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Archive for the ‘Interior’ Category

Cabinet Door Refinish – Adding Trim

Posted by diynovice on March 10, 2009

In the never-ending quest to convert the house from brass fixtures to satin-nickel fixtures, I knew someday, I’d have to replace the brass cabinet door hinges in the laundry room. Well, I never liked how the doors looked in the first place, so, I decided to add some molding and new hardware to liven them up.

Time: 5 hours
Cost: $20 (depending on how many you are doing)
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Tools required: Drill, screwdriver, jig saw, paint brush, tape measure

1. The cabinet doors were removed and lightly sanded to remove the some of the visible, sloppy brush strokes.

2. Hobby wood can be bought from Lowes and the Home Depot. They are pre-cut sizes, ranging from ¼” to ½” thick. I bought ¼” thick popular, in 3 in by 48 in sections. The wood was laid out on the cabinet door.

3. Tick marks were made at the edges of the molding and they were cut using a hand held jig saw.

4. On the back side of the board, screw holes were drilled, and countersunk. The screws will be used to keep the molding flush with the cabinet door and will prevent warping.

5. Using Liquid Nail, the border trim was glued on, the door flipped over, and a heavy load was applied (I used two 60 lb bag of concrete and my toolbox.) The screws are then added.

6. The doors were let to dry for about 30 minutes. Then, I check to make sure there were no noticeable gaps. Finally, the screws were covered using wood putty.

7. Now, the gaps between the moldings were filled with the wood putty and sanded flush to help soften the appearance of a seam.

8. The doors were painted, new hardware was added, and then the doors were re-installed. I used new satin-nickel door hinges, but they were the same style as the old brass hinges, so they fit the hinge install holes. You may have to do some searching to find where your hinges came from, but most likely, they are from Home Depot or Lowes.  My hinges came from Home Depot.

After all of that work, here is the before and after pictures:


Posted in Interior | 11 Comments »

Chrome Plate the Roman Tub Faucet

Posted by diynovice on November 2, 2008

In the slow process of converting our house from brass accents to brushed nickel & chrome, I finally decided to tackle the master bathroom tub.

To replace the Roman Tub faucet with the same base faucet from Moen, would have cost at least $270.  On top of that, the older Moen faucets are not typically compatible with the newer models, requiring the replacement of the valve kit.  This would involve so demo work on the tub, added substantially to the cost.  So, how did I get around this problem?  I did what every great American does.  I got it chromed!

Time: 3 hours
Cost: $120

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

To remove the faucet, I followed the installation instructions in reverse that I found on the Moen website.

1. The hot and cold water knobs were removed and the brass accent rings below them were unscrewed and removed.

2. The set-screw on the back side of the faucet was removed, and the faucet was carefully pulled up.

3. Now, send your components to a local chrome shop.  In Texas, and around the country, the EPA has cracked down on chrome companies due to the harmful chemicals used in the process.  Therefore, I found a place in Dallas that used the Cosmichrome water-based spray on chrome process.  It was performed at Elite Plating.  They just started using this process and chroming parts for the public, so, they haven’t perfected the process yet.  As with any spray on coating, dust is an issue…  But, for my purpose, the finished product looks great.  They charged $85 for the coating.  I received a quote from a real chrome plating company, Superior Chrome Plating, in Houston.  They said they could do it for around $85 to $100.

Note: Most of the cost to chrome anything is labor charges.  You can reduce the amount of labor required by sanding away any rust or loose brass plating and polishing the item yourself.


(the scratches are courtesy of Lowes, when I mistakenly asked for help to replace the set screw, and the guy took the faucet, and shoved it against a board of screws, to find the fit.)

4. Next, the drain plug was removed.  To do this, the plug was pushed down, and unscrewed.

5. To remove the base, slip joint pliers were placed between the cross, and a chisel was used to twist the pliers.  There is also a tool available at Lowe’s and Home Depot that will grip the inside wall of the base, allowing you to twist it out.  Carefully and slowly increase the amount of torque you are applying to the base.  If you twist to hard or fast, you risk damaging the base, drain pipe, or your tools.  Plumbers putty or a rubber gasket should be underneath, preventing any rotation.  But, it will unscrew slowly.

