Cupboard doors – renovation
Eldest son and DIL bought an ‘old’ house, about 45 years old, that requires some serious TLC.
Fairly large with 4 bedrooms.
The previous owners, elderly couple, did no maintenance, so the house really looks shabby inside and outside.
The built in cupboards in the bedrooms and passage have very thick veneered doors (hollow core) which were installed badly and also covered with a thick layer of varnish or PU.
The veneer is Mahogany which on the outside of the door has faded to a nice light colour, the inside panel still very dark. Important to remember for filler and stain colour.
The hinge recess on the doors are either too deep or too shallow. They must have used a blunt screwdriver to cut them.
When you push the door closed, it jumps back due to bad hinge installation.
When the frames for the built in cupboards were painted, the edges of the doors also got paint. No care or finesse.
Digressing – bathroom 2 shower door.
The foot plate was installed the wrong way around, so when you showered the water ran out onto the floor (for 40 years?!)
When they installed it they did not realise you can turn it the other way and just change the fixed panel to the other side and the other panels slide to the other side.
I spent a Saturday dismantling this lot and cleaning off 40-year-gunge.
The footplate when I eventually got it out was tiled in! Turning it around was not an issue. I reinstalled filling the gap with silicone sealer and pop riveted the frame back in.
There is only a ‘very slight’ drip on one corner, but it will have to do till they renovate the bathroom.
Ok, back to the cupboard doors.
Bedroom 4 were the first doors he took off.
Three large and three small doors.
You learn from your mistakes.
1) Assess the door closed and mark where edges have to be trimmed for a better fit.
2) Mark the flipping hinges!!! Which door, which position. He only realised this when fitting back the doors after I had finished with them.
The three large doors are quite heavy and bulky to handle. Transporting the doors is not a problem as I have an NP200 pickup.
The easiest way to do the ‘renovation’ is on a nice large flat surface – enter the fold up trestle table, which takes up my half of the garage. I now park outside.
The work involved is quite simple and messy.
The tools are laid out on the back of the table.
Makita third sheet sander for 220grit
Makita half sheet sander for 180 grit
Ryobi belt sander with 100 grit for top, bottom and hinge sides
2 putty knives for filler
2 G-clamps and pads (to stop the door moving around)
2 Sash clamps for loose edges
Filler – Mahogany for front and dark Oak for back
Packet of Stanley blades
Teak stain – colour closest to the Mahogany on the outside
Walnut stain – colour closest to the Mahogany on the inside
Large packet of 180 and 220 grit paper & sanding block
Steel ruler – long & short
Marking pen – fine point
Stanley knife to cut the sandpaper
Hearing protection! (belt sander)
Drill out screws stuck in hinges, plug hole with a dowel or glue in new larger plug – I used some scrap Beech.
This is the door with the hinge that required drilling out.
Glue and clamp any loose side strips. (sash clamps)
Mark the edges, on the hinge side, that need to be trimmed for a better fit. This is where the belt sander, as opposed to a planer, is used.
So easy to sand off 1mm and also clean up the top and bottom edges.
The hinge is then checked for unevenness/too deep a fit.
A bit of chisel work and some filler sorts out any problems.
Now to the surface of the door - examine the surface for dings and scratches. This is where my friend Stanley-the-blade is used to ‘soften’ the scratch or ding.
Next up the big Makita with 180 grit.
When I bought the Makita it did not have a hole-maker and they did not stock one, so next best thing was make one.
A bit crude, but it works. Place the paper face up, put the peg board on top and press.
Voila! One half holy sheet.
It also did not come with a dust bag, but the bag from the smaller Makita fits of.
Some elbow and back movement with the sander up and down the door until the whole surface has been sanded. Remember, no pressure, the sander will do its thing.
A wipe off with a damp cloth, and when dry, all the ‘hollow’ areas are visible. These are then tackled by hand sanding.
Now to address all the screw holes as well as the lock and handle holes.
The screw holes are easy, clean them out with the vac and press some filler in.
For the lock/key hole I stuff some tissue in about 15mm down, this gets removed when I do the other side. Then gradually start back filling with filler until level.
Stanley-the-blade is again used to check the scratches and dings, and also a bit of hand sanding.
Next up is the small Makita with 220 grit. This comes with its hole maker, fit the paper on the sander, apply the hole maker, press down and you are A-for-away.
After sanding wipe dust off with a damp cloth.
Again Stanley and sandpaper by hand.
Double check the screw holes and the lock/key hole to ensure they are level with the surface.
Snags – where the handles and locks are removed from the face of the door, and any stickers stuck on, the colour of the veneer remained dark.
No amount of sanding or whatever lightens it up.
This is not too serious where the handles were, as the new handle hides the marks.
However the one door had a round sticker on it which will be very visible once the door has been sprayed. They can maybe hang a mirror on that door?
Here are 2 of the doors for bedroom 4 that I completed some time ago. They are ready for spraying, will post pics when completed and installed.
Thank you for reading