Let the Fun Begin!

Well the pantry is well underway, and I thought I’d share the progress I have made, so far. 

Since I still don’t have a firm grasp on cabinet construction, I had to research and draw everything out to the nth degree.  Norm, however, can see an image in his head and commence building. Not me. I have to think about how things are constructed, research the heck out of it, and then draw it up in Sketchup. So, with that completed, yesterday I was ready to commence framing it out.

Our garage is full of scrap wood, so I was determined to use what we have. Remember the mudroom project that never really got off the ground?  We purchased some PureBond 3/4″ ply for that project, and had it in the garage just waiting to be used. We had ripped the 4×8 sheets into 16″ wide sheets for the mudroom bench, so that determined the depth of the pantry. We had several 2×4’s which I used to frame up the base and top.

The first thing i had to do though, was remove the baseboards and beadboard moulding. I used one of these oscillating tools so we would have a flush cut.  I did not allow enough room for the face frame of the cabinet, so I will have to do this again later.

(Below image from Harborfreight.com)

Once the moulding was removed, I used a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and installed a piece of luan board above the beadboard so the side panel would lay flush with the wall.  Then I attached the 3/4″ plywood side of the pantry to the wall making sure to attach it to studs. Then I put the top frame and bottom frame on, which were constructed out of 2×4’s, screwing them into the studs, and then finally, the other 3/4″ plywood side of the pantry.

(What you can’t see in the above blurry photo, is the new outlet Norm installed.  Since we are going to cover the back with luan board, he made an access panel to make pulling wire and tv cable easier.  This house has an odd amount of “fire stops”, which is 2×4 placed horizontally between the studs.  It makes wiring a nightmare.)

Anyway, this pantry is going to extend all the way up to the ceiling, so it needs some support in the middle.  For that, I used some scrap wood and L brackets to brace them. This will hold a shelf while giving some support to the structure.

Before I could install the L brackets, though, I measured the width of the cabinet at the top and the bottom to make sure they were the same.  They were about a 1/4″ off, so I shimmed the top frame to get the measurements equal. Otherwise, the face frame would not be straight and that could make the doors tricky.  As if they aren’t trick enough.

Can you see where I shimmed it up between the 2×4 and cabinet side?

Then I could install the L brackets making sure the width was the same as the top and bottom:

Anyway, it now time to tackle the face frame.  AND, I’ve decided I’m going to attempt to make doors like the one in the picture below.

Should be interesting and hopefully it won’t take me as long as the last cabinet doors I made!

I’ve Been Inspired!


I have been very frustrated with the state of our kitchen, lately.  It was a typical 1960’s-era kitchen when we purchased the house some nine years ago.  We slapped some paint on the cabinets, installed beadboard, backsplashes, and put down some new linoleum.  Come to think of it, Norm tore out the old counter-top range and double oven in the wall next to, and rebuilt some of the cabinets to accommodate new appliances, and make it more useable.  I have no pictures of this.  (I think I was busy steaming wall paper off the hallway, or some other room.  We put so much work into this house those first few years, and we regrettably failed to take pictures…)

We did manage to get this one ‘before’ photo:

But, we have never been happy with this kitchen, and the cabinets and beadboard are due a new coat of paint.  So, why not go all out and build some additional storage space?  Norm loves to cook, so we have a lot of kitchen gadgets–which get used frequently.   We just don’t have a place for these items: (bread machine, stock pots, blender, crockpot, etc.)  Those things currently reside on a rolling cart and a bookcase, which also doubles as a catch-all for everything else.

I was browsing through some blogs last night, and I came across a post from Layla of The Lettered Cottage.  They built two small closets on either side of a window, and I thought it was a brilliant idea! 

Our kitchen  is only 12′ wide and has a double window similar to the one pictured in Layla’s photo, above.

Here is our current layout:

I thought I could do something along those same lines as Layla’s closets, but pantry-style!  My goal is to replace the cluttered rolling cart, and the cluttered bookcase, with two small pantries.  One will hold the kitchen tools, and the other will be a broom closet.

Enter Pinterst!

After hours of pinning, drawing, measuring, and editing, this is what I have in mind:

(I have searched in vain to locate the original source of this photo.  Pinterest only had Bing.com.)

The layout would look like this:

And I can then say goodbye to these:

A Surprise for Mom!

This is about another bathroom renovation, but this time it takes place at my parent’s house.  It is not often that my parents leave town for the weekend, but last Friday they did, leaving us the perfect opportunity to redo their hallway bathroom.   It was meant to be a surprise that went along the lines of one of those HGTV beat-the-clock makeovers.

This bathroom was a victim of 40+ years of wallpaper–several layers, in fact, which Mom inherited when they bought the house.  Mom had already started tearing out the wallpaper, but gave up when the sheetrock started coming off with it.  Norm and I hit it with a clothes steamer and a couple of putty knives and got to work.  It was a mess and took us all of Friday night and most of Saturday to get the remainder down!  There was paint between the layers of wallpaper, which made the job even more fun.


And the other side of the room:

Nice, huh?

I think it would have been easier to gut the room to the studs and start over, I mean, that’s how we usually tackle a makeover, right?  But time was an issue and we wanted to be out of there before Mom and Dad got home on Sunday night.

Friday night we left the fan running to dry the walls out and got up early Saturday to continue the work.   Norm went on ahead of me so he could put up a skim coat of mud over the walls to even things out.  Meanwhile, I went shopping for flooring, paint, and fixtures.

We accomplished a lot by Saturday evening, but were not where we wanted to be, time wise.

Sunday came soon and it was time to hustle.  We still had to paint, lay the floor, put the toilet back in, replace the vanity top, plumb the new fixtures, wire the new outlets and switches, cut and place the baseboards and quarter rounds, and replace the lighting–all that on Sunday, before they were due to arrive.

The floor went down like a dream.  Oddly enough, I had taken the old piece of linoleum (which came out in one piece), and traced it over the new linoleum with a pencil.  Before I cut, though, I decided to measure the room just to make sure… and boy am I glad I did!  The old flooring had shrunk about three inches on all sides, so my “pattern” was way off.  It could have been a nightmare, but luckily the crisis was avoided and I was able to get the pencil marks out!  When we laid the new floor it went in perfectly with only the doorway needing to be trimmed up.

So, did we finish before they got home?  Nope.  They got home as we were installing the baseboards and towel bars.  Our son kept them occupied until we were finished.  So, all-in-all, we almost made it!  Here are the “after” shots:

If I had it to do over, I think I would have gone with white switches and outlets.  The only reason I chose almond, is because their tub is almond, but very light–more of an ivory.  We can always change those later.

So what did Mom and Dad think of us taking their house hostage for the weekend?

I think they were pretty surprised!