Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't Believe Everything You Read

One would assume that anything sold as bathroom storage furniture would be okay in a humid environment, such as a bathroom or the entire state of Ohio. One would be wrong.
Bathroom furniture bought at big box stores, the kind you put together yourself, is really cardboard. Why it is sold as bathroom furniture when it is not waterproof or even water resistant, I don't know. It should have come with a warning label that says DON'T USE NEAR WATER. Sooner or later the edges will blister.

Top edges buckled up, bottom edges  buckled outward.

You have to refinish the thing immediately, or down the road, say in a month or two, it will look scruffy. After 2 years, you either fix it or replace it. I could spend $4 and fix both cabinets, or I could spend a whole lot more to replace the things. As luck would have it, I had $4.

The fix: white glue and water will seal the edges. Nylon glides on the bottom will keep bottom edges off the floor and away from damp tile. Once you've sealed the edges, blow $3 on a can of spray paint and paint the thing inside and out. Give two or three coats to the top. High gloss spray paint is the best choice to waterproof this junk. I used Rustoleum spray paint.

Once the edges have blistered, you may have to remove a few layers to get the surface flat.  Sealing the new surface with white glue and water is not enough. You need a thin layer of wood filler or spackle before you try to paint it. Alternately, you can put on new adhesive-backed paper and pray that the new stuff works better than whatever they put on to begin with. If you wisely do not trust it, spray paint the adhesive paper once you've got it stuck down.

All this work does not give you a wonderful piece of furniture. It just gives you a less annoyingly ugly one. The moral of the story: if the furniture isn't wood or metal, you must seal all the edges before putting it in a bathroom. Or using it in Ohio.

Moral #2: if you have to refinish it before you use it, buy 2nd hand furniture to begin with.