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Van Dykes Restorers selection of medicine cabinets offers you the choice of a finished cabinet or as an unfinished kit. For the do-it-yourselfer we offer these helpful tips as a guideline to finishing your cabinet.

Proper preparation is the key to any quality finishing project so expect to expend some initial elbow grease getting your medicine cabinet ready for use.

Unless your wood is exceptionally rough or the joints out of alignment start with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the grain (cross grain sanding will leave unsightly scratches that appear after staining). When using acrylic (water based) finishes it is usually a good idea to lightly moisten the wood's surface and let dry to raise the grain. This pre-wetting allows microscopic wood fibers that have been compressed during machining and sanding to swell and be cleanly sanded off or whiskered.

No matter which finish you select, it is important to seal all of the woods raw surfaces-both seen and unseen-to prevent moisture transfer from changing the woods dimensions or altering its structural integrity. If you are painting the cabinet, select a quality moisture resistant primer compatible with your top coat of paint. Clear or stained projects are usually best sealed up with several coats of tough, hard wearing polyurethane.

When you are satisfied with the cabinet's appearance, install the mirror using the plywood panel backing to hold everything securely in place. Next, install the cabinet's catch followed by the door hinges. Be certain to use the correct screwdriver to prevent marring the hardware or deforming the screw heads.

It is important to both plumb and level the cabinet when attaching it to the wall. Be sure to locate the walls studs and use plenty of screws to hold the cabinet securely in place.