The basics of how to make a vintage dresser into a bathroom vanity. It is not just painting the dresser, add a sink and a faucet and done. In reality, there’s a bit more work involved to it than that.
A standard vanity height for a vanity is 34 inches for comfortably use. I removed the wheels on the bottom of each leg which dropped it several inches but if needed cut another inch or two off of each leg for your preference. However, keep in mind Resale, you might not plan on moving but you may find later you do.
Before adding holes for the sink, make sure the top of the dresser is level. I placed the level right where the drain would be and based all cuts on that. I checked how level things were from side to side and front to back and then adjusted the height of two of the legs a little more until things were just right.
Cutting holes for the plumbing is where you need to take time. Since I was using a vessel sink, I didn’t need to cut a hole for the sink itself. The top of the dresser only needed a small hole for the sink drain and another small hole for the faucet. I set the sink on the dresser top where I wanted it to go, making sure it was centered and then simply traced the drain hole onto the dresser top using a pencil. I also placed the faucet where it would go and traced it as well. Using a drill with a hole bit, I drilled out the two holes and used sandpaper to smooth out the edges.
I also needed to cut holes for the plumbing under the sink. Typically, the water lines for the hot and cold water and the drain pipe all come through the wall into the back of the vanity and a hole needs to be cut in the back of the dresser to accommodate them. Cut a small hole in the dresser for the drain and the lines. I found it easiest to just remove the back of the dresser completely.
The next step is to modify the drawers to accommodate the new plumbing. I wanted to keep as much usable drawer space as possible, so I carefully marked where each drawer would have to be cut to fit for the plumbing. Now you have two choices, jigsaw around the drain pipe, or make the draws smaller. For our project we only had to make the top most drawer smaller, so we cut the drawer using our jig saw. After cutting off the section of the drawer not to be used, we removed that back and put onto the new section that was just shortened. Use wood glue and nail gun to fasten to each other and allow to dry for 2 hours.
In the end, we have a top drawer with less depth, to hold the tooth paste, tooth brushes etc… and the two lower drawers were not manipulated at all, instead we molded the piping to drain without blocking the drawers or its space.
Finally, it was time to attach the sink and faucet. I found both my sink and my faucet for a steal online and I totally love them. I attached my sink using a waterproof adhesive making extra sure that everything was straight and lined up with the hole I had previously drilled. Fix any leaking with some simple plumber’s putty underneath the drain. Then I attached the faucet using the directions that came with it and reattached all of the plumbing.