Road Trip for the Elusive Office Door

20191123_114730Saturday I made a quick trip up to Columbus, OH to pick up the only missing door in my house; the elusive, 2-panel (vertical), approx 32″x 80″ door for my office.  You cannot restore old houses without having an arsenal of salvage stores to shop.  I found Columbus Architectural Salvage‘s website months ago when started searching for doors for my house.  They have always had the 2-panel vertical style I needed, but not until last week did they have one in the size I needed.  I paid for it in advance to ensure it would be there.

What a super cool store and so well organized, I could spend hours.  It was sensory overload.  The budding up-cylcer in me was roaring to come out and buy, buy, buy for project ideas.  I resisted and came home with just a door, a mortice lock to fit it, and a couple of hinges I will need for my master bedroom refreshment center project, stay tuned for that one.

The door will need to be stripped and stained to match the others in the house, but this won’t be my first stripping rodeo.  It will also need to be reversed as it is currently 20191123_151632oriented to swing in the wrong direction.  I’ve already solicited Scotti, from the Wavepool Wood Shop to tackling getting it fitted for the door jamb.  One day I will learn the process of retro-fitting doors and jambs, but at this stage of the project I’m invoking my old time is money adage.  At my current skill set (which is advanced and getting stronger) I would take days to fit the door and that’s not time I have to give at this stage.

Having that door allows me to truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The first floor trim, moulding, and setting of five doors is all that is left from calling the inside of the house complete.  I’ve put myself on the clock to have the inside complete by my birthday in mid January, so no holiday trim the tree gathering again this year.

Needed Something Simple

My negative dealings with Signature Hardware and the disappointment with the functioning of the crown jewel of my master bath, the shower, last week literally made me ill.  I spiraled down to what I think was a new low on this project.  I needed a confidence builder, so I turned my focus on painting the back door and installing the basement railing that the city building inspector told me I needed for my occupancy permit.

I had the paint left over from the front door, so no outlay of money.  Color is Sherwin Williams Harvester.  The door was pre-primed, so two coats of yellow and that was done.  I didn’t bother with taping out the glass as a straight edge razor once the paint dried was faster.

The back entrance was boarded up when I bought the house and I just needed something that could lock.  I hadn’t thought about light fixtures and their color, so the knob I bought was silver.  I decided to replace it with an oil rubbed finish to match the light fixture and was fortunate to find a Weslock knob on Build.com that matches the knob on the front door.

The basement railing was a cheap fix too.  I purchased a 8′ 1×4 and 10′ 1×6, less than $15 in material.  No pics, but I took the 8′ to the Wood Shop and used my router table for the first time (shop didn’t have one and mine was still in the box, so I decided to let them set it up until I was comfortable using it by myself – that tool does scare me).  That piece is the top rail and I wanted the edges to be curved, 1) because the existing rail was that way and 2) it would feel better on your hand.  The 1×6 I ripped in half and it became my middle rail and the base for the top rail.  A scrap 2×4 (my jig for my wall switches) became my bottom post.

I have a boat load of paint samples, so instead of leaving the new wood I decided to stain the top rail (I have a can of Minwax that is a combination of multiple colors that I combined to empty cans) and painted everything else Sherwin Williams Sea Serpent, which will be the exterior house color.

I do have skills!

Like It Came With The House

My house is transformed.  To know where it started and to see it today is unbelievable.  That is why it may sound strange when I state hanging a salvage door to close off the 7527basement, laying tile on the landing, and refreshing the steps has made the biggest change to date.  It is going to be an extreme pleasure to use the back door as my entrance once the garage is built.

I found the door at Building Value, my favorite stop for reclaimed material.  It was just the door, no knob or jamb.  I paid Scotti from the Wood Shop to build the jamb out of extra jambs I had.  He had to reverse the swing and rip the width of the jamb to just 3″.  He finished it much faster than I needed, so the back entrance became a priority because I didn’t want to add to my pile of projects already in the basement.

