built-in cabinet

Perhaps you’ve been following my adventures in refitting a battered old buffet & hutch as a built-in cabinet. It is best to push off visions of failed DIY at these moments. People have, for the most part, always done it themselves, with as much skill as they could conjure. So, with the support of elders on the telephone, neighbours with tool-sheds, and the wisdom of the internet, I set off.


Having altered the top edge of the hutch, and the table-top of the buffet to fit the nook, I was quite baffled by glued-on, nailed down molding.


A friend helped lower the buffet onto its back. It rested there while I worked out where the nails were, and researched til I found a gem of information. A gem! Store this in your vault of useful facts:

Vinegar dissolves wood glue.

Much vinegary spraying, gentle if somewhat hopeless prying, spraying, prying and waiting ensued. No movement.


In the morning I took a saw to the front edge of the molding, cutting up close to the nails I’d mapped out. I had visions of hacksaws (to cut through nails) but I took one more crack at prying with a crow bar. Pretty please, oh wood glue vinaigrette.


Ta-ra! Success! The ever-so-pleasing shriek of nails extricated from wood.

clipping nails

These nails pulled out easily with pliers, but clipping them off is fine too. Oh, jump around for joy! Then, with friendly assistance, lift that very custom-fit hutch onto its modified buffet companion, and all slide into place;

fitted cabinet

A built in shopkeeper’s cabinet.

Pride. Joy. And there are further adventures in milk paint to come…

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