Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wardrobe Re-do Part I: Deconstruction

When Terry and I first began dating, this beautiful piece of furniture lived in his bedroom.

He used it as storage for his tools and other construction type stuff, which seemed unfortunate.  This big girl was far too pretty to hold a skill saw.  In spite of it's purpose, I was impressed with Terry's taste in furniture and thrilled he appeared to have an appreciation for antique and vintage pieces.

And then I learned it was actually his mother had the awesome taste in furniture - Terry just needed something to use for storage.   

A couple years later when we moved in together I was excited to have the opportunity to make the piece functional again (aside from providing tool storage).  Our apartment at the time lacked storage space and this wardrobe was my solution.  I begged for Terry to build shelves into the wardrobe so I could use it properly.  One move, and three years later that's finally happening.

This project is proving to be a beast of an undertaking.  To start, this grand lady weighs approximately as much as the state of Rhode Island.  I'm used to being able to manipulate my little tables, or at least take them apart enough to be able to maneuver them as I work.  This lady is solid as a rock.  Due to it's weight we didn't move into the basement to work on it - it's staying in Terry's office where it's lived since we moved into our house.  Taking that into consideration I'm scaling back the work I would normally do.  There's minimal sanding, and I'm not stripping or applying wood filler in the cracks and chips in the veneer in an effort to keep my temporary above-ground workstation relatively clean.

The first step was to remove the guts.  This consisted of drawers on one side, the other half was open and intended for hanging clothes.  We saved the drawers (which I have in the basement) and took apart the rest.  I hated to lose the original integrity of the piece, but it just wasn't practical for continued use.  Ultimately I decided it was more important that she was functional again versus serving as a massive dust collector with historical accuracy.  

Here's what she looked like when her deconstruction was complete:

Once she was gutted we hung new plywood on the inside to give her a clean, finished appearance.

Next - we paint! 

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