If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I’ve been in the process of redoing our guest bathroom.
I started with a vertical shiplap chair rail, then I wanted to move on to the vanity and the countertop.
The catch? I wanted these updates to be as inexpensive as humanly possible while still packing a design punch.
I thought about this one for a while. I could buy a new vanity or replace the current countertops with stone. But those would both be more money than I would want to spend.
Stone countertops can be SO expensive!
Then I realized… I could build my own countertop, and I probably already had most of the materials on hand.
And that’s when I created a plan to transform the vanity in our guest bath for about $130 total. For the entire vanity, hardware, countertop, sink… all of it!
So I dug into the details and got to work. And here’s what I came up with…
BUILD A BEAUTIFUL WOODEN COUNTERTOP & SAVE HUNDREDS IN THE PROCESS
STEP 1: MEASURE & GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
First things first… measure the space for your countertop and gather the materials!
Our countertop was 18″ deep and 47″ wide. I wanted to make sure I had about a 2″ overhang on each side, so I kept that in mind throughout my measuring.
Using those calculations, I grabbed the materials we needed and got to work!
Here is what we used…
- Plywood, cut to the size of your countertop + a 1-inch overhang on each side
- 1x4s to use as the countertop
- 1×3 to use as the backsplash pieces
- 1×2 to use as a finishing trim piece to frame the countertop (this adds the second inch of overhang)
- Brad nails (make sure you read what size nails your brad nail gun takes)
- Paint (we used Gatherings by Magnolia)
- Liquid nails
- Plastic wood
- Sanding block
- Clear matte polycrylic
- Wood glue
- Paint (I used Gatherings by Magnolia)
- Vessel sink
- Penn Bathroom Faucet by Pfister Faucets
- Cabinet drawer pulls
- Cabinet door handles
- Spray paint (I used sunlit brass to spray some old black hardware I had)
And here are the tools we needed…
- HART Tools miter saw
- HART Tools jigsaw
- HART Tools power drill
- Brad nail gun
- Paint roller
STEP 2: PAINT THE VANITY & CHANGE THE HARDWARE
Before I jumped into the countertop, I wanted to go ahead and get a sense of what my vanity should look like.
Before, it was dark wood and dated with some old hardware.
So I grabbed some primer, paint, and fresh hardware and got to work!
First, I primed it. I always prime cabinets before I paint them so that I can get a true sense of the color I’m painting them and so I can make sure my paint will adhere well.
Once it was primed and dry, I painted my vanity with two coats of Gatherings by Magnolia paint in a matte finish.
I had two cabinet drawer pulls from a previous project, but they weren’t the color I wanted for this room. So I spray painted them with Sunlit Brass spray paint and distressed them so some of the black would show through.
Then I found some fun door pulls with all kinds of character from Anthropologie, and those really helped to complete the look!
Once the vanity was done, it was time to move on to the countertop.
STEP 3: CUT YOUR BASE FOR YOUR COUNTERTOP
When we demoed our bathroom, we removed the entire countertop that also had a built in sink and faucet. So we were starting from scratch here.
First thing first, we needed a base to build our countertop on top of! So we measured our vanity to see the square footage we needed to cover and added an inch on each side for some overhang.
This overhang would be a little more once we added our 1×2 trim at the end.
Our vanity measured 47″x 18″and was up against the wall on two sides (the back and right side), so I cut my plywood down to 48″x19″.
I simply measured it out and drew lines on my sheet of plywood and cut it with a jigsaw!
STEP 4: CUT YOUR WOOD FOR YOUR COUNTERTOP
Once your plywood is cut, it’s time to make it pretty! We grabbed select pine 1x4s to use for our countertop that we wanted to run horizontally along the top.
So I cut down 3 pieces of 1x4x8s in half so I had 6 boards that were 48″ long.
I laid them out on top of my plywood, and once I had them how I wanted them, I used my wood glue to secure them all into place.
This ended up being deeper than I wanted (about 21″ deep in total), so once it was nice and dry, I cut about 2″ off the back of my countertop using my jigsaw so it fit into the space better.
Next, I grabbed my 1×2 piece of select pine to use to frame up my countertop so it looked more finished!
I measured the sides and made marks on my 1×2 for length, then I mitered them at a 45 degree angle outward so they met together to make my frame.
I used wood glue to secure them to my countertop, then I added some brad nails to hold it into place as the glue dried.
Once the glue was dry, I removed the brad nails and filled the holes with natural plastic wood.
Now it was time to commit to the counter. I glued it into place on the vanity with liquid nails then secured it with screws from underneath.
While I was at it, I gathered some 1x3s to use as backsplash boards. I doubled these up for height and secured them to the countertop with wood glue!
STEP 5: CUT HOLES FOR YOUR PLUMBING
Now that you have a countertop, it’s time to put it to use! You need some holes for your sink and faucet.
We opted for a vessel sink and standard 3-piece bathroom faucet, so this might look a little different for you depending on what you choose!
For our vessel sink, because it simply sits on top of the countertop, we just needed to cut a hole for the drain! We measured to find where we wanted our sink to sit, marked where to cut, and used our hole saw drill bit to do this.
For our faucet, we chose to do something a little unconventional! Because we wanted a standard faucet instead of a vessel faucet, we built a small box using 1x4s to position the faucet up above the sink. This is totally not necessary if you buy a faucet made for a vessel sink!
Because of this, we cut a larger hole for our plumbing that was approximately 10″ long and 2″ wide. We fixed our box overtop of this hole and used a smaller hole saw to drill 3 holes into the top of the box for our faucet.
We fixed out box in using wood glue and let that dry overnight.
STEP 6: SEAL, SEAL, & SEAL AGAIN
Before we installed our sink or faucet, we sealed our countertop using a polycrylic in a matte finish! I used a roller to apply this and did 3 total coats. You really need to protect your wood!
Once that was dry, it was time to install your fixtures!
STEP 7: INSTALL YOUR SINK & FAUCET
Depending on what you choose, these steps might look a little different! Make sure you follow the installation instructions for the sink and faucet you purchase!
For our vessel sink, it was simple. It just sits on top of the counter, so I added some caulk to the bottom of the sink, sat it where it needed to go, and made sure it was positioned correctly on the countertop. Easy!
For our faucet, we hooked up the water supply lines, added the drain and stopper, and then we finished hooking up the plumbing underneath the sink.
STEP 8: DECORATE AND ENJOY YOUR BRAND NEW VANITY & COUNTERTOP
Now comes the fun part! Decorate your vanity and celebrate the fact that you not only transformed your vanity to look new without spending a fortune, but you built your very own countertop, installed your fixtures, and saved thousands in the process!
Have you ever considered building your own countertop? Let me know in the comments below!
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