As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m a HUGE fan of DIY. I’ll DIY (or at least attempt) almost anything. It’s not just a budget consideration (though my initial rationale does tend to be “that doesn’t look that complicated”), but rather just that I like to make things. I’ve always liked to make things, so now that we have a house (or something that is starting to resemble a livable structure), the husband and I can actually build the things I’ve been asking him to build with me for the past 8 years.We obviously started with the fireplace and shower niches, however, those aren’t furniture so therefore, in my mind, they don’t count. They were necessities that will be hidden away and unless you read this blog, (hopefully) you’ll never notice that they were made by us. Our REAL first foray into DIY furniture happened this past weekend as we finally got to work on the powder room vanity.
I had a very simple design in mind for the powder room vanity that was inspired by a few things that I had seen on Instagram and perusing the internet. Therefore, it would be the perfect first project for us to sink our teeth into. So before we went into a local marble warehouse a few weeks ago looking for a remnant we could use for the top – I quickly sketched what was in my head. The result was this wonky drawing that you see to the right 🙂 I’m no illustrator, but I think it gets the point across and you can follow along with the dimensions and get a basic idea for what it will look like. The exact measurements were not clear until we found what we were looking for in the remnants at the marble shop (a beautiful piece of Carrera marble) so once we left we knew exactly what we needed to do…
Kind of like my last post about winging it, this project went pretty similarly. We knew what the end product should look like and worked backwards. Here’s my first ever tutorial to walk you through how we built our beautiful new vanity!
- 4×4’s for the legs
- 1×2’s for bottom shelf and slats
- 1×4’s for the sides and braces of the top
- 6′ 1×1″
- Ear + eye protection
- Counter sunk drill bit
- 2″ construction screws
- Brad nailer + nails
- Sanding block
- Latex/rubber gloves
- Stain in color of your choice
- Foam paintbrush
- Lint resistant staining applicator sponge
- Cut the 4×4’s down to size based on your height preference for the sink. Don’t forget to factor in how tall your sink is. A standard sink height is 36″ – we cut our legs to 33″.
- Run the legs through a planer until you get the edges to be square and until the legs are the width that you are looking for. (TIP: On the bottom of each leg, label the sides 1-4 so you know which side you’ve planed and which you need to do next. Make sure you run each side through the planer the same number of times to keep things square.)
- Cut the 1×4’s to size to fit the length and width of the vanity you are building. We planed these too just to make sure they had nice edges but this isn’t entirely necessary. (TIP: Draw it. Write it down. Not everyone is like the husband who remembers random numbers forever.)
- Once all of your pieces are cut to size, decide exactly which side of which piece of wood you want to be seen. This is definitely worth the extra step as your wood will likely have flaws in it or you’ll want to show more interesting grain or more simple grain depending on the look you’re going for.
- Using your counter sunk bit, pre-drill holes on the under-side of the 1×4’s where they will be screwed into the legs. This is important because you’re likely not using the best quality wood and it is on the thinner side so you don’t want it to splinter!
- Mark the placement of where you want to put the side pieces compared to the legs. We went about halfway in to give the piece some depth. Make sure to mark all legs on the 2 sides that will be getting attached to side pieces.
- Line up the 1×4 piece with the top of the leg as well as the mark you just made (TIP: The pieces will move a bit as the screw grabs so aim for just over your line). Using your pre-drilled holes, screw in the side pieces one at a time on a sturdy surface until you have a completed frame.
- Cut 4 smaller pieces of the 1×4 you have left over on a 45° angle to reinforce the top of the vanity where the sink is going to go. We cut these to about 5″ each for a reference.
- Cut the 1×2’s down to the same sizes that you used for the top of the vanity. You’ll follow the same steps of marking where they go (we wanted them to be flush with the top frame), pre-drilling the holes and then attaching the pieces.
- Cut the same size pieces one more time out of the 1×2″ to reinforce the shelf or slats you’ll be adding to the bottom.
- (IF USING A SIMILAR SLAT DESIGN TO OURS) Measure and cut your slats to length (remember that the ones on either end will need to be a little shorter!).
- Find and mark the middle of the front and dry fit your slats starting from the middle. We used an extra slat as a spacer as we added them in.
- Once you know everything fits the way you like it, nail the slats in using the Brad nailer with one nail on either end into your support piece.
- Run your hands over the outsides of all of the wood. Wherever you feel anything that is rough or fuzzy, use your sanding block to get it as smooth as you want. You’ll want to use a finishing fine grit since you don’t want to accidentally sand a divet into your beautiful new vanity.
- It’s staining time! Using your foam paint brush, apply a small stripe of stain to one side of a leg. Rub the stain in and around using the sponge until it is evenly applied across the first surface.
- Move on to the next side and keep staining! (This part will take a while).
- If you followed our slat design, you’ll need to really soak the inside corners with stain in order to get all of the cracks. It’ll help to have someone with small fingers to get in there to move it around. (TIP: We had a couple stubborn slats that wouldn’t take the stain evenly so I would recommend going over the slats with your sanding block a bit before you start staining. I think it had to do with how smooth the 1×2’s were.)
- Once you’ve covered the entire vanity (don’t forget the undersides and insides that will be seen!), let it dry and decide if you’re going to put on a second coat.
- TA-DA! Step back and admire your handiwork! (The most important step if you ask me!)
We ended our super productive weekend admiring the view from our newly drywall-ed master bedroom. How can you not with a sunset like this!?
Until next time!
Let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t cover or if anything is confusing!
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