The Easiest Way To Paint Closet Shelves

by Marina Ingrit

Over the years I have changed up the office closet a couple of times. Each time I learn what is working and what isn’t. I’m not sure if this latest makeover will be the last, but I can tell you it is a big improvement over the last! We will get into the details of why soon, but let’s talk paint first. The first time I painted the closet it was peacock blue, and the second time it was black. Both I loved at the time, but I was ready for a fresh new space that better matched the office itself so I went with white. The entire closet was black. Walls, and shelves. I wasn’t daunted by the task though, because I have a secret weapon. Here is the easiest way to paint closet shelves!

This post is sponsored by HomeRight.



We had previously had a black bookcase in the closet as well. We had to take it out when we installed our new floors recently and I know Shane wanted to say some swear words. It was so hard to maneuver it out of the tiny 3 foot by 3 foot space since it was taller than the doorway. We (and by we I mostly mean Shane) decided not to put it back in. The bookcase has found a new home in the garage. I built some new floating shelves that matched up with the existing shelves that are on the side over the stairs. They also match the prop shelves in the office.





The Easiest Way To Paint Closet Shelves

One of the other modifications I made was I cut down the existing shelves to make them 6″ shallower. The attic access is in the ceiling of this closet and the shelves stuck out a bit too far and made it a challenge to get in and out of the attic. While the boards were out, I took advantage and painted the walls! Since the closet it over the basement stairs, one wall is slanted and it very deep at the top. It makes it hard to paint unless you have a sprayer. I used my Finish Max Super (affiliate link) to go from black to white FAST! This is definitely the easiest way to paint closet shelves… and the walls!



Here’s a peek at the shelves while in the process of being built. While not the prettiest thing I have built, I am proud to say that I made a dent in my scrap wood pile and only used scrap pieces for this project.


I had some primed 1×3 left over from a recent project and used that to trim out the shelves. Once they were all built, it was time to paint! Here are my tips for painting in a closet.


Tip #1

Since you will be painting in a small space, it is extra important to wear a mask. While the overspray with the Finish Max Super is minimal, there is a little and it becomes dust as it dries in the air. Since the space is small with little air circulation, you will notice it more than if you were in a large room or outside. You may want to wear a hat too. I prefer a disposable shower caps.

Tip# 2

Because of the overspray dust, you will want to cover not only the floor of the closet, but the floor outside of the closet. It makes for easier clean up.


Tip #3

Start painting at the top of the closet and work your way down. Go back and forth in even strokes. Make sure you adjust the paint output so you don’t have too much paint coming out or you will get drips. Don’t get too close to the walls and shelf ot you might have the same problem. A couple thin coats are always better than one thick coat. After the first coat of paint, grab a foam brush and look for any drips and fix them before they dry.

Tip #4

If you are painting new wood that hasn’t been painted before (like my plywood shelves) you will need to lightly sand after the first coat. When wood get wet, the grain raises. It dries that way and will feel rough. Once you lightly sand it and then paint it again, it will be smooth as can be!

The Organization

One of the problems I fixed with this new design had to do with spray paint and small paint jars. Before they were all mixed in on the slanted side with the gallonsĀ  and quarts of paint. They always fell behind and it was hard to find the color I needed. I built 3.5″ shelves along the side that easily fit all my spray paint and sample jars. No more digging!




I used to have pegboard where the shallow spray paint shelves are now and while I loved the look of them, I didn’t really have a ton of things that needed to be hung up. I added a few hooks on the top and a few on the bottom and I am good to go. A much better use of space!

There are baskets and bins for everything! And they are labeled. No excuses for my kids not to put things back where they go.

Because the one side is slanted, the top shelf is super deep, the middle shelf is pretty deep and the bottom shelf is about as deep as the other shelves. The top shelf houses the gallons and quarts with larger miscellaneous things behind. Things we rarely use. We also hide Christmas gifts up there…shhhh!




As a DIYer I obviously have more power tools and supplies than this, but these are the things that I deemed necessary to have in the house. Everything else is in the garage. I love having the things we use most right here where we can easily get it. And it doesn’t look half bad!

Now for the giveaway!!!





HomeRight has offered to give one lucky ready a Finish Max Super paint sprayer!

You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from October 29, 2019 until November 4, 2019. A winner will be chosen by and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, HomeRight.

Enter below using the Rafflecopter Widget:

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