How to Line a Closet with Cedar
Installing a cedar lining in your closet will add a pleasant aroma and keep insects from destroying your fabrics. To line the closet, you will need to measure and install cedar boards. Once you install the boards, you can accessorize your closet with cedar hangers, racks, and drawer liner. Finally, if your cedar loses its scent, you can replenish it with a light sanding or an application of cedar oil.
Installing a Cedar Lining
Empty the closet.Remove everything from the closet, including clothes, stored items, racks, hangers, and molding. If there is any shelving at the top of the closet, you should remove that as well. This will help you get accurate measurements and make it easier to install the cedar lining.
- If there is any molding around the baseboard or ceiling, you should remove it with a pry bar and reinstall it once the closet is lined. However, if the molding is thicker than the boards, you do not have to take it out.
Measure your closet.Once the closet is empty, take a tape measure and determine the dimensions of the closet. If you want to line the entire closet, you will need to measure all of the walls, as well as the ceiling and floor. However, you can also choose only to line the walls or specific walls in the closet.
- Once you have the measurements, go to your local hardware store and purchase enough eastern red cedar tongue-and-groove boards.
- The more cedar that you have in your closet, the less likely you are to have moths and insects ruining your clothes.
Locate the studs.Use a stud finder and a pencil to locate and then mark the studs in your walls from floor to ceiling. Then use a level to draw a plumb line at each stud. If you do not have a stud finder, you can start in the corner of the closet and measure the walls in 16-inch (40.64 cm) increments. Then drill a small hole or pound in a small nail to determine if there is a stud every 16 inches. It is important that you locate the studs so that you know where to nail the cedar boards to your walls.
- Although 16 inches (40.64 cm) is a good rule of thumb, not all studs are placed at this distance. In some old houses the studs may be as much as 24 inches (60.96 cm) apart.
- If you cannot locate the studs, you can still attach the boards to the walls with construction adhesive.
Scribe the first board or baseboard.Starting with the back wall, you should use a level to check to see if the floor or baseboard is sloped. If it is, you will need to scribe the board to that slope. Hold a board against the wall, above the baseboard or floor with the tongue side up, and level it. Then take a scribe or a compass and mark the largest gap between the board and the baseboard or floor. Finally, use a jigsaw to cut the board and then measure it against the wall to make sure it is plumb.
- It is important that you check the level of the first board on each wall before you begin attaching boards.
Attach the first board.Beginning with the board at the back of the closet, apply a zigzag of construction glue on the back of the board and press it in place. Press against the board from the middle to the edges to help it seal evenly. Starting at one edge of the board, take your nail gun and place a nail at a 45-degree angle through the tongue of the board and into the stud. This will keep the board in place, hide the nail, and ensure that the nail does not get in the way of the tongue of the next board.
- Be sure to check your level as you nail in the board.
- If you do not have a stud to nail to, shoot two nails next to each other at opposite angles to keep the board upright as the glue dries.
Finish the field.Follow the first board and begin installing the rest of the wall. Be sure to measure the length of the wall for each subsequent row and, using a miter box and saw, cut the boards to fit. Dry-fit each board before applying adhesive and positioning it on the wall. Make sure the boards are plumb before nailing them to the wall.
- Because the ends of the boards have rabbits to help them interlock with the board beside them, you should try to use the cut-off of one board to start the next row.
Attach the sidewalls.Once you finish the back wall, continue onto the sidewalls. Use the miter box and saw to make the edge of the boards cover the corners. You should also make sure that the side rows line up with the back wall rows.
- If there is a little gap in the corners, fill the space with some caulk.
Install the top board.If the remaining space between the top row and the ceiling is less than ¼-inch (6.35 mm), you can cover it with molding. However, if the space is bigger than that, you will need to install a top board that is plumb with the ceiling. Measure the gap and subtract 1/8 (3.72 mm) of an inch, this will help the board slide into place easily. Then use a jigsaw to cut the top board. Tip the board into place, sliding it over the tongue, and nail it to the wall.
Add molding.Use a miter box and saw to cut a piece of cove molding to go across the back wall. Make sure to cut the ends at a 45-degree angle and tack the molding to the back wall. Miter the sidewall molding at the same angle and attach them to the wall. You can also install molding at the bottom of the wall in the same way.
Accessorizing a Cedar Closet
Add cedar drawer liners.If you have shelves or drawers in your closet, you can add cedar liners to boost the cedar scent. Liners will ensure that your clothes that are in drawers also smell like cedar. They will also add extra protection against insects.
- You can buy liners online or pick them up at your local hardware store.
- If you want to make the liners yourself, measure your drawers and then use a saw to cut cedar boards that fit the bottom of the drawers.
Use a cedar clothes hamper.A clothes hamper with cedar supports will keep your dirty clothes smelling pleasant. In addition, a cedar hamper is a particularly good idea because moths eat the dried sweat and flakes of skin that are in soiled clothes. This will protect your clothes when they are their most attractive to insects.
Find cedar hangers and racks.Hanging your clothes from cedar hangers adds an extra level of insect protection. The hangers and racks will match your cedar walls and add to the overall cedar aroma. In addition, cedar hangers and racks not only look and smell nice, they also keep insects out of your delicates.
- You can find cedar racks at your local hardware store and cedar hangers online.
Refreshing a Cedar Closet
Inspect the walls.If you have a cedar closet and notice that it does not smell of cedar, as it should, you should inspect the walls. You may find that the cedar is very old and needs a little treating. You may also find that the lining is not actually cedar. If you find that the lining is actually cedar veneer or a wood laminate, you may want to install real cedar boards.
Rub the cedar with sandpaper.To replenish your cedar’s scent, gently sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper. To avoid damaging the wood, you should consider sanding the walls by hand. Because some people are sensitive to cedar dust, you should wear a mask, eye protection, and cover your skin while sanding.
- You can find sandpaper and a dust mask at your local hardware store.
Apply cedar oil.If your cedar walls have lost some of their scent, you might take a rag and rub them with some cedar oil. This will help bring back the wood’s smell and make its color more vibrant. Depending on the age and condition of the wood, you may need to repeat this process regularly.
- You can find cedar oil at your local hardware store.
Video: How to Create a Cedar-lined storage room/closet
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