Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

The Easiest Way To Paint Closet Shelves

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.

closet before makeover


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.


office closet all organized



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 gallons  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!


organized closet


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!


closet full of tools


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!!!


organized closet



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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  1. Christina Lunsford says

    I have some furniture and house walls to paint once the baby is finally here in a few weeks. This sprayer would make these projects a breeze.

  2. Carla Erickson says

    My dining room color needs to be more grey than beige! Would love to paint it before Christmas! We’ll see!

  3. Elizabeth Hunt says

    My laundry room/storage room is in dire need of paint. I love your closet redo. I don’t think there is anything you can’t build. Well done.

  4. Kelly says

    I like how you tell little stories along with your DIY projects it makes the reading more enjoyable :) Have always wanted a paint sprayer and this model seems to be everyone’s go to choice…

  5. Sojourner says

    I love the new look, and especially that you built from your scrap pile.
    I hope we can all get into the “work with what you have” mentality and not always run out to the big box stores.
    Lovely outcome!

  6. Christa says

    I have not had the chance to repaint any of my house, except for 2 rooms, since I moved in almost 10 years ago! And then I allowed my father to purchase the paint and of course he bought the cheapest one out there that shows dirt and anything else imaginable! Even on dark paint! Desperately needed an easier way to get all the painting done. Thanks for all the amazing information!

  7. Laura Laskey says

    I ALWAYS have something to paint! The next project on my list is actually my pantry! So, this painter would be perfect! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Leslie says

    We have a wide/deep closet that is currently used for small appliances (1/2) and linens (1/2). The Finish Max sprayer is exactly what we need to get the closet updated!

  9. Theresa M Grace says

    The closet is so fresh and well organized! What a beautiful way to organize your closet and hide gifts!

  10. Lori Howard says

    I have a kitchen pantry that was created by the builders with wire shelving. I’d love to put wood shelves in and paint them white. The variety of shelves and sizes would give a space for spices, foil wrapping and utensils. This makes it look just to get hubby to get on board! Oh….and then to the closets with wire shelving!

  11. Michelle says

    I have just installed some new wall treatments (faux shiplap and board & batten)…I just *know* the painting would go faster if I had a paint sprayer for the job! Thanks so much for the giveaway! =)

  12. Danita Courtney says

    This is definitely a WOW moment! The black was very artsy, but the white has such a POP factor I LOVE it! As I get older I need to be able to see what I have in my “craft/sewing” room. This looks like a space I would love to have! All your tips are very appreciated! I am not an inside painter and needed to read all your practical advice! Thanks for the awesome revel! Bedroom next??? ;-)

  13. Kristy Smith says

    I would LOVE to win this! We are going to be painting new bathroom and laundry room cabinet fronts we just ordered from a cabinet maker.

  14. Laura Harrie says

    I really like how the closet remake was done. The ability to reach and grab what you need is perfect. Using a sprayer makes all things possible!

  15. Leslie Kiley says

    I have so many! I had the house power washed and the parts that are metal, all the paint needs touching up, I also have many areas inside that need touch-ups too! as well as some chest of drawers that need a rehaul. Many other projects too

  16. Anna says

    All of the closets in our house need a refresh. I am currently organizing our tiny kitchen pantry. It needs new shelving and a fresh coat of paint, for sure. I actually love painting, but this sprayer just might change my life.

  17. Karen Haskins says

    The closet looks great! I love the white… easier to see things. But I really love the 3.5″ shelves you built on that left wall! Genius!

    And thank you for the great giveaway! I really need that! ?

  18. Annette says

    I have to pain my bricks in the front of my townhouse, along with the door and the shutters. This would surely make the task easier.

  19. Nicole says

    I love how you modified the closet to fit your needs! I am getting married and moving into a house filled with wallpaper. We plan to take all of the wallpaper down and paint alllll of the rooms and closets. Wish us luck! :)

  20. Diane says

    I just bought a new “old” house with 100 years of wear and tear on walls and woodwork, so winning a paint sprayer would certainly make my job a lot easier! l would also love to be able to organize my closets like yours! Classic case of too much stuff and not enough storage space!

  21. Karen says

    I’m in the process of painting kitchen cabinets and living room built in cabinets and shelves. This would be such a great help.

  22. Jacqueline M. Gydesen says

    I would love to win this paint sprayer because we wold like to paint our bathroom that has textured walls (kind of like a venetian plaster that I hate). This would come in so handy and make the job so much easier. Thank you for the opportunity to win one. I have been wanting one for a very long time.

  23. Brittany H says

    I have a set of old school lockers that I would love to use a sprayer on. It would be useful because I could use the room color paint instead of trying to match it with a spray paint.

  24. Celeste Herrin says

    I need to paint several shelving units in my garage. This looks like it would make painting those a breeze!

  25. Jenny Ham says

    I am hoping to refinish a dresser and do some cool painting or stencils on it.. Something I can be proud of when I get done.

  26. Kelly Woods says

    Were painting our childrens bedrooms or I should say repainting them. They have a lot of ding mark on them. Thank you for sharing. This would be perfect. ?❤

  27. Mya Murphy says

    The guy that owned our condo before us, painted over cabinets, left mismatched whites on walls, etc.. We need everything redone.

  28. vicky s davis says

    You nailed this one. A little play on words there. I have lots of closets in my home so I had shelves added to many; however, they are now sagging in the middle with all of my stuff. I noticed that there are boards running vertical to your shelf boards. Can you explain how you did the actual build of your shelves for all of us?