July 15, 2011

#175- Fixing the Bathroom Drawer

Good news and bad news: The good news is that our awesome Bath Crashers contractor Anson came back and got a lot of work done in the bathroom.  The bad news is that there still is a lot left to do, including replacing the window in the shower that didn't meet code, fixing the mirrored closet doors that won't open or shut, installing new lights and installing closet doors on the remaining closets (just to name a few.)  I'm feeling like a glass-half-full kinda girl today though, so let's stick with the positives.  Like the work done on the vanity cabinet next to the sink:


As you can see, Anson rebuilt the drawers so that the face actually covers the full drawer, and he even gave the drawers backs so now we can put stuff in them!  You know, all my girly getting-ready stuff like turpentine and wire brushes to get the dirt out from under my nails. A co-worker in my office actually told me the other day that I had man hands because of all the cuts and scrapes I have.  I took it as a compliment.  (Glass half full.)  Anson also replaced the pulls with the more simple, clean lined versions we had picked up from Ikea.  And see those baskets to the right?  That is a pull out drawer that they didn't have time to install during filming.

Functionally, it's awesome.  It will be a great place to keep near-the-sink items like contact solution, lotion and Goo-Gone.  (What?  Doesn't everyone have that in their bathroom?)  Visually though, it's a bit unappealing with the wire rack, and therefore all the stuff we would put on it, exposed like that.  What is it with our bathroom designer and the non-concealed storage?  Then I stumbled across the instructions that came with the part.

Although the instructions were in Swedish, this little brainiac was smart enough at least decipher the photo.  Do you see what I'm seeing?  That cabinet was definitely supposed to have a door on it. 

I searched everywhere for the little L shaped part that should help me connect the door panel to the rack, but we either never received it or it got lost in the chaos, so I ran to Home Depot quick and purchased a couple of L shaped brackets for $3.  Then I dug through the garage for left over pieces of the dark brown wood and sure enough, found one that I could cut just the right size for this panel.  I measured for the exact width and height at least a dozen times (you can never be too certain) and cut my piece to size.

The problem with any veneer wood though is when you cut it, you expose the rough, unfinished plywood sides.  To solve this you can purchase an iron on veneer in the finish and width to match your piece.  Lucky for me we had some left over in the garage.

I always wrap my iron with tinfoil to avoid any of the glue getting on my iron, and then melting on to my clothes in the future.  A lot of wood workers have a dedicated iron just for this purpose, and I'm totally envious of Super Dad's iron, which is one of those heavy ones back from the late 60's or early 70's.  You know, when they still made great quality appliances that would last a life time.  That bad boy is still kickin'.

Make sure to take your time when you iron the veneer on to make sure you get a good, solid adhesion.  There is nothing worse than when veneer corners start to lift from a finish piece.  Maddening I tell you!
And when you're done, you have a this:

I decided to wait until after I installed the piece to stain it so that I could avoid the mess.  Next came the tricky part, trying to figure out how the heck I was going to install this sucker.  It didn't help that this thing was in a tiny little cabinet in the corner of the room.   First I tried the simple way to see if I could just unscrew the out-most screws of the pulls, slide the L bracket under then reattach.

But even my smallest screw driver wasn't up to the challenge as I had to bend back the full frame to get it in there, which made removing the screws impossible.  I was grumpy, but not defeated.  Instead I went with Plan B, remove the full piece, screw on the L brackets, and replace the piece in the cabinet.  I didn't get any photos of this because I was too busy cursing and yelling at everything. ("Stupid tiny cabinet!  Stupid fat arms!) But finally after about an hour of struggle, I had this:
If you don't see what is different here, there are 2 tiny little L brackets facing out now that I can attach the face too.  So much work for such little reward.  Boo.

Now it was just a matter of attaching my drawer front to the new brackets in the exact right location so that it would cover the drawer perfectly.  This was not easy.  In fact, let's all just call a spade a spade. It sucked.  Big time.  Just 1/8 of an inch in any direction would make the face crooked, too close to the wall to shut, too close to the bottom to shut, etc... The good news is all that anger seems to go away then you finally achieve success.

I dug up the 1 remaining drawer knob from the 4 pack we purchased to replace the ones from the other door.  I'm not super sold on the 3 knobs for 1 door concept, but we can't take them out now without a messy patch and putty, so they stay.

Look at that gorgeous concealed storage!  Finally, it only took me just a couple of minutes to rub some of the left over stain onto the veneer, and it looked like it was always intended to be there.

So that's how I spent my Wednesday night after the boys went to bed.  I swear I get some of my best work done from 9PM to 12AM.  

What about you guys?  Any big projects ahead for the weekend?  I plan to keep myself busy up in the Master Bedroom so that we can FINALLY move into our room.  Wish me luck, I'll tell you all about it on Monday!


  1. I don't mean to be nosy, just trying to figure out how these shows work behind the scenes. Ive heard that they finish just enough to look good on camera, but clearly you've got a lot of post-production work to do. Does the show still pay for it, or does your free bathroom come with a lot of extra costs?

  2. Kim- the good news is that so far we have not had to pay any extra for any of the fixes, although we certainly had to work at it and have spent hours and hours finishing up stuff that was left undone. The contractors are all coming back and finishing up the work for free, and for that we're truly grateful. It's just now, since we're not paying, they come back when ever it is convenient for them, which explains why we still don't have any lights 5 weeks after the show wrapped. We're hopeful that everything will be finished next week though. (Cross your fingers for us!)