Amateur Hour With Helga - Episode 1 - Refurbished Bathroom Cabinets

Discussion in 'At the Workshop' started by BetterNotBitterIsSurvival, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. BetterNotBitterIsSurvival

    BetterNotBitterIsSurvival LB #42 Semi-Official Princess Helga IS thriving! Supporter

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    As I stated in the check in thread I have no professional training. I am just a tinkerer who loves to fix things and prefers old over new. :)

    Background: When we moved into this house it was a VA repossession. It had had some updating but very little. After the kitchen was gutted and redone my first project was to tackle the bathrooms. They had in them old - circa 1970 or older - stock cabinets that were beat up and had very little finish left on them. I don't have a before picture of the master bath sink area and vanity but I have a picture that shows the style of cabinet and the condition from the hall bathroom.
    2019-03-12 AMY iPhone 1018.JPG

    That style of cabinet was in both bathrooms...but the master vanity is slightly smaller but both were in terrible condition from years of abuse and scrubbing and exposure to water.

    I worked on the master bath first. I took all the cabinet doors off, drawers out and pried the false drawer front from in front of the sink. I scrubbed and 'sanded' them with steel wool to remove any grime but I didn't want to make the surface perfectly smooth. I had different plans for the cabinet.

    I took the front panels out of the cabinet doors and I turned the entire thing around and messed around with the hardware until I found a way I could put the doors on backwards to give them an entirely different look from how they originally looked and from the other bathroom cabinet. I wanted it to look like each bathroom was custom and not stock. Then I used Liquid Nails or some adhesive to secure the door panels back in and once dry I moved on to the next phase.

    Using paints on hand...sorry to you painters but I always mix my own colors using whatever latex paints I have left from other projects or buy from the mistake sections of paint stores...so I mixed up a color. I painted the cabinets but I intentionally left some brush strokes and other imperfections.

    After I had given them two or three coats that had dried completely, my then five year old son watched horrified, as I took various tools and dinged up the paint and the wood of the cabinet and the drawers and doors. I know he was wondering what I was doing since I kept shewing him away so he wouldn't mess it up when I was working. I also sanded the paint off the edges and scored along the straight edges.

    Then I wiped or brushed on some glaze in a chocolate brown and I allowed it to go into every imperfection and crevice, waited a few and wiped it off leaving very little on the surface but more in the cracks, dings and brush strokes. I followed this up with a clear coat but opted for the kind that you wipe on instead of brush on because I wanted it to look hand-rubbed and I hate shiny, glossy furniture or surfaces.

    After reassembling the cabinet this is what I had.
    2019-03-12 AMY iPhone 1020 - Copy.JPG

    2019-03-12 AMY iPhone 1021.JPG

    Due to life getting in the way it was only recently I began work on the hall bathroom and it was just finished today. I must add the disclaimer that some of the work I am not as pleased with because I allowed my ten-year old son to help. I figure that old cabinets that can't really be ruined is a good place to learn.

    I went through all the same steps as above but I didn't change the configuration of the cabinet fronts and kept them the same. I again mixed up some paint but this time it had more of a blue-green hue since I used some of the green paint used on the walls with some white and a couple scoops of blue. I also used a different brand of glaze which I should have cut some because it went on much heavier and darker. It had more of a blackish tint as opposed to the thin chocolate brown of the original glaze.

    This was the end result of the hall bathroom vanity renovation.
    AFC14960-2900-4AC9-A527-C61E4CBF50F2 - Copy.jpeg

    You can see that the glaze was much heavier and my son didn't always follow the grain of the wood giving a smudged look but he had fun and learned some stuff as well...and we did it together.

    Here are a few close ups so you can see the detail of the paint underneath and the way the glaze added more depth. I will say I will try to find the original glaze again before I would opt to use this one again but it served its purpose. I also used satin polyurethane that was brushed on since I couldn't find the other top coat and I hate shopping too much to run all over looking for some. ;)

    566E35F8-E310-49DE-918A-4DBBAD47FF16.jpeg
    463D44C9-2E18-443F-AB93-7D4AF16F33E6.jpeg
    Another thing I did is that instead of permanently attaching the false fronts that go in front of the sinks is I secured furring strips with screws and spaced about an inch off the back of the false fronts. They were just long enough to bridge the gap in front of the cabinet from top to bottom. That way I could put the false fronts in place and turn the strips so that they were held in place but could be easily removed if needed.

    Thanks for looking. I welcome any ideas for what you would have done differently and I welcome feedback from you pros! Hey...I told you I am just a hobby, fixer upper gal! ;)

    ~Helga
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  2. Lil Bullits

    Lil Bullits Supporter Supporter

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    Well done!!! The master bath cabinets are a thing of beauty :35:
     
  3. RangerWeaver

    RangerWeaver Woodloafer Supporter

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    Well @BetterNotBitterIsSurvival you just gave me the push I needed to go finish my master bath vanity. When we renovated the kitchen we had a new vanity top and shower ledge and sill made and installed on a unfinished cabinet that I've needed to stain and seal.
     
  4. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Very nice Helga. You have come far, pilgrim. :)

    Did you hand forge the hardware too? ;)

    Just noticed that the floor tiles look nearly the same as the countertops.
     
  5. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    That came out terrific. Well done Helga
     
  6. BetterNotBitterIsSurvival

    BetterNotBitterIsSurvival LB #42 Semi-Official Princess Helga IS thriving! Supporter

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    Thank you! I really do love the first cabinets.
    Do it! It is so much fun! I love taking something that looks worthless and everyone else would throw away and making it into something unique and I can be proud of.
    Yes. I forge all my hardware. Oh wait this isn't the Liars Bench is it. ;)
    Yes. The floor tiles and the counters and the jetted tub in the hall bathroom are all from when I moved in the house and are cultured marble. Even the kitchen counters and floor where that when I first moved in but the kitchen was gutted immediately. Ripped out the same cabinets you see in the bathroom the first night after signing the closing papers.

    That cultured marble was made right here in town in the 50s through the 80s I believe but is now gone. Gee I can't imagine why. ;) Actually it isn't too bad but I think if that bathroom didn't have it on the floor, the counter and the jetted tub/shower enclosure it would not be as bad.

    Thanks for the kind words all. I figured I would get this ball rolling since I don't have a professional reputation on the line!!!! :18::18::18:
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  7. RangerWeaver

    RangerWeaver Woodloafer Supporter

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    Just stained them...
    E409E3F9-934D-4EE8-B3B0-CAFB4FC4B7BF.png
     
  8. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I have kitchen and bath cabinets that need redoing. I'd hire you in a second if I had the money. Well done.
     
  9. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  10. Bushcraft and Brews

    Bushcraft and Brews Supporter Supporter

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    That's some nice work right there! Great job.
     
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  11. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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  12. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Roughian #5 Supporter

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    Nice work.:dblthumb:
     
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  13. PACoureurDuBois

    PACoureurDuBois For God and Country --AISI #49-- --Roughian #79-- Supporter

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    Masterfully done!
     
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  14. TomC

    TomC Supporter Supporter

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    Seems to me you need to pack your tools and head north, visiting each of us on the east coast making your way to my house.

    @BetterNotBitterIsSurvival's traveling home improvement road trip. Coming soon to a town near you. :53: :dblthumb:
     

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