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Has your closet seen better days? Does it look outdated and old?
Are you interested in a fresh design, but not quite ready for a complete teardown and rebuild?

Nothing makes your home feel less cluttered than a custom closet organization system. An investment like this can enhance your lifestyle and provide a good return at resale. It’s great if you’re lucky enough to find a custom closet already installed when you move into a new home. But what if the appearance of the closet is not to your taste? Or maybe the closet is old and is a little worse for wear. Do you have to tear it out and start over?

Probably not. The good news is, you can easily update your closet without having to do a full makeover. As long as the closet isn’t falling apart and it is still functional, there are certain modifications that can refresh the look at a fraction of the cost of a new closet. In this post, I’m outlining 5 budget-friendly closet refresh ideas, many of which can be DIY. They’re sure to provide an instant facelift to your current closet system without breaking the bank.

5 Budget-Friendly Closet Refresh Ideas

1. A Fresh Coat of Paint

The fastest and cheapest way to update any room in your house is with a fresh coat of paint. Your closet is no exception to this rule, but don’t paint the components of the closet. They are likely made of laminate instead of true wood. No matter how you do it, paint doesn’t show up on laminate well. There are a lot of blog posts out on the internet telling you how to paint laminate, but the results are temporary and chances are your closet will soon end up looking worse than when you started. Instead, Paint the closet walls with a contrasting or complementary color. You can even try wallpaper if you don’t mind the extra effort involved.

When you first get ready to paint, make sure to remove all the adjustable shelves and closet accessories, such as pull-out hampers. These are easy to remove and put back once you are finished. This will make the job easier and requires less painters tape. Leave the structural components of the closet in place. The closet suspension rail usually should be removed or covered. We recommend latex paint because it cleans up with water rather than mineral spirits which could ruin the finish on your closet.

Painting the back wall of this closet a deep grey provides an instant update to what was previously a generic closet organizer system.

2. Replace Handles and Other Hardware

The next easiest and least expensive update is to replace all the closet hardware. This includes things like rods, handles, and knobs. If you select a different color or finish for your new hardware, you should also replace any accessories that are in the old finish. This would include your valet poles, tie & belt racks, wire baskets, etc.

Be careful when selecting your new finish because not all accessories are available in every color. For example, if your closet relies on a lot of pull-out wire baskets for storage, be aware that they come in polished chrome, brushed chrome, and oil rubbed bronze only. It is unlikely you will be able to find them in a matte gold or slate finish. If you really want to transition to a hardware finish with limited available accessories, you may need to consider different accessories for your closet.

3. Add New Accessories

If your closet lacks the bells and whistles of high-end closet organizer systems, now is the time to add them. If you’re starting from scratch with these updates, you’re probably saving a significant amount of money. So you might as well treat yourself to as many of these upgrades as your closet can hold. Put new built-in hampers, drawers, doors, belt hooks, jewelry organizers, etc. into your existing closet. You’ll be surprised at how much extra space and convenience you’ll gain by designating specific storage for different types of items.

Retrofitting an existing closet with new accessories is completely doable. Closet accessories come in stock sizes that are made to fit standard closet organizer dimensions. Sections with a width of 18-inches, 24-inches, or 30-inches can all have new pull-out organizers installed. You won’t be able to add a traditional drawer this way because drawers are a custom item that are made individually for each closet. But you can get similar functionality from a lined, slide-out basket or a soft cloth drawer.

4. Change the Doors/Drawer Fronts

Another way to achieve a closet makeover on a budget is through replacing the doors and drawers. You can update the style of your closet with new doors and drawers just as you would your kitchen. It’s a little more expensive than changing the handles and paint, but changing the door/drawer front style can dramatically change the aesthetic of the closet. Nothing sets the tone of the space more than the door and drawer styles. Removing a traditional paneled door and replacing it with a simple flat or glass insert can provide a modern, contemporary feel.

Likewise, you can switch out your mid-century modern door and drawer styles for a raised panel style that evokes old-world charm and elegance. The same closet is presented with a both traditional look and a contemporary style simply by changing the door and drawer fronts. The closet walls were also painted a different color for a fresh look.

5. Replace Sections of the Closet With a Complementary Laminate

Custom laminate closets are available in many color choices. You can, however, replace sections of it with the same component in a complementary color and/or texture. The easiest way to do this is by adding new cabinet doors in the new color over shelving sections. The doors will instantly change the look of the closet by providing a clean, clutter-free look — which is an added bonus.

Whether you prefer DIY or buying new, these 5 closet makeover ideas can help you turn your old closet into a completely refurbished space. I hope these closet refresh ideas will get you excited about your closet’s potential and leave you feeling creative as you decide on which ones to try first!

Looking for ideas that are specific to your closet? Contact My Custom Closet and our experts will help you upgrade your closet so it can better meet your needs.