DIY IKEA Pax Closet Hack Featuring Custom Slatted Doors

Seizing the opportunity, I decided to embark on an IKEA Pax unit hack. My vision for the space leaned towards a mid-century modern aesthetic, and after some research and experimentation, I discovered an ideal solution to bring that style to life!

Custom slatted oak doors.

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How To Build A Custom IKEA Closet With Custom Slatted Doors

Step One: Assemble IKEA Pax Closet System

The initial phase in setting up my son’s closet involved assembling the IKEA Pax closet units. In my case, I had already acquired two of these units before commencing the project. With that, two of the closet systems were slightly shorter than the third.

Installing IKEA Pax units.

Prior to fastening the pax units to the wall, I crafted individual boxes out of plywood for the shorter pax units. Placing these boxes on the two smaller pax units allowed them to reach the correct height to align with the third unit.

Installing the upper boxes.

Step Two: Secure Closet Units To The Walls

To fasten the IKEA Pax units together, I carefully measured the desired spacing and inserted 2×4 and 2×6 lumber in those gaps. Using construction screws, I firmly anchored the lumber into the floor, wall studs, and the units themselves, ensuring a rock-solid connection that guaranteed the stability.

Step Three: Trim Out Closet Face Frame

Moving on, the next task was to add trim for the face frame of the closet. I chose to use primed wood for all the trim elements. To begin the installation, I first attached the top and bottom trim pieces, followed by the vertical pieces. Since I plan to add extra trim on top of this face frame, there was no need to fill any holes at this stage.

Step Four: Cut Out Custom Doors

Now, it was time to move onto the custom doors. I chose to use oak plywood for the door material. First, I measured the opening of the shelves and by using my plunge track saw I cut the doors out. I have found it’s so much easier to use the track saw for cutting plywood.

Prior to bringing the doors back indoors, I affixed four hinges to each door using my Kreg concealed hinge jig. For the door installation, I employed a scrap piece of wood, which I securely attached to the bottom of the closet, serving as a temporary support while I positioned the door. After successfully installing the doors, I removed this support piece using a trim puller.

Step Five: Add Details To The Slatted Doors

Once, I was sure the doors fit and were exactly what I wanted, I took them down from the closet. I bought some oak edge banding to apply to the outer edges of the oak plywood. Plywood has unfinished edges and when you apply edge banding it covers up that unfinished edge with what looks like a clean edge.

Applying edge banding.

To apply the edge banding you use a household iron to go over the banding. There is an adhesive on the back that attachs itself to the plywood. If there is any access overhang of edge banding you can take a edge band trimmer to cut that off.

The slats cut into one door.

After, the edges were complete I took painters tape and taped off the tops and bottoms of the doors. That way when I went in with my plunge saw to cut the slits the saw didn’t ruin my edge banding. The last thing I did before reinstalling the doors was to stain & seal them.

Using the track saw to cut slats.
Cutting slats into the doors.

Step Six: Install Doors & Add Trim

Reinstalling the doors was much easier this time around. When they were back up on their hinges I installed some simple modern hardware.

Doors Installed.

For the trim I wanted the closet to look more like an accent wall so I added oak plywood trim in between the doors and at the ends. This was a little tricky because I had to account for there to be enough space for the doors to still open and not rub on the trim. Lastly, I installed trim on the top and bottom.

Finished custom closet.

At this moment, my son’s closet stands as the most impressive one in the house. Eventually we will get all the closets made over, one at a time. Yet for now, I’ll take pleasure in the effort I invested in this IKEA hack and savor the results.

**Note: I am not a professional and do not claim to be an expert. Please be sure to always read instructions for all tools and products. Safety is very important and should be your top priority. Wear necessary protection when using tools (eye wear, hearing protection, gloves, etc.) and dust masks when sanding or cutting. Simply Aligned Home is not responsible for any injury or damage. All of my designs are not professionally designed and are for private use only.**

Materials Used

Tools Used

Pinterest pin DIY IKEA Pax closet hack.