I am Nini Murphy. This is my DIY PAX walk through closet hack. I chose to use IKEA PAX because of price, ease of assembly for DIYers, and flexibility.
Our closet is a walk through not a walk in, I needed doors on the wardrobes.
The original closet was a L shaped builder grade with sliders. (Sorry no before picture, never thought to take a picture of such plainness). I never was able to make it efficient. And I hated the corner, so much buried there. NO Corner.
I wanted the new closet to be consistent with other upgrades in the house which meant I wanted moldings. IKEA PAX wardrobes have limited sizes, the 92 7/8 tall wardrobe with doors would not accommodate moldings. The 79 1/4 inch wardrobe with doors seemed like a waste of usable space. What to do?
Erin Kestenbaum – A stunning closet hack. Drawers, color, hardware. Try not to be inspired.
Deborah Anderson – Wait, what? Short doors on tall cabinets? GAME CHANGER!
I decided to use the 76 5/8 inch BERGSBO doors with a KOMPLEMENT drawer underneath. Then add a face plate to the drawer and place a filler facia on the top and bottom of 92 7/8 PAX wardrobes.
My rough hand drawing of my design idea. Not exactly how it worked out, but pretty close.
Walk through closet plan
Empty, purge, find temporary storage.
I chose not to use the PAX backs. I lined the walls with cedar and mounted the backless wardrobes to the lined walls.
Build the PAX frames per instructions, I built them standing up because of clearance. It does require TWO people to build these.
I built bases to put the wardrobes on to give them clearance above the not yet installed flooring. Level and anchor the frames to each other and to the walls.
I did not used the PAX wall anchors. California is where I live. Anchoring to studs is a must for earthquake safety. I used 4 inch L brackets.
Filler pieces are necessary between the PAX wardrobe frames and the wall.
My husband installed lighting for me, isn’t he lovely.
I painted the frame edges before installing doors.
Add facia. Top and Bottom, level, fasten to frames. Fasteners should be covered by moldings.
Install BERGSBO doors and KOMPLEMENT drawers at the bottom. Drill holes for door hardware.
NOTE: On this size BERGSBO doors the middle hinge is offset left and right, they do not line up. This tripped me up a few times.
NOTE: I used a KOMPLEMENT shelf just above the bottom drawer and near the top of the wardrobe so the doors would have something to close against.
At this point I painted.
Painting PAX has been well documented by others. Must use a shellac based primer.
Next I installed pre painted drawer fronts. There are lots of hacker examples for this step.
Use spacers for lining the drawer fronts up evenly. I drilled holes for the drawer hardware and used the holes, and some construction adhesive, to temporarily attach the fronts to the KOMPLEMENT drawers.
I put screws in from the inside of the drawers for permanent attachment.
Now I installed my chosen KOMPLEMENT hanging bars, interior drawers and shelves.
Final steps, flooring, hardware, and moldings. Lots of steps to these, but not pertinent to the IKEA hack.
Covid19 pandemic created many challenges. Online shopping, delivery delays, availability of products are a few. Therefore this took way longer than it should have. Budget took some hits on extra deliveries.
For example, it took three orders to get all of the items I needed from IKEA. That’s three delivery fees. (IKEA has such well-engineered products, their retail operations are not thought out).
I am not a photographer.
All photos taken with my smart phone. For reference the first photo of completed closet is taken from the bedroom with the bathroom door to the left. All other construction shots are taken from the bathroom, the bedroom door to the right.
IKEA ITEMS USED:
FYI: BERGSBO doors are not the same white as PAX and KOMPLEMENT.
- Drawer, white 19 5/8×22 7/8
- Shelf, white 19 5/8×22 7/8
- Drawer, white 39 3/8×22 7/8
- Shelf, white 39 3/8×22 7/8
- Clothes rails
- Cedar Safe Closet Liner
- 4 inch L brackets
Primed pine boards
- 1 x 4 for the base facia
- 1x 6 for the top facia
- 1x 8 for the drawers
All from Lowes
PERSONAL CHOICE MATERIALS:
- Base and Crown molding (Mine is from Home Depot)
- Door and drawer hardware (I found these jewels on Etsy)
- Directional pin lights from Amazon
- Vintage crystal from Etsy
- Medallion (Lowes)
- Flooring (Lumber Liquidators)
- Rug (Ebay)
- Mirror (a STEAL on Craigslist)
- Stool (I purchased this a long time ago at a thrift store)
- Screw drivers
- Tape measure
- Caulk gun
- Paint brushes, rollers, trays
- Band aids
I’m sure I have forgotten to mention many.
Hope you like my DIY PAX walk through closet.
~ by Nini Murphy