When we were brainstorming ideas for our master bathroom vanity, I wanted something a little out of the ordinary. Wish so much storage in our double medicine cabinet, we didn’t need a lot of concealed space for all the junk that usually gets tossed into a bathroom cabinet. In fact, that was one thing that bugged me the most in our last bathroom. We just had piles of stuff we couldn’t really reach, and no space for towels! So I came up with a simple idea for open storage that wouldn’t break the bank. The pipe materials cost $100, and we had the tongue-and-groove 2×6 boards in my dad’s barn, just screaming to get used! There’s a lot of space here too. At 72″ long and 26″ wide, the top has ample room to spread out toiletries and hair dryers and all that sort of thing. And at 31″ tall with two extra shelves, I plan to pack in our towels along with a basket or two for hair tools.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how we did it:
• 8 – 1/2″ galvanized flanges
• 4 – 4″ long, 1/2″ wide galvanized pipes (for lower legs)
• 8 – 12″ long, 1/2″ wide galvanized pipes (for upper shelf legs)
• 8 – 1/2″ galvanized tee splitters
• 4 – 18″ long, 1/2″ wide galvanized pipe (for shelf supports)
• 11 – 2x6x6′ boards
I bought all my piping, and laid everything out. The one change here is that I eliminated a third leg and decided to make the lowest leg segment 4″ instead of 12″.
I started by assembling the legs with the shelf supports, which was a bit tricky. It’s made with two 18″ pipes in the center, and two 12″ pipes on the sides, connected by the tees. I had to kind of hold everything together while twisting, and couldn’t twist any of them in all the way. So it will feel slightly wobbly, which is ok. If you’re worried about it you can add in some pipe putty or thread tape to make it more secure.
I finished things out by adding my top and bottom legs and flanges. The difference with this image and the final product is that I swapped out the bottom 12″ pipes with 4″ ones, since this was waaaaaay too tall. Math fail here.
Now it was time for the wood. We cut down five 2×6 boards to 72″ long. We used glue inside the grooves and pieced them together, then used a scrap piece of wood across the five at the bottom and screwed it into place so they wouldn’t come apart. If you are using regular stud boards you could kreg jig them together, or even use a solid piece of plywood or lumber for the top.
Once we had the top put together, we placed our sinks face down onto the top and figured out the placement. Once we were happy, the outline was traced onto the wood.
Once we decided on placement, I went inside to hide from the freezing temps and let Jacob handle cutting out the shapes. He dry-fit the bowls to make sure they fit, and they did!
Once the top was done, we made the shelves by cutting six 2×6’s at 64″, and attached them together with the same method as the top. The bottom shelf was left whole, and I measured in where I needed to cut off some wood to make room for the p-trap and drain. Once that was done, I moved the vanity into place, located studs, and used L brackets to secure the vanity to the wall. That took away any wobbly instability and made it solid and sturdy.
Next up was the stain. I tried out Rustoleum’s Sunbleached, and was sadly disappointed. I think it was because I was already using bleached out old wood. I was hoping for a grayish color, and it just made things dull. So I tried out a vinegar oxidation mixture. I started my mix with steel wool and vinegar. Nothing. Then I added in some rusty bolts. Still no dice. Then I read online that pennies make a bluish stain, so I threw in a handful. Magic! I let it stew for about a week then brushed it on. At first, nothing happened. Then, over the course of an hour, the color transformed into a rich walnut hue.
I let the first coat set for a day, then brushed on a second. It was looking very powdery and dull, until I rubbed on my Feed N Wax topcoat. WOW does it shine! It’s a really subtle sheen. I just rubbed in one coat with a rag and you can do it whenever you feel it needs some touching up. This was my first completely non-toxic stained finish, and I’m really happy with it. I’ve used the oxidized vinegar wash on several projects since. Instead of the toxic fumes, it just smells like gross old pennies 😉 Much easier on the sniffer! Plus I have a bun in the oven that has a lot of baking left to do, so I’m trying to keep my fume exposure down as much as possible. This certainly isn’t the final staged look for the vanity, but I think it looks pretty great right now. I’ll eventually find some good baskets and load up with towels, and help hide the plastic drain pipes. Someday I’d love to find some vintage hotel-style wire laundry baskets to set next to the vanity and fill up the space.
But for now, I’m just enjoying the fact that all our household plumbing is DONE!