Do you remember when I found this at a yard sale?
There are actually two cabinets that look like this. They are almost 6 feet tall by 48″ wide. I think they used to be built into the wall in someone’s house.
I was actually leaving the yard sale and saw them near the garage and did a double-take. I’ve never seen anything like this at a yard sale before. Was I really this lucky? Were they still available? Could I still purchase them? Could they go home with me?
And survey says….
They were wonderfully, gloriously, amazingly MINE.
I brought them home and then I looked around for a project for them.
I tried them in the dining room.
And the bedroom.
And the hallway.
I found the PERFECT SOLUTION and the PERFECT PROJECT.
Wait until you see the cabinets.
Because now? They look like this.
Scroll back up.
Look at where we started.
Here’s another before picture so you can be super impressed with the after.
When you open them up inside there’s a cabinet. It’s an empty space without any shelving (don’t worry though wait until you see the inside now).
It’s actually upside down in these pictures. I didn’t realize it was upside down when I took the before pictures.
Here’s the view from the side.
These cabinets are SUPER skinny–about 4″ deep. This is the perfect depth for the bathroom wall upstairs because the bathroom is so narrow that I couldn’t add a cabinet with more depth.
The cabinet looked like it had been pulled from the wall without any side panels.
Here’s what the cabinets looked like when we tried them out in the upstairs bathroom.
If we placed the cabinets right next to each other then they fit in the space perfectly.
Our original plan was to build them into the space in the wall, but we were worried that this was a load-bearing wall, so we came up with the idea of building them on top of the wall.
And here’s how we did it.
Bathroom Storage Hack DIY Project
1. Remove nails
The yard sale cabinets had nails all over them. I think they may have been removed from the wall and someone just removed them and took all the nails with them. Before you can really even begin the project, you have to remove all the nails so you have a clean surface to work with.
I have the most amazing new tool to share with you that is SO EASY to use to remove nails like these.
It’s called Hammer Fist.
They were at Haven (the blogging conference I just attended) and the Hammer Fist team was incredible. This tool does so many fun things (I’ll show you more later) and it’s a must-have for any toolbox.
It has built-in dual nail pulls that make it so easy to pull nails in either direction. Which was great because our nails were stuck in the wood in all directions.
2. Prime the cabinets
The cabinets were cleaned and sanded to remove chipped wood and prepare the surface for priming.
Next, the cabinets were primed.
When working with a wood project like this it’s always a good idea to start with a primer. Using a good-quality primer helps prepare the surface for painting.
After the cabinets were primed, the next step was to attach them to the wall.
3. Attach cabinets to the wall
The first step in hanging the cabinets on the wall was to find the studs and measure the distance between them so we’d know where to place the cabinets. To stabilize the cabinets and make sure they are secured properly, it’s imperative that you find the studs so you can screw the cabinets directly into them.
Measure and measure and oh wait—did I mention measure the space and then screw the cabinets into the wall.
To add even more stability to the cabinet, an L bracket was added to the bottom of the cabinet and screwed into the studs as well.
Here are the cabinets after they were attached to the wall.
They’ve been primed and hung and the next challenge?
The open sides on the cabinets.
4. Add side panels
Here, the goal was to build out the side panels and attach a board.
First, short pieces of 2″ x 4″ studs were cut to use as spacers to attach this 1″ x 4″ to.
Four studs were added to the space between the wall and the edge of the cabinet.
Then, we attached the 1″ x 4″ to the studs using the Hammer Fist tool. The space was so narrow that it was almost impossible to use a regular hammer.
We had the Hammer Fist tool. It works so well in small spaces like this. The Hammer Fist also features 3 steel strike plates so you have so much more flexibility hammering—whether it’s straight down, straight ahead, or at an angle.
5. Add the cabinet feet
After the cabinets were installed, there was approximately 8″ between the floor and the bottom of the cabinets. Rather than have the cabinets look like they were floating, I came up with the idea of adding feet.
We found these unfinished wood feet at the home improvement store and cut 4″ x 4″ wood blocks to attach them to the bottom of the cabinet.
The feet were screwed into the wood blocks and then the wood blocks were screwed into the base of the cabinet.
Two feet were added to each cabinet.
To hide the seams, a 1″ x 2″ board was added to the bottom of the cabinet in front of the feet.
6. Add shelving
Since the inside of the cabinet was empty, we decided to add shelves.
There are five shelves inside each cabinet, so four 1″ x 4″ boards were added to create the interior shelves.
3″ boards were cut out of 1″ x 2″ and added to each side, then another 1″ x 2″ board was cut for the back of the shelf for additional stability.
The Hammer Fist tool also has a ruler with inches and centimeters which comes in handy when you need to measure quickly in the middle of a project. It also has a 90-degree square, too, that helps check if your boards are square.
7. Caulk and paint
Then? All that was left was to caulk and paint the cabinets.
The cabinets were painted with two coats of SW Extra White.
Two sets of gold hardware were added to the middle of each cabinet door.
The cabinets that used to look like this?
Now look like….
Can you even believe the difference?
I’m OVER-THE-MOON with how it turned out.
When I saw these cabinets at the yard sale all those months ago I had no idea that they would be transformed in my bathroom into this.
And a giant shout out to the Hammer Fist tool for making this project so much easier.
You are a rock star.
Just ask my yard sale cabinets. 🙂
disclosure: this post is sponsored by Hammer Fist.
All opinions are my own.
Please see my disclosure page for more information.