Douglas Adams and Liz Mundle with finished vanity
Steps // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity
1 ×

Overview to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

 
Step One // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Overview to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

a collection of wood, a porcelain sink, a faucet, and adhesives for turning a plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity
Photo by Mark Lund

"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.

 
2 ×

Cut the Parts

 
Step Two // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Cut the Parts

Doug Adams and Liz Mundle measure the underside of the sink
Photo by Mark Lund

Measure the underside of the sink. Cut three lengths of 2x2 cedar, mitered at the joining ends, to create a U-shaped frame along the sides and front edge.

 
3 ×

Make the Frame

 
Step Three // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Make the Frame

Doug Adams and Liz Mundle clamp the joints with a nailer
Photo by Mark Lund

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.

 
4 ×

Build the Shelf

 
Step Four // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Build the Shelf

constructing the vanity frame
Photo by Mark Lund

Cut four more lengths of 2x2 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.

 
5 ×

Notch the Legs

 
Step Five // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Notch the Legs

Liz Mundle and Doug Adams notching the vanity legs with a miter
Photo by Mark Lund

Measure the height of the front edge of the sink, then subtract that from 36 inches. Cut two 4x4 front legs and a pair of 2x2 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.

 
6 ×

Join the Legs to the Frame

 
Step Six // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Join the Legs to the Frame

Liz Mundle and Doug Adams glue the vanity legs to the shelf
Photo by Mark Lund

Add glue to the shelf notches and press them in place around the shelf. Then fasten the shelf with finish nails.

 
7 ×

Add the Top Frame

 
Step Seven // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Add the Top Frame

Liz Mundle and Doug Adams glue the top frame to the vanity legs
Photo by Mark Lund

Dab more glue onto the upper notches and drop the sink frame in place. Fit the towel rod into the pockets, no glue necessary.

 
8 ×

Buff on Tung Oil

 
Step Eight // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Buff on Tung Oil

Doug Adams and Liz Mundle rub tung oil onto the vanity frame
Photo by Mark Lund

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.

 
9 ×

Add the Faucet

 
Step Nine // How to Turn a Plain Sink into a Cedar Vanity

Add the Faucet

adding a faucet to the bathroom sink
Photo by Mark Lund

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.

 
 

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