Bathroom vanity

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Project by HobbyJeff posted 09-27-2021 02:11 AM 698 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished what I would call my first “professional” piece of woodworking – a new bathroom vanity. Why do I consider it professional? Well, it’s going in my bathroom after the remodel that my house is undergoing is done. The backstory is that we searched and could not find a vanity to fit the size that we liked. We found things that were close but they were sooooo expensive (i.e. $1,000+) and they weren’t the right color or didn’t support a vessel sink or whatever. So my wife convinced me that I owed her something for all of the woodworking tools she’s let me buy!

This is the original design – if anyone is interested in the Sketchup file, just let me know. I took my wife down to the wood store and she picked out Rift Sawn Oak which had a nice light color and a beach type theme (the walls will be a medium blue).

Here’s the start of the build:

The whole bottom structure is mortise and tenon. Next up is the sides and back.

I used Blum slides for the drawers because I wanted it to be as smooth as possible. I’ve never used them before, but now that I’ve used them I’m never going back to regular slides if I can avoid them. I love these slides and they are perfect.

The drawer fronts are shaker style to go with the rest of our remodel and they are all five piece. Not perfect – I found out that it’s probably easier to do rail and styles on a table saw rather than a router table. I screwed up a bit so the fit isn’t perfect, but with a lot of sanding I got close. Surround is 1/8” on all sides and I found great spacers on Amazon that made life a lot easier. The center top drawer is for show but does come out if necessary to access the plumbing.

Also, I have never made a vanity before – I had the luxury of checking with my contractor for spacing required for the plumbing so you can see I went back and cut out the back and the sides of the supports for the drawers in the center. In the end we had to move the plumbing up the wall by six inches. Lesson learned – check the spacing of the plumbing coming out of the wall if you want to save yourself money.

Here’s the final vanity all done:

As you can see, I got it pretty close to the original design and the grate at the bottom is removable just in case something gets dropped underneath or it needs to be cleaned.

Now, for the fun part – the finishing coat. I learned a lesson here – fortunately it wasn’t costly, just really annoying.

it’s hard to see what’s going on here, but basically, rift sawn oak is a very light wood. We were trying to coat it (because bathroom!) in a urethane or polyacrylic) so it wouldn’t absorb water and would be easily washable. At the same time, we didn’t want to darken it or turn it amber. Sigh…

The red rectangle is Minwax Crystal Clear Satin (all of these are water based). After the fact I discovered in ridiculously tiny print that it says it may turn light colored wood amber – it did.

The purple rectangle is Helman (also a minwax brand) clear satin. It wasn’t as dark, but it was dark enough (the picture doesn’t quite do it justice).

The green rectangle is another Minwax rub on crystal clear satin but it’s a different formulation. Again, too dark.

The yellow box is Varthane spray on satin. I sprayed it on and rubbed it in with a rag. It still turned it amber, but it was so little it was negligible after I sanded it with 800 grit.

Fortunately this side is against the wall so it will never be seen.

9 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20663 posts in 2227 days

#1 posted 09-27-2021 02:29 AM

damn nice work,id call it pro too,because it’s probably better than most so called pros would do.hey keep the wife happy and more tools for you.ya gotta pay the piper-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile


8858 posts in 1817 days

#2 posted 09-27-2021 03:18 AM

A very clean look, so if it ticks off the requirements for size, and style you’ve done well. Hopefully you had fun doing it, and saved a wad of cash. Nice work

-- Think safe, be safe

View Underdog's profile


1751 posts in 3278 days

#3 posted 09-27-2021 11:12 AM

Just curious what the material cost was?

That’s a really nice design and build!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View controlfreak's profile


2890 posts in 844 days

#4 posted 09-27-2021 01:24 PM

I like it and making the bottom removable for cleaning is brilliant.

View 987Ron's profile


2187 posts in 559 days

#5 posted 09-27-2021 01:33 PM

really nice design and execution. Good looking as well Nice work

-- Ron

View HobbyJeff's profile


11 posts in 459 days

#6 posted 09-27-2021 02:26 PM

Thanks everyone. @therealSteveN, it was about $650 dollars for the rift sawn oak (from the wood store). It was about $200 for the Poplar for the drawer boxes (Home Depot). I probably could have done it for about $50 less, but I screwed up and needed to go back and fix a little bit.

The drawer slides were $40 each at Rockler (on Amazon they are about $60 each – don’t buy there) and the pulls were around $27 each on (good store, lots of options, lots of supply chain problems right now but these were okay).

Wood is still ridiculously expensive right now. I would estimate that this is about $150 more than I would normally have paid.

So in total it was 1,200. A little more than a quality store bought one I think.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2689 posts in 4396 days

#7 posted 09-27-2021 06:03 PM

Looks good.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View PaxJen's profile


211 posts in 1899 days

#8 posted 09-27-2021 11:23 PM

Nicely done. The financial summary was interesting. Blum is pricey!

-- Pax - Maryland

View Champagne52's profile


6 posts in 53 days

#9 posted 09-30-2021 04:45 PM

Great job! Priceless when you make your own.

-- Denis, Ontario Canada

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