Masterbath {Turning a Dresser into a Vanity}


I wanted to show you the progress we’ve made in our masterbath.  We are converting an antique dresser into our vanity.


Do you remember the antique furniture piece I got at the Habitat Store for $50 back in September?

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You can read about my find HERE.

Well, then I showed you some inspiration pictures of turning a dresser into a vanity in this post. We also discussed whether to put one sink or two in our vanity.  Though many of you thought we had to have two sinks in the master bathroom.  Many of you (and me) thought one sink would look best with this piece of furniture. 

I was so excited when one of my readers showed me how she turned the exact piece of furniture into a vanity in her own home.


It really got me excited to see the potential in my little dresser.

Getting a custom cut sink top for our dresser was out of our budget, so we decided to go with a drop-in sink for ours.

The bottom pieces of the dresser were not in the best shape.  They were falling off the dresser.  haven 010

So Cy took those pieces off, applied some PL Adhesive to them, and then nailed them back on to the dresser.

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He did this on the sides and front of the dresser.

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haven 015The top of the dresser wasn’t in the best shape, so we sanded it down so we could put a new coat of stain on it.  Cy started sanding the surface with an 80 grit, then a 120 grit, and then finished with a 220 grit for a smooth surface.

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Cy put one coat of Minwax Walnut stain on the top part of the dresser.  Although the dresser was a cherry dresser, we felt like the Walnut stain matched close enough.

Then we did a light coat of Minwax Walnut stain all over the rest of the dresser.  The top of the dresser got 5 coats of oil-based satin polyurethane.  Cy used 220 grit sandpaper between each coat.

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He applied only one coat of polyurenthane over the rest of the dresser.

It was looking better already.

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We purchased a drop-in sink from Lowe’s to install into our new “vanity.”

The sink came with a template to cut out to help you fit it into the vanity top.

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Once Cy cut it out, he measured the vanity to make sure the sink bowl would be centered on the piece.

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As you can see, we had to remove the first couple of drawers to make room for the new sink.

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Cy traced the sink bowl template with a pen, pressing hard to create a mark in the wood.

Then he used a drill to create a hole near the cut-out line.

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Next, he started at the hole he had just drilled and used his jigsaw to cut on the line.

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With a steady hand and just a few seconds later, we had a hole for our sink!

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Cy then had to use his jigsaw again to cut out the wood beneath the top of the dresser where the bowl would sit.

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We placed the sink bowl in the dresser and it fit perfectly.  Smile

Then Cy used a very small bead of silicone caulk to seal the sink around the edges.


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He also had to cut out a little more of the inside of the dresser to make room for the plumbing.


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The top three drawers will not be functioning drawers.  But that is okay.  We will be able to use the bottom drawer, the two sides drawers, and the two side doors.  There is a ton of room in this dresser/vanity!


Stayed tune to see our vanity all decked out with new plumbing and a new faucet. 

I cannot wait!

What do you think about our new DIY vanity?

P.S.  If you are not following me on twitter or facebook, you are missing out on the fun stuff.  Here’s a pic I share of my boys while we were at Lowe’s last night picking out our vanity sink…

539666_10150974990324566_1761713299_nI can’t take them anywhere! Smile


  1. it looks so pretty!!! and your boys remind me of mine. I’m sure if i didn’t trap them in the cart they would be doing this same thing! It’s never dull with boys!


  2. It looks amazing so far! I love what you’re doing with the dresser! Using only one sink was definitely the right choice. I would love to do this one day…

  3. I am in love!!!!1 Been waiting for the transformation for the longest time! It is going to be absolutely stunning in your master bath! Can’t wait to see the whole finished project!

  4. I love it! I need to find a restore around me!

    FWIW I’ve never regretted the extra counter real estate gained by only having one bathroom sink! I’d love to see a poll of how many people actually use both at once.

