D.I.Y. bathroom vanity

kirsty cash
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D.I.Y. bathroom vanity

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Project Overview

A vanity is one of the most important features in any bathroom. Not just for its practical use but it can also completely change the look and feel of your space. This timber vanity is easy to make yourself and will add warmth, character and style.

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How to remove nails from wood without damage

You can protect your wood when trying to pull out a nail by using a putty knife underneath your hammer. You’ll avoid bruising your wood and still have plenty of leverage to get the nail out.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark the timber
2 Cut the timber
3 Cut a mitre edge on the top piece of timber
4 Measure and mark the next cut
5 Cut the timber
6 Measure and mark the side panel
7 Cut the side panel to size
8 Sand the interior facing panel
9 Assemble the outer frame
10 Fix the outer frame together
11 Assemble the drawers
12 Measure and mark for the drawers
13 Measure the divider
14 Cut the dividers
15 Fix the divider
16 Secure the divider with brackets
17 Attach the drawer sliders
18 Measure and mark for the back panel
19 Cut the back panel
20 Attach the back panel
21 Measure and mark for the front of the drawers
22 Cut out the front of the drawers
23 Attach the front of the drawers
24 Putty up any holes or gaps
25 Varnish the vanity
26 Pre-drill the fixing holes
27 Fix the vanity to the wall
  • Step 1. Measure and mark the timber

    All of the timber panels are 600mm wide, we need to cut all of them to 500mm. Clamp the wood to the workbench and mark it at 500mm. Use the 90-degree square to run a line down the length of the timber.

  • Step 2. Cut the timber

    With the wood clamped, use the circular saw to cut it to the right width. Don’t rush, you want a nice smooth finish. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to cut all of the timber to the right width.

  • Step 3. Cut a mitre edge on the top piece of timber

    Choose the best looking piece of long timber and mark it. Wrap painters or masking tape around one end – this will stop the wood from splintering. Mark a straight line along the tape. Set the circular saw to a 45-degree angle and cut the timber.

  • Step 4. Measure and mark the next cut

    From the mitre cut, measure and mark 1500mm. Use the 90-degree T-square to run a straight line across the timber.

  • Step 5. Cut the timber

    Wrap masking tape over where you’re going to cut. Re-mark 1500mm on the tape. Use the circular saw to cut a 45-degree angle. Repeat the previous steps to cut the other long piece, which will be the bottom of the vanity.

  • Step 6. Measure and mark the side panel

    From the mitred edge, measure and mark 430mm. Wrap masking tape around the timber. Then, re-mark the 430mm mark on the tape.

  • Step 7. Cut the side panel to size

    With the wood clamped to the workbench, cut the timber at a 45-degree angle. Repeat the previous steps to mitre cut the other side panel to size.

  • Step 8. Sand the interior facing panel

    Use 120 grit sandpaper to sand the interior facing panel pieces of the vanity before putting it together. Don’t sand the edges because you won’t get a nice, neat finish on your mitre joins.

  • Step 9. Assemble the outer frame

    Stand a top or bottom panel and a side panel on their edge. Clamp each end to help balance the pieces while you’re working. Make sure the mitre joints are flush. Liberally apply PVA glue to both mitred sides and join them together. Use tape to hold the panels in place. Then, use the nail gun to fix the two pieces together. To make the vanity look good, fix the majority of nails along the side panel. Add three fixing nails to the top to keep it secure. Repeat this to fix the two other outer panels.

  • Step 10. Fix the outer frame together

    Take the two L-shaped panel and join them together. Apply glue to the mitre joints and tape the sides to hold the frame. Use the nail gun to fix the panels. Wipe away any excess glue.

  • Step 11. Assemble the drawers

    Follow the instructions on the flat pack drawers to assemble them. Glue the corners together to give them extra strength.

  • Step 12. Measure and mark for the drawers

    Measure the width of the drawers, including the sliders. Transfer these measurements to the left- and right-hand side on the bottom panel of the outer frame.

  • Step 13. Measure the divider

    Measure the height and length for the vanity divider. When measuring the length, take into account the back panel that will be attached to the vanity. Transfer these measurements to the timber. 

  • Step 14. Cut the dividers

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the circular saw to cut the divider. Repeat this step for the other divider. Sand the edges of the timber with 180 grit sandpaper.

  • Step 15. Fix the divider

    Apply a bead of glue where the divider will be attached. Put the divider in place. Turn the vanity over so that the bottom panel is facing upwards. Use the nail gun to secure the dividers. Turn the vanity back over and use the nail gun to fix the divider. Don’t use too many nails on the top of the vanity because you don’t want to spoil the look. 

  • Step 16. Secure the divider with brackets

    To make sure the divider is firmly fixed, attach brackets to them on the inside edge of the drawer opening and underside of the top. Space the brackets out evenly. Mark where the screw holes should be and pre-drill using a 3mm drill bit. Screw the brackets into place.

  • Step 17. Attach the drawer sliders

    Follow the instructions on the package to install the drawer sliders. Turn the vanity on its side. Place the sliders where you want them to be and mark where you need to drill. Pre-drill the holes and screw the sliders into place with the 16mm screws.

  • Step 18. Measure and mark for the back panel

    Take the height and length measurements from the back of the vanity. Transfer these measurements onto a piece of timber.

  • Step 19. Cut the back panel

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the circular saw to cut the back panel to size. Then, sand it with 180 grit sandpaper to make the edges smooth.

  • Step 20. Attach the back panel

    Draw a line across the top and bottom of the vanity where the panel will be fixed. This will make sure the nails are in a straight line. Apply glue to the edges of the back panel. Put the panel in place. Use the nail gun to fix the back panel in place at the top, bottom and sides of the vanity. Wipe away any excess glue. Leave to dry.

  • Step 21. Measure and mark for the front of the drawers

    Measure from the outer side of the end panel to the outside of the upright drawer divider. Leave enough room for the drawer to work well, even if it gets damp. Transfer these measurements onto the timber. Make sure the grain runs along the width of the drawer.

  • Step 22. Cut out the front of the drawers

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the circular saw to cut out the two fronts for the drawers. Use 180 grit sandpaper to make the edges smooth.

  • Step 23. Attach the front of the drawers

    Clamp the timber front to the drawer, making sure it’s flush with the edge and divider. Use a 5mm drill bit to pre-drill four holes on the drawer, two on each side. Use the 16mm screws to fix the timber to the drawer. Repeat this to attach the other front to the drawer.

  • Step 24. Putty up any holes or gaps

    Use a suitable wood putty to fill any holes or gaps. Let the putty dry. Sand the entire vanity with 180 grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface.

  • Step 25. Varnish the vanity

    We’re applying a clear varnish to seal the timber and show off its natural grain. Stir the varnish thoroughly before applying. Use a good quality brush for a perfect finish. Leave the varnish to dry then sand with 240 grit sandpaper. Wipe away any sawdust. Apply three coats of varnish, lightly sanding between coats.

  • Step 26. Pre-drill the fixing holes

    Determine where you want the vanity to go in the bathroom. Use the 5mm drill bit to pre-drill holes in the back of the vanity and into the tiles where the vanity will be fixed to the wall. Also use a spade bit to drill any holes you might need for plumbing and electrical cords.

  • Step 27. Fix the vanity to the wall

    You’ll need someone to help you with this step. Lift the vanity into place. Use timber supports to hold the vanity while it is being fixed into place. Check that the vanity is level. Screw through the top middle and bottom of the vanity with the 100mm bugle screws to fix it to the wall. And there you have it a great looking vanity that’s added a touch of style to your bathroom.

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