Hanging Cabinets Steve’s Way – Basic How TO

“Um, Steve, These Cabinets are not going to just hang themselves…..”

The new cabinets web


OK, cabinets:  heavy, unwieldy, and heavy right?  How do these huge wood boxes hang on the wall so strongly?  It must be better men than me that complete these feats of gravity-defying home improvement.  Imagine my chagrin and anxiety when Chernee came to me and said, “Steve, I want to hang cabinets in the laundry room.  I hate our storage in there.”  Cabinets?  The big wooden things?  Then I said the thing I always say………”ummm, OK?”

Of course, she had the whole thing already planned out in her head.  Two cabinets on one side of the room and 3 on the other side.  Chernee had done some minor improvements in the laundry room already, but this was going to be BIG.  It meant taking down existing shelves without destroying the wall (something that I do not guarantee in any of my work) and hanging up wooden cabinets.

Steve drilling web

We were not changing the paint color and we had some left over from our first paint job for touch ups, so off we went!  We went to Home Depot, and purchased unfinished wood cabinets.  We bought 2 that were 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 30 inches high for the wall above the washer and dryer.  Then, for the opposite wall we bought 2 cabinets 30 x12x30 and a smaller one 12x12x30.  All together, we spent $200 on the five cabinets.  We got them home, I took off the doors and Chernee got to paintin’!

Painting the larger cabinets web

While she painted, I began the path of destruction, or, as others call it, taking the shelves down that were in there.  The main shelf over the washer dryer came down without incident.  I am not sure how!

left side of the wall with metal stripes web

The shelves on the opposite side came down rather easily because I hung those in the first place and let’s face it, and some point they would have come down on their own.

Now, there were instructions that came with the cabinets, and they mentioned the use of a “cabinet rail” in installation.  Basically, you hang the cabinet rail on the wall and then attach the cabinets to the rail.  This probably provides a more secure installation and provides some play in making sure the cabinets are flush together on their face and line up correctly.  Well, I didn’t have a cabinet rail, or even know what one was or how to install it, so we ended up using another construction technique called “winging it.”  Spoiler alert:  It all came out OK anyway.

The first task was finding the studs…..no, not me! (Ha Ha – that might be the oldest joke in home improvement, sorry) We needed to find the studs in the wall to make sure we could attach the cabinets right to the studs.

Steve finding the stud - the man web

If we secured the cabinets to the drywall we would have really huge holes in the wall and broken cabinets on the floor.  So, I used my trusty stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and marked them so we would know where to put our screws.

At this point I should mention that I enlisted a helper for this job.  Chernee’s dad, Neil, came over to assist due to the heavy nature of the wood cabinets.  Once we had marked the studs on the wall, we measured on the back of the cabinets and pre-drilled several holes in the cabinets so when we were holding them up to the wall we would be able to quickly drive a screw through our pilot hole into the stud to secure the cabinet.

steve pre drilling web

Neil and I started on the larger wall above the washer dryer.  Chernee wanted to have two cabinets on this wall and hang shelves in between.  In our original discussions, Chernee mentioned she wanted the cabinets on this wall to be up flush with the ceiling to ensure we had enough clearance over the washer and dryer.  (NOTE: our house has standard 8 foot ceilings).  So, Chernee went to run and errand with Fix It Franny, and while the two of them were gone, Neil and I decided to get to work and see if we could hang both cabinets while they were gone to surprise them.  Well, they went up fine!  Neil held the cabinet flush up to the ceiling while I drove 4 screws in each cabinet into the studs.  No problem!  This improvement stuff is easy!

Cabinet in the upper right corner

Chernee and Fix It Franny came home, looked at the cabinets and said “Wow!  They are really high!  I mean, wow, those are really really high!”  The cabinets were really high.  Putting them flush up to the ceiling ended up being a mistake.

