Rustic Bathroom Vanity

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buildsomething added on 9/13/2016

By combining simple lines and stained-pine construction with a modern-style sink, this vanity combines rustic and contemporary for a sophisticated look. That makes it perfect whether your style leans toward farmhouse or contemporary. Plus it offers large shelves for storage, and it’s easy to build.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Get Your Sink and Faucet

Before you begin building, get your sink and faucet. You’ll want to have them so that you can create the sink and faucet cutouts in the Top Panel when the time comes. There are many styles to choose from, and this vanity will accommodate a surface-mount or vessel-style sink of many kinds.


Cut Legs to Length

Cut four legs to length from 4x4 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. Sand each Leg smooth and set them aside for now.


Create the Upper Rails

Cut two Long Upper Rails and two Short Upper Rails from 1x4 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. Set your pocket-hole jig for 3/4"-thick material, and then drill pocket holes in the Rails at the locations shown.

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Attach Upper Short Rails to Legs

Cut a 36"-long 1/2" dowel in half to create two spacers. Lay the spacers about 10" apart on a flat work surface. Lay one Short Upper Rail on the dowels and then bring two legs together so the top of the Legs and the top of the Short Upper Rail are flush. Clamp the assembly together and secure the Short Rail to the Legs using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws.

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Make the Shelf Rails

Cut four Long Shelf Rails and four Short Shelf Rails to length from 1x2 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. Drill pocket holes at the locations shown.


Complete One Side Assembly

Move the dowels to the other end of the Legs, and then position the two Short Shelf Rails in place at the locations shown. Clamp them in place. Secure the rails to the Legs using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws. Repeat the previous two steps to complete the other side assembly.


Complete the Base

Stand the Side assemblies on edge as shown in the diagram. Just as you did for the side assemblies, set the Long Upper Rail in place on the dowel spacers, and attach it using 1-1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws. Then position and attach the two Long Shelf Rails in the same way. Carefully flip the assembly over, and then repeat this process for the final two Shelf Rails and the last Long Upper Rail in order to complete the base frame. This is a good time to give all of the pieces a final sanding.


Make Corner Braces

Cut four Corner Braces to length from 1x4 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram, beveling each end at 45. Drill pilot holes at the location shown for screws that will be used to attach the Braces.

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Install the Corner Braces

Align the upper edge of the first Corner Brace with the upper edge of the Rails, and secure it to the Rails and the Leg as shown using 1-1/2" flat-head wood screws. Do this for the other three braces.


Create Top Supports

Cut two Top Supports to length from 1x4 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. Drill pocket holes where shown.


Install the Supports

Install the Top Supports to the Long Upper Rails with 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws. The location of the Top Supports will depend on the size and position of the sink you choose for this project.


Make the Short Slats

Cut four Short Slats to length from a 1x4 board as shown in the cutting diagram. Drill pocket holes at the locations shown.


Install the Short Slats

Set the Short Slats on the Short Shelf Rails so that the outside edge of each Slat is flush with the outside edge of the Legs. Secure the Slats to the Legs using two 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws. Then nail the Short Slats to the Short Shelf Rails using four 1 1/2" brad nails in each Slat. A brad nailer works best for this if you have access to one or can rent one. If you don’t have access to a brad nailer, you can use a hammer and standard nails.


Cut the Long Slats

Cut 20 Long Slats to length from 1x4 boards as shown in the cutting diagram. Due to the number of slats and the narrow gaps between each one, now would be a good time to sand and finish the Slats before installation.


Attach the Long Slats

Place a 1/4" dowel against the first Short Slat and then position the first Long Slat next to the Short Slat. Make sure the Slat overhangs the front Shelf Rail by 1/4" and is flush at the back Shelf Rail. Nail the Long Slat in place with two 1 1/2" brad nails at each end. Next, position the remaining Long Slats with equal spaces between them. You can use a 3/8" dowel to establish this spacing. Adjust the overhang to match the first Long Slat and nail it in place. Continue this process with the rest of the Long Slats.


Make the Backsplash

Cut the Backsplash to length from a 1x4 board as shown in the cutting diagram. Drill pilot holes at the locations shown for screws that will be used to attach the backsplash to the Top Panel.


Make the Top Panel

For this project, we used an edge-glued pine project panel. It doesn’t have to be cut to size, but there are a couple of things you need to consider. The thickness may vary somewhat depending on where you purchase it. Check to see if the panel is thinner than 3/4". In addition, depending on the sink and faucet you use, the size and location of the holes may vary. Make sure to carefully lay out the sink and faucet locations before you cut the openings. Then cut the openings using a jigsaw.


Attach Backsplash

Spread glue on the rear edge of the Top Panel, and then position the Backsplash against the rear edge of the Top and clamp it in place. Using the holes in the Backsplash as guides, drill pilot holes into the Top Panel, and then secure the Backsplash to the Top using 1 1/2" flat-head wood screws.


Time for a Finish

Sand the vanity, and then apply the stain of your choice. Because the top of the vanity is wood, it is susceptible to water damage. It’s important to take a few precautions to help prevent damage and ensure that the Top Panel will last. Seal all of the ends and edges, including the sink and faucet cutouts, plus the upper and lower faces, with several coats of spar varnish or exterior polyurethane. Though the vanity base won’t get wet like the Top, it’s a good idea to add a coat or two of finish to it, as well.

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Attach the Top to the Base

After the varnish dries completely, lay the Top on the base so the rear edge of the Backsplash is flush with the back face of the Legs. Then you can secure the Top. If your panel is 3/4"-thick or thicker, use 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws. If the top is less than 3/4" thick, switch instead to 1" pocket-hole screws


Install the Vanity

Add nail-on glides to the bottom of each Leg to protect them from water on the floor. Install a couple anchors in the wall at the height of the Long Upper Rail, and then secure the vanity to the wall with a couple of long screws to keep it from moving.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(2) 4x4, 96", Board  
(7) 1x4, 96", Board  
(2) 1x4, 72", Board  
(2) 1x2, 96", Board  
(1) 1x2, 72", Board  
(1) 3/4" Thick, 24" x 48", Edge-Glued Panel  
(1) 1/4"-diameter, 36", Dowel  
(1) 3/8"-diameter, 36", Dowel  
(1) 1/2"-diameter, 36", Dowel  


(84) 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws Shop Online
(100) 1 1/2" brad nails Shop Online
(1) 4-pack nail-on furniture glides Shop Online
(1) bathroom sink  
(1) faucet  
(29) 1 1/2" flat-head wood screw Shop Online

Parts/Cut List:

(4) Leg, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 33 1/2" pine/fir board  
(2) Long Upper Rail, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 39" pine  
(2) Short Upper Rail, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 16 1/4" pine  
(4) Long Shelf Rail, 3/4" x 1 1/2" 39" pine  
(4) Short Shelf Rail, 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 16 1/4" pine  
(4) Corner Brace, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 8" pine  
(2) Top Support, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 20 3/4" pine  
(20) Long Slat, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 22 1/2" pine  
(4) Short Slat, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 16 1/8" pine  
(1) Top Panel, 5/8" x 23 1/4" x 48" edge-glued pine panel  
(1) Backsplash, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 48" pine  


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