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How to Repurpose a Sideboard into a Sink Vanity

Last week I showed you how I made over the powder room in my house. One of the updates to the room was to repurpose a sideboard into a sink vanity.

Today I am sharing how I did it.
Pottery Barn sunk vanity

When I was gathering ideas for the room, I really liked this sink vanity from Pottery Barn, but not the $2,299 price tag.

How to repurpose furniture into a sink vanity

I was thinking I could make something from scratch, but then got the idea to use the sideboard that was in my kitchen in my previous house as the sink vanity. The top cabinet is a separate piece of furniture that sat on top of the sideboard.

When we moved to Lake Murray, the sideboard (bottom section) didn’t fit anywhere in the new house and was sitting in my bedroom until we could figure out what to do with it.

Repurposed dresser sideboard into a sink vanity

As you can see, it fits perfectly in the powder room.

How to Repurpose a Sideboard into a Sink Vanity

I used a sideboard that had 2 small drawers, two cabinet doors and one large drawer on the bottom. You can create a sink vanity with a dresser or desk as long as the piece will have clearance for the sink and plumbing.  I had to remove the drawers so the sink and plumbing would fit. I had painted the piece with chalk paint and a faux Carrara marble technique on the top a few years ago. It is protected by layers of buffed paste wax.

supplies needed: 

  • Sideboard or dresser
  • Sink with sink template – Home Depot
  • Faucet and plumbing connections
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • Band-It Iron-On Wood Veneer + Trimmer
  • Iron
  • Liquid Nails adhesive
  • Baskets – IKEA
  • Paint and paint brush

Sink template for bathroom vanity

  1. The drop-in sink comes with a paper cutting template. To use it, turn the template to the wrong side. Use a pencil to trace over the oval shape. You will be able to see it through the paper.  Turn the template back to the right side.  Place it on top of the vanity and center it. Draw over the oval with a pencil.

How-to-transfer-a-design-to-paint-on-a-piece-fo-furntiure

2. The pressure of the pencil will transfer the graphite from the penciled oval on the wrong side to the vanity top.

how-to-use-cut-out-a-hole-in-a-counter-for-a-sink

3. Use a drill and drill bit to make a hole large enough to place the jigsaw blade into the top. Cut out the oval with a jigsaw.how-to-make-a-sink-vanity-from-a-dresser-or-piece-of-furniture

4. It will look like this.  As you can see, the 3 drawers have been removed.repurposed-furniture-into-a-bathroom-sink-vanity

5. I also had to remove this center rail that separated the two top drawers.

How-to-repurpose-a-piece-fo-furniture-into-a-bathroom-vanity

6. I then used the jigsaw to cut out enough space on the back and bottom of the sideboard for the plumbing pipes that connect to the wall.

How-to-make-a-sink-counter-vanity-from-old-furniture

7. Ed helped me put the sideboard into place making sure to align the plumbing with the cutout.

inexpensive sink console for a bathroom

8. Drop in the sink and faucet.

how to add the plumbing to a bathroom sink vanity made by repurposing a sideboard

9. Attach the plumbing. Ed did the plumbing and needed to buy new plumbing fittings. 2 connectors for the hot and cold connections and an adjustable pipe since the previous sink drain was much lower and further back.

bathroom-Sink-vanity-ideas

10 Once all the plumbing was attached and working I needed to add the drawers back in. The drawers would not fit since the sink comes down into the drawer space.

Cutting-drawers-for-a-sink-vanity

11. Cut the fronts off each drawer.

how-to-make-a-bathroom-sink-vanity-using-a-piece-of-furniture

I left about 2 inches on each side of the cut drawer fronts so I could glue them into place with Liquid Nails.  They are fake drawers now. :-)

Building-a-bathroom-vanity

12. Instead of faking out the large bottom drawer, I added a piece of plywood to fit into the space to make a shelf to hold baskets.

How to Create a Finished Edge on Plywood

Bandit-Edge Veneer

If you have ever worked with plywood, you know that the edges are unfinished.  To fix this I used iron-on wood veneer edging. It is very easy to use and comes in a few different widths, all are trimable. You can find it in the lumber aisle at the home improvement store.
Tips-when-working-with-plywood-when-making-furniture

  1. First sand the edge of the plywood with 100 grit sandpaper and then clean off the sanding grit.

How-to-finish-the-edge-of-plywood-when-making-furniture

2. Cut a piece of the veneer to the length needed and then use an iron to press it on. It adheres pretty quickly.

Furniture-making-trick

3. Trim any excess on the end with sharp scissors or a craft knife.how-to-cut-iron-on-wood-veneer4. Use the Band-It Edge Trimmer or a craft knife to trim the veneer to the fit the width of the plywood’s edge.

Once it is trimmed, you can paint it and your plywood will look like a better grade of lumber.
instructions-on-how-to-make-a-bathroom-vanity

I used Liquid Nails to attach the plywood shelf.tutorial-on-how-to-repurpose-a-piece-of-furniture-into-a-bathroom-sink-vanity

I painted the shelf with two coats of white paint in a satin finish and let it dry.