6. Now the overflow drain plate was removed by unscrewing the screws.

7. A new chrome drain plug and overflow plate was purchased.  Depending on the age of your tub, your drain plug will most likely be a different size then what is available from Lowes and Home Depot.  Our drain is 2 inches in diameter ( instead of 2.25”, I believe, available at Lowes and Home Depot) and so, I had to purchase it from a specialty plumbing store, for substantially more ($35 instead of the Lowes $10).

8. To reinstall the drain plug, a wad of plumbers putty (or rubber gasket) should be placed around the drain, and the plug screwed in the same way it was removed.  The new overflow plate was also installed.

9. Once the parts came back from getting chromed, they were installed, following Moen’s instructions.  New o-rings, grease, and “flow straightener” were purchased from

10. And, viola, a new chrome tub faucet for about $100.


Posted in Bathroom, Interior | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Garage Door Bracket Repair

Posted by diynovice on August 6, 2008

My Garage Door Bracket, which connects the Garage door arm to the Garage door ripped out of the garage door. 

I got a quote from a Garage Door repair company, and they said I would have to replace the whole door.  I didn’t have more time to wait for a second opinion, so I decided to fix the problem myself. 

Time: 4 hours
Cost: $15
(add another $20 if you do not have Titanium Drill bits or a Hack saw)
Difficulty: 3 out of 5

1. The maximum width plate that could fit behind the damaged area was measured, which was just shy of 2 inches.  There is a lip that would prevent any overhang of the plate.  A 2” wide, 1/8” thick, steel plate was used because Home Depot and Lowes did not have any Aluminum plate.  The plate was gently “convinced” to fit behind the damaged area.

2. The length of the steel plate required to reinforce the damaged area was 14 inches.  The plate ran from the cross support above the damage to the hinge below the damage. (Note: If you just choose to cover just the damaged area, there will be very high stresses at the ends of the plate that will probably cause the new repair to fail.  If you try this repair, your length may vary).

3. To attach the plate, I used bolts similar in size as the metal screws currently being used on the door, which are ¼” screws.  Below is a short list of some factors I thought of when locating holes:  

 – Existing screw hole locations at the top and bottom of the plate were utilized to ensure proper installation (this is to ensure that the stress is transferred from the Bracket to the plate/flange and then to the structure).
 – Enlarged or added holes are separated by a center-to-center distance of 2 times the hole diameter.  Holes added near the edge of the plate will keep a distance from the edge to the center of the hole of twice the diameter of the hole.
 – The plate needs to be well supported around the damaged area.
 – Two or more bolts should be installed “off-the-center-line” of the plate or near the edge of the plate to prevent the plate from rocking along the center line.

The picture below shows where I put my ¼” bolts.  The holes circled in red were unused existing holes that I enlarged.  The yellow ones are existing screw locations.  The blue ones are holes that I added.

4. Once the general hole pattern was decided, the plate is placed behind the damaged area.  Using a magic marker, chosen fastener holes were completely filled in.  The plate was removed, and the holes were drilled.  To drill through the steel, Titanium drill bits were used.  A 1/8” pilot hole was first drilled at approximately the center of the magic marker spot.  Then, a 1/32” over-sized hole was drilled (9/32” drill bit).  This allows for tolerances since the drilled holes are eyeballed.


5. Using ¼” bolts, a lock washer, a regular washer on both sides, and a nut, the plate was attached behind the damaged area.  The two additional holes were then drilled out.  This ensured a perfect fit with the garage door.  The additional bolts, lock washers, and nuts were then added.


6. Now, the new Garage Door Bracket must be installed.  The Garage Door Arm was brought near the door and attached to the bracket to help locate where the Garage Door Bracket should be located.  The hole locations were marked with a magic marker, and the holes were drilled out.  The bracket was attached with ¼” fasteners, a lock washer on one side, and a nut.


7. Now, reattach the Garage Door Arm to the bracket, and it is finished!



Posted in Garage, Interior | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »