Step 1: Locate the Studs

Use a stud finder to locate and mark the studs along the walls of the closet. Or, starting in a corner of the closet, where there’s usually a stud, measure the walls in 16-inch increments to approximate the rest of the studs’ positioning. Using a drill/driver fitted with a small bit, make a small hole at each mark to check that there’s actually a stud at that point.

Once you know where all the studs are and have marked them, use a level turned vertically to draw plumb lines at each mark. Mark each stud position from floor to ceiling to show you where to place nails when you install the cedar.
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    Tools List

    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • two-foot level
      2- or 4- foot level
    • pencil compass
      Compass or square
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw to trim cedar planks
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer and compressor (rents for about $55 a day)
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • miterbox with saw
      Miter box and handsaw to cut molding
    • coping saw
      Coping saw to fit molding at the corners

    Shopping List


    Order online or through home centers. Choose lengths that will eliminate the need for joints, or use smaller boards for a patterned look


    to cover gaps at the top, bottom, and corners of the closet. Most manufacturers make cove molding to act as crown and to cover gaps at the floor. Optional corner bead will hide seams between walls


    for use with a pneumatic brad nailer


    to give additional wall adhesion and keep boards from bowing