How to repurpose a sideboard into a sink vanity for a bathroom

I then placed three IKEA baskets onto the shelf.  I had to cut the center basket in half because the plumbing runs up in the center of the vanity.

To do this, I used a hand saw to cut the basket in half and then pushed the two sections of the cut basket together so they overlapped to create a much smaller basket that still looks the same from the front.

Creating the vanity from the sidebar was much easier to do than I expected. Making the first cut into the top was the hardest only because once you cut the hole for the sink, your committed and there is no going back to using the piece as it was originally intended.  I am thrilled how it came out and best of all we saved ourselves $1000 or more by DIY’ing and repurposing.

To see more about how I transformed this powder room, click here: Quiet Chic: Powder Room Makeover

To learn how to paint a faux Carrara Marble top, click here:  Faux Carrara Marble Painting Technique

Repurpose a sideboard or dresser into a sink vanity. It is easier than you think to do.

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23 Comments

  1. This is a great idea and your instructions are great. now I just need to find out how to demo what i have thanks so much!!!

  2. Wow that is just amazing. I am now seeking an old cabbienet to upgrade to my bathroom and save myself some money .. thanks for all the great ideas ..

  3. Your vanity is gorgeous! I love the faux marble top. I read your post on painting it and am intrigued. I definitely want to try that. Where do you get the pieces of marble to use as a visual?

    1. Thanks Kim – You can get the marble tiles at any tile or home improvement store. They are sold by the tile or you may have to buy a box of 6 or so at some stores. Ask at a tile shop if they have any samples. They usually do and will give you one.

  4. Incredible job, Diane! Wow – it is so stunning and a perfect knock off. Even better, you already had it and needed to find spot for it. Awesome!!

  5. Oh so totally beyond fantastic! I want to copy thiis redo like all before. Love, love, love this redo!

  6. A big project, to my way of seeing things! I also have a vanity waiting to be installed, but it looks like such an undertaking, I haven’t worked up the nerve! I have the faucet, sink, and vanity, just as purty as anything, but right now, it’s a place for my laundry basket in the basement! I am going to keep this article so I may find inspiration to actually get it done, someday! Your vanity looks better than brand new, too!

  7. Your vanity is stunning! And you made the transition from buffet to vanity look so easy….kudos to you and Ed! ;)

  8. Diane, once again you have educated me. Thank you! Your vanity looks great, although I was a little sad that you had to sacrifice the 2 drawers (I’m such a storage junkie!). It looks great. Kudos to you and Ed!

  9. Your post just solved one of my current plumbing problems! I replaced my old cultured marble sink top with a new quartz countertop (craigslist score!) which I trimmed to fit with my angle grinder and then added drop in porcelain sinks. The first sink install went perfectly but when installing the second sink my arms were getting tired of holding it from below while lying on my back under the sink and It is not sitting perfectly flush with the countertop but just every so slightly out of level.

    It looks fine but now the tailpiece doesn’t line up with the P trap anymore – it’s just very slightly off because of the sink’s slight misalignment which is enough to cause a teensy leak when a full sink is emptied.

    I’ve been mulling this dilemma for months trying to avoid cutting all the caulk holding the sink in place and repositioning it. None of this was fun to do alone the first time and I definitely didn’t want to do it again!

    Then in your post above I saw the flexible tailpiece! Didn’t know about those — problem solved!

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  10. Beautiful job on the project and excellent documentation on how to do it! Very nicely done. You were very creative in making it work with what you had.

  11. I have wanted to do this in my bathroom for a long time. Your instructions on how you did it are excellent and now I feel confident that my husband and I can do it. I love how you shopped your house for this project, using your sideboard and the Ikea baskets.. Great idea to cut the one basket in half, making it fit the space. I love the whole room!

  12. Hi Diane,
    I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a while but this is the first time that I have commented. Your sideboard is is beautiful and timeless looking. Cheers to you (and Ed) for your creativity and talent.

    What I m most grateful for are your step by step instructions that make this project seem doable even to some of
    us DIYers that don’t own power tools. Thank you also for the photos beside each instruction step. I will be saving this to my Pinterest board called” Fancy Schmancy Bathrooms,” and just in case, my other Pinterest board, ” I Can Fix It.”

    May God Richly Bless you,
    Sincerely,
    Nancy from Canada

  13. Did you seal the top of the dresser to protect it from water being splashed? Looks beautiful – and it is a piece you loved to begin with!

    1. Hi Deb – Yes, the top of the vanity has 4 coats of paste wax buffed on it. I did this when I first painted the piece a few years ago. I added one more coat and buffed it to a shine when we finished putting it into the powder room. If I ever see water not beading on the top, I will add another coats of paste wax.

  14. Oh my stars, gorgeous! I like yours MUCH better than the Pottery Barn version! More character!! Thanks always for all the great details. :)