Repurposed Dresser Converted to Bathroom Vanity

Are you interested in a repurposed dresser converted to bathroom vanity with a vessel sink? You’re in luck! That’s our tutorial today!

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Pinterest graphic showing before and after of dresser converted to bathroom vanity

can you use a dresser as a bathroom vanity?

One of our local customers asked if we could convert an antique dresser that she had into bathroom vanity for their home.

So I ran the idea by my hubby to make sure it would fit his schedule. He is a teacher and is still working full-time hours. Most of the work he does here at Reinvented Delaware is after work and on the weekends or during his summer break.

antique dresser before shot showing old orange colored stain finish

Doing the work was not a problem by any means. If you saw our laundry room makeover you would understand what I mean! He even turned a china cabinet into a laundry room sink and cabinet about 6-7 years ago!

We just had to be sure he had the time 🙂

He said yes!! Woohoo bring that dresser over to my workshop and let’s get to it!!

how to remove an old finish from wood

The first step was to remove the old finish on the antique oak 3-drawer dresser. I only had to do this step on the top since the body of the dresser would be painted. The top would be natural wood.

lady applying Multi Strip paint and finish remover with a chip brush on top of antique dresser

One thick coat of Multi-Strip Advanced was all this top needed. I allowed the Multi-Strip to sit on the top for about an hour.

Then I used a 3″ putty knife to scrape it off. I kept a small Amazon box close by to put all the scrapings in.

Multi-Strip dries to a dryish, chalky consistency and it is not as messy as some of the other strippers on the market.

old finish being scraped off of old dresser with a 3" putty knife

Once all of the stripper and old finish was removed, I pulled out my DeWalt Orbital Sander and 150-grit sanding disc and got down to business.

This step went fairly quickly. I switched out the 150-grit for 220-grit and sanded the whole piece. That helps to eliminate swirl marks that the orbital sander can create.

orbital sander sitting on top of sanded top of old dresser so it can be repurposed into a bathroom vanity

how to prime oak wood

After a good cleaning with my usual method, I applied one coat of primer I had on hand. It is from Ecos Paint and I had Gray on my workshop shelf.

I love this primer. It is super thick and environmentally friendly, has no fumes, and is even safe for children!

You could also use my other fave primer, Zinsser Synthetic Shellac Based White Primer.

The frame and the drawer fronts were primed in no time!

Let me mention this tip before I forget: after I have primed and painted, I used the sander to clean along the edges where the paintbrush spilled over. Look closely and you will see bits of the primer on the inside of the frame. I’ll take care of that at the end of the project!

gray primer coat on antique dresser during makeover

what paint to use on furniture

Our client picked out Fusion Mineral Paint in Bayberry. Two coats were all this repurposed dresser turned bathroom vanity needed!

This paint is super durable and has a top-coat built in so I knew it would be perfect for this project!

My favorite Zibra Paintbrush called the Palm Pro worked beautifully on the drawer fronts. I used the Zibra Square Brush for the framing and the sides. It is the perfect paintbrush for the narrow frame and the inset sides of this antique dresser.

frame of antique dresser with drawers in background painted in Fusion Bayberry Mineral Paint

how to repurpose a dresser into a bathroom vanity

It was a lovely Saturday morning when hubby was able to work on his part of this project: cutting the holes for the sink and the faucet.

man measuring for vessel sink in the repurpsoed dresser converted to a bathroom vanity blog post

We placed the sink and the faucet where we thought it looked best – centered from side to side and then a good eyeballing from front to back.

We left it that way for a while to be sure it was exactly where it looked best.

**We doubled checked ourselves when placing the faucet thinking about how the water would come out of the faucet. We placed it in a way that wouldn’t create too much splashing.

man measuring for faucet installation of a repurposed dresser conversion

Once we were sure of the placement, we marked the spots with a pencil. The image below shows the circle we drew using the drain hole in the sink.

The faucet hole is marked by a tiny pencil line towards the back.

lady pointing at mark for plumbing on dresser bathroom vanityr

how do you drill a big hole in wood?

He needed to replace his Carbon Hole Saw Set so he drove in town to our local Ace Hardware.

This tool for the drill is a must! The hole for the sink and faucet is fairly large and the set he purchased had a large bit.

Let me mention that these bits can dull quickly. Especially if you are using it on hardwood like 1″ thick oak.

close up of specialty Carbon Hole Saw drill bits

The drill bit has a center with a pointed end. That end goes in the center of the area that was marked for the drain and the faucet. This helps to line up the large drill bit with the marked hole.