Showing the cabinets on the wall web

We ended up deciding, as a team, to leave them where they are (we have footstools) and also deciding that I would not hang huge stuff on the wall without Chernee being there to tell me where it goes……

The second set of cabinets went up even easier!  I did not have my strong helper, but on this side of the laundry room there is a countertop installed that I was able to use to make the hanging easier.  Chernee and I “corrected” the cabinet height on this wall and hung them at a lower level, about 12 inches lower.  So, on this wall the cabinets are normal height as opposed to the Kareem Abdul Jabbar height of the other cabinets.  We were hanging them lower and I had this countertop to help me, but I still had the issue of needing someone to hold the cabinets while I drove in the screws.  They are too heavy for Chernee to hold in place by herself, and I needed them to be at the exact height she wanted.  The only solutions I could think of were get a piece of 4×4 and cut it (fingers, blood) to the exact height, or, find something strong enough to hold the cabinet and also be adjustable.

main cabinet w jack web

And then it hit me!  A car jack!  If a car jack can lift up 2 tons of car, it can hold my 30lb cabinet.

hanging the cabinets with the car jack web

And, it’s adjustable!  Brilliant!  I got the car jack out of the trunk and set the cabinet on top and raised the jack into place.  It worked great!  The jack held the cabinet in place and I secured them to the wall, lowered the jack, and away we went.

cabinets all hung web

I think the cabinets came out great, and it makes the room more functional and look better!  Double bonus!  Now I am off to fix the annoying squeaks in our bedroom floor…….

The three cabinets in a row all down web

P.S. The whole room reveal will be up next week….we are still putting items away and catching up on laundry!


Why Does Laundry Get its Own Room?

There is one chore that never seems to get done – Laundry. With kids and especially kids involved in sports, I feel like I complete 3 or 4 loads of laundry, and then turn around and there is another pile! Now I am lucky in the fact that my Hubby, Steve, is actually a laundry snob. He loves doing laundry and actually folds very well –he may need to improve on putting items away – it is kind of a scavenger hunt looking for where he has placed an item- but I shouldn’t complain since he ACTUALLY does do laundry.

view from the hall web

I think it is so funny that Laundry gets its own room…Our room is on the first floor though the Hubby would love to have it on the second floor – I think that would be distracting – our machines beep when they are finished, and I like quiet when I sleep. Plus, I would always be afraid of a leak and water going through the ceiling – which our current machine has done.

counter and skirt web

Our laundry room is rather small and it is multifunctional. It holds our cleaning supplies, all our sport bags, extra backpacks, light bulbs, batteries – bills – you name it, it could end up in the laundry room.So I am tired of the room feeling cramped and would like to change it up a bit.

So here is what is on my mind. First things first, I would like to replace the white shelf with actual cabinets. The shelf really limits my storage and I don’t like seeing all the cleaning supplies, they can live behind closed doors going forward.

the famous white shelf web

We have been looking at unfinished cabinets and I think I have found a set I like at Lowe’s; believe it or not they have a good product for an inexpensive price, cheaper than Mr. Seconds. My plan is to paint the cabinets, and I was planning on pulling this pretty turquoise color from the fabric and have Sherwin Williams match the color.

Color of the cabnet web

I think it will compliment the wall color as well and add some charm to the space. Plus I bought these fun knobs this summer at Homegoods – and they will look great on the new cabinets.

Secondly, I would like to change out the light. It is the standard silver light fixture we put in our house in every space that needed one. I found this cute, wicker looking fixture a while back and I think it reminds me of close pins – did you ever hang clothes up on the line? I sure did growing up – my Mom never used the dryer – it was the line in the summer and the clothing ranks in the winter – too much work for this gal!

shelves open laundry web

I am also thinking about what to do in this opposite wall area. Though I like the floating shelf look – I think I could add more storage here too! Whether that be another set of cabinets – which I think would make the room feel too small – so I might be leaning towards open shelving like I have in my office from Ballard Design’s and add a third shelf. For the background on this wall I am also tossing around adding some tile. We don’t have any backsplash in this house – I remember a blog post that Centsation girl did in one of her bathrooms where the wall was tiled. I really love the glass tile look – and my sister knows how to do tile. Not sure about that idea – but it is in consideration.

I probably will have to repaint the walls once all the work is done – I am going to paint it the same color – I really like the clean feeling this color gives the space and I think it makes the space appear larger than it is. I have already updated the fabric in this space. I made a new skirt for the storage below the counter that I have in the room – by the way, I may need to weed through all this stuff….I updated the fabric for the window treatment as well – I am still debating if I am going to make a fake roman shade, add a real roman shade or leave it as is. In an earlier post I shared how we made the skirt for the utility tub. All I need to do is gather a team to hang the cabinets (well I guess I need to paint them first)…

What are your thoughts on the laundry room – is yours a catch all space like mine has become? What decorating ideas do you have for this area?

Oh the Vanity – 3 paint colors later!

