Monday, September 8, 2008

Cabinet Trim

Brynna's arrival sorta sidetracked the finishing steps in the bathroom renovations project. In hindsight, we're lucky I managed to get as far as I did.

But, hey, after only 5 weeks, I'm back at it.

Actually, I was back at it after only 3 weeks, when I purchased some interesting trim profiles and cut them to length. Ordinarily, one could just use a piece of 1" quarter-round molding, or something similarly easy to find in any lumber store, and install pretty quickly. However, the gaping hole into which the cabinet was inserted required, as I have said often before, a lot more than just one inch of cover. As a matter of fact, it requires about 2-1/2". So, instead of a single large piece of trim molding, what I did was stack two types. The first is a 2-3/4" baseboard molding, which is basically a flat board with a slight taper on one end. Onto that I added a 1-1/2" cove molding (in order to save on the amount of wood involved, the cove molding was made from 2" x 3/8" flat stock, rather than 1-1/2" square stock, and is designed to rest at a 45-degree angle). This stacking of different pieces at different angles is how one can produce the intricate profiles on, say, a mantlepiece.

During the following week, I stained and put a few coats of finish on the wood.

Then, every evening of last week, I said to myself: "Right, so tonight you're going to put that trim up," only to have it suddenly leap from 5 pm to 11 pm without even getting my hammer out.

But yesterday, at last, triumph!

After a lot of frustration, more curses than I would have liked for Brynna's tender ears (she actually slept through all the pounding), and about a dozen bent brass nails, I managed to get it in place. The difficulty I encountered had several causes including:

  • The wall onto which I wanted the trim to sit flush against is not actually flat
  • The non-flatness means that the miter corners wouldn't come together properly
  • I don't own a chop saw, and my table saw with miter gauge resulted in some poor miter cuts
  • The wall is plaster-and-horsehair, which is at once impossible to nail into, and won't hold onto a nail if you do
  • The nails I used, brass-finished for looks, were tiny and very difficult to drive in straight
  • I needed to basically hold onto and nail both the baseboard trim and the cove molding at the same time
  • Gravity

I only hope that whoever next buys the house doesn't take too close a look at the mitered corners.

But, so long as you don't scrutinize it too much, it mostly makes the cabinet look like an elaborately framed mirror.

Much as I wish this were the end of the lengthy project, there are, still, one or two odds and ends still to take care of. The observant in the audience will notice that, despite the 2-3/4" of coverage, there's still a gaping crack between the top of the cabinet and the bottom of the light fixture. I can probably fix that by just moving the light fixture down. Probably. One might also notice that the light switch to the right of the cabinet has no cover. Because of the width of the trim, I'm actually going to need to cut away the left third of the coverplate.

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