to the space. Additionally, since I used contact paper, I avoided using polyurethane to protect the shelves, thus saving myself from an even longer project time!

You can buy your own contact paper in whatever finish, color, or pattern that’s best for the aesthetic of your closet.

A simple and bold DIY shoe closet revamp. A dark, navy blue, and bold closet is perfect for storing your things.

In short, that’s how you make your small hall closet into a new shoe closet! It’s easy and straightforward.

You can do it! Push past self-doubt, take a chance, and have fun!

Remember, a closet is the perfect space to take a chance and try out new, bolder colors.

Are you planning to try any parts of this revamp out? Do you have any lingering questions? Let me know in the comments!



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  1. I love the dark color! Let the shoes shine! Also – so generous to include those 3 pairs in your new happy space 😅