How to hang a wall cabinet the easy way

How to hang a wall cabinet -- A Pinch of Joy
How to hang a wall cabinet the easy way -- A Pinch of Joy
So happy with the  transformation of my $5 bathroom cabinet!  I think it turned out well and I love, love, love the amount of storage we have now!   The white really pops against the new paint color — Frost, a very light gray with blue tones that goes from lavendar to blue to gray as the light from the Sola Tube in the ceiling changes throughout the day.  Our kitchen cabinets delivered about the time we were ready to hang this.  Geek that I am, I looked through the directions included for hanging wall cabinets.  The directions they gave looked like a great idea!  So Wheels and Bytes opted to try it out.  And the method worked like a charm! 

Nail guide
First Wheels determined where the studs were in the area where the cabinet was to hang.  The old one that we were replacing was light weight and was installed with wallboard inserts.  The new one is much heavier and definitely needed to be installed directly into one or more studs to keep it from pulling off the wall.  Having been stung by false positives in the past, he used a combination of methods — stud finder, magnet, knocking on the wall, searching for nail heads in the dry wall.  Where the methods agreed, he marked the studs on the wall.  Use your best magic :-)

Once you have those measurements, determine where the stud location/s will fall on the back of the cabinet.  Mark the stud location on the inside back of the cabinet with masking tape at every point you want to place a screw.

Determine the height you want to hang the cabinet.  We “discussed” various methods of determining the height, including the typical 17-18 inches between base cabinet and wall cabinet in the kitchen. Finally, I measured the distance between the tank lid and the bottom of the cabinet in the first floor powder room.  Which we also installed.  Who knows how we determined that height?   It was settled when it was demonstrated that one would not bump one’s head when rising from the seat below the cupboard.  You are welcome to use our 20 1/2 inch distance.  Draw a line across the wall at that point.  Place  a sturdy guide board at least 1 inch by 2 inches in size, extending the full width of the cabinet, with its top along the line.  Check to make sure it is level.  Nail into the studs. 

I don’t have a picture of the next step.  Well, I do.  But all it shows is the blurry back of two men.  In a thirty inch alcove there wasn’t much room for photography.  The guys picked up the cabinet and slid it straight onto the guide board.  No jockeying around and no guess work — they knew exactly where it belonged.  Once it was in place, the board held the weight with no stress on the installers and no chance of slipping. 

Check level -- A Pinch of Joy
Check the level again.  The bottom of the cabinet was not precisely even, so the level is a bit off.  

 Add Shim -- A Pinch of Joy
Holding the cabinet in place on the wall with one hand, Bytes added a shim between the cupboard and the guide board until the level showed that the cupboard was —- level. 

Fasten cabinet- A Pinch of Joy
Wheels stepped up and quickly zapped screws into the studs at the location  marked earlier on the inside back of the cabinet.  Six screws and they were done.  Didn’t even break a sweat!   Bytes gently pried the guide board from the wall, being careful not to mark the wall.   And we had ice cream to celebrate working smart!!! 

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Transition Kitchen

Microwave Center -- Temporary Kitchen
Kitchen in Transition:  Crockpot Central  -- A Pinch of Joy
Cooking is definitely a challenge when your kitchen is a major construction area!   I made a temporary kitchen in the dining room.  Sharing this morning in case you are thinking of ripping out your kitchen for a redo — a dose of reality!!  It will be so worth it all in the long run.   This is Crockpot Central.  I have the lunch crockpot going and am getting ready to load the dinner crockpot.

Work Space
The Work Station is on a corner of the dining table.  I’m making a crockpot peach cobbler.  You won’t be reading that recipe here.  Total fail even though the work crew gamely ate a portion each — they were really hungry, which helped it go down :-)

Coffee and Snack Station
The all important coffee, tea and snack station.  We break about 4ish each afternoon for a sit down snack, because we are usually involved in something that can’t be easily interupted for dinner.  We’ve had everything from ice cream and cookies to apple slices and peanut butter to lunch leftovers and a bag of baby carrots — all at one snack time. 

Microwave Center -- Temporary Kitchen
Microwave central gets a good share of traffic.  The totes hold kitchen utensils and necessities.  I use what is on top instead of being particular about the “right” utensil.  Oh yeah — if you are thinking about doing a kitchen redo, remember to put a hand can opener in the tote you will be working from — not in the basement in the tote at the bottom of a pile–because you will need one sooner or later!   And prepare to do dishes in odd places because there is no kitchen water supply!   Even using paper goods, there WILL be dishes of some sort to wash.