  5. It’s beautiful! We did something similar in one of our bathrooms. Our home is over 100 years old (sounds more fun than it is!). We found an old wash stand and put a white vessel sink on it. Everyone just loves it!

  6. Looking good Traci!! I’m planning a similar project for one of our bathrooms. Have the perfect piece of furniture to use, but I’m petrified of demolition! It’s the only thing that’s holding me up. That and not having a handy husband like yours to help. ;)

  7. I love this idea. Talked to my hubby about it and he was not for the project so… we will settle for something else. I love the creativity and thinking out of the box.

  8. Nice! We also (mother’s day weekend) turned a dresser into a double vessel sink vanity. I don;t have a blog though. Hmm.. might have to share with you. Luv yours!! Ours came out really nice as well.
    Been a few weeks of redo at our home….

  9. Gorgeous!! I often forget about the Habitat Store… thanks for the reminder! And that pic of your boys makes me LOL. Actually ROFL. And LMAO. All of the above. Those “Y chromosomes” as I call mine make for lots of adventures, don’t they?
    xo Heidi

  10. I’m so jealous! I have a dresser that I’m currently using but as soon as I can buy a new one I’m saving the old one to use like this. Can’t wait to see more!

  11. Hey sweet girl! I’m so glad for you! The dresser is going to make an absolutely beautiful vanity. And now that you’re finished with Haven, hopefully you’ll have lots of time to devote to working on your house.

    I just know that everyone who met you at Haven loved you! Was it as much fun as you had hoped it would be?

    Love you!

  12. Hey Traci! My mom did the exact same thing. But she modified the top drawers so that they were still somewhat functional. If you want I can e-mail you pictures of what she did. She LOVES her vanity too!

  13. Oh, another beautiful project. That picture of your boys is out of this world. They are so cute. The only thing missing is Jonathan singing on the john. (Ha-Ha) Thanks for the post.

  14. I have an antique cherry bedroom set that I’ve owned since a was a teenager. I also used the Minwax walnut stain to refurbish the tops because it matched to aged cherry perfectly!

  15. Following you on FB..yay! Good gosh I am in love with your vanity progress! Our house is only 4 years old and I want to tear out our vanity and do this… Don’t think the husband is going to go for that though! Guess I’ll just enjoy yours from afar! LOL

  16. Oh my Traci – I would have been a nervous wreck watching my husband cut through the dresser. It is going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to see it finished. That drop in sink is perfect too!

    Now, about those boys! THEY ARE ADORABLE. But now that picture of Jonathan may come back to haunt him one day during his singing career!!!;) Gotta love em! If you scrapbook at all, that is one pic, I would definitely scrapbook!!!

    Have a super week!

    Marilyn C.

  17. I am so happy you are doing this so I can show my hubby and say SEE! They are doing it, its NOT WEIRD! :-D I have a HUGE buffet I bought for this same reason, but he is not quite on board. I am working on him. Yours is gonna look great and I cant wait to see the end result. That pic of your boys is hilarious!

  18. You got this piece for almost free. I have two pieces almost identical (20 yrs ago). You have every right to be proud! Normally I don’t like to see antiques turned into uniques, however, this was done with respect and admiration for the quality and integrity of the piece. They were made during WWII and have stood the test of time. Well done! Proceed with vigor!!

  19. So pretty! so you are leaving it just finished in wood on top? Can’t wait to see it all finished and in place in your beautiful new bathroom!

    Would love to do this in our half bath. We have a pedestal sink in our half bath and I would love to find a small dresser/stand to put in there! :)

  20. Love it! I think if you modify the top drawers by cutting out where the pipe goes you could still use them! Might think about doing this for an upcoming bathroom addition next month! Great job!

