Gather round and let me tell you all about the extremely difficult task of turning an old dresser into a bathroom vanity. Originally, we had planned on building a vanity for the half bath but as the project dragged on we gave up on that and started looking around for something else we could use. We couldn’t find anything at Lowe’s or Home Depot that we could agree on and nothing on Overstock jumped out at us either so then we started looking around at local antique and consignment stores. One of the stores I follow on the Facebook posted this photo and I immediately asked about the dimensions and price.
After a little bit of haggling and some logistical planning on our part, we picked her up and carried her home. This dresser is from the 1940s and was in pretty good shape but we still sanded it down and applied a few coats of stain to freshen it up a bit.
Anyway, here are the steps we took to get a new to us but actually kind of old bathroom vanity.
Step One: Dismantle as Necessary
Remove drawers and dresser top. The drawers slid out easily and the top wasn’t difficult to pry off at all. Remove the pulls from the drawers.
Step Two: Sand
…and sand, sand, sand. Don’t forget to wipe it down after all of the sanding.
Step Three: Cut a Hole in the Top
This ended up being way easier thanks to something we refer to as “The Garage Door Incident of 2014.” You see, the dresser top is actually two pieces of lumber that had been laminated together to form one solid surface. When we were calling it quits one day, the garage door hit the dresser top on the way down and left a clean break where the two pieces were glued. I won’t tell you whose fault it was but it rhymes with Schmyle.
It’s all good though because it made it easier in the long run to cut the opening for the sink because Kyle was able to cut each piece individually (using measurements he took from our sink) and then put them back together using a bit of wood glue and clamps.
Step Four: Stain
We used wood conditioner before adding several coats of Minwax Early American.
Step Five: Cut a Hole in the Back
This was the scariest and hardest part of the whole process. Nothing like watching your husband take a jigsaw to the back of a 70 year old piece of furniture!
Step Six: Remove Drawer Backs and Bottoms
We had to remove the backs and bottoms from the top two drawers so that we could fit the plumbing. We didn’t remove the back from the bottom drawer but we’ll need to in the future if we decide we want to use it to store extra toilet paper and hand towels.
Step Seven: Put it Back Together
Putting the drawers and top back on was probably even easier than taking them all off. We just slid the drawers in place and then popped a few nails into the top to keep it secure. We added new casters to the bottom to give it more height because it was a smidge too low with the original casters. I’m not sold on the gold of the casters so these may eventually get a coat of spray paint but for now they stay.
Step Eight: Seal It
Once the stain had time to dry, we used a couple of coats of wipe on Poly. Make sure you leave time for this to cure properly before installing your sink.
Step Nine: Install Sink and Faucet
Drop your sink in and hook all of your lines back up. Turn your water on and make sure nothing leaks.
Step Ten: Admire New Bathroom Fixture
Pour a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy. Tell yourself how impressed you are. Go on, no one else is listening. You are the champion of DIY projects.
See? Doesn’t that sound super difficult? Yeah, didn’t think so. I think we got this knocked out in about a weekend allowing plenty of drying time for the stain and poly. The only thing we still need to do is decide on pulls and get those put on. I got some really awesome suggestions a couple of posts back and I think we’re close to making a decision.
This set up is so much more functional than our vessel sink and I’m crazy excited not to have to clean up splashy water spills after our next party. Whoop, whoop!