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The view from our “front” door {post 19} The entire cabinet build

I’m going to type up a post about the entire build process  for the laundry room cabinet and hutch so it is all in one place and in order.  I thought that the “Cabinet and hutch-laundry room” category might be helpful, but it doesn’t pull them up in order and if you only want to read about one part of the process, it is hard to know which post, and you have to scroll to find it.

So here goes:

Post 1: Before pics

And just because I am loving this before and after, please indulge me once more :)

Post 2: IDing the problems (what problems this remodel is attempting to solve)

Post 3: What I’ve got in mind (includes a Sketch Up model of this build and links to some very helpful Sketch Up tutorials if you want to learn more about this program.

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The view from our “front” door {post 18} More pictures

I was so excited to just get the cabinet post on here that I didn’t really take a lot of pictures of it.  Here are some more detailed photos and information now that I’ve settled down :)  I’ve also got it decorated a little and it has some of the library books on it to be returned (one of the reasons it was built in the first place).  I’ll probably change the stuff on it in time, but what is on there works for now and I already had it in other places, so it was free.

Some of you are reading this a second time–sorry for the duplication.  I added some photos and information to yesterday’s post because I linked to that post from Ana White’s site and a couple of link parties.  I wanted all the information in that one post.  But I also knew some of you had read yesterday’s already, so I’m putting this new post in for you.  (are you still with me????)

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The view from our “front” door {post 17} Cabinet & Hutch Reveal!


That’s me, pinching myself because I can’t believe I did this.  Sometimes I just go in that room to look at it.  I. built. furniture.  Me!  And it looks presentable!  Like, I wouldn’t be embarrassed for people to know that I’m the one who did it!

Remember that this was the view from before:

And here’s the other “Christmas Day Nice” photo where we have to remove all the clothes and group the hangers together so that we don’t have our laundry on display as the guests arrive for dinner.  As you take in the view, please allow your eyes to rest briefly on the attractive blue litter box:

And here’s my after:


Since all of my kids’ birthdays are within two weeks of each other, we have a family party to celebrate them all at once, which happened today.  Guess who didn’t have to take down all the clothes from the line before everyone came?  Moi My Man.  Nothin but the truth here at Pink Toes and Power Tools.  Generally I am so busy with other stuff that I forget about the laundry until it is too late.  Like today–it was just 30 minutes before the party and I happened to think about it.  And then I realized that we he didn’t have to do that this time.  I think I actually giggled out loud.  And then I went and looked at the cabinet again.

Now the laundry room series is not over yet.  I’ll show you how I finished the back of this to make it attractive from that side yet (When I get that finished.  Did I mention that it only looks done from the front ?!).  And then I’ve got some painting to do to prep for some BOARD AND BATTEN.

Yes, I too am going to put up board and batten.  I know everybody in blogland is jumping on that wagon, but I really, really like it.

And then I think I’m going to make a bench.

Now please excuse me.  I’m going to go into the laundry room to look at it again.

**Remember that if you want to read about how this all came together, click on the Cabinet and Hutch-laundry room category.  It will bring up all 17 posts on this build–from plan, cutting wood, putting it together, to here!

P.S.–I am adding some photos to this post that I am also going to post about tomorrow.  Sorry about the duplication!  I would explain myself, but it would be long and boring.  I’ll spare you that…

Oil rubbed bronze to match the door hardware I painted

The crown molding is actually casing (I think).  I know it wasn’t crown molding.  I wanted something flat for this, I’m not sure why that was.  It will eventually be changed out with the crown molding I want to put in this room–it will wrap around the hutch.

The base molding turned out great–the quarter round needs to be sanded yet to meet perfectly.  I used a piece of original with another I bought, and they didn’t match in height perfectly.  Gonna sand the wood filler before I do the painting for the board and batten.

And here’s a sneak peek at the back–remember I’m not done yet–but this is how I hid the litter box.  I might turn it sideways and cut a hole in the side (probably will do this).  That was the plan, but the birthday party preparations prevented that happening yet.

I staged it today.  Not 100% satisfied with the arrangements yet, but it’ll do for now.

Linking up to:

Catch As Catch Can

Transformation Thursday

Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs (I can’t get their button to work)

The DIY Show Off

The view from the “front” door {post 16} Almost there!

I said that this laundry room series was going to be a long one and apparently I wasn’t lying!  I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now…

Added the board to attach the base molding to:

I added some plastic tabs so that the drawer wouldn’t slide wood on wood.  I only needed them on the bottom drawer in this area (you can see them on the wood rails I added, bottom face frame, middle of the picture on both sides).

