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Builder Grade Vanity

July 8, 2011 |
posted by Ana White
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Build a small bath vanity with storage. These simple, step by step woodworking plans are designed for the beginner and can be built from a single sheet of plywood.

Builder Grade Vanity

Handmade from this plan >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

About Project

Author Notes: 

I'd be the first to tell you that I'm not alot of things.

I'm not perfect.
I'm not tough.
And I'm not wasteful. 

So despite the fact that my bathroom vanities remind me every single day that I used to not believe that I could make furniture, that I spent four times as much on a particle board vanity that doesn't take scratches well, I resist removing them because quite simply, it's wasteful. 
Because truly, there's nothing wrong with this little vanity, and I've even added a step drawer.

And after requests, I took some measurements and did some inspecting, and am posting plans so you can build what I've dubbed the "Builder Grade Vanity" for your own home.
But you have an opportunity to make it better.  You can use Formaldehyde Free Plywood to improve the air quality.  You can use 3/4" plywood to support a granite top.  And you can paint it any color you choose.
Some words to the wise - purchase your vanity top first, build to fit the top.  Good luck building!

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Builder Grade Vanity

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 Sheet of 3/4" Plywood
1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x6 @ 4 feet long (optional)
1 - 1x2 - 1/4" thick stock @ 8 feet long (optional decorative door trim)
1 - 25 foot long roll edge banding for stained finishes
3/4" finish nails or brad nails if you are applying decorative trim
Either pocket hole screws or countersunk screws/finish nails

2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
jigsaw
nailer
sander
level
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

1 - 3/4" Plywood @ 22 1/2" x 18"
2 - 3/4" Plywood @ 32" x 18"
2 - 3/4" Plywood @ 30 3/4" x 12"
2 - 1x6 OR 3/4" Plywood @ 24"
4 - 1x3 @ 24"
Cut trim pieces to fit door faces

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Step 1

Builder Grade Vanity

Cut plywood as shown above, with the grain, cutting long cuts first. So you would cut an 18" wide strip off of your plywood, and then from that 18" strip, cut the sides and shelf. You can ask the lumber store to make the cuts for you, and your plywood will be easier to transport and store.

Step 2

Builder Grade Vanity

Place the bottom shelf as shown above between the sides, either using the Kreg Jig or countersunk screws or 2" finish nails and wood glue.

Step 3

Builder Grade Vanity

Attach the 1x3s as shown above. The front 1x3 needs to be placed with a 4" space above it. The back 1x3s need to be placed at the top, bottom of the bottom shelf, and centered.

Step 4

Builder Grade Vanity

Now the toekick. Cut out and attach with 2" finish nails and wood glue.

Step 5

Builder Grade Vanity

Now the front apron. Same thing.

Step 6

Builder Grade Vanity

For the front apron, you can glue and attach the 1/4" trim pieces as shown above.

Step 7

Builder Grade Vanity

And the doors. You can attach trim pieces as well. The best hinges I've found for doors like these (full overlay) are these ones from the Home Depot:

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

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clips
birdsandsoap's picture

You never fail to amaze me.

I love the drawer under the vanity, in fact I almost purchased one at Lowes when we redid our bathroom- All that storage gone to waste! But I think I like the step idea for my little ones even more...Anyway, I read the toe-kick step plan the other day and thought "Gee, I bet Ana will come up with a vanity plan soon." And here you go, days later, taking it up to eleven! I think if I had to make a vanity, I would slap that puppy with some beadboard and call it "Cottage Chic!

posted by birdsandsoap | on Fri, 2011-07-08 13:15

great!

I love that you did this! I am totally making one!

posted by Carrie Howell (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-08 13:16
clips
emmarosemc's picture

Perfect timing ana! this one

Perfect timing ana! this one definitely goes on the list.

posted by emmarosemc | on Fri, 2011-07-08 13:40

Love this! Thank you so

Love this! Thank you so much. Do you think I would need any additional stability if I add 10 inches to make it 36 inches wide?