  21. I love your vanity! It is beautiful!
    I just love the idea of re-purposing an antique piece into a functional piece. And it is perfect for your farmhouse vibe.
    (What is it about boys and toilets? I have a similar picture of my son on a toilet that had been removed from my parents’ house in a remodel. Sheesh! :-D )

  22. I love it! You and your husband make such a great DIY team! Having all of that storage is going to be incredible. Am I right in assuming those outlets are going to house sconce lighting?? Can’t wait to see how this all comes together, Traci

  23. That’s going to look great! Now I’m kicking myself that I had a buffet similar to that and got rid of it! Can’t wait to see it all put together!

  24. Oh my your boys are crackin’ me up! Mine would do the same too I’m sure! This vanity is exciting! What a project to undertake! Great job so far. Looking forward to the finished results!

  25. Well done to you! Your resourcefulness is an excellent example of hard work and determination to be wise with what you have. Thank you for encouraging me to realize that hard work and budgeting carefully can bring excellent results. I think your bathroom vanity is so much better than what you could have purchased brand new. Well done to your husband for painstaking work. You two are very special.

  26. Oh my, beautiful sink and vanity. Cy is doing a great job. I am loving those walls and floors in their too.
    I am almost fell off my chair when I saw your last photo. Too funny. They are just keeping it real for you Traci. : ) You gotta love that.
    have a great day!

  27. Oh, it’s gorgeous! I need to spend more time in our Habitat store. It looks really great and I can’t wait to see it finished!

  28. What a great idea! The custom sink top version is very pretty but I love the drop in sink. Almost looks like those victorian bowl-and-pitcher vanities. Can’t wait to see the finished piece!

  29. I love how your vanity is turning out! I love using something that no one else saw any possibilities with and giving I a new life. You guys are doing an amazing job!

  30. Beautiful! The pinterest pic looks like you had a custom countertop cut for it. Did you? Also, one more question. How did you do your walls? Is it mdf? Is it nailed right to wall with one piece stacked on top of the other? Love the look. :D

  31. Your ‘dresser’ is actually a Duncan Phyfe sideboard – I have one exactly like it. It belonged to my Grandma’s dining set. It looks beautiful as a vanity!

  32. That’s actually a Duncan Phyfe sideboard/buffet. My mom has this exact piece of furniture. It looks cool, but my mom would KILL me if I did that to it. Although, admittedly, hers is in better shape than this one was. :D

  33. Hi! I’m going to do this soon and was wondering how the polyurethane held up on the top of the vanity – debating if we should purchase a countertop or not – what would you advise (we have little ones running around) – thanks!

  34. Did you finish installing your sink and faucets? Looking to see the final product. I am trying to talk my husband into turning our antique server into our new vanity.

  35. Beautiful & functional re-purposed antique, while preserving the natural wood. Thank you for describing how to create it with simple directions & photos for each step.- Extremely helpful for a novice like me.

  36. What did you have to do to the drawers to change them to fit the plumbing and the bowl? I have a dresser I would like to do this to. thanks.

  37. I have had a very similar buffet for years and it fits perfectly in the master bathroom so Im going to bite the bullet and use it as our vanity. Hoping to make it work for two small sinks. My husband is not exactly enthusiastic that it will work.

  38. How is the top holding up with just poly on it? I’m thinking of using resin (or whatever that really tough stuff is called). But is poly enough?

  39. I noticed that the finished photo shows a white top, but you never explained what you used to achieve that. Could you describe what you used?

    1. Hi Melissa!
      The picture of the vanity with the white countertop is not mine. It was an inspiration photo that I used. My vanity has a wood top. Hope that helps! :)

  40. My husband and I just bought a similar dresser today. He is very handy and we both love Home Improvement. We have done a lot of work on our home and we are working on the main bathroom now. He has already installed subway tile in the tub surround. He will tile the floor and then we will install the new vanity it is going to be so beautiful. I told him the vanity is like jewelry for the bathroom. We enjoyed reading your tips and I’m sure they will help us a lot. Thank you so much for sharing!

  41. I think it looks great! My husband is capable of doing it but he’s reluctant because he thinks it will be next to impossible to get in there to hook up all the plumbing. Was this part difficult? Do you have any tips?

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