Washstand Project 2015
I have been asked to refinish this washstand – it’s a perfect opportunity to take you through each detailed step as I move along. It’s been in a basement for a few years, has its damaged towel rack unattached, a broken wheel and a fair amount of damage to the interior. And one other thing… it has a distinct and rather unpleasant odour about its interior. It will be an interesting item to tackle!
Let’s get started.
Here’s a quick look at the front and back of the door, removed and set aside for later.
Here’s a quick look at the front and back of the towel rail, set aside for later.
On to the main frame. Here’s the back and side. I’ll look more closely at this later.
And here’s the top. Ditto for later.I opened the door, sat on the floor, and had a good look inside. That floor looked pretty uneven though the wood itself seemed sturdy enough.My first thought was to lift the floor and reset it in place. But when I took a closer look, and gingerly attempted to pry up the front, it was obvious the wood would splinter. A repair had been done at the front and there were nails holding it in place.
When I pushed down on that back lower left corner, it moved up and down easily.
So I flipped the piece over to look at the bottom from the outside. Remember that we’re looking at the floor in reverse. The front edge (where the paint drips are) is lower than the back edge. When I pushed on this back edge, it moved up and down easily just as it had from the inside.
(By the way, this stuff fascinates me. If it doesn’t fascinate you and you want to skip ahead to the refinishing part, go on to the next post.)
Anyways… I took a closer look. This floor (and the whole frame, for that matter – more about this later) was attached to the wall by a sliding section that could move up and down in a groove. You can see the groove here and how the floor was attached. This is the end that was still in correct position. I haven’t figured out yet how it was held in place.And here is the back end that moved up and down, making the floor uneven. It seemed intact: it just wasn’t stable. When I pushed down on this, it slid down to the same level as the front. All I needed to do was find some way to hold it down at the right height.
Enter my trusty shims. You can buy shims at any lumber yard. They are just spare pieces of wood that are tapered in various thin-to-thick amounts and are used to level woodwork. You can use any wood lying around as a shim. The packaged ones tend to be a little nicer (if you want “nice” shims!)
Then I used both pieces to fill the groove tightly and hammered them snuggly in place with a mallet until the back end seemed about the same level as the front end.Then I flipped it over and had a look inside. Bingo!
Going back to the outside, I’ll show you how it looks.
And here’s a look at the (left) repaired side. You can see the two shim pieces. They are held fairly well with the wedged-in shim but will need another filler and more solid stabilizing. I’ll do that later on.
And finally, here’s a look at the two, this time looking from the back end.