After 25 years with the same carpet we decided it was finally time for a bedroom remodel. We have changed the wall colors many times but this makeover was a biggie. It took many months to decide on the scheme but finally the day came for executing the plan. We started by taking every stitch of everything out of that room all the way to the subfloor. The popcorn was removed from the ceiling, spackle was applied as needed and the entire 250 square feet was sanded, primed, and painted. Next we completed the walls by applying 2 coats of Sherwin-Williams Duration paint. I should have primed first since we were making a drastic change in color and then only 1 coat of that primo paint would have been needed. Next was a trim-a-thon as 5 windows, 2 doors, and many feet of baseboard needed a bright new coat of paint.
Did I mention we completed most of this in a single 4 day week-end? We were going daylight to dark, or until we had nothing else left to give for that day. We spend a lot of time on our four 50+ year old knees putting down the new floor. The choice was engineered bamboo made by Sch?n and sold through Lumber Liquidators and this was our first attempt at installing a wood floor. The product is advertised as “Quick Clic” and all the videos of homeowners who had done it were very upbeat. Once we got the hang of it, things went very smoothly and I am amazed at how tough that bamboo is although a carelessly placed pry bar will scratch the finish.
Slowly we are returning items to the room. The dark brown dresser and night stands have been turned into works of art by my loving wife and our new bed headboard arrived this week. I will be turning the mirror from the old dresser top into a wall mirror and it will take its place of honor on the wall. Oh, the stories that mirror could tell!
I made a huge mistake, though. I should have taken “before” pictures showing the location of my clothes in that bedroom. I used to have 2 drawers in the dresser. I kept underwear in one and T-shirts in the other. And now? Do these look like my shorts? I don’t think so! My space is gone. How did this happen?
In the newly remodeled closet complete with our custom designed clothes hanging system I still have rack space but the shelf space I used for my overflow clothing is gone. It has been filled with girl stuff. I asked my bride – “What happened to my dresser drawers and my space in the closet?” This seems a logical inquiry, direct, and to the point. My bride posted an innocent look on her face as she replied, “I don’t understand the question.” I think we have been watching too many political debates as seasoned candidates demonstrate the ability to effortlessly sidestep one direct question after another.
And then Shawn simply stated she needed more room! What about my clothes, stacked in the laundry basket in the study floor? Her plan was to locate a chest of drawers for me. I shopped Craig’s List and found a manly, solid oak unit that could be installed and loaded in a matter of minutes. The guy still has it for sale after 3 weeks and is slowly dropping the price. My plan was when it hit $180, I would snag it!
But in the meantime someone posted a winner on Craig’s List, or at least the guy takes great pictures. It is a double breasted mahogany antique and by the time we tried for it, two others were in front of us. Both people looked and decided to pass which should have told us something but we got our chance. This masterpiece was described as “good bones but need some work”. I tried to open all the drawers and wanted to exit – stage right. But I saw the look in Shawn’s eyes. There are times when I know she has her heart set on something and I love to make her wishes come true. That motivated me to agree to bring Chester Stinky Drawers home with us. The best description I can give of the smell is “someone died in the old damp basement where this was found and rotted in the drawers”. It smelled so bad I could not stand it with the chest in the back of my pickup traveling 65 MPH west on I-40. I had to roll up the windows. I parked the chest on the porch for a couple of days and noticed mosquitoes were dropping out of the sky as they got close.
We google’d to find out how others handled musty wood. My idea of building a campfire inside was frowned upon by my bride. Removing the stink from the wood required:
- 2 complete wipe downs with mineral spirits
- 1 day soaking all the drawers in sunshine
- 1 wipe down with bleach and water
- 1 wipe down with water.
Finally the smell was tolerable. Now I had to rebuild and stabilize the frame and drawer supports, and rebuild most of the drawers. We had some chunk of mahogany left from a desk I rebuilt and reduced in size. Those were ripped on the table saw to create the right size pieces for the drawer guides. I wanted to keep as much of the original wood as I could. Here are some “before” pictures. The shiny gloss varnish has to go! That does not, in our opinion, belong on this piece and it has a smell that lingers.
The drawers look solid, with those wonderful dove tail joints, but all of them wobble and the bottoms are weak, especially in the back corners. Our solution was to use some oak blocks to add strength and it worked like a charm. This allowed us to keep the original wood sides. We will not be storing books in the drawers so weight should not be an issue. The blocks were installed with wood glue and brads. I guess I could have put miters on the blocks but we decided that detail could be skipped, since a couple of the drawers joined in something less than a 90 degree angle anyway.
Someone at some time tried to repair drawer slides with wood putty which did not work. And I love that giant screw at the bottom of the support on the left. I kept that one just as it is. I am happy to report that once the rebuild was complete the frame is solid and there is no swaying or wobble.
Next time we will show some pictures of the refinishing work still in progress. And once it is all done? I will put that puppy in the new bedroom and make darn sure every drawer has man stuff in it even if I have to buy new socks! Five whole drawers just for me! Wow!