Bathroom Wainscoting w/ Built-in Medicine Cabinet

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Project by Ted posted 05-12-2012 02:51 PM 8999 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While I’m cleaning and organizing my shop, I just thought I’d share the woodworking portion of a bathroom I remodeled about 5 years ago. This project started from the medicine cabinet, which I custom built because the customer wanted the largest that would fit in the existing framing. When the customer saw the bead board on the medicine cabinet is what led up to doing the wainscoting.

It’s built of Poplar throughout, the bead board is 3/4” and rock solid. It was the customer’s idea to make the cap thick and beefy, which I didn’t care for the idea. But I was wrong and have to admit I really like it. I cut the cap round at the medicine cabinet to avoid a hard square at that point, sorta gives it a vintage Deco or Empire look. I think it worked out pretty well.

The mirror is 1/4” thick, to give the door some weight and less chance of breaking, in case somebody really really super ugly looks into it. :]p The back panel is 1/4” plywood, painted separately and screwed to the door, then touch up the screws with paint to hide ‘em.

I’m not sure, but the latch might be one I rescued some time before that – ie, true vintage.

Note: I took this photo about a year ago, after a couple of different tenants have lived in the apartment, one of whom installed the accessory mirror. That was not my doing.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

4 comments so far

View patron's profile


13711 posts in 4230 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 12:24 AM

nice period work here ted

i remember this style
from various house in my youth

most pretty run down

none as nice as this

welcome to LJ’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3487 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 12:58 AM

Nice, I like the recess under the cabinet. Timeless design.

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3100 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 06:51 PM

patron, I work on a lot of older houses and have stripped and refinished a few of those bathrooms from your youth – well, not the exact same ones. They are mostly build of Douglas Fir, really beautiful when cleaned up, especially with all the nicks and dings acquired over the decades.

Thanks ShaneA, the idea for the recess came from some old medicine cabinets I have in my shop, which we were going to try to use but the dimensions just didn’t work, so I built a new one. The old ones are still sitting in my shop to this day, awaiting some inspiration, and just might end up here as a project some time soon.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3316 days

#4 posted 07-10-2012 04:25 AM

Hi Ted, I thought I was doing deja vu when I saw your post, the beadboard and recessed cabinet is a great look, and you did a great job on this post. I did a similar renovation recently. Fyi, I got my cabinet latch and chrome hinges from Rejuvination here on 1st Ave in Seattle.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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