Before I could hang the door I needed to put the tile down on the landing.  Timing was perfect as I had just finished the master shower and knocking this out now meant I could retire my wet saw for a long time.  I like laying tile, but my two bathrooms wore me out.  I had a few pieces left from the tub area in the master bath and I thought it would be great in that area, but I didn’t have enough to cover the entire surface.  I most certainly was not going to order more, so I got the idea to border the sides and use the tile in the center.  I found the perfect match at the Tile Shop, Workshop Desert Wood Look Porcelain 4 x 47.  I only needed four pieces.

Before I could lay the tile I had to level out the surface.  No pics to show, but I used Mapei Novoplan Easy Plus self-leveling underlayment from Floor and Decor.  Mixed and poured in the low areas on top of the cement board I had installed.  Amazing how well it worked.  I also decided that a pretty landing would pale next to the worn out steps, so I decided to cover themwith RetroTreads I found at Lowe’s. I did the prep work for those as I knew it would generate a lot of saw dust.  I had to cut the overhang off each step.  I knew the tile would create a need for a reducer going do into the basement.  I bought one before I knew the width I needed to cover and it was way too narrow, so I bought a Stairparts 11.5×48 Stair Tread, which I was able to rip down to the right width.  It was the perfect height, butting up perfectly to the tile.

With a close enough level surface I started with the border tile.  I wanted it to meet on the corners with 45 degree angles and 3 of the 4 angles would be impacted by the door or steps.  This tile project would have been 100% perfection if I had not forgotten to account for the new riser I was putting on the steps.  The most complex corner ended up being off by 1/2″, so I ended with a much thicker grout line in that corner.

I used my triangle square to make show the box was aligned correctly and then I did a dry run with the center tile.  If all went well I would have two pieces to spare.  Key was finding the center as it would allow me to get two spaces from one tile once I got to the perimeter pieces.  I didn’t miss a cut until the last piece of tile, so I ended the project with one piece to spare.

Next day was grouting, followed by cutting the treads to the right width.  With the dry fit of the steps down, I stained them with the Early American stain I had to match the kitchen door and added two coats of Bona Floor sealing.

I’ve never hung a door by myself.  The entrance to the basement wasn’t close to being square.  I knew the door was not as wide as the original, but it was the right height and style.  I’ve been looking for that door (and office) for two years.  I needed to close up the opening, so I got a 2×4 and ran it down the hinge side of door.  I knew it was import to make that side level.  To do so I had to shim out the top while the bottom was flush to the wall.

I also needed to cut off some of the top of the entrance.  I used my 4′ level to strike a line.  To make it level I cut almost 2″ from the left side and only an 1″ from right.  No pics (down fall of working alone) I did a plunge cut with my circular saw and my job max tool to get the corners the circular saw could not reach.  I went old school and used 10d, 3″ finishing nails to set the door.  I drilled a hole for the door knob to catch, but need to find a strike plate to finish it off.  I amazed myself by how well that went in.  The door was in really good shape.  Dusty, like my other trim and doors, so I went back to my Howard’s Restor-A-Finish stand by.  One day when I’m bored because EVERYTHING else is finished I may paint the other side to match the walls.  For now the pale yellow will be just fine.

With the door hung, tonight I turned my sights on the steps, which was a piece of cake to install.  I kept the top step riser original as the nose of the top step feeds into the kitchen flooring.  I put new risers on the bottom two steps (bottom step I actually installed before the tile) and used denatured alcohol to clean up the stair strings.  I was out of the correct tint of Restor-A-Finish for the strings, so I rubbed them with the Early American stain.  I put down Liquid Nail first and then used the 10d nails for added measure.  Just beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Tile Work Complete in Master Bath

Not perfect, but good enough.  Other than a need to complete the inspections, my motivation on this project is low as the Fifth Third Equity Line rejection due to “Value or type of collateral not sufficient” is still resonating with me.  I worked 6 straight evenings (6p – 2 or 3a) to get that tile work done and for what if my efforts bring no value.  My entire savings is wrapped up in a house that a major Cincinnati bank sees no value in.

