A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

White Linen (Closet)

I thought I better take advantage of this burst in project energy while it lasts so I decided to tackle the linen closet. Since it’s adjacent to the bathroom and part of the hallway, it’ll be part of both the bathroom reno and the hallway repair and paint project too.

Of course I shouldn’t need to tell you, as you should know by now if you’re a regular reader, that it was completely painted in white.


And like everything else it was either a) a crappy paint job, b) not prepped properly before painting, or c) crappy paint (or a combination of all 3) because it was chipping and peeling over several layers of other colors (sage-y green, gold, peachy-pink…).


The walls are cracked, especially in the corners and on this left wall. It probably happened when the bathroom was demo’d and “remodeled” in the ’90s. This wall, at least this lower section will have to be replaced I’m sure because it doesn’t seem to be holding to the lath anymore.


What is that faucet doing in the linen closet, you ask? Why that was the PO’s idea for filling pails with water without having to walk a few more steps into the bathroom to fill from the tub. Yeah, that will be removed — I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to risk a faucet leak all over the hardwood floor.

I’m removing the paint from the closet shelves with the Silent Paint Remover which is going pretty quickly. For the shelf brackets, baseboard and framing around the tub access (even that was originally stained!) I’m using a “green” stripper. I already had a tub of Ready Strip which I used up on the brackets, plus a tub of Smart Strip which I used on the baseboard and tub access framing.

The Smart Strip seemed to work much better, but I wasn’t sure if it was just because it was applied to flat surfaces. It removed almost all the paint on the first go-around.



After applying the Smart Strip to the shelf brackets and letting it sit overnight, most of the remaining paint came off.


I’m not going to go crazy in trying to remove every last bit of paint since most of the bracket will be covered by the shelf, so I’ll see how these clean up with denatured alcohol and take it from there.



  1. Chris Cole on January 22, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I agree that putting a faucet fro buckets is not the best use of the closet. I am assuming that the closet abuts the faucet end of the bathroom tub. If that is the case, you have the advantage of easy access to the plumbing. There is nothing so disheartening as chopping holes in walls to get at plumbing leaks.

    • denise on January 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Yes exactly Chris, the tub faucet is on the other side. My husband pointed out that perhaps the PO had one of those buckets on wheels so I guess I have to give him the benefit of the doubt that this might be useful, but still!

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