Bathroom remodels can be quite costly today. One way to minimize the cost is to repurpose a vintage chest of drawers, buffet or dresser into a vanity.
Whether you have one you’re not using or buy one from a local second-hand store, yard sale or flea market, this repurposing idea will help you decrease your project budget. You can also reduce your costs by purchasing a bathroom sink and faucets from a second-hand store.
Many times contractors who have extra supplies after a construction job will donate those new items to stores such as Habitat for Humanity, and you can get either slightly used or brand new materials at a reduced price. It’s a win-win — one for the environment and one for your wallet.
Not to mention that on a do-it-yourself scale (with 1 being extremely easy and 5 being extremely difficult), this project is a 2.5, which means anyone can be successful.
You will need: A chest, dresser or buffet; drop-in sink or vessel bowl; faucet; tape measure; plumbing pipes; clear silicon caulking; drill; jigsaw; paint; paintbrush; wood glue; and stain.
When choosing your furniture, be sure to pick a piece large enough to accommodate the sink, sturdy and solid. Be sure to keep in mind the weight of the sink when you are using it.
To begin, remove all drawers from the furniture, place the sink bowl upside down on the top of the furniture and mark the placement by drawing a line around the sink. Mark 1 inch inside that line where you need to cut to ensure proper fitting of the sink.
Drill a small hole on the inside line, and then place the blade of your jigsaw in the hole and cut along the line to remove the center piece of wood. Now, place your sink in the hole to make sure it will be flush on the furniture top. If it isn’t, minor cutting adjustments may be necessary.
The next step is to stain the top of the furniture and paint the base. There are many combinations of how you can finish your piece including: surface top (I stained the actual wood top, but you may choose to tile it or place a solid-surface top), drawer usage (I used only the top drawers, but you may choose to use them all), and color of the base of your project.
A stain that also contains polyurethane saves some time because it only needs one or two applications.
The chest for my project had two small drawers at the top and two larger drawers at the bottom. To create an open space for storage, it was necessary to remove the support between the two large drawers using a jigsaw.
Once the paint and stain dries, place the sink back into the hole and install the faucet and plumbing using the manufacturer’s instructions. Drill holes either in the back or bottom of your new vanity for the water intake and waste pipes.
Next, connect the plumbing on your sink. Raise the sink and place clear silicon around the perimeter, making sure there are no gaps, so a good seal is created. Connect the plumbing and faucet.
The sink for my vanity was placed to the left of the furniture top for two reasons: to create a larger amount of counter space, and to have full use of one of the two drawers.
Remove the sides, bottom and back of the drawer that will be placed under the sink bowl, and use wood glue to attach it to hide the bottom of the bowl. Then place the remaining drawer in its slot and accessorize your new bathroom vanity.
Taking something old and making it into something new can be fun and educational and can save money. It also gives you a huge sense of accomplishment and helps save and protect our environment. Pinterest is a good resource for additional ideas for creating a new bathroom vanity from vintage furniture.
Rich Chapman helps readers make old new again, which is the motto of Refurburator, where he strives to make use of old or discarded items by refurbishing, repurposing or chalk painting them. Refurburator also offers custom furniture painting, interior design, chalk paint classes and estate sales. The shop is located at 3706 MacCorkle Ave. Southeast, in Kanawha City. Contact the shop at Refurburator on Facebook, email Refurburator@aol.com or call 304-981-1581.