What do you do when bathroom vanities at big box stores just don’t fit your space, style or budget?
Build your own, of course!
We’re just about finished the powder room transformation at the Mod House Project and I’m dying to share it all. . .
However today, it’s all about the bathroom vanity plans, which turned out to be quite an amazing DIY project 😉
As you recall, we wanted to replace our pedestal sink with something a little more stylish and functional. Pedestal sinks don’t provide any storage so it was important to create a simple storage solution for basic toiletries. I envisioned something that was sleek, a tad rustic but open and airy.
This is our first time creating a DIY vanity and our simple structure turned out better than we thought!
What do you think?
For this project you will need:
- IKEA LILLÅNGEN single bowl
- 2 pieces – 4″x4″x8′ for the legs
- 2 pieces- 2″x4″x8′ for the connecting pieces
- 1 piece -1″x3″x8′ for shelf (or 3″ MDF strips)
- 12 corner braces + pack of 2-1/2″ wood screws
- MINWAX Stain Cloths + polyurethane
Tools: drill, measuring tape, pencil
Average Cost: $143.30 (CND)
Time: two days
The design all began with the sink. We were looking for something with clean lines and a thick base. IKEA has some really sleek sink options at affordable prices so we ended up purchasing the LILLÅNGEN single bowl for $90. The dimensions of the sink are 24″W x 16″D x 5″H which is key to know when figuring out the measurements for the wood frame.
The standard height of a vanity ranges from 30″-36″. Since we are pretty tall people, we typical prefer a slightly higher sink level. We opted for a total vanity height of 35″ for this project.
We took a stroll through Home Depot’s lumber department and decided 4×4’s and 2×4’s were the size we wanted to work with. I was pretty insistent that I wanted thick legs for this vanity.
To make this project even easier, you can get all your pieces pre-cut from Home Depot. The lumber associates will cut your wood pieces on these huge saws, which saves you the time, energy and a big mess at home.
4 pieces – 4×4’s @ 30″ for the legs
4 pieces – 4×2’s @ 16″ front and back connecting pieces
4 pieces – 4×2’s @ 8.5″ side connecting pieces
7 pieces – 1×3’s @ 11.5″ for lower shelf
With all your pieces at home, you are ready to assemble.
You want to start by building the front and back of the base using the measurements in the above image.
Since these 4×4’s have rounded edges (and you can’t line up the 2×4’s for a flush look), you must offset the apron piece by a 1/4″ on all the 2×4’s, just as we’ve done here. . .
We used corner braces to assemble the pieces together from the inside of the vanity. This gave us a strong hold but when we went around to view the vanity from the front, we noticed a slight gap forming where the 4×4″ and 2×4″ met.
In order to fix this, we needed to create pocket holes, which is a hidden drill hole that a screw sinks into at an angle to fasten two pieces of wood together. However, since we don’t have the right tool (a driver) to create pocket holes, we literally just put the 2-1/2″ screw on an angle and drilled them right through. It did the job!
For the lower apron pieces, which is the shelf, we positioned this 4-1/2″ from the bottom of the 4×4’s (floor). You want to keep in mind that you need sufficient space for your drain pipes so adjust accordingly.
Next we need to attach the side pieces which will eventually connect the back and front frame together to create a single unit.
Take the 8-1/2″ pieces of 2×4’s (which are the shortest cuts) and configure them at the same level as your other 2×4’s from Step 3. Make sure to offset these as well. Use corner braces and screws to secure.
Once you have secured all four 8-1/2″ connecting pieces, lay it on the floor upright. Place the reminder frame on top and fasten together to create one single unit.
To make sure you’re on the right track. Dry fit your sink. Simply place it on top of your newly built vanity frame and make sure everything lines up exactly. You want to make sure the sink sits flush on the wood. If for any reason something is not levelled or sitting properly, this is the time to go back and adjust.
Just to be sure we created a sturdy frame—the hubby and I spend the next five minutes using it as a jungle gym.
Solid as rock!
In order to prep for staining, we sanded the frame completely for a smooth finish.
Although shelving will be added afterwards, we did create the lip where the shelf will sit on top.
We simply used left over molding from our walls (you can use 1×3’s) and secure it 1″ below the 2×4’s as we’ve done here.
Since this tutorial is all about ease and simplifying things, this product from MINWAX makes staining a breeze. They literally work just like wet wipes. . . only this package comes with gloves.
Pull back the resealable label and pull out one stain cloth at a time. They work well for this type of project.
However, I did have a hard time deciding what colour to use—Walnut, Chestnut or Dark Mahogany.
I tested all three stains on a scrap piece of wood and brought it to the powder room.
I ended up liking Walnut best (first one on the left).
Then I went to town with the staining cloths.
I ended up using one pack of cloths on this vanity which, I generously put on.
To protect the vanity frame and to seal in the colour, I finished off with a water based polyurethane in a satin finish.
For the shelf, we used some left over 3″x5/8″ strips of MDF that we used on our ceiling (which is another project that I will share with you next week). Since you may not have this on hand, you can use 1×3’s. You will need 1-8′ length, which will be enough to give you 7 pieces at 11-1/2″.
Each piece you cut will sit directly on top of the lip we created in Step 6.
Keep in mind, the two pieces on either end will require a little bit of notching so that the piece can fit around the leg.
Once you stain or paint your strapping, install and use a bead of caulking for a clean finish.
Once you’re ready, silicone your sink to the wood frame and you’re complete!
Let is sit for 24 hours before you connect your drains.