I put them on the bottom of the drawer sides midway back and at the back also.  Here is a close up of what I am talking about:

Attached the cabinet to the studs in the wall.  This also pulled the edge of the cabinet tight to the wall, something I was worried about when I saw it just pushed against the wall.  It would have needed a LOT of caulk to fill the gap.  It still turned out level.  I put two at the bottom into the 2×4 framing down there.  One in the middle and a final one at the top.  The one in the back isn’t in a stud–I thought the studs were 12″ apart :)

Drilled holes for the shelf pegs in the hutch.  Three shelves, evenly spaced.

Used tape on the drill to make sure the peg would seat all the way in, but not drill through the side:

And then, reattached the molding with my 16 gauge nail gun.  If I had been smart, I would have made sure the bottom hole would be covered by the quarter round.  I guess we all now know that I wasn’t smart in this instance.  I also discovered that our “trim guy” during the build put the hole at the top up higher.  After I was done.  So I had to add that, just in case.  I’m smart enough to add the holes I have to fill.  Three.  For each stud.

And this is what made me feel like I might actually get this project completed soon.  My Man helped me put the hutch on the cabinet and I attached it with the pocket holes.

I think My Man was won over with the pocket holes after this assembly.  I’m not sure he appreciated their potential.  He just knew I was going to do what I was going to do and he let me do it (lots of do’s in that sentence).  He even commented while I was putting the screws in, that maybe we needed some longer screws.  Once I had finished attaching the hutch though, he had no complaints and keeps commenting on how sturdy it is.  Then I added a screw through the side of the hutch into a stud and now it doesn’t even wiggle at all.  Not even a tiny bit.  And it’s level.  And it’s square.  And it’s put together.

And it’s almost done!!!!

The view from our “front”door {post 15} Removing base molding

Is it molding or moulding??  I’ve covered my bases and used both spellings in these posts.

However you spell it, I needed to remove some of it to place the cabinet next to the wall.  I learned how Sandra does it over at Sawdust and Paperscraps, one of my favorite places to visit.  But I had to modify my approach, so I guess this is somewhat “my way” of doing this.

I have two layers to remove: the base and some quarter round at the bottom.

Cut right at the edge where the molding meets the wall.

And again here.

Here’s where I made it up as I went along.  I started at one end and used a small putty knife which I had to pound in with a hammer.  Then I wedged a 3″ plastic putty knife in behind the small one.

The front knife protects the molding (which I want to reuse) and the back knife protects the wall.  Be aware of the ridges in the back knife–they will make indentations in your drywall if you aren’t strategic on the next step.  I used a small molding pry bar on this part.  Put that in the middle of both knives.

Gently pry the molding away from the wall.  Once it begins to pull away, move all the entire set a little further down the length.  You won’t actually pull any nails free at first, you will just be pulling them a little way out.  Once you feel that you won’t snap the molding because you have enough loose, you can get more aggressive.

Now you can move to the larger base molding.  This one was held in with two nails at each spot and they were 2.5″ long.  This took a little more muscle.  Begin the same way as with the quarter round, but once you have it loose enough to get a larger pry bar in, use that instead (still use the larger putty knife behind it).  You aren’t pulling nails at first either, just get them pulled a little ways out and move down the length.  Once you feel like you’ve gone far enough, use more muscle with the pry bar and pull the nails free.

Some of the molding had flooring in front of it, so the flooring prevented the molding from coming out.  There I had to use the pry bar under the molding, lift up to bend the nails upward, and then pull it out from the wall.

Remove the nails from the back of the molding with nippers (tip from my Family Handyman mag–I think I found the equivalent of my seam ripper in sewing–yay!)  Use the block of wood to protect your molding (tip from My Man).

Mark the wall above the molding where the prior nails were in pencil (so you can clean it off later).  This will tell you where you need to nail when you reinstall the molding.

All done!  The inspector is checking my work to see if it is up to par.

The view from our “front” door {post 14} Cut out for electrical box

I made a bunch of headway this weekend!!  Here is one of the new things I learned how to do: make an accurate cut out for an electrical box that your built in will end up covering.  One unusual tool you will need for this is:

This would be an example of why I can never toss anything out.  I’ve had this sample lipstick in the bottom of my makeup drawer for eons.  Literally eons.  I was happy to have it when I made my cut out so that I didn’t have to use one of my good tubes.  I wish I could give credit to whomever I got this idea from, but the noggin is not cooperating.  I can’t remember the source.


Apply the lipstick to the edges of the sockets like so:

Move your built in to its exact spot and slide it directly back against the socket.  I found this easy to do because I already had the base molding cut out for the built in.  I slid the cabinet into the vacant molding spot and made sure it hit the socket:

Now hold your outlet cover up to the marks and draw on outline of the cover.

