Is your closet tired and old? Are you interested in a fresh design, but not quite ready for a complete teardown and rebuild? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Try these simple and easy DIY closet refresh ideas. They’re sure to provide an instant facelift to your current closet system. Update the appearance with these tips and get your closet makeover on a budget that won’t break the bank.

5 Budget-Friendly Closet Refresh Ideas

Nothing makes your home feel decluttered and provides better organization than a custom closet organization system. Worth the expense, it’s an investment that provides a decluttered lifestyle and a good return at resale. It’s great to find one 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? Maybe not. As long as the closet isn’t falling apart and is still functional, there are certain updates that can update the look at a fraction of the cost of a new closet.


The fastest and cheapest way to update any room in your home is with a fresh coat of paint. Your closet is no exception to this rule. But don’t paint the components of the closet. Chances are they are made of laminate, not true wood. Laminate never takes paint well no matter how you do it. There are a lot of blog posts out on the internet telling you how to paint laminate, but the results are very temporary and chances are your closet will soon end up looking worse than when you started. Paint the closet walls with a contrasting or complementary color instead. You can even try wallpaper if you don’t mind the extra effort involved.

When painting, first remove all the adjustable shelves and closet accessories like pull-out hampers, etc. These are easy to remove and put back when you are finished. This will make the job easier and requires less masking. Leave the structural components of the closet in place. The closet suspension rail usually is usually covered. The suspension rail cover can be painted the same color as the wall. But be careful not to get any paint on the laminate. If you do get some drips or bleed under the painter’s tape, clean it up before the paint dries. We recommend latex paint because it cleans up with water rather than mineral spirits which might ruin the finish on your closet.

Back wall of white closet painted purple.
Painting the back wall of this closet purple proves an instant update to what was previously a somewhat generic closet organizer system.

Replace the handles and other hardware:

The next easiest and least expensive update is to replace all the closet hardware. This includes the rods, handles, and knobs. If you select a different color/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. 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.

Assorted closet hardware
If you need a closet makeover on a budget, one of the first things to try is changing all the hardware in the closet.

Add new accessories:

If your closet lacks the bells and whistles of high-end closet organizer systems, now’s the time to add them. Just because you’re doing a closet makeover on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t have all the niceties that come with a luxury closet. In fact, you’re probably saving significant money so you might as well treat yourself to as many of these as your closet can hold. Put new built-n hampers, drawers, doors, belt hooks, jewelry organizers, etc. into your existing closet. You’ll be surprised at how much convenience and extra space 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 is made individually for each closet, but you can get similar functionality from a lined, slide-out basket or a soft cloth drawer like those in the Engage closet accessory line.

Remodeled closet using Engage closet organizers.
This previously white closet is a great example of how to do a closet makeover on a budget. Not only were the doors and drawers replaced using new fronts in a contrasting color, but many new accessories were added. The pull-outs fit neatly into standard width closet sections and replace either open shelves or hanging sections with new pull-outs from the Engage line of closet accessories.

Change the doors/drawer fronts:

Another way to achieve a closet makeover on a budget is through the door and drawer replacement. 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. Remove a traditional paneled door and replace it with a simple flat or glass insert style that is modern for a contemporary refresh. 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.

Closet makeover on a budget
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.

Replace sections of the closet with a complementary laminate:

Custom laminate closets are available in many color choices. You shouldn’t paint the existing laminate in your closet. You can, however, replace sections of it with the same component in a complementary color. This is most easily done by adding new cabinet doors in the new color over shelving sections. The doors will instantly change the look of the closet. They also create the illusion of less clutter — an added bonus. Another way to do it is by replacing shelving sections and drawer fronts with similar components in the new color. This costs less than replacing the entire closet and you can easily do this yourself. Dress up any flat color by adding sections in a matching woodgrain laminate. Conversely, you can modernize a traditional woodgrain closet by replacing doors/drawers or select sections with the same pieces in a simple, flat color.

  • Closet makeover on a budget using complementary color laminates.

A high-quality closet makeover on a budget is within reach.

Update your laminate closet at any time with these few simple and economical changes. No need to remain stuck in the past. After all, needs change. Tastes differ from one person to the next. Why not make your closet your own? You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you follow these tips. All it takes is some paint, new hardware, closet accessories, and the addition of some cabinet doors, drawer fronts, or new shelving. Consider a contrasting complementary laminate for your new pieces if you’re dissatisfied with the old system color. Do as many or as changes as needed to achieve your goals. You’ll be surprised by how small changes have a big impact. And when the time comes for a brand new system, we hope you’ll consider designing your next closet with

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