Tools & Materials
Turn an inexpensive wall-mount sink into a vanity using cedar, which doesn’t mind getting a little wet.
Could you do better? It’s your turn to make use of any scraps you’ve got lying around, supplemented, of course, by one or three trips to the home center, to build a project of your own.
We’re calling it the #DIYDARE. Check out our examples to get inspired, then snap a photo and of your project and tag it #DIYdare when you post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. (HASH)Tag, you’re it.
Overview to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity
“A sink? What are we gonna do with a sink?” Doug asked when Liz told him it’d be part of their #DIYDare challenge. “And cedar posts, too? We’re doomed.” “Relax,” said Liz, measuring a length of cedar to vanity height. “We’re gonna clean up.”
Doug immediately got it, and, relieved, began to draw an open but storage-friendly base for the $32 sink’s square edges to sit on. A shelf and a towel bar completed the sketch.
They built a rim for the sink to rest on with cedar, nails, and glue. Then Liz notched the legs with the miter saw to accept the shelf. Once the legs and shelf were assembled, they rubbed on a coat of tung oil to add luster and some protection to the piece, which now appeared far pricier than the sink’s original cost.
“Yes indeed, clean up,” Doug said, thinking of winning the #DIYDARE, before Liz added, “You know, I meant that literally,” and handed him a bar of soap.
Cut the Parts
Measure the underside of the sink. Cut three lengths of 2×2 cedar, mitered at the joining ends, to create a U-shaped frame along the sides and front edge.
Make the Frame
After dry-fitting the parts, apply glue to the end grain of the miters. Use 18-gauge finish nails to clamp the joints while the glue dries.
Build the Shelf
Cut four more lengths of 2×2 cedar to make a rectangular shelf frame about an inch smaller than the sink. Then use a table saw, or a router, to cut rabbets 1 inch deep and wide in each piece. The grooves support the 5/4 cedar decking that forms the shelf. Use glue and finish nails to assemble the frame. Cut lengths of decking to fit inside the frame and attach them with nails.
Notch the Legs
Measure the height of the front edge of the sink, then subtract that from 36 inches. Cut two 4×4 front legs and a pair of 2×2 back legs to that length with a miter saw. Then use the saw to cut notches that accept the sink’s frame on one end of all four legs and more notches to hold the shelf about 6 inches in from the other ends. Drill a pair of matching holes in the front legs to hold the wood dowel.
Join the Legs to the Frame
Add glue to the shelf notches and press them in place around the shelf. Then fasten the shelf with finish nails.
Add the Top Frame
Dab more glue onto the upper notches and drop the sink frame in place. Fit the towel rod into the pockets, no glue necessary.
Buff on Tung Oil
Once the glue dries, use a lint-free rag to buff on two coats of tung oil finish. Rest the frame on its side and coat the bottom of the legs with the oil to prevent them from absorbing water.
Add the Faucet
While the finish dries, install the faucet. Add a bead of silicone to the top edge of the sink frame, then drop the sink in place so its back edge sits flush with the frame.