The center part of the bit also helps to steady the spinning drill bit as it enters the wood. Hubby used an electric-powered drill, not a cordless one. The extra power from the electricity comes in handy 😉

man showing large drill bit for oak dresser makeover

I stood and watched (and snapped a few photos!) and let me tell you, burning wood from a power drill/bit set has a weird smell!

Burning you ask??

Yes! That drill bit is spinning so fast on that oak wood that it creates friction and begins to burn! It doesn’t actually reach a flaming point but I do think I saw a little smoke!

The bit itself is very hot when the drilling is finished – be careful if you use this tool!

man using power drill to drill larger opening for vessel sink in the repurposed dresser into a bathroom vanity blog post

how to modify a drawer for plumbing

The other part of the project hubby completed was modifying the drawer for the plumbing down below. He did this part after work in his workshop and I’m not allowed in there.

Haha! Just kidding! It was just too dark in his shop to set up my camera and get good shots so hubby grabbed a couple of images on his iPhone! Thanks, my sweetie!

Basically, he used the existing drawer to measure the opened section of the drawer. He used scrap luan lumber that he keeps on hand for this kind of work. He also used scraps of 1×1 as corner supports.

The existing bottom was removed and cut. New pieces for the new interior sides were cut from luan lumber. And 1″x1″ board piece was used to secure the luan. He used wood glue and screws to hold everything together. You can see in the image on the right that he added wood pieces on the bottom as additional support.

Each dresser will be a bit different but the techniques are the same.

Here is the outcome of the top drawer.

detail on drawer interior that was outfitted for under counter plumbing parts for dresser/vanity makeover

You can’t see it in the images, but the center section is completely open to allow room for the under-counter plumbing.

Our client has hired a plumber to install this repurposed dresser/bathroom vanity in her guest bathroom so we did not attach the drain, sink, or faucet.

If you know how to install your own plumbing, then you understand about caulking, sealing, and attaching the plumbing parts of this project!

top drawer of dresser outfitted for plumbing on dresser/vanity upcycle staged with sink, towels, soaps and a Pothos plant

repurposed dresser / bathroom vanity

You might be wondering where the drawer pulls are. Our client is searching for just the right ones!

You also might notice the mirror on top of the repurposed dresser and bathroom vanity. It is from another client. She offered this vintage oak mirror to us and we said yes very quickly!

I’ve not seen another like it in our travels.

after shot of completed repurposed dresser converted to a bathroom vanity staged with mirror, towels, soaps, vintage scale and dress form

antique dresser mirror

This gorgeous mirror hasn’t been touched yet. I only cleaned it so that I could stage it for this post. Isn’t it gorgeous??

Our client is deciding if she wants it for this repurposed dresser/bathroom vanity.

What do you think? Should she have us finish the mirror in the same way we finished the top of the oak dresser?

3/4 shot of dresser after a makeover with an added vessel sink and faucet staged with various bathroom items

restored wood finish

Here is a close look at the restored top. All we did was completely remove the old finish and then applied four coats of General Finishes High-Performance Top Coat in Flat. I did a light sanding between coats and allowed plenty of drying time between coats.

It looks like a buffed wax finish, doesn’t it? And it’s as smooth as butter!

close up shot of restored wood on an antique dresser that was converted to a bathroom vanity

You cannot replicate the look of old oak. The wood ages so beautifully. All it needed was protection. General Finishes High Performance will protect this piece for years.

wide shot of restored wood top on dresser makeover staged with various vantiy items like soaps and a small water pitcher

the perfect sink and faucet

I haven’t even mentioned the gorgeous vessel sink and pump-style faucet our client selected! It looks like an old-fashioned ironstone bowl and water pump!

Our next bathroom is going to have something similar, that is definite!

close up of vessel sink and old fashioned pump style faucet
close up of top/side of dresser showing grain on restored wood

Even without all the hardware, this gem is a beauty! Our client’s guests will make excuses just to go see it in their guest bath!

wide shot of top of dresser showing restored wood top staged with various bathroom vanity items

what are your thoughts?

Let me know your thoughts about this makeover! Also, what do you think our client should do about the mirror? Should she use this one or look for another?

Comment below and let’s let her hear our thoughts and ideas! She’ll be reading this post!

wide shot of dresser/vanity makeover staged with antique mirror, towels, soaps, small pitchers, vessel sink and faucet, antique scale and dress form
Pinterest graphic showing before and after of dresser converted to bathroom vanity

join our journey!

We would love you to join our journey over on Instagram and Facebook! You can also find more inspiration on our Pinterest page! We’re always pinning fresh ideas!

Feel free to pin any of the images you see in this post to show your friends and as a reference for your own repurposed dresser/bathroom vanity project!

