DIY Bathroom Vanity – Dry Sink to Real Sink


Where to begin on this one….

There was a bathroom vanity in my house that HAD to come out.  Was it ugly?  Not really. Was it too small?  A little…but it wasn’t a big deal.  So, what was the problem?  Apparently, a dog had resided in that bathroom and lifted it’s leg frequently to urinate on that vanity.  When I say frequently, I can’t even imagine how often it happened, but it was enough to make people gag walking by the room.

I can’t think of anything much more disturbing to me than people or animals being mistreated, and I can’t get over the dog in the bathroom scenario, but it was obvious that’s where the dog spent a good amount of time.

The urine vanity was placed on the curb, and someone hauled off with it.  Well, folks, you know what they say about getting something for nothing.  It wasn’t a buyer beware scenario, so more power to the person who put that in the back of his truck.

Onto my plan:  there was a double sink vanity placed in a downstairs bathroom.  It was a small bathroom, and the double sink made no sense in it.  Just having another person in that bathroom was cause for claustrophobia.

After pricing out vanities, I decided I wanted something more fun and different to look at – something that was more like a piece of art than just a bathroom vanity.  After seeing so many, I started thinking, “Boring, boring, boring…expensive…boring.”  I believe people should love looking at things in their homes, and enjoy what they see.  Why not have a little fun with it?

I got this idea in my head to get a dry sink and install a vessel sink onto it.  I went to thrift stores attempting to find a dry sink.  It had to have the sink area on a particular side, and I had to be able to turn it into something I loved.

The first day I looked, I found it.  The problem was that I was forced to take a hutch home with it (more on that later because I didn’t waste the hutch).  I believe my original pictures of the entire item are on another hard drive, but if I ever find them, I’ll post them later.


So, this is the ugly mess of a dry sink I had (doors removed).  I wanted to place a vessel sink there, and it already had a water proof top (this was not an antique version of a dry sink).  I drilled holes through for the sink opening and for the faucet.


Due to having to drill holes through and having to put pipes through the drawer area, I figured I would just remove the drawer front of the drawer that was originally there and just screw it in to the front to cover where the drawer was originally.  My husband said, “Can’t you just cut the drawer in half?  I mean, with having a house full of girls, wouldn’t that serve a purpose?”  Um…yes??!!!  Of course, it would serve a purpose!  That’s a classic makeup drawer, isn’t it?  It could hold hair brushes or curling irons.  YES, IT WOULD SERVE A PURPOSE!


With that, I cut a drawer in half.  I notched the back to fit over the edges, added glue, and put screws in through the back to secure it.  I cut the bottom slider piece to size and glued that on as well.  I’ll give my husband credit for that idea.  <—This should earn me extra brownie points, no?

Neither one of the drawers had stops.  I created two drawer stops with leftover wood from cutting the drawer down.  I cut two small pieces that could be screwed into the top part of each drawer.  When the drawer is inserted into the space, I can turn the wood piece up to prevent the drawer from falling out.



The original piece had hinges on the front that let down a door.  I filled in the hinge areas and sanded them down.  You can see there were two wood pieces on each side of the front drawer that would pull out for this hinged piece to lay.  I screwed those in on the side so they would no longer pull out.


I wanted to use a chalk paint on this piece, but knew that a chalk paint wouldn’t survive too well in the bathroom.  I decided to create a chalk paint anyways and used an outdoor polyurethane in order to stand up to the abuse of girls at a vanity.

After the first coat of polyurethane, I sanded with a 220 grit paper.  Then, I wiped it down with mineral spirits.  After the second coat, I used a 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and put mineral spirits on it to sand it.  It was smooth to the touch.

I bought new knobs and pulls in a nickel color that would go with a faucet I picked out.  I really liked the original decorative hinges that came with this piece.  I cleaned them up and spray painted them with a hammered silver paint.  I stuck the screws into a box to spray paint the tops.


I knew the polyurethane was going to change the color of my paint.  I was pleasantly surprised with the change.  It turned into a green color that went well with a stone bowl I had purchased.

I fell in love with the final piece.  Hey, my style might not be everyone’s style, but the point is that ideas can generate ideas, and who knows what YOU might create.


There’s more to come involving this project, but the goal was to replace one vanity with another without spending hundreds of dollars.  Using furniture for vanities is a great way to go if you don’t want to spend thousands on a large vanity and are tired of seeing the same old things in bathrooms.


Related posts

6 thoughts on “DIY Bathroom Vanity – Dry Sink to Real Sink

  1. Another amazing find AND creation! I need your eye for possibilities. When I go looking for a project…I am having trouble visualizing my END result! That is my challenge….so I ask…being new to your blog..have u ever had any END results that were not exactly according to original plan??

    1. Donna

      This one! I actually wanted to refinish the wood. When I started to strip the stain off, the wood was incredibly ugly. Also, I was going to use a different vessel sink, but the paint color changing from a blue gray to a green with polyurethane made me decide to go a different route. I just go with the flow because, even though it wasn’t like I planned, it still turned out great. So, I just keep an open mind and step back and say, “Hey, this wasn’t how I thought it would be, but I like it!” I knew the poly was going to change the color, but I needed a poly strong enough to stand up to a bathroom. And, hey, if the paint ever chips somehow, it’s a distressed look already. 🙂

  2. Isabel

    Absolutely Beautiful! Love everything about this project, you did an awesome job!

  3. Jennifer Minemier

    I have been in the kitchen and bath industry for 15 years. What you did was amazing! you turned a piece of nothing into something that looks custom, and expensive. good thought process, creative ideas -great job.

    1. Donna

      Thanks, Jennifer! I take that as a huge compliment. 🙂

  4. You are so amazingly creative- I’m impressed!!

Leave a Reply to Jennifer Minemier Cancel reply