I thought the angled wall and ceiling was going to be a nightmare, but I went to Floor and Decor and they recommended their Mapei Ultraflex LFT.  That thin set was awesome.  It performed exactly as stated in the video.  When Tom was helping me I didn’t have great spacers for him to work with, so I also bought their Professional “T” Spacers, which are meant to be left in, you grout right over them.  Great find, will definitely use again if the tile shape allows for it.

I still need to install shower fixtures and tub, but I’ve got a two week respite as it will take that long to have the shower glass made and installed; week of October 14.  Unfortunately my vision of a solid piece of glass from ledge to ceiling will not happen because a piece of glass that size will not go up the steps nor fit through a window.  The top of the glass will be equal to the top of the door, but there will be a gap.  That will be the first item, I envisioned that won’t come to pass.  To give Ryan’s Glass as much working room as possible I’m not going to connect the tub until after the glass is installed, so more delay in getting the final plumbing and occupancy inspections.

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That Section Looks Good

It’s going to look awesome when complete.  The wall tiles are 4×16 and I purchased them from the Tile Shop, Imperial Bone Gloss Ceramic.  The skirting around the tub also came from Tile Shop.  The grout is Superior Pro-Grout Excel in Dessert Sand.

The floor tile is the mosaic tile that matches the hexagon tile I put in the tub area.  I fell in love with the Isla King Wood tile when I stumbled across it on Pinterest.  It’s an Italian tile and it was a splurge that I justified because I put in the labor.  I was fortunate to find the tub floor tile online at Mission Stone and Tile.  With shipping it was several hundred dollars cheaper than JP Flooring, a local vendor.  I had selected a 2×2 hexagon tile from the Tile Shop that would compliment the tub area, but Mike Tanner’s installer suggested that I go with a square shape tile, less waste and time to install.  The Tile Shop had a 2×2 square mosaic, but it was only a couple of dollars less than the King Wood mosaic, which is what I really wanted.  I only needed 23 sf.  Even though I had to pay for installation, it was less than $100 in material cost increase, so I went for it.  Unfortunately Mission Stone and Tile did not carry the mosaic, so I ordered it from JP Flooring.

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F%*k Fifth Third Bank

When I purchased this house it was 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with no electric, plumbing, HVAC, kitchen, and boarded up windows and doors.  Completely inhabitable.  They told me then it had no value.  Two years later I have 3 bedrooms, 1 completed bathroom, 1 partially finished bathroom (only tile in the shower stops it from being complete), 200 amp electric service, a plumbing system that amazes everyone that sees the manifold system in the basement, HVAC, a kitchen, and all new windows and doors.  I now live in it and they still see no value.

Unbelievable and yet very believable.  It may take me some time to recover from this one.  This journey has been a roller coaster ride, but this is a new low of lows.  Phase 2, the garage and exterior painting is contingent upon getting access to the equity I thought I had created.  I’ve got a plumbing inspector breathing down my back, so I’ve been loosing sleep trying to get the master bath shower complete not realizing that an unfinished shower would be viewed so negatively by Fifth Third.

My main man Tom Milfeld agreed to work with me on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I was so tied up with client work that I couldn’t lend a hand other than moving the wet saw up from the basement and setting it up in master bath to save him (and me) from two flights of stairs.  He got the cove base tile in around the tub area.  I should not have wasted his talent on that simple task, but he was also able to get all the intricate cuts around all but two of the shower heads (7 total – no value in that).  

This evening I finished that wall.  Not to shabby.  Progress is slower than I expected given the larger sized tile (4×16).  Goal is to have it finished by end of weekend; at least the tile, but hopefully the grout too.  I actually may grout this section tomorrow to break up the grouting into smaller bites.  Love laying tile, grouting, not so much.