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-07-08 16:00

I am an absolute novice at

I am an absolute novice at building, but want to change that status. How would I go about adding drawers to the left side?

posted by Stacy (not verified) | on Sat, 2011-07-09 22:50

Thanks

This is great, I am working on it right now. It looks like there is a typo in the cut list section, it says the cuts for the doors are 30 3/4" instead of 20 3/4.
Thanks so much for the plans, I just love your site.
Rachel

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-07-18 16:14

Hidden drawer link?

I love the idea of having a pull out step drawer at the bottom! I tried clicking the link and it doesn't seem to be linked properly. I tried searching for it and couldn't find anything that resembled instructions for making that portion of the vanity. I love these designs! Thank you!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-08-12 18:41

Pull Out Step

I also am having issues with the link to the step drawer at the bottom. I assume you would do it just like a regular drawer but how do you reinforce it to hold the weight?

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-09-12 11:27
clips
birdsandsoap's picture

weight bearing

I think I remember some discussion of casters underneath the step over on the toe kick drawer plan. You can buy those little wheels anywhere and they can take the load.

posted by birdsandsoap | on Wed, 2011-09-21 04:29
clips

Vanity

The idea of making a bathroom vanity with storage is great! I've recently bought a bathroom vanity with mirror but it has no storage and this is why I decided to make one based on your plans. I have to tell you that it looks great and it was very easy to make it.

posted by Noemi.me | on Sun, 2011-12-18 11:39

Step Drawer Link

The step drawer link is now working if you ladies would like to check it out. It worked for me anyway... :)

posted by BeeNuss (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-03-23 09:57

modification...

Any reason why I couldn't make this a 30" vanity? Would you suggest any additional support pieces?

posted by linj2fly (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-20 06:16

Feet?

Hi Ana, Love your site, thanks so much for posting this! I love the idea of building my own vanity but I'm curious can I alter the plans to make the sides only 26.5" and attach feet to the bottom of the cabinet rather than the toe-kick look you used? I don't see why 4 feet couldn't support the weight of the cabinet just as well as the extended sides, but though I would ask the question anyway. Looking forward to your response, thanks!

Cheers -

SLC

posted by Stefanie Lynn (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-06-29 16:00
clips
Robin11249's picture

Wider?

Hi Ana! I LOVE your site, I have been on here for hours already and will definitely start with some of your starter projects, but this one caught my attention because I am planning on replacing the floors in my bathrooms and I would really love to do this too. But I was wondering if you know if I would have to add any additional parts if I need to make it 31" wide? Thanks for any help!

posted by Robin11249 | on Fri, 2012-07-20 04:30

Full overlay hinges

This turned out to be a great project. But I ran into a bit of a snag...I have the full overlay hinges pictured above, but the corner of the door swings out 1/4" past the vanity side and is hitting the wall. So the door will not open or close completely. Does anyone have a remedy to this problem?

Thanks!

posted by FrankL (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-08-09 15:47

Full overlay hinges

This turned out to be a great project. But I ran into a bit of a snag...I have the full overlay hinges pictured above, but the corner of the door swings out 1/4" past the vanity side and is hitting the wall. So the door will not open or close completely. Does anyone have a remedy to this problem?

Thanks!

posted by FrankL (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-08-09 15:49

Full overlay hinges

This turned out to be a great project. But I ran into a bit of a snag...I have the full overlay hinges pictured above, but the corner of the door swings out 1/4" past the vanity side and is hitting the wall. So the door will not open or close completely. Does anyone have a remedy to this problem?

Thanks!

posted by frankl (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-08-09 15:53

I am quite sure they will

I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!....There is also a lot of visual symbolism that is sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle.. Women Fashion Shoes

posted by usman42 | on Sat, 2013-02-16 04:34
clips
jgriffin's picture

makeup vanity

I just love the step drawer at the bottom of this vanity! I wish Ana would come up with plans for a makeup vanity for the bedroom! I have searched the internet everywhere and nothing : (

Jill

posted by jgriffin | on Fri, 2014-02-07 13:07

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