Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Good Reason for Vanity

When Mr. W and I got serious about renovating the main "seahorse" bathroom in our house, one of the first things he did was get a cost estimate for a new custom vanity. The existing vanity had been built with the house in 1959 and didn't reflect the more modern aesthetic either of us prefer. However, the estimate for a new one didn't reflect the spending habits either of us prefer: $2800. Twenty-Eight Benjamins for some nice wood and nails. No thank you.

I immediately went into creative problem-solving mode and suggested that we try prying off the rounded drawer fronts to see if we could somehow create flush-front drawers with the existing vanity structure.

Bingo. We got one of the fronts off and suddenly our vanity future was clear. We would make the drawers flush with the frame, remove the cabinet doors altogether and turn it into an open-front style that was half wood veneered, half painted. I immediately went online and started shopping for cute chrome baskets...

After stripping the paint from the old vanity (and yes, it was good old lead-based so we have to take the paint chips to a hazardous waste facility), we painted the interior with a custom mix from Dunn-Edwards, and then had to figure out how to attach the walnut veneer whilst keeping the grain intact across the drawer fronts. It made my pits sweaty just thinking about it.

But Mr. W is like a wood veneer savant. He somehow cut every hole perfectly and when it came time to contact cement that veneer paper to the actual wood, he matched it up like a Shadchan setting up a life-long love affair. Amazing feat, let me tell ya.

He finished the interior sides of the cubbies with walnut veneer tape and then stained it with a natural wood stain and a satin poly finish.  

Look at that gorgeous grain!

He also veneered a shelf to match. And he's currently working on a wood frame to go around the mirror.

Yes, a couple of the seahorses survived the reno!

Even the cats dig the new setup!

In case you want one more comparison, here's a little before and after action:

We are so happy with how it all turned out. And the seahorses don't seem to mind it either. 


  1. WOW!! Just WOW!!! That is awesome. What creative minds can do when limited by funds. Thanks for the post.

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