Creative Ideas for Daily Living

Mudroom Renovation: Old Dresser Re-purposed into a Stunning Vanity on the Cheap

Mudroom Renovation: Old Dresser Re-purposed into a Stunning Vanity on the Cheap

Dresser Repurposed into a Vanity

This is one of my most favorite projects ever. I love finding great furniture out by the curb waiting for someone to come by and give it a new home-many of the pieces in our house have been acquired this way. Even better then saving a perfectly good item from spending eternity in a landfill is finding a piece of furniture that can be re-purposed into something unique.

Over a year ago, we picked up a great antique dresser from the house next door. Its handmade, solid-wood craftsmanship, petite size, and weathered paint provide tremendous charm unmatched in modern day furniture construction. Upon spotting it, I knew it would make a perfect vanity. We scooped it up, and headed over to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store in search of a bathroom sink. The Re-store happened to have a wide selection, and we picked up a brand-new white porcelain sink for $15. Fast forward about a year, and after much deliberation, we picked up an antique-style rustic bronze bathroom faucet from Lowes, for about $100. In total, this project cost us less than $150, with the inclusion of a few plumbing connections and a tube of caulk. If we had selected a less expensive faucet, this project could have cost around $75-$100. The result: a one-of-a-kind custom vanity that adds charm and elegance to our renovated half bath.

Here’s what we did.

Cut a hole in the dresser top for the sink.

First, we traced the contour of the sink onto the top of the dresser. Using this as a guide, we cut a hole for the sink, about 1″ in from the line. A portion was also cut from the back of the dresser to accommodate the plumbing which protrudes from the wall.

Dresser with hole cut for sink.

The cut piece has been removed. The dresser is in position, and has been attached to the wall with a few screws. The plumbing fits through the hole that was cut in the back of the dresser.

test fit sink into hole.

The faucet has been pre-attached to the sink. We test-fit the sink to make sure that the plumbing connections will line up.

Caulk the Sink Opening

After a successful test fit, the sink is set aside and a bead of caulk is applied to the opening.

Place sink into opening

Carefully lining up the sink, it is placed into the opening and firmly pressed into the caulk.

Caulk around the sink

Caulk is added around the outside of the sink to create a water tight seal.

Connect the plumbing fixtures

Now that the sink is in place, the plumbing connections are attached.

Check for leaks

Before re-assembling the dresser, it’s time to check for leaks.

Replace drawers in dresser.

Since there are no leaks, the bottom three drawers are reinstalled.

Remove back and bottom from drawer.

To accommodate the plumbing, we removed the back and bottoms from the top two drawers. To salvage the storage space, the drawers could be boxed out around the plumbing.

The top drawear is inserted.

The back and bottom are removed from the top drawer also.

Dresser repurposed into Vanity

The completed vanity looks great, and adds so much character to the powder room! The sink and faucet that we choose were perfect, and the weathered dark framed mirror hanging above it adds to the grand feel. Towering above me at 6′ 4″, my husband loves the above-average height of this vanity. Skinnier then most traditional dressers, the width is perfect for this space.

This vanity project turned out so well that I can’t wait to build another one for our upstairs bathroom!

Have you up-cycled an old piece of furniture? Please share your project with us!


Amy (91 Posts)

I am a Freelance Graphic Designer full of creative interests! In my spare time, I love to create something new from something old, embark on home decorating and renovation projects, try out new recipes, and attempt to garden. Beyond the artistic pursuits, I have a love for music and enjoy playing the piano and handbells.

  1. This project is on my to do list for 2014! The sooner the better! Thanks for theninspiratin.
    What color is your brown paint?

  2. What color is the vanity?

    • Hi Crystal. Thank you for reading our post. I did not paint the dresser–I kept the original finish complete with distress marks, worn areas, and “soccer uniform” scribbled on one of the drawers. The color is a dark teal, similar to BEHR Premium Plus 8 oz. #490B-5 Cozumel.

  3. Hi Amy! LOVE your project, and your instructions/tutorial make it easy to understand. What is the height of this piece? Hubby and I have been “discussing” heights of the dressers we want to turn into a vanity for quite some time now.I tend to love the higher versions, but he is adamant about it not being TOO tall.(I have been without a vanity in my master bath for 3 months!) Thanks/

    • Hi Jodi, thank you for reading our article! The dresser measures 40″ tall. It is a little tall for me (I’m only 5 feet tall) but only by an inch or two, not enough to be inconvenient. We had considered removing the bottom drawer and cutting the legs shorter to lower it about 4-5″, but I’m glad we left it the way that it is–I’d hate for it to have been too short!

      • Thank for the info, Amy! I think it be just what I needed to help convince Hubby, as well. We had already drawn the line and said nothing shorter than 36″, but we were undecided on just how tall to go. Thaks a bunch – hope to be making my own SOON!

        • Please let us know how it turns out! We’d love to see a photo of your finished project!

  4. Hey there! I used your post (and a couple of others) as inspiration and instructions to convert a beat up old dresser I got on Craigslist into a vanity for my guest bathroom. Mine wasn’t as pretty as your blue one though, so I had to refinish it first.

  5. Hello! I’m very new to the furniture revamping game. Will you tell me what kind of saw you used to cut out the hole in the vanity top?

    • Hi Brittany, thank you for reading our article! We used a jigsaw to cut the hole in the vanity top.

  6. I so love this idea! I have a dresser that was my grandma’s and while it’s in pretty rough shape, this is the perfect way to keep using it. Did you waterproof the wood?? I’m thinking it would be a good idea and am considering it after I cut the hole for the sink. Thank you for sharing your project, step by step and inspiring me!

  7. Hi,
    Love this project and your instructions are great.

    I was wondering if you treated the top of the wood with anything and how is it holding up now?

    The vanity looks great!


    • Hi Vaiva,
      Thank you! The top was not treated, and it’s faired well. There is a little paint chipping on the top, but with the rustic look of the dresser, it blends right in. For heavier usage, I’d recommend applying a clear coat to protect the top.

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