One of the details we loved was the original medicine cabinet mirror in our upstairs guest bathroom. The bathroom as a whole has been updated, has a much larger mirror and cabinet sink on the other side of the room, but still retains some of it's original charm. In our opinion, there's also a good amount of updating we'd like to do on our own as we go to get it in shape.
Here are a couple views of this upstairs guest bath, the medicine cabinet is on the left wall, closest to you in this photo below:
View from upstairs hallway, looking in
View of guest shower
View of guest vanity
View of light peeking in through window and closed bathroom door
View of guest bathroom from guest bedroom
Side note: Really wishing we had a wide angle lens for home photographs (putting it on the list now) — Mary and I are so used to taking either close up food, jewelry, or portrait shots that my vintage canon macro lens has served us well through this point. Backing up a bit and trying to get a wider angle proved to be tougher than we thought — we welcome any and all tips on the subject and hopefully you can get an idea of what this bathroom looks like.
During our inspections and final walk-throughs of the house, Mary and I both kept saying "wouldn't it have been so nice if this mirror hadn't been painted shut? I wonder what's behind that door..."
To Mary, this probably meant, it's a shame it was painted shut but it will function as a nice additional mirror.
To me, this meant, it's a shame it's painted shut — just wait till I get in here with my tool belt. I bet there is something really cool in this cabinet!
The mystery behind the mirror was just too great for me to let it stay painted shut and I'm the type of guy that likes to take on projects if you hadn't put that together by this point. My dad is also naturally handy and happened to be over helping us move in, so I asked him to take a look and see what he thought — we were both on the same page in no time.
To start, we cleaned the trim and hardware around the mirror as best we could, then began cutting through the layers of paint where the open seams would have been with a heavy box cutter. We tried to be careful not to chip the paint and keep the lines as clean as possible, though we did have a few areas where additional chipping was inevitable. While frustrating, we do plan to repaint the bathroom walls with a fresh new color and at that time will update the paint on the trimmings here too.
As we began cutting down the paint, we couldn't help but wonder what might be inside the cabinet. If it had been painted shut for who knows how long, there just may have been some vintage goodness in there just waiting for me. With each cut, I felt closer to the prize.
After cutting around the entire cabinet, of course the hinges were painted shut....so we needed to break the hardware free of their paint barriers too. With a little strength, pliers and a hammer, we were able to free and push the original pins from each of the hinges.
I then cut as best I could around the hinges and around the outer doors once more for good measure. Then it was time to open this puppy...
That's my concentration face, in case anyone is wondering. While holding the fastener hardware open, I used a flat headed screwdriver to wedge my way between the door and the trim enough to begin prying open the cabinet door. With a little guidance and minimal paint cracking, it came right off.
Some bright pink pills — probably Benadryl. Dang, that is it? Dad and I were pretty bummed. Mary was jumping up and down in excitement that we'd gotten the door open.
After getting the door off, Dad stripped the paint down further to make for easier opening and closing, then we put it back in place and re-attached the original hardware.
So maybe this cabinet wasn't painted shut for decades. At one point, our house was converted into a duplex and then re-converted back to a single family before we happened upon it, so our guess is the painting probably took place during the re-conversion. While there wasn't a huge surprise behind the doors, we did make some functional storage, take care of our nagging thoughts surrounding the cabinet and now have a great story from the experience.
Now we just need to clean it up a bit more, take care of the cracked paint and we'll be set for the next projects to tackle (like painting, haha).