Let me preface this post by letting my readers know I am by no means a woodworker. I took shop in high school and college, but that is as far as my expertise goes. On the other hand, I am not afraid to try things once I have a vision. My husband likes to build in his spare time and has acquired some super cool power tools over the years that I like to borrow. So don your safety goggles and ear protection!
For this project, I found this cabinet at the thrift store for $11.00 and thought it would be perfect in my bathroom for my vast array of beauty essentials (just joking). In reality, there are no closets in this itty bitty house, so I wanted to paint it and put it in my bathroom for towel and toothpaste storage. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my measuring tape out shopping. I needed it to be at the deepest 11 inches (extending out from the wall) but preferably around 9 inches. I knew I was pushing it, but it was so cheap I thought what the heck and went ahead and purchased it. Well, it didn’t work out, so I sat there staring at it out on my front porch for a couple of weeks. After contemplating hauling it right back to the thrift store, I decided to get out the circular saw and have some fun.
For this tutorial, I will be re-configuring the design of the piece of furniture. If you are only interested in how to properly sand a piece of furniture and prep it for painting, then skip to step 8.
Step 1: Remove all of the hardware off of your piece of furniture.
Step 2: If you are going to be changing the design of your piece, remove the decorative molding as well. If you are just painting your piece, then you may want to keep the decorative finish on. For the purpose of my project, I am removing the molding with a small crowbar.
Step 3: Remove the triangle spacers with a screwdriver and hammer, and remove the base of the cabinet with a drill.
Step 4: Alter cabinet to fit dimensions of the space where you want to put it.
I needed this cabinet to be approximately 8 inches deep which required me to take 3 inches off the back. I am going to make a base for the cabinet, and I wanted it to be a little bit bigger than the top. I made my pencil mark down each side and across the top. I also looked inside and outside the hutch for any screws that would come near my circular saw and removed them. After I made sure I wasn’t going to hit anything, I put on my safety goggles and ear protection and went to work.
Nice straight cut with the circular saw. Making my way around the hutch. There is a lot of dust, so make sure that you have protective eye wear and potentially head gear if you don’t want dust in your hair like me!
Step 5: Pop off the pieces that you have cut with the use of a crowbar.
At this point, I am feeling pretty good about my progress. There is a cut all the way around this piece of furniture. I have taken the back panel off which was just a thin piece of plywood. Now I am ready to pop off the piece that I have cut away. I used a crowbar to get it started as there are a few finishing nails left here and there.
Step 6: Clean up any unexpected additional cuts such as shelving sticking out too far!
Uh Oh. In my limited experience, I didn’t take into consideration that I would be left with the back end of the shelving inside the hutch. I can’t get the jigsaw in there, so I have no choice but to break out the reciprocating saw. It is a great piece of equipment for some things, and I have used it to go to town on some unruly bamboo, but it is hard to cut in a straight line. I am going to do my best, and hopefully, sanding will help out my cut. I may also add a piece of molding to the inside to cover the not so straight line as well as help with the integrity of the shelf.
Step 7: Add the legs for the creation of the base of the cabinet!
For the purpose of my project, I am going to create a base for my cabinet to sit on. I found these old table legs in one of my storage sheds. They are a bit dirty and scuffed up, but I think they are going to work. After much searching through my husbands wood shed I couldn’t find a piece of wood long enough for the base of my cabinet. My son and I headed to our local supply shop and purchased some wood. That one piece of shelving cost more than the hutch itself!
Step 8: Now it’s time to sand everything!!
The electric sander is one of those things I can’t live without. You can sand without one but be prepared to use some good ole fashion elbow grease. Even after using the electric sander you still have to go back and sand by hand in all the nooks and crannies.
Step 9: Finish Creating your Base
Using the miter saw I cut the legs to the measurements I needed, and then I cut the table legs. They were bulky and too long now they are much more manageable. The miter saw is a bit scary but a fabulous piece of equipment! Unfortunately, my daughter captured me getting mad at her for talking to me while I was cutting. (doing projects that require the use of a saw with kids around is not for the faint of heart!)
After having two little ones, I have an appreciation for rounded edges. I used a small circle and marked my corners. I am not proficient with the jigsaw, so I decided to practice before I made the cuts on my shelving. It turned out pretty good and after some sanding should be almost perfect.
Next, I marked where I wanted the legs of my base to go and I pre-drilled some holes. I got out some stinky goop and glued my legs into place. This will make things easier when I screw the legs to the shelf that my hutch will sit on.
That’s it! Stay tuned for the next step is painting this cabinet!! Yay! If you have any questions regarding any of the steps or need further instructions on how to use the tools, etc. , please comment below!