Thanks for joining us today for this repurposed dresser converted to a bathroom vanity tutorial! We appreciate you stopping by and hope you are inspired to repurpose something for your home!

Let me also say thanks for shopping via the links I have gathered for you. There is no additional cost to you and you help to support this blog and the free tutorials we offer here! Thanks again!!

Until next time…

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  1. That vanity is what dreams are made of. I pinned this for my future home! Amazing mirror idea!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay!!! Thanks so much for pinning! I hope you can use this idea for your home one day!

  2. Anna Price says:

    Wow 🤩! Another amazing post with great information. Thank you for sharing. I love the color of the vanity. Your husband is also talented!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Awe thanks Anna! Our client absolutely loved the vanity! And I think she is getting the mirror too!!

  3. Cindy — you and hubby are so darn creative….and skilled!! I love the look and function of that cute piece. I’ve always wondered how a dresser drawer is modified to fit the supply lines and drain pipe. Awesome tutorial!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      He’s the one with the skills! It’s amazing how much he can do and if he can’t, he learns how! Thanks for the encouragement my friend!!

      1. Oh I have always wanted to do this! Your steps are so clear and concise. Definitely saving to reference for later.

        1. Cynthia Gayle says:

          Woohoo!! I would love to see your finished project!

  4. Another outstanding project. I have a hard time deciding which picture I want to Pin. My husband has those hole drill things in his tools too. Love this so much!

    Nothing like giving old pieces new life in my book.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yes!! Giving new life to vintage pieces is so rewarding!!

  5. Amazing! I repurposed a vintage dresser for my bathroom vanity as well. I love all of the storage as well as the style.
    Hugs to you.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Hugs to you too my friend! Thanks for stopping by Renae!

  6. I love this entire project! It’s giving me inspiration in one bathroom remodel…and I love that mirror. I’ve never seen one with a towel rack. So unique! Great job!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      That mirror has my heart! I would have kept it but my client loved it so much and I am pretty sure she will purchase it to go with the vanity :). Yay for your own vanity project!!

  7. This is absolutely gorgeous, Cindy! I did this in our guest bathroom too. I love the colour you chose for yours, so relaxing, perfect for a bathroom!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      The color is my new favorite!! Bayberry from Fusion. And it went on so easily!! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I really want to do this! I was just thinking about it this morning. Thanks so much for sharing your process. I’ll be pinning for later so I can refer back to it. I really love the colour you chose.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay!! I would love to see your finished vanity!! Be sure to let me know when you get it finished!

  9. Love it! I love repurposing dressers into vanities and I absolutely love vessel sinks and waterfall faucets❤

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay!! You have done this type of project too! I will hop over to your blog and check out your site Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      She was thrilled!!

  10. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I am envious of your skills.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      O Golly, that’s so sweet of you to say, Kim! Have a great day!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Me too Linda! And I think the client will be getting the mirror to go with the vanity dresser!

  11. Debora Foor says:

    Absolutely stunning! This piece is really beautiful. But perhaps the most useful thing about this post is your wonderfully detailed description of your process. I think it’s really helpful that you include the brand names and specific products and colors that you use in your projects, and this post is a perfect example of the generous way you share your talents. I’m sure your client is delighted, and she should be. And that mirror! The addition of the towel rack is ingenious.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks for the kind words! We try our best to explain the process of our projects so that others can do similar projects for their homes! I agree 100% about that mirror!! I almost kept it but our client fell in love with it so it’s going to be hers! Thanks for stopping by today Debbie!

  12. Rhonda Olson says:

    What was the height on this vanity?

    1. Hi Rhonda! I am not exactly sure of the measurement of the dresser – it was about waist height. Sorry I can’t be more exact! It was a custom piece we did for a client. If you are interested in doing this type of project, I encourage you to find a dresser that comes to a height that you would be comfortable with as a vanity. Happy Reinventing!😊

  13. Anita Braddock says:

    I’m really confused as to why you painted it? It was such beautiful wood.

    1. Hi Anita! This piece was a custom piece for one of our local clients. She wanted the dresser painted and converted to a bathroom vanity and we aim to please! Some pieces need paint and some don’t. She felt this piece needed paint 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Jenny Shoults says:

    I love the vessel sink you used. It’s perfect for that vanity. Can you tell me where it was purchased? I’m getting ready to turn a sideboard into a vanity and love this look.

    1. Hi Jenny! Our client purchased the sink and I think she found it on Amazon. If you do this project, be sure to measure, measure and measure again so that you get the correct size sink. I have included links within the post – just under the image showing my hubby drilling the hole in the top of the dresser! Good luck with your project and feel free to reach out via email with any questions – I will try to help you the best I can!