Out Out Old Medicine Cabinet

by Teri.jeffrey
7 Materials
2 Hours
I'm definitely not the first person to replace an old mirror medicine cabinet with a wooden shelving unit. However, incorporating items from my past make it a special element of my bathroom remodel.
1980s Medicine Cabinet
The good old 1980s plain mirror medicine cabinets have always seemed like a decorating eyesore to me. When I began remodeling my bathroom, I knew that was the first item to be donated to Habitat.
New Space
With the removal of a few screws, the old cabinet came out easily. Voila a new space.
Paint & Wood Frame
A coat of textured paint on the back wall and the space was ready for a new wood frame.

This is where it got interesting. I've never used a circular saw and was extremely nervous about trying it. So, I measured the top and bottom of the opening and headed to Lowe's where I had them cut those pieces. I stained them with General Finishes Java Gel Stain and positioned them in place and then measured the side dimensions.
Frame Complete
Right now most handymen or handywomen are probably shaking their heads. For me, I was determined to complete this project and the circular saw and I came to an agreement. It would cooperate and the cut side boards fit almost perfectly.

Nailed them together and the frame was complete.
Sewing Machine Cabinet Drawer
I went through a phase of collecting old sewing machine cabinet drawers and have used them in several projects. This one had a broken bottom piece but could still be used for a shelf. The circular saw and I joined forces.
Outside Frame
Lucky for me the outside frame was a standard 16x20.

As a joke, a friend had taken a picture of me in a junkyard full of sinks and toilets and had it made into a canvas. Guess what size? 16 x 20 and I was willing to sacrifice the picture to have the perfect frame. Plus, I felt that I was keeping the gift in a way and the discarded subject matter was perfect for my bathroom.
Shelf & Frame in Place
The shelf was wood glued and nailed. The antique wood gave it a salvage look and I'm happy that a broken cabinet drawer has a new life.

Finally the frame was glued to cover the opening.
Topcoat Applied
The entire piece received three coats of General Finishes Water Based Topcoat (Satin) with fine sanding between coats.
The Reveal...
I'm pleased with the final result and will look for unique pieces to double as storage. Next week, the repurposed thrift store cabinet will be installed in this bathroom and I'll finish the updated Habitat wooden vanity and another medicine cabinet shelving unit for our other bathroom.

Stay tuned for more...

P.S. The circular saw now seems less daunting.
Suggested materials:
  • Craft Wood Boards   (Lowe's)
  • Texture Paint   (Lowe's)
  • Canvas Framing Unit   (Gift)
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