How to paint your vanirty - web

Did you ever have a project look perfect in your head but once you got going it did not turn out how you thought? This is what happened to our vanity. This was the final stage in our bathroom update, everything was going smoothly – loved the paint color – framed mirror went up without a hitch – found the perfect shower curtains and window treatments ….so obviously I knew what I was doing and the vanity would come out awesome….Right? WRONG!

The vaniety before web

After reading countless blogs about how to paint cabinets and deciding the look I wanted to have – I decided I would paint the cabinets Old White by Annie Sloan. I have been working with it for some time and really like the color.

When picking out the other items for the bathroom a true white was too bright – a softer cream looked really nice. Since the mirror was painted cream – the counter is white and so are the sink basins – I just thought old white would blend right in…I even painted a piece of molding so I could hold it up to make sure.

vanity painted old white and will all the junk web

Well I was totally wrong – when painted Old White the vanity looks too yellow against the white counter tops – it was too many shades of white competing with one another. I was not going to distress the cabinets because they were a lighter wood…So I needed to start over.

We came home from a dinner party and then I decided that I would paint it the same color as the mirror – Pot of Cream. Again I painted everything and when it was all dry it was too much of the same color and looked like a blob of white…but the knobs were fabulous…

Pot of cream with nice knobs  web

So back to the drawing board for the third time….I was thinking brown to pull from the curtains  – but I really don’t like dark wood and thought it would be too dark…I eventually would like to replace the counter top with a nice marble or granite slab with built in sink basins….but that was not in the budget this time around.

So I decided to go with a complementary color – I chose Silvermist by Sherwin Williams. I had purchased the color already – since it was one of the original colors Steve and I picked out for the bathroom and was on our test wall….

Sherwin Williams Paint Samples bathroom webThey are right next to each other in this picture – why did I not see this before! So I grabbed the can and painted another piece of molding and finally saw the light…this was the color!  In the mean time I was running around sewing the curtains for our bedroom so I was running from project to project. I was bummed that that fabulous knobs that I really used as a bouncing off point for our fabrics did not go – they clashed too much with the color. So when shopping for school clothes with the kids I picked up these mercury glass ones from Anthropologie for 10 dollars a piece. They are a little bit bigger than they appeared in the store when I got them but I like how the silver looks against the Silvermist color.

Bathroom silver knobs web

Here is a funny story – the middle draw handle pulls were orginally a silver – when I thought I was going cream I spray painted them aqua – then when I had to change the color – I had to spray paint them back silver  – Oh this Vanity!

Middle drawers web

This also gave me an opportunity to clean out our bathroom vanity…it stores all my hair products and more importantly all my make-up – did you know that I am a make-up junky at heart? ….you could not tell – because all you see me is in my painting clothes….

vanity painted old white and will all the junk SVweb

Make-up drawer

Anyway one of the things I like about doing these projects is it gives you an opportunity to organize and get rid of items. Under my Hubby’s sink alone I threw out 1 large garbage bag of junk!  I organized his cabinet and now he will be able to see what he is looking for – miracle.

Steve's organized vaniety area

Because the color gods were against me our bathroom has been a total mess for about a week – putting me a little bit on edge. It is hard looking around the floor to figure out what eyeliner you need or where you left the hairspray!

View of the whole vanity web

All in all I am pleased with our bathroom mini remodel. It looks fresh and clean and cheery. I love  how all the colors blend together and the new accessories.

Spring To Do List!














Ok, I don’t know about you, but I like to create to-do lists and check things off when they’re done – closure is a great thing for the soul!  It has been a long cold winter in upstate and the last couple of weeks Spring finally arrived! Hurray!

It has been awesome to be outside, to see the sun shine and to bring out the flip-flops, finally. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a to-do list of some of the projects I would like to get done before the kids are done with school this year!

1). I have been working on my bedroom this winter. I have been moving furniture around and would like to stencil and repaint one of the dressers.

2). I would like to put a headboard in place in our guest room for summer company!

3). Adjust the curtain level in our bedroom – it is too low and drives me nuts every time I look at it! (That will be a project for my Sister!)

4). Reupholster 2 benches one in our bedroom and the other for our guest room.

5). Paint or fabric the back of my bookcases in my bedroom sitting area!

6). Repaint the dresser in my guest room and add new pillows!

7). Make covers for the outside patio chairs.

8). Start my first furniture flip project

9). Buy a sewing machine and start learning how to sew. Boy will my Mom be thrilled with this item!

I think that is enough projects for now, or my hubby might just commit me.  Lets see how much I get done before the kids get out of school!