Introduction: Make a Custom Washroom Vanity With Reclaimed Wood!

About: My girlfriend and I run a company called Deville's Workshop in Toronto, Canada. We build weird props for film and television and love this website - such a great resource for inspiration and discussion!

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I grabbed an old 1970s coffee table and a bunch of discarded wood from the dumpster beside our shop (dumpster diving!!!) and hacked away at it until it became our new bathroom vanity. I'll show you how it was made and also the joy that can be had horsing around with other people's garbage!

I won't give specific dimensions because it is pretty custom to our space; if you're going to make something similar you'll likely want to use the dimensions for your place. If you are going to make something like this, here is a list of the tools I remember using:


table saw

chop saw

jig saw

reciprocating saw

orbital sander

finishing sander



hole saw bits

crown stapler

biscuit joiner

lots of wood glue

lots of wood filler

Step 1: Make the Countertop

One of the easiest ways to design a build with slightly complex cuts and angles is to use SketchUp to figure out your cuts. If you haven't used SketchUp yet, please do! It's free and saves HOURS when you learn how to use it - and it's really easy to learn how to use.

This build was likely started as the top of a cabinet; it happened to be the exact depth as the space in my washroom. It needed legs, a sanding and stain/topcoat and legs. so I measured out the underside and tried to figure out legs that would match the style of the face.

Step 2: Start Making Legs

There was a lot of lengths of 3/4" ply. Glued and pressed together, then crown stapled, they made for nice thick leg stumps. The ply was pretty rough and porous so A LOT of wood filler was pressed into the edges, then sanded smooth. I also

Step 3: Biscuit Join the Legs

I kind've free-handed this and likely should have used tools to make sure the legs were flat on the ground. I cut biscuit slices in the spacers and the legs, then glued the heck out of it and clamped them together. This got a big glob of wood filler to close the seams, then a rigorous sanding to make it smooth again. After they dried I dry fit them to the counter top to make sure everything fit.

Step 4: Router the Legs

I used a chamfering bit in the router, it sort of followed the angles in the counter top. I followed this with a lot of hand sanding to reduce the burnout areas.

Step 5: Stain the Pieces

I used a water-based wood stain and found I didn't care for it. It absorbed far too quickly into the dry plywood and then became difficult to rub off after a few minutes. It sort've felt like I was using watered down paint. I prefer oil-based stain, I think. Except for the stink.

I used an urethane to top coat everything, then lightly sanded it with 220 paper, cleaned it and urethaned it again. I did this three times in total; I wanted to make sure no standing water will seep into the plywood later on.

Step 6: Add the Sink!

For this part I just bought a sink from Home Depot and followed the instructions. I removed my old sink (that was a gross adventure), then cut a hole in the counter top from a template and put it approximately where the old sink was. I put a piece of angle iron on the wall to act like a shelf bracket; this held the counter top in place while I siliconed it.

Then I realized that the old hole in the floor didn't line up with the drain for the new sink, so it was back to the Homie Deeps. I bought some angled ABS pipes and had the drain lead back to the old drain hole. Once I knew where the pipes were placed I measured it and cut out a hole in the 1970s coffee table. This way I could slide the table under the counter top.

And then it was done. Just a bunch silicone to keep everything waterproof. The final step will be to tile a back splash on the wall, but that's a project for another day.

OK! Let me know if you see anything that should have been done differently or if you have any questions!



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