The look I was going for was inspired by this Pottery Barn Abbot Vanity. If you want to see the tutorial for the wood part of the vanity click HERE. Back when I built the base, the pottery barn version was $1699 + $75 shipping. Fast forward a year and the price has actually gone up to $1899 + $75 shipping!
To build my version I spent approximately :
- $30 in wood
- $40 in Plywood (this was scrap from my garage but I tried to guesstimate the actual cost of the material)
- $17 Henry’s Feather Finish
- $5 Stain (another guesstimate price from leftover minwax dark walnut stain)
For the bare bones vanity (without sink/faucet/plumbing) I spent approximately $92. The rest of the cost will vary depending on what kind of sink, faucet, and plumbing materials you buy.
Here is what I bought for the varied expenses:
- $102 Sink: American Standard Vessel Sink (Amazon Affiliate Link)
- $151 Faucet: Pfister Single Control 4-Inch Faucet (Amazon Affiliate Link)
- $45 Plumbing: I don’t actually remember how much I spent. This is an estimate from my plumber dad. $45 is about what he estimates sink to wall hardware for sink installs cost.
For sink, faucet, and plumbing stuff I spent around $298.
Total cost of everything for this exact vanity set me back about $390. You could cut costs by spending less on a faucet and sink and still make a beautiful vanity!
- Jig Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Sand Paper 80, 120, 220, 400
- Puddy knife
- Bucket for mixing
- Henry’s Feather Finish
- Liquid nails
Step 1: Make or prep countertop
Most tutorials I found were covering pre-existing laminate countertops. I think I could have used the existing laminate countertop, but when ripping the old vanity out I didn’t have a game plan so I tossed it. The rest of the vanity lived in my back yard as a little play house until we moved. I let The Boy and his friends paint it all sorts of crazy colors, but couldn’t find any of those pictures. Here is what it looked like before it was painted:
First I decided how big the counter would be and cut two pieces of oak plywood (oak is just what I lying around in my scrap pile). Remember: from the “how to build a pottery barn vanity post“, the vanity and counter need to be 15” from the center of the toilet (Washington/Oregon Code). I screwed/glued them together. You can see in some of the pictures that I had to piece together one large piece and one small piece. If I could do it over I wish I had added 1 more sheet of plywood for a thicker look.
***I have read (after the fact) that wood may not be the best base for a cement overlay because it can suck the moisture out of the concrete potentially causing cracking. We’ve had the counters for well over a year and haven’t had any cracking issues. When I read about these counters not holding up well I’ve noticed they seem to struggle in high traffic areas i.e. kitchens. I learned a lot from the comment section in This post from the blog Tidbits. ***
I then added 1×2 to the edges in an effort to make them sharp and smooth. Looking back I don’t think this was necessary and wish I hadn’t done it. While the counter has held up well, adding the 1×2’s creates a weak point potentially causing cracks in the future. As of now it hasn’t been a problem. Again I didn’t realize this until AFTER I finished the bathroom.
Step 2: Cut Sink Template
Step 3: Apply Henry’s Feather Finish
Before you start, make sure to read the instructions!!! This was such a small surface I didn’t even use an entire box of Henry’s. After roughing up the plywood with low grit sand paper I started the tedious process of: mix, apply, let it dry, sand, clean surface—- mix, apply, dry, sand, clean—- mix, apply, dry, sand, clean—-mix, apply, dry, sand, blah blah blah. I think I did about 4-5 coats, I lost count at some point. I used whatever grit sandpaper I had lying around until the last coat which I used a 400 grit.
Step 5: Seal Counter
Here is the deal, I can’t actually remember the sealer we used or find it on the Home Depot website. I’ve read many rave reviews about TK6 NanoCoat. If you’re using this in a kitchen please make sure to get a food safe sealer!! We did 3-4 coats of a natural matte sealer and called it good.
As for attaching the vanity, we used a combination of liquid nails, caulk, L brackets, and shims to attach everything. Make sure the vanity is securely anchored to framing in the wall (not just drywall).
Before Picture & Demo
Flooring: Leonia Silver Glazed Tile
Vanity, Sink, Toilet and Lighting plans
Skim Coating, Trim & Wall Planking