From Toilet Surround to Headboard

I had to break this down into two post because I’m just jazzed to show off the progress.  This is the back to my future master bedroom headboard created from beadboard that surrounded a hole that was a toilet in my basement.  It was covered in yellow paint, black and white graffiti, cobwebs, and spider sacks when I tore it down.  These are the best before pictures I could find as the vision of turning it into a headboard came much later.

Once I had decided to make the headboard, I scoured the Internet for design ideas and I came across the blog of Jen Woodhouse – The House of Wood DIY Life of a Military Wife. She has a ton of cool plans/projects, but the one that caught my eye was her Evelyn Chevron King Bed.  I got the plans over a year ago, so this wood has been patiently waiting to be reinvented.  The plans include side rails and foot board, but I’m not making those due to my adjustable bed frame.  Open shop hours are Wednesday and Saturday and I literally thought I have this portion down in one week, two days.  NOT.

The first step was getting the sheet of birch plywood to the shop.  Thankfully Tom (my finish carpenter/foundation repairer) was willing to pick a sheet up from Home Depot and bring it to me at the shop.  Per the plans I ripped it down to 77″ in width.  Next was preparing the beadboard.  I knew I wanted to remove the paint and graffiti and I thought it would mean stripping.  Fortunately months before I started I brought a piece into the shop and Scotti let me run it through the planer.  With one pass it removed most of the paint and graffiti.  What was left I felt would add character, so the plan was hatched and I spent the bulk of the first day planning down the boards.

Once I got what I thought would be enough I found and marked the center lines (both vertical and horizontal) on my plywood and I started cutting 45 degree cuts.  Jen’s plans had measurements for each length board, but she warned to measure first.  I made it one step easier.  I cut the 45 to be placed on the lines and left the boards long off the edge and planned to just trim all sides down once all boards were glued and nailed in place.

I started cutting pieces on July 13.  I got the last piece glued and nailed in place on August 3.  I didn’t work every Wednesday and Saturday and some days I only got a couple of hours in, but this worked my patience.  I didn’t butt the pieces tightly during the cutting phase.  I nailed and glued all of the pieces in one quadrant first.  When I started in the next about 3 boards in the lines didn’t align and by the end it was off by 1/2″.  I had to take them apart (I had glued a few) and scrape the groove or tongue of each piece.  Just the thickness of the residue paint was causing the issue.

Next came the trim up.  The first cut I asked Scotti to do as I had supreme fear of messing up weeks of work.  I successfully cut the remaining three sides (both long) and in that raw finished state I knew I had created something special.

From this point forward I am not working from the plans.  The wall that the head of my bed is located on is not wide enough to allow room for nightstands on either side.  I currently use a TV table to hold remotes, pocket contents, etc.  I had the idea of building a shelve above the headboard, which will give it depth away from the wall and creating dead space.  Scotti added to the idea and suggested I put shelves along the sides too.  So with that plan hatched I decided it would be really cool to have part of the backboard be the back of the top shelf.  Most of the board will be hidden behind pillows anyway.  Back to the cutting board.

Thank God Scotti was there to catch what would have been a disastrous cut.  We had the board straddled across the two work tables, which meant I would be pushing as far as I could, but then need to go around to the other side of the table to pull through the remainder of cut.  In that transition I pulled slightly away from my straight edge and Scotti saw it almost immediately.  Fortunately not much damage and if I hadn’t shared it in this post, most people would not be able to see it once it’s all complete.  Learn from the mistakes of others.

With that cut, it was time to take the board home to apply the finish.  There is a gentleman, Gene, that has adopted the Wood Shop donating all sorts of great tools.  He’s a master woodsman and super knowledgeable.  I was toying with either Polyacrylic, Polyurethane without or without stain.  Scotti mentioned that Gene recommended and prefers Danish Oil.  I spent an evening on the Internet doing research and decided to take that route.  I purchased Watco Danish Oil in natural.  Super easy product to apply.  I used a cheap sponge paint brush.  They tell you to keep applying if you see certain areas drying up (soaking in) the oil.  On the first coat that definitely was the case.

