Cedar Lined Closet Tips

Cedar Closet Part 2 - Tips

Creating a Cedar Lined Closet: Tips and Tricks to give it a finished look

For step-by-step instructions for installing cedar planks in a closet: CLICK HERE

For Tips and Tricks to finish the closet, keep reading…

Creating/Repairing The Tongue

In some cases, you’ll find planks that either have an uneven or non-existent tongue on their end. Here’s a way to correct the problem, or even create a new tongue on a scrap piece so you don’t have to waste it!

Place the board face down on your work surface with the damaged tongue closest to you, and use a small framing square or other straight-edge tool as a guide along the tongue.

Use a razor knife to score the board where the tongue should be located. A couple of good passes should take the cut down almost halfway through the thin wood plank.

Cedar Closet Tips

Step 1 to create or repair a tongue.

Cedar Closet Tips

Next, a handsaw can be used to cut away the waste up to the razor line.

If you’re creating a new tongue on a board that didn’t have one, start by cutting a 45 degree angle along the end of the board using the miter saw. The cut should leave a small shoulder on the plank as you can see in the photo. Once this cut is made, continue creating the tongue as described above.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Use a miter saw to create a tongue on a board that doesn’t have one.

Trimming the Tongue:

The cedar trim is available in 4 foot sections. Measure the width of the wall where it meets the ceiling and cut a section to fit. Remember, don’t make it so tight that it has to be bent into position.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Cut cedar trim to finish the top edge.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Use a miter saw to make the angled cut.

Cedar Closet Part 2 - Tips

Make sure the pieces meet in the corner, but aren’t too tight.

Once into position, nail the trim into place and continue measuring and cutting for the adjacent walls. Using this trim gives a professional finish to the tops of the walls.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Cedar Trim gives a finished look.

Dressing it Up:

One of my favorite methods of dressing out the corners of the closet is to rip a plank on the table saw into ½ or ¾ inch widths. If you have access to a saw or know someone who can do this for you, it’s a great way to cover the small gaps and give the closet of professionally finished look.

Cedar Closet Part 2 - Tips

Small strips of wood ripped on the table saw make good trim pieces.

These strips fit nicely into the corners, terminate nicely against the baseboard and upper trim or ceiling, and really just finish off the entire project. You can use finish nails, but be careful about splitting the wood near the ends. Small strips like the one below can even be hot-glued in place.

Cedar Closet Part 2 - Tips

Be careful not to split the wood if you use nails. You can also use glue.

Re-Install the Closet Rod:

Once you’ve trimmed out the closet, it’s time to re-install the closet rod and bracket. Since the one I removed broke, I had to create a new one. It’s a pretty simple job, really – nothing more than a 5 inch piece of wood with a hole in the center the same size as the closet rod. I also drilled pilot holes for the screws and cut a 45 degree bevel on the edges.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

You can make your own bracket for the closet rod.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the bracket, you can purchase one at the store for just a few dollars.

Next, cut the rod if necessary, to fit inside the closet. Measure and mark the location for the bracket. It should be roughly 12 inches from the rear wall in most cases. This will allow hangers ample room.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Measure and mark where to place the bracket for the closet rod.

Finally, slide the bracket onto the rod and maneuver it into place on the wall, aligning it with the mark you just made. Drill pilot holes through the bracket into the cedar planks to help avoid splitting the thin strips.

While making sure the rod is level, use the nailer to hold the bracket in place. It’ll be like having a second set of hands on the bracket.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Use nailer as an extra hand.

Install the screws, being careful not to overtighten.

Cedar Closet Part 2 Tips

Install the screws.

If you’d like, you can also add cedar strips to the inside of the door for added protection against pests. It’s usually not necessary but can certainly add a nice look, especially if you have a plain closet door.

If you want more projects like this, check out Brad Staggs’ book, Spend A Little, Save A Lot Home Improvement: CLICK HERE

If you want to see Part 1 of this project, Installing the Cedar Planks into the closet: CLICK HERE


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Brad Staggs

Contributing Writer/Producer at Tool Skool
Brad has worked in and around the home improvement and tool industry most of his life. He was host of Talk2DIY Home Improvement, Co-produced DIY Tools & Techniques and is the author of Spend a Little, Save a Lot Home Improvement.