This Wardrobe Closet Will Make You Rethink the Way You Store Clothes

7 Materials
3 Days

Are you looking for creative closet space ideas for rooms without closets? Check out this thrifted wardrobe closet and how I refinished it.

Old Wardrobe Makeover

What is a freestanding clothes closet?

A freestanding clothes closet is perfect for a wardrobe when you have very limited closet space. There are wardrobe racks, armoirs, and mobile clothes closets, like the one we are working with here today.


I saw this old wooden wardrobe over on Facebook Marketplace selling for $50.

I first thought it would be so adorable repurposed into one of our ‘no closet’ attic bedrooms at our home in Maine.

When we put the 2 finished guest bedrooms into our attic about 8 years ago now, the zoning didn’t allow for closets.

However, once I picked it up I decided to repurpose this old wardrobe closet for someone else to enjoy, as it was a bit too tall for our low and slanted attic ceilings.

This did inspire me, however, to DIY our own mobile wardrobe closet, with our own custom dimensions when we are there this summer.

What is a portable closet and how does it work?

Portable closets are an easy and efficient way to instantly make more space for your clothes with just the help of a few hangers and shelves. Instead of throwing your clothes into a trunk or on the bed, you can organize them here beautifully.

Step 1. Sanding

I started by sanding down the entire outside of this wardrobe closet to get a better idea of how I really wanted to repurpose this.

Did I want to strip it entirely of the paint? This could be a long painstaking project…

Or simply clean it up and paint over it? Simple and easy.

Unfortunately, the sides of the closet are made with a combination of wood and veneer. I’m not a big fan of veneer so I’ll need to work around that, both inside and outside.

What would you do?

Before Sanding
After Sanding

Can You Stain Veneer? Yes, you can!

Or Should I wallpaper the inside with peel and stick wallpaper? They have so many beautiful patterns to choose from today.

Step 2. Staining the Interior

I decided to try staining the interior first and if I don’t like that, I will go with wallpaper.

That way I am leaving my options open.

* I am not an expert in refinishing furniture, I am simply sharing my makeover experiences.

Restor-A-Finish is my new best friend!

So I grabbed and used a can of Mahogany that I had on hand after Refinishing this Wood Table in Less Than 1 Hour.

One coat of Restor-A-Finish took about 1/2 a can. This project also required a paintbrush vs. a rag, as the wood and veneer were just so dry. It will definitely require a second coat too.

After One Coat

Below is the inside of the wardrobe closet after day 1 with two coats of Restore-A-Finish in Mahogany and one coat of Feed-N-Wax, which goes on like butter with a rag!

Notice that most of the watermarks on the veneer are gone and it’s looking so much more finished.

Step 3. Painting the Wardrobe Closet

I decided to paint the exterior of the wardrobe closet a blue/gray color, the same color as the trim in our bedrooms at our home in Maine.

It’s a beautiful vintage look and once contrasted with the interior stain it should look fabulous when finished.

Paint Formula

Step 4. Replace or Paint Wardrobe Hardware

I removed the closet door for painting when I decided to also replace the outdated hardware.

But after a trip to the hardware store, I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be that easy to replace these old hinges.

So I decided to simply paint the hinges black with a can of spray paint that I had hanging around the garage.

I just didn’t have the time for a custom order online and our local hardware store didn’t have what I needed.


Step 5. Vintage Crochet Clothes Hangers

And while waiting for the paint to dry, I found these vintage crochet wooden hangers on Etsy.

How charming are these for this old wardrobe closet from A Green Cottage Shop?


Scroll and Click Images to Shop

Finished Wardrobe Closet

I love how this wardrobe closet turned out.

I brought it into our sunroom to put the door back on it with the newly painted hinges. Now I’m thinking I may just keep it around a while.

Where can I buy antique wardrobes and armoires?

A wide assortment of wardrobes and armoires are available on both Etsy and eBay.

Here are a few of my favorites that I rounded up for you here:

Scroll and Click on Image to Shop

What are the different types of wood for wardrobes?

This wardrobe was made from Pine and Veneer.

We are planning on making a custom wardrobe closet for our attic bedrooms in Maine this summer.

And we will use Pinewood for that wardrobe closet DIY.

Free-standing wardrobe closets are such a great solution if you don’t have much closet space.

On the flooring, the previous owner put in two wood railings for shoes, which I just love.

The railings even have a slant to them. Such a fun detail to have.

You may also enjoy Riding out the Rain with These Fabulous Umbrellas and Rain Boots.

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I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure to also check out our Home in Coastal Maine where we spend summers and weekends when we are craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

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Suggested materials:
  • Old Freestanding Closet   (Thirfted)
  • Black Spray Paint   (Paint Store)
  • Blue Paint   (Paint Store)
See all materials
Ann | Dabbling & Decorating
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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