After the second coat.

Final coat.

With that the back of the head board is complete.  This project took a major twist last week.  Scotti encourages people to buy wood for their projects from Paxton Lumber.  Originally I had planned to get slabs of Ash from the Randy Wipert, Woodwrights Sawmill and Hardwood who had got the walnut logs from me last year.  He couldn’t produce them when I was ready so, over the phone I described the project to a clerk from Paxton.  I am very comfortable buying site unseen, but never again will I do that with a wood project.

When I arrived to pick up the wood I knew IMMEDIATELY it was not what I had envisioned in my minds eye.  I had approved white oak slabs, cut to 15/16″, in widths up to 12″.  Long story short, I bought the wood and resolved myself to make it work.  I actually spent an entire day in the shop working on the top shelf box.  The planer in the Wood Shop struggled on these long pieces of oak, but I got them planed, joined, and ripped to prepare for biscuit/gluing them together to create the true width I wanted.

I took a piece of scrap oak home and applied Medium Walnut, Natural, and Dark Walnut Danish Oil.  I didn’t love any of them, but was going to go with natural and then came the phone call that changed everything.  Lacey, the woman that gave me the pine floors for my kitchen, called and offered me some of the floor joist she was removing from her house.  True 2×12, 100 year old pine.  I jumped on it and picked up five pieces and went straight to the Wood Shop (it was a Saturday).  I spent the bulk of the time denailing one 20190814_214547joist, but once denailed I started running it through the planner.  10 passes and we didn’t put a dent in the wood.  I cleared enough to know that this was the wood my minds eye envisioned.  This one spot rubbed with the natural Danish Oil confirmed it.  It will take months to finish the board if I move forward with the pine.

So what to do.  Use the oak I purchased or create a fully salvaged headboard and use the pine.  You’ll have to keep checking my blog to see how this project is going to end.  Anyone want to lay bets?

Master Bedroom Complete

The Magnolia Market sign that was my “sign” to move forward with purchasing my house has finally been removed from its box and hung on the wall of my completed master bedroom.  Yes you can stand and applaud.  Unfortunately the Silos doesn’t carry the sign anymore, so no link if you were interested in purchasing.

After completing my Pinterest dresser project and putting the trim up around the small storage does I became obsessed with putting the trim up around the rest of the room.  Amazingly most of it was on the same two pallets in the basement and as with the door trim it, for the most part, just needed Murphy Oil Soap wipe down and the Howard’s Feed and Wax.  There were a few pieces that I felt needed the Restore-A-Finish product, but I managed to knock the can over and wasted almost all of it.  Not wanting to run to a store, I started using the end of a pint of Minwax, Early American, stain I had bought for the kitchen floor.  I used steel wool, in the same fashion as the Restore-A-Finish.  It worked as well and maybe even better.   Every original piece was numbered, so putting them back in the right place was no problem.

The only challenge to the floor moulding was one section in the front dormer.  All of the electrical outlets in the house were original cut into the moulding.  That is no longer to code, so I knew those sections would be problematic.  Over a year ago, I stumbled across a YouTube segment from This Old House that showed how to patch wood trim.  I had recessed that in the Rolodex in my brain, knowing that I’d need to put that knowledge to use.  Amazingly my Master bedroom only had one outlet in it.  Per today’s code I now have 12.  Using the video as my guide, I did a pretty darn good job with the patch.  Their moulding was painted, so they were able to hide the patch completely.  I didn’t have that luxury, but I still think it’s pretty negligible.

With the floor complete I turned my sites on the windows.  I sent the front dormer window as a tease on the last blog.  It was the easiest of the 5 to restore.  My new window seals are thicker than the originals, so I knew I would need to cut the bottom off every vertical piece throughout the house.  Again, I thought I’d need to hire my finish carpenter, Tom, to do this for me, but my confidence and comfort level for using my miter and table saws has soared since working with him and taking the Wave Pool Wood Shop class.

