Bathroom Vanity - This one's Josephine!

Submitted by JoanneS on Sun, 07/28/2013 - 09:08

Converted an ordinary bathroom vanity into a Napoleon sink console/vanity. This is the second one I’ve completed, the first was in the hall bathroom which Hubby calls “his” bathroom. Since this one for the master bath is more feminine, I’m calling her Josephine! This was approximately a day and a half project, but spread out over several weekends. I had originally planned to put a faux drawer in front of the sink, and had the drawer front made, but then decided I’d like to try to make some custom drawers in front of the sink to utilize that space. I ended up doing the center drawer fronts twice – on the first try the space in the center was a little too narrow for the knob once the trim was in place. Since the vanity is in a corner, the sink doesn’t fall exactly in the center of the vanity cabinet, leaving it left of center by about an inch. This required different middle drawer sizes with interesting shapes.

The drawers are made from a combination of 3/8” craft boards and 3/8” plywood, ½” craft board, and some ¼” plywood for the bottoms (all of them except the one right of center – that has ¾” plywood for the bottom). The 2 outer drawers also have ¾” S4S as guides.

The doors and drawer fronts are ¼” birch plywood cut to size, with ½” x 1 ½” craft boards glued to the fronts for rails and stiles (I added a few pin nails from the back side also). Inside these, mitered pieces of mini-stop moulding were glued in place. The whole thing received some putty on the edges and joints, and thorough sanding with 80-grit, then 220-grit.

The inside frames are made from S4S, 1x2, and some scraps of 1x4 cut to size. If I were doing this in a newly constructed vanity without the sink already in place, the setup for the drawers would have been much simpler. But, we weren’t ready to buy new yet, so necessity was the mother of invention and we have this. I re-used the hinges and 2 of the knobs from the original, and I bought 4 more and the hardware for the drawers.

The pull-outs in the bottom are made from plywood scraps, thoroughly sanded and painted. These are based on Ana’s wood pull out cabinet drawer organizer, with added supports across the bottom to make the drawer clear the lip of the face frame, keeping them the correct distance apart, and giving something to attach to the cabinet floor.

For the inside floor of the cabinet, I got this Idea from Yvonne at Sunnyside Up-Stairs in this post:…
Left over flooring was placed on the cabinet floor to give it a fresh new look and protect the cabinet bottom. Our house is 21 years old, so you can imagine the floor of the vanity cabinet had seen some wear and tear. Now it looks new!

Estimated Cost
$45 (hardware, craft boards, trim, already had the finishing materials and the rest was scrap on hand)
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Finish Used
This was my first try at home made chalk paint (2 coats). I got a free quart of Clark & Kensington flat paint at Ace, and had them tint it to Benjamin Moore’s Blue Echo color. I made the chalk paint by mixing the paint with some water and plaster of paris. I love how it dries so quickly and covers well, but I missed the sheen of a satin or semi gloss. The glaze is some Minwax Express Color in Walnut. Once everything was dry, it received a top coat of Minwax water based poly. I ran out of that right as I was doing the center drawers, so those have some Oil-modified water based poly. Pull-out drawers are some left over cream paint, and the frames are Ace Royal semigloss in Wishbone. Overall I’m very happy with the finish.
Recommended Skill Level



Sun, 07/28/2013 - 12:25

I love your vanity. Something about it helps me imagine a British nobleman's home, or since she is Josephine, I suppose it would be in the home of a French duchess. =D I really do like the idea of having that pull out drawer on the bottom of the vanity.

I am definitely going to give glazing and distressing a try sometime. I just have to find the right project for the look. Lest I forget, thank you for sharing the link to my site. :)


Sun, 07/28/2013 - 15:57

Thank you so much for the nice comments! I love the idea of a Duchess, I think I'll nickname this finish Duchess Blue! :) I was happy to share your blog link, the idea about the vinyl flooring in the vanity worked like a charm, I'm going to do that in my kitchen and the other bathrooms too.