As long as you cut somewhat within the cover outline, you should be safe for having a nice and neat cutout.  I am generally conservative when I make cuts, so I had to go back about 3 times to get the right size hole.  It has to fit the entire front of the extender including the screws and I used a jigsaw to accomplish this.

This was the first pass–needed to be a lot bigger!  Drill holes in the four corners big enough to get the blade of the jigsaw in there to make the cuts.

This is the outlet once the extender is attached, which is the next step. But this is how big I made the hole.


Unscrew the outlet from the existing box (mine is blue).

Next step is adding an electrical box extender so that the outlet isn’t sunk too far back because of your cabinet.  This is the once I used and I bought it at HD or Lowes:

This one is metal and I bent it to go around the outlet.  The place for the screws go out to the front.

Then all you need to do is make sure the parts go back on that you took off:

You want to add back anything you took off to get the extender in there.  Use the longer screws that come with the extender and screw them into the existing outlet box.  I also used a longer screw to reattach the outlet cover.

Here it is again, the extender in the hole.

You can see that I need to get slightly longer screws to bring the outlet out a little farther.  I don’t know if I care enough to find some, we’ll see…

Here is a link from someone who knows what they are doing.  Mine looks similar after completion, so I think I did it right.

The view from our “front” door {post 13} Moulding

I am learning so much on this project!!  I hope that means that future projects will go together QUICKER! And maybe with a few less mistakes along the way :)

I tackled the base moulding for the cabinets.  We had this leftover from when our house was built, which I was thankful for–one less thing to buy and it will match the moulding on the walls perfectly.

I started with a few cuts on scrap wood:

All I did was tilt the saw to 45 degrees and make two cuts.  This was a nice test and they were also very useful when trying to orient the actual moulding on the saw.  It can get confusing, so I would take the scraps in by the cabinet, think about what needed to happen next using the scraps, and complete the cut back outside using the scrap examples to help me remember.

I still made two cuts incorrectly–and I only needed 4 cuts altogether!  I’m okay with that since this is my first attempt with mitered moulding.  Look at how well it turned out:

Because I am so happy with it, here’s a close up:

And since I now had the moulding on there, I could make the corrections to the “doors” on the cabinet.  You’ll recall that these are fake and won’t open and that when I was putting the doors together, I forgot to account for the base moulding (talk about both of those in previous posts).

So I sawed off the bottom and I had to run the saw about 4 times to get it perfect.  I left it a little long the first time out and each time shaved a little more off one corner to get an evenly spaced edge around the entire door area.  This looks really uneven on the end I cut, but it is not that pronounced a difference in person.

Now I just have to recut some trim for the bottom, glue it on, and paint!


The view from our “front” door {post 12} Drawer fronts

When I started to blog, I wanted to create something a little different from some of the other blogs out there.  A lot of blogs have fantastic, inspiring posts on big projects.  But just one post.  I’d love to have traveled with them from the idea’s inception to the last brushstroke of paint to see their thought process as the project progressed.

So I blog as the project unfolds.  I blog the problems and how I tried to solve them.  How the plan changed as I went along.  I would learn a ton if I could follow along through an entire project with some of the bloggers out there–I’m not sure if my readers will learn a ton since I don’t actually know a ton yet, but what I hope that my readers walk away with is this: even if you don’t know a ton you can still do this.

Boy was that a rambling beginning to this post.

I put the drawer fronts on and I think they look pretty darn good.

I used carpet tape on the face of the drawer which held the drawer front on while still being adjustable so I could get an even space around the whole front before screwing it on.  You’ll see that I managed to mar the front of both drawers by screwing into the center, which was not as thick as the edges.  Both drawers.  You’d think I’d learn my lesson after the first incident, but apparently I am just that dense some most days.

I’ll let you in on another little denseness episode of mine:

I’m sure you are thinking, “Why, that looks perfectly lovely!  What could possibly be the problem?!”. (thanks by the way)

Well the problem was me thinking I’d work a step ahead and finish the doors when I did the drawer fronts, since I already had the saw out and the wood was the same for both.  BUT, but, but, but….I did not account for the moulding I am going to be wrapping around the cabinet at the bottom.  The moulding is the same as what is on the wall next to the cabinet and you’ll notice it is quite a bit taller than the room I left at the bottom of the cabinet.  Oops.

At least it’s not painted yet.  I’ll just saw off the bottom and reapply the wood rail/stile–whichever one is the horizontal piece.

It’s getting to the point that I got excited about cleaning my bathrooms the other day because I can complete that job without making mistakes.  How sorry is that?