From the front window, I moved onto the side trio of windows.  The two smaller windows proved to be a challenge because the replacement windows had a gap greater than the window stop trim.  I always felt that these windows were ordered too small.  It’s hard to describe and show in pictures, but I needed to close the gap on the sides of the small windows and to do it I took an old door jamb to give me the “L” shape I needed to lay on top of the existing house framing.  To date this is my finest table saw work.

With that obstacle conquered the rest was easy.  Clean, Wax, trim a little of the bottom and nail in place.

The rear dormer window I intentionally saved for last.  Even my window installer was perplexed with how the trim would go back around this window.  During demo this window completely fell out and apparently we tore out, or it never existed, the framing.  With the drywall install there was no exposed framing to nail into, just the edge of the drywall.  To make matters even more complicated the drywall came about 1/2″ more at the bottom. I basically needed to frame out the window before I could frame it with the original moulding.

I devised a plan in my mind that involved using the original moulding from the trio of windows in the bathroom that mirrored the trio in the bedroom.  I saved this window for last because I had to make sure the bathroom wood would not be needed to correct a cut mistake in the bedroom.  Since that install went flawlessly, I was ready to put plan into action.  The two vertical pieces that went around the large window of the trio was slightly wider than the moulding.  I created the perfect 1/4-1/2″ reveal and it was thick enough that it gave me something for the window stop trim to nail to. Since the bottom drywall protruded out further than the top, I used shims to build out the top.

With the build out complete I was able to proceed with installing the seal and apron.  The seal had to be in place before I could install the vertical pieces.  I put the top piece on first, but when I went to dry fit the first vertical piece I discovered the piece was too short.  The replacement window was longer than the original.  The first window installer put in the new framing for this window and he must have made the opening larger than the original.

I had plenty of extra door frame moulding left, but I had already cleaned up the original and I was only a couple of inches short on each side, so I decided to splice two pieces together using scrap pieces for the built-in dresser.  I’ve learned to throw nothing away.  The trim around the dresser was slightly lighter than the window around the window, but I didn’t care.  I was impressed with my thought process and splicing technique.  Most people will never see it anyway given it leads to a private area of my home.

With the patched moulding installed, my master was complete.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to add a light on the outside of the closet.  In the two weeks of working to the moulding, Mr. McGhee made that happen.  I took the original light fixture from the 1st hall, which matched the ones already in the bedroom, but installed an LED Edison bulb to keep the heat discharge from impacting the paint.  I also bought a rug and for my seating area from Overstock.com.  It fits in perfectly and is made from recycled jeans and jute.  I bought a 9×12, same fabric, different color and design for under my bed, but it’s on back order.

Check out these before and afters, followed by a video tour.  I have truly created an oasis.  I’m writing this blog while listening to vinyl jazz LPs.  LOVING EVERY MOMENT!

 

From Pinterest to Reality – Part 2

With the dresser inserted, I was eager to get the trim around it.  I would use the original trim that went around the door, but it would need to be cut down.

The first task was finding it in the mass of bundles.  There are two other short closet storage doors and of course I found the trim for those before finally finding the bundle for that area.  I had labeled them Master Closets 1, 2, and 3.  Honestly at that point I couldn’t remember which was 1 or 3.  2 was easy because it had graffiti on it and my before pictures showed me where it went.

Outside of the graffiti this trim was in really good shape.  Since I found all three bundles I decided to prep and hang them all.  Literally all they needed was cleaning due to all the dust, which I did with a bucket filled with Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I was prepared to do my denatured alcohol/Restore-a-Finish routine, but I only used the alcohol on the outer edges to remove paint and on the top plate of door 2 to remove the graffiti.  I did use the Restore-A-Finish in these areas, but what really brought these pieces back to life was the Howard’s Feed and Wax.

