Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DIY: Medicine Cabinet

Here's a quick step by step "how-to" to follow up my recently transformed medicine cabinet post. This project is an easy DIY that is sure to upgrade the look of your builder-quality bathroom without draining the bank.

Trim casing
Cove trim
Liquid Nail Adherent
Miter Saw/box
Wall board saw
Dry wall scraps
Glass shelves (reused from old medicine cabinet)

1. Remove existing medicine cabinet from wall. What's left should look like this; studs and drywall.
2. Measure, measure, measure. Before you buy any new materials measure the space that you'll need to cover with drywall and trim. That way you don't buy more than you need. Smooth rough edges of all exposed surfaces with coarse sandpaper. This is to ensure trim and new drywall will be level when you install it later.

3. When you are confident that you have the correct measurements taken; cut your drywall pieces to fit each of the sides exposed. (Back, sides, top, and bottom.) Once each piece is cut, try fitting it into the space to make sure they all fit together.
3. We used Liquid Nail Adherent to secure each piece of drywall into place. This does not take long to dry so be ready to go by the time you start gluing.
4. When the new pieces of drywall have dried and are secured to the wall and sides, finish the seams with a joint compound. Let the compound dry and go back over each area with sandpaper so there are no bumps. Repeat if needed to fill any cracks.
5. Now that they drywall part of the project is complete it's time to move onto the trim casing which will hide the rough edges. Measuring at this point is critical! Since you are framing the area, you'll need to cut each end at a 45 degree angle. You'll need to measure the inside edge of the trim to make sure it is an exact match to your exposed sides. However, the 45 degree angle will extend to the outside edge of the trim, so be sure to give yourself enough room to work with.
6. We used a Miter saw box to ensure our 45 degree angles were perfect. These are around $15 at the hardware store and make it easy to hold the trim in place while you cut.
7. Again, use your Liquid Nail adherent to secure each piece of trim into place. We also put a few nails in each side to make sure they stay in put. You'll want to use a level to make sure each side is straight.
8. Use caulk to fill open spaces between the drywall and trim, and the individual pieces of trim. The caulk will finish and seal each of your seams.
9. Finally it's time to paint. We used the paint color from our bathroom walls on the back of the new cabinet and painted the sides, top, bottom, and trim in a white semi-gloss. The contrast in color makes the cabinet stand out but also makes it look like it's always been there.

10. We used "cove molding" to support each side of the shelves. To do this we measured the depth of the shelf and cut the molding accordingly, two pieces per shelf/one for each side. The tricky part is making sure each side is even with the other, and each piece is level. We used a ruler and a level to do this but a Laser Level might come in handy in the future. Once you've marked where each piece needs to go, use the Liquid Nail to adhere the molding in place. Let it dry and give it a coat of paint. We waited overnight before putting the shelves on top.

So there you have it... a step-by-step for an open storage medicine cabinet. Since this was our first time working with drywall and trim we had to learn as we went along but mistakes were pretty easy to correct. Good luck and leave me questions if you need any help!


Ryan said...

This is fantastic. I'm redoing my bathroom and the new medicine cabinet I bought just wasn't doing it for me. I had the same idea as you and I'm so happy you posted this! Thank you!

Refresh Renew said...

Great tutorial. Cant believe I am looking at this 4.5 years after you did it! Glad it's still up!-aimee

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Joan Wilson said...

I just completed this project after finding this post and my mediocre cabinet 'niche' turned out amazing!! I was off my a hair on a few of my dry wall measurements but they were very easy to correct. Thanks for such a wonderful tutorial!!