Thursday, June 11, 2009

Master Bath Vanity

Before I get deep in it with a build out of kitchen cabinetry, I decided to test myself with a vanity for our master bath. Before this we had a pedestal sink, which was fine except it had no storage, and we are into storage these days.

I ordered the sink from ebay. It was the right size and shape for what I wanted to build. The legs are from trusty Ikea. The faucet is Hansgrohe. I used the 3/4" birch plywood for the cabinet and doors.

It starts with a plan. It was all in my head until I had the sink and legs in hand, then I could sketch out exact measurements. It was nice leaving the computer out of this project. Sorry computer.


Once again, the courtyard becomes the workshop.


You can see where I'm going here with the pulls. Doors both get a 45º angle cut on the back side where they meet at the top. The panel above them gets one facing out that aligns with both the doors.


Put together. I drilled the holes for the legs before finishing it, so here's a leg test. Okay so far.


Then I dropped the sink in to make sure there wasn't a catastrophic mismeasurement. Still okay!


Now we finish. I've been working on replicating the look of aged lacquer on birch plywood. I've tried a few different things, tung oil, shellac, stains. Tung oil is okay, but seems to work better on solid woods where it can really soak in deeply. Shellac is nice, but a bit too orange. Stains have the same issue as tung oil, in that they just don't seem to penetrate or have enough effect. This time I used Minwax's Polyshades in Pecan, satin. My theory is that most of that warm amber glow on the vintage cabinetry I've seen in the neighborhood is the lacquer yellowing, not a stain or the color of the wood per say. This stuff actually has the color in the polyurethane, so the color sits on top of the wood. I like the way this took and will probably do the same thing again next time.


I used these hinges. They're full-overlay, fully concealed and flush mount. They were easy to install and close nicely.


Installed! The plumbing only took 2 trips to the hardware store. They guy helping me said it would probably take 3.


Sink and faucet.


While I had the table saw out, I ripped a couple matching shelves.

19 comments:

Stephen said...

Just wanted to say this project is a bit of an inspiring for me. I want to delve into some (very) simple cabinetry but I've been so hesitant. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. Your vanity looks great, fits the bathroom perfectly, and probably cost quite a bit less than. Just wondering...would you mind posting your sources for parts (legs and hinges, mainly) and what other materials you used?

rachquiz said...

Matt! It's gorgeous! Can't wait to see it in person. Awesome job :)

Matt said...

Thanks guys!

Stephen, here's a breakdown:
The legs are from Ikea, the Grundtal 2 pack in 8 5/8" height, $15. The hinges are from Rockler (link in the post), $14 a pair. You can buy them locally at their store in Orange. The sink is from ebay... there's a guy on there selling a batch of them from Vegas. Search "European Style Bath Porcelain Drop in Ceramic Sink" and it'll come up if he still has them. That was $160. The faucet is the Hansgrohe Talis in chrome from Pacific Sales, $150. The plywood is the better stuff at Ganahl Lumber (veneer on both sides), $60 for a 4'x8' sheet. Including the finish and a couple plumbing adapters I have about $450 in this total.

jennifer v. said...

wowzers.

Anonymous said...

your other half must be crazy over your skills. definitely makes me want to start building things. thanks for posting the instructions for us buddy!

Babs said...

Great job. We are always interested in ways to make newly stained wood look old. You've done well with your method. I can offer one other way that we used to stain some new wood french door pairs. We wanted the wood stain to complement our old oak floors. After looking at many color swatches, Charles, the cabinetmaker that we work with suggested staining the wood with an orange undercoat, then placing the brown stain over it (after drying). The orange seemed to help to pop the grain on what otherwise was a not very interesting piece of wood. When the brown was applied, it had a much warmer tone than if it had gone on without the orange and the wood grain was beautifully accentuated. Readers may want to experiment with Charles' method!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

Saw you on Apartment Therapy. Wow, fantastic job! I particularly love how you did the handles.

quiltmaster said...

Terrific job. Matt! Has the look of a piece of expensive fine furniture.

d'Auria Groux-Holt said...

As a young woman who dreams of renovating her own house alongside her future husband, I feel so inspired to start building smaller pieces. Your instructions are clean, simple, and not in the slightest bit condescendingly so.

Thank you for sharing your ability to teach!

Abbe said...

Matt, beautiful job! Will you also reveal your mirror source? We're making decisions about a bathroom re-do. Thanks!

Matt said...

Abbe, the mirror is original to the house (1953). I haven't been able to find anyone who makes one similar. Keep an eye out for anyone renovating a mid-century bathroom and you might snag one for free...

Tyler said...

Nice work, Makes me want to get on it and build some jive. Very cool

escapist said...

Looks great! How about the joinery? Just nails?

Matt said...

Since it doesn't move (anchored to the wall), the joinery is just wood glue and nails. The glue is the most important part.

John said...

Good going. I have wanted to do something like that for a long time. I have a Vessel Sink that needs a foundation. Hopefully I can make something sufficient.

Nick said...

Matt, I'm coming to this post late. Great, great job on the vanity. Can you say what kind of cuts, if any, you made where the frame meets? Are they butt joints or did you do a rabbet cut or something else?
Also, love the minimalist, no-hardware-needed look of the doors. What tools did you use to make the door handle cuts and what was your method? Thanks!

Matt said...

Thanks Nick. The joints are just butt joints. My thinking being since the entire vanity is bolted to the wall and doesn't move, that would be sturdy enough. The door pull cuts were made with a jigsaw and a coping saw. The jigsaw tilts to 45º, so I cut the length of the pulls with that. I then used the coping saw on the edges and removed the wood. I left plenty of wood to work with, and took it down slowly with sanding.

vintage tub said...

I have been checking out a few of your article stories and I must say pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I built this! Thank you so much for the plan. I used shorter, tapered wooden legs and pulls for the handles since my plywood didn't seem to be as good of quality. It is very functional and it was easy to put together.