Friday, January 27, 2012

Bathroom vanity

The bathroom is moving s-l-o-w-l-y (I snicker to think how quickly we thought it would go), but I am making progress in between all the other duties of life and work.  One of the things I knew I wanted in the bathroom was a furniture style vanity - but I am way to cheap to spend 800-1000 dollars on one.  So I kept an eye out on craigslist for a good piece of furniture - I wanted something with a curved front and a little bit of vintage charm.  And it had to be between 40 and 48" wide - which was the hardest part.  I found a ton of stuff in the 55-65" range.  So when this little dresser came up I jumped on it.

Sixty bucks, that's my kind of price! It did have problems - a long split across the top, and the handles had been changed and there were holes where the old handles were.
 The left side had some deep cat scratches at the back end, and there used to be a mirror attached, so the top had a 3/4" gap at the back where the mirror had been attached.  But no problem that I couldn't fix!
And you can see in the pictures above, the top was stained and pretty nasty. 
So the first thing I did was unscrew the top and glue and clamp the split.  And then we pried the back off the whole thing - which we would need to do for access to the back for plumbing.  And when we did that, it solved the gap issue.  I sanded the cabinet and filled the scratches, then gave it a nice coat of satin black paint.
I also refinished the top - sanded and stained it back to the original color.

Now I needed to modify the top three drawers to allow for the plumbing.  The middle drawer needed to be shortened to allow for the water hookups and the drain going out, and the two top drawers need to make room for the drain from the sink.

The middle drawer was easy enough, just took 4" off the back and set some new stops so the drawer doesn't go in too far.  The top two drawers took a little more thought and planning.  I needed to bring them in a little but not right to the front, and I didn't want to weaken the drawers by removing the front dovetails, so I started 5" back from the front, and cut a rectangle out, reusing the old pieces I cut out.   I did take a picture of the back side of the entire piece, but it was getting pretty dark out and it wasn't the greatest picture.
I filled the holes in the two large drawers, and then painted a celtic interweave design on the drawer fronts.

I lightly sanded the stenciling then gave the entire piece 3 coats of spar varnish, which is used on boats.  Since this is going to go into a room full of moisture, I wanted to protect the wood.  The top got an additional 5 coats of varnish.  I also used steel wool on the pulls to bring out a little of the brass - although I liked the old patina so I didn't polish much.

We still have to mount the sink to the top and add the faucet, but for now, the main part of the cabinet is done, and I'm happy with it.  The oak finish was so pretty didn't want to cover it all up (originally I was going to paint the entire bottom along with the drawers), so we decided to use a fairly dense stencil.  I had a hard time picking one out - I was leaning towards some florals but Dale wanted something a little less "girlie."  I think the final choice is perfect for us.  I think it's going to look stupendous against the white walls and marble floor, warming up what could be a pretty cold room!


Isabel said...

Absolutely beautiful. You constantly amaze me.

Anne said...

I cannot wait to see the finished room. It is unbelievable what you will tackle!!

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