The obstacle on this project was cutting the trim down to fit the dresser and I was nervous about this.  There are no do-over opportunities.  That trim design isn’t made anymore and aged wood with the patina I had can’t be store bought.  I seriously thought about calling Tom Milfeld, but I put on my big girl pants and decided to do a trial run with some scrap wood first.

Forty-five degree miter cuts is rookie level, piece of cake.  Measuring the right length, especially for the last piece is my struggle.  I cut the left side first, followed by the top, which I intentionally made long.  When my first angle met up perfectly I cut the right side of the top and then the right side.  I failed, falling about a half inch too short.

That one practice run gave me the confidence I needed and I proceeded to cut the actually trim, SUCCESS!!!!  But now what to do with the gap at the bottom????

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I had always planned to cover it, which is why adjusting the front legs was crucial in Part 1.  I think I’ll have extra of the original wall trim because I won’t need to reinstall any in the bathroom area, but I wouldn’t know that for awhile, so I decided to go to my favorite salvage store Building Value to see if I’d get lucky and find some wide, old, trim.  I hit the jackpot by finding an old window apron (part that rest under the sill) in the exact color and with an outer moulding that was almost a dead match for mine.  All I needed to do was rip it down to the right height, 6″; right width, “29”; clean with soap water, and rub with the wax.  It fit and blended in like it was always part of the house.

I forgave myself for the poor paint job when I saw the finished product.  As with my mirror project, what I saw in my mind’s eye became a reality.  I am so stoked to find the rest of the trim and get it installed.  While searching for the door trim I did find the trim for the landing at the top of the stairs, so I cleaned it up too; water and wax.

In installing the top of the stairs I discovered once again the difference between drywall and plaster thickness.  The boards needed to align with the stair rail (I think that’s what that part is called), so I made my own shims from some thin pieces I had to build out the ends that needed it.

If all the trim cleans and hangs as easy as these pieces did I’m going to be one happy camper.  I’m hugely motivated to tackle more of this project.

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As Seen In My Mind’s Eye

I love it when a vision comes to fruition exactly as I saw it in my mind.  I completed the 1st floor bathroom medicine cabinet project, a project that began with a vision when I walked past a $15 salvage cabinet door at Building Value over a year ago.  The original cabinet was missing the door and shelves, paint was peeling off, I thought it was trash, so it was pitched when we demoed down to the studs.  About a month after demo I saw #NicoleCurtis from Rehab Addict restore a cabinet in similar shape and I kicked myself from throwing mine away.  So what was I going to do with the approx. 25″ x 25″ framed out square in my bathroom wall.

20171119_210039.jpgI was looking for doors when I saw a pair of what was once  glass cabinet doors on a built-in.  Building Valu really didn’t want to sell just one, but I talked them into it.  Instantly, I had the plan in my mind.  The cabinet door would be the mirror mounted to barn door track that would slide open to reveal shelves of the medicine cabinet.  I saw the ending, now I just had to get there.

The door had the old school wavy glass in it, which I removed and gave to Architectural Art Glass when they installed my restored stain glass window.  The first thing I had to do was trim the door down.  Hard to tell from picture since I didn’t capture the entire door, but I could tell from where the rollers were inset in the wood the door ran vertical (it’s not a perfect square) instead of horizontal.  Due to space limits I needed to go horizontal, so the thicker side had to be cut down to make all sides uniform.  I didn’t own a table saw and had never heard of WavePool at that time so my former neighbor cut it down for me.  It sat for several months after that first step.

The tile work was finished, I had started taking my shop classes, so now was the time to focus on the medicine cabinet again.  Next step was filling the back of the opening, which was the drywall from the guest bedroom.  I took a thin piece of MDF board I had leftover from the kitchen remodel project I did, covered it with the motivational peel and stick paper I used on the closet shelves, and used construction adhesive to attach it to the drywall.