The view from our “front” door {post 11} Drawer slides

I’m finding out that woodworking is nothing like sewing.  Is this a revelation for you also? No?  Must be just me then.  When I make a mistake while sewing I get out my lovely seam ripper.  I love that thing.  I need to find a woodworking joint ripper.  Just pick at a couple of pneumatic nails and the wood magically comes apart.  Anyone know of such a product?  Anyone?

Soooo, if you hadn’t heard yet, I’ve run into some problems. Of my own doing.  Of course.  I cut out my drawer parts before I bought my drawer slides and found out I didn’t have the necessary clearance for side mounting slides.  Luckily I found some center undermount slides that will work:

Bought them at Woodcraft so I could see them in person.  If I bought from Lowes, I had to order them online and pick them up in the store.  Did I mention I am tired of running into problems?  Actually seeing the slides before purchase seemed like a good way to avoid a problem.  These were $7.50.  I got one for each drawer.

Marked a line down the center of the drawer bottom and screwed the front of the slide to the front edge of the drawer and another one further down the slide.

Then I attached the cabinet part of the slide to the face frame (mistake!):

Now I realize that with it attached there, the front of the drawer cannot be inset like it is designed to be.  Remove that and cut out some small blocks to attach to the inside of the face frame in order to have something to screw the front of the slide to:

Then I reconnected the slide to the block and screwed the back of the slide to the back of the cabinet, using a level to keep it level.  When I slid the drawers in, they rocked.  That would be another problem.

When I bought the slides, I never mentioned that the drawers were inset.  These probably wouldn’t rock if the drawer fronts were overlay, because the drawer would always be resting on the face of the cabinet.  My drawers push all the way in and aren’t resting on anything.  So I decided to give them something to rest on:

I had to screw them in from the sides:

This was a whole learning experience (and problem maker) in itself.  I had to try to clamp this in place with the face frame in the way.  It didn’t work too well at first, until I learned that tacking it in place with the pneumatic nailer and then countersinking the screws was the way to go.  Problem one–used scrap hardwood for the runners which had a tendency to strip the screws before they sunk in; problem two–mismeasuring where to nail into the side resulted in a whole row of pneumatic nails sticking out in the inside of the cabinet that I have to remove as well as some screw holes.  Gotta love wood putty!

Now the drawers push in too far, so when I get the saw out again, I’m going to cut some blocks to size for the back of the slide.  If I don’t figure out the correct, professional way this should be done before then.  Some Directions for Dummies included in with the hardware would be nice.  I also have to buy some more of the flat plastic tacks included with the drawer slides so the drawers glide on those instead of the wood runners.  The slides only came with two per slide.

So I’m sure that my inexperience and possible stupidity contributed to the problems I encountered.  Either way, I’m emotionally ready to be wrapping this project up!

The view from our “front” door {post 10} Edgebanding

I really thought that I would be a pro at edgebanding right out of the blocks.  I don’t know why I thought that (maybe because I ran track in highschool??).  I was so sure of it that I almost, almost didn’t even try it out on some scrap before I used it on the drawer fronts of the cabinet.  Certainly a “doh” moment looking back at it.

Lovely, isn’t it?  Here’s my second attempt:

When I was at a Woodcraft store not long after this unsuccessful attempt, the  saleslady said that if your blade on the trimmer isn’t sharp, the tool will want to follow the grain rather than making a neat cut.  They sell a more hardy looking trimmer at their store for about $23.  If I ever decide to try out edgebanding again, I will buy that gadget.  For this attempt I used this gadget special made for just the purpose of trimming edgebanding for $9 at Lowes.  It was brand new, so the blades should have been sharp.

It is a very real possibility that the person who was using the trimmer was in error.  But there isn’t much to the thing to get wrong…

I ended up thinning my wood filler and applying an even coat over the plywood edges of the drawer faces and the tops of the drawers. I am pleased with the result.  The wood filler I use is this one:

It was recommended at Woodcraft when I was building the leaning wall shelves and I have really liked it.  I haven’t used many other kinds, but I think I will be getting another container of it the next time I go since I’ve had such a good experience with it.

Click on the picture for a closer look at the edges.

The top of the drawer has the wood filler on it sanded smooth and then painted.  I love how it turned out–better than I expected it to!

I will leave you with an Ode to Edgebanding.

Oh, edgebanding.

So innocent in your coil.

Big returns for little toil.

But you and I

are like water and oil.

We don’t mix.

I found this in a volume of Selected Poems by Robert Browning.  I’ve been unable to verify if he was the actual author since it was penciled in, but isn’t it a perfect bit of prose for this post?

Anyone out there gotten the Edge Band It to work well?  Anyone else love/hate edgebanding?



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