Fancy Lunch
We still took time for a “fancy” lunch to celebrate a birthday.  Note the cutting board placemats — heat shields because hot foods on thin plates need them.   The actual work is coming along well, in spite of some obstacles and puzzles.  I can’t wait to share the results with you! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

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How to change your light fixture in seven easy steps

ow to Change Light Fixtures -- A Pinch of Joy
How to Change Light Fixtures in 7 easy steps -- A Pinch of Joy
After we added the decorative paneling to the office, removed the wallpaper and painted the walls,  the rest of the room began to whimper for change.  We needed a new light fixture and knew it would be a do it yourself installation.   We’ve installed a number of them before and have it down to seven easy steps for installing light fixtures.  If everything goes right, of course.   The office lighting definitely needed improvement — in more ways than one.  Want proof?  Look below . . . .

1LightFixtureOnce again Wheels and I were in the home improvement store — this time ISO a new light fixture for the office on the list.  I walked around  the lighting section and was smitten with a visually lightweight,  filigreed silver pendant light.  I found him, said I have something to show you.  He meandered over after picking out some tools, looked up at the light as he rounded the corner at the opposite end of where I was standing, pointed to the one I liked and said “I like that.”  Well, good!   Decision easily made.  Something magic in the home improvement aisle!  :-)

We brought it home, enlisted the aid of tall Bytes and a very short time later, had a new light fixture in the office!  Here’s how we did it in seven easy steps.  

1  Turn off power at the source.  Go to your breaker box and switch off the circuit that powers the light.  Note: DO NOT assume that this circuit also controls other electrical hookups in the same room or even that it controls all the visible wires in the electrical box that powers the light.  Assumptions will get you in trouble!  Bytes can attest to this as he thought it was okay to replace a wall outlet because the ceiling light went out when he tripped the breaker.  Big flash and smarter Bytes!  Fortunately he was using a screwdriver with insulated handle.  He recommends you do, too!

Remove Old Light Fixture -- A Pinch of Joy  

 2 Remove old light fixture.  A helper to hold the fixture while you do the next steps is good!  You are both, of course, standing on a firm surface.  People who are 6’4”ish with boots on, like Bytes,  can stand on the floor.  Shorter people (6 foot or less, like Wheels)  are using a sturdy ladder. At my short height,  I know my limitations.  I chase dropped screws and find tools of which I do not know the name. . . but that are always located somewhere unspecific in the cold garage.  

3 Use a circuit tester to make sure that the fixture is not receiving power.  If you don’t know what this is – please take time to do more research (and buy one of these inexpensive tools, if necessary).  Get in the habit of doing this every time you work with electric wiring!  Inspect the wiring to make sure it is in good shape with no broken insulation and no bare wires.  Make sure the electrical box in the ceiling is firmly installed.  Tighten screws if necessary.  

3Light Fixture wiring - A Pinch of Joy

4 There are matching wires on the light fixture itself.   The colored wire is the hot wire.  It is usually black, but can also be red.  The white is the neutral wire.  Green is ground.  Sometimes the ground wire is bare, but will be fastened with a green screw to a bracket.  Remove the electrical tape or wire nuts from the wires in that order.   Set aside or dispose of the old fixture.

4UnpackLight Fixture--A Pinch of Joy

Unpack the new fixture and check the instructions for how your specific fixture needs to be fastened to the ceiling.  Certain basics apply but there are some differences depending on weight, style, etc. If you are switching the light fixture for one of the same type – a domed light for a domed light, for example – you may be able to use the old installation hardware.  Check to see before removing the old one.  If there is substantial difference or you are switching from one type of light fixture to another,  install any straps, fasteners or brackets according to directions. 

5LightFixture -- A Pinch of Joy

In our case, we were switching from a dome to a pendant so we also had to install the new and correct mounting hardware.  Here Bytes is checking the length of the chain.  He was concerned for head clearance — for some reason. 

6 Light Fixture Connections

6.  Have a helper hold the light fixture while you match and fasten colored wire to colored wire, white wire to white and screw the ground wires down with the green screw.

 Fasten Light Fixture to ceiling -- A Pinch of Joy
7.  Finish the installation.  Raise the light fixture to the ceiling and into place.  Fasten screws.

Light Fixture Finished Install -- A Pinch of Joy
Add the recommended light bulbs and the fixture cover.  Turn the power back on. 

Light Fixture pattern -- A Pinch of Joy


I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!

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