Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Queen Anne wardrobe, part 2

Read the first part of the story here.

After leaving the project overnight with a really big problem I was reluctant to return to it in the morning.  I pretended that I didn't know anything about the doors and that I had intended all the time to start painting on the outside.

Now listen to this carefully: I keep making this mistake over and over again. I wanted the colour to be 18th-century white, which is white with just a tiny shade of blue. I mixed this colour for the dressing table, which the wardrobe was to match, but of course I hadn't kept the paint, and I hadn't written down the exact proportion because I had just mixed it. Moreover, I had completely forgotten how little colour you need to add to white. I poured about half a deciliter all-purpose white in a jar and added... hm, far too much blue. I blended in another half deciliter white, and it was still bright blue. I took a third of it and added more white. It felt like preparing a homeopathic extract.

What I got was, I think, a lovely colour, only it was nothing even near the dressing table (and I may repaint the dressing table now).

I was still pretending that I didn't know about the doors, and I felt really pleased with my project.


But I couldn't go on pretending forever, so I consulted my facebook friends. I had two options. I could sand the top and bottom of the doors, but the problem was that there were pin holes I was anxious to break. I could also try to take off the frame and glue the top and bottom trim half a millimetre up and down, which was risky, since the frame could break, and it wasn't certain it would work anyway. I was glad I hadn't glued the central divider, since my FB companion had warned me about possible complications. At least it wasn't entirely my fault: there was after all something wrong with the kit.

Anyway, after some contemplation I decided that sanding the doors was the least evil. You have no idea how much time and energy it takes to sand away a millimitre of wood! I was cautious not to sand too much, and I had to keep the edge straight, and every now and then I wanted to throw the whole thing in the dustbin. But after what seemed hours - and probably was - the doors fit, and I could paint them as well.

I drilled holes for knobs and put them in. I even found gold stickers that I used many, many years ago on my first clumsy furniture.

I was prepared for a battle with pins, but to my surprise they behaved, and it didn't take me more than three attempts. I had almost breathed out, but a new problem was already looming: the central divider that I had been warned about. When I inserted it - cleverly without gluing - the doors wouldn't close.

Since I had been warned I didn't throw it in the dustbin. Instead, I took out more sandpaper, and after another hundred hours the silly thing finally fit.

Imagine: the doors opened and closed, everything was neat and fine. I could hardly believe it, waiting for the next trick.

And it came. There must be something wrong with this kit, because I have never before had so many problems with things not fitting. The drawers were at least half a millimetre too large on all sides. Or the drawer boxes too small. More sandpaper. But I had made up my mind to finish, and I did.


And with doors open:


And in its environment, the master bedroom:

To take the picture, I have removed some objects from the front for a better view. The wardrobe is so pretty that I'd like to display it better, but there is really no other place for it. Now I need to fill the shelves with clothes.


  1. Well done I admire your skill and determination. It looks really lovely

  2. The colour is so rich and it compliments the room perfectly.