I purchased melamine shelf components from Home Depot to create my kitchen and 1st floor bath linen closet shelves.  I had a lot of scraps left that I knew would be great pieces to create the frame of the cabinet.  I only needed an approx 4″ width, so I knew I’d need to drill holes on one side for the pegs that would hold the shelf.  The drill press at the Wood Shop made quick work of that.  With the holes drilled I returned home and ripped the four pieces I needed to create the frame.  I bought iron on laminate for the exposed edges and proceeded to nail the four pieces together.  I don’t have pictures of the finished frame as I managed to shoot about a 1/4″ of a nail into my left flipping finger knuckle.  I took a break from the project again until the swelling went down.

The inside frame was not going to be enough.  The opening still look unfinished, so the next step was trimming it out.  For that I took the new pine I had bought for the built-in, but didn’t use and took it to the Wood Shop and planed it down until it was only about a 1/4″ thick.  I then mitered the ends, prime painted it, and nailed it to the box frame.  I filled in the nail holes and then painted it Incredible White to match the walls.  Big thanks to Scotti at the Wood Shop for giving me a quick tutorial on how to measure appropriately to maintain the 1/4″ reveal I wanted around the frame.

Now back to that cabinet door.  First step was getting the original finish off it.  For that I used the Wood Shop’s belt sander.  I then drilled the holes for the barn door hardware and primed it.  I thought I had bought the Tricorn Black (another color from the 2017 HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway), but I hadn’t so I gave it extra time to dry and turned my focus on the barn door track.  Months prior I had purchased a Smart Standard 5ft mini barn door kit from Amazon without measuring or really knowing how these things worked.  Well it turns out the length of your rail should be twice the length of your door.  I should have ordered a 6 ft length kit, but too much time had passed and I figured it would be close, but workable.

The bigger problem I had was my kit was for hanging a door on furniture.  The holes were pre-drilled and not spaced to hit wall studs, which I needed to do.  I decided to 20190504_134801.jpgsearch Google for tracks that weren’t pre-drilled and I found one on Signature Hardware.  That one track was the same price as the entire kit, but I decided to get it as it also allowed me purchase a slightly longer length.  I measured for the studs and took the track to the Wood Shop to use their drill press to make the holes.

Hanging the track gave me fits.  I used my trusty Walabot (love that gadget) to find the studs and even tested the location.  One would assume a stud would run top to bottom.  The two locations above the opening did not, which I did not discover until I went to drill in the 4″ lag bolts I bought (I didn’t use the bolts that came with the Smart Standard kit as they would not have been long enough).

Turned out I did not give myself enough clearance for the door to roll without hitting the light fixture, so I had to lower the rail.  After patching the four holes I made, I moved it down 1″ and the stud was gone.  I patched again lowered it a bit more.  Once hung I grabbed the primed door to try it out.  The vision was coming to light until I realized the rail stoppers from the kit would not fit on the new rail, it was wider.  I needed to figure out something to stop the mirror from rolling off the end.  The track had two holes covered with plastic plugs that were made for the powder coat process.  I removed one plug, which was in a perfect location and used a leftover spacer from the TV wall mount unit I bought.  Perfect solution.

It was down hill from that point.  I applied two coats of the black paint, let it dry a couple of days and installed the door pull I found on Build.com.  I then took the frame to another local small business in my hood, Southern Ohio Glass, who cut me three glass shelves and filled the frame with a beveled mirror.  It was absolutely beautiful and 100% what I envisioned when I walked past the door over a year ago in the salvage store.

The only glitch I had to fix was the door swung because like the stoppers, the door guides that came with the kit would work with my application.  Back to Google where I searched for door guides and I found on Amazon exactly what I was looking for, a small wall mount barn door guide.  I found the stud, mounted the guide, really showed off, by adding a rubber stopper on the side of door that will hit the wall and with that what was in my mind’s eye was a reality.  My guest bathroom decor is a tribute to all the people in my life that shared their positive spirits and words of encouragement on my journey to restore this very special house.  This is my coolest upcycle/salvage project to date!  All the leftover barn door kit parts will be put to use on my future master bed beverage station.