Behr Paint with Primer, Dresser, the suburban home, vintage style

Turning a Dresser into a Bathroom Vanity

The end is near on the bathroom remodel.  I can almost hear angels singing!  I am not sure why, but this project has been a rough one.  I think we are just tired.  And old.

By far my favorite thing about the bathroom is the dresser we bought that I repurposed into a bathroom vanity.  I love the Restoration Hardware look of the refinished wood, I like the wood top- that we have covered with a million coats of marine varnish to protect it from water, I now have better storage in the vanity, and I like that it looks like furniture in the bathroom.

It went from looking like this:

20140706-200126-72086336.jpg 20140706-200126-72086530.jpg 20140706-200125-72085748.jpg

to this beauty:


It was tough finding a solid wood dresser that was 72 inches long.  I paid too much for it ($200.00), but after a month of searching this one spoke to me.

As hard as getting the dresser to look the way I wanted was, getting it to function as a bathroom vanity has been more of a challenge.  There just are no instructions for how to make plumbing work for a piece that was never designed to have pipes run through it.  Every one is different.  We did look at these websites for ideas:

Beneath My Heart


Domestic Imperfection

domestic imperfection




I could not find any that were crazy enough to put TWO sinks in a dresser.  I think that should have given me a hint… but I am a stubborn sort of girl.

Hubby cut the holes in the top of the vanity for the sinks while I was at work one day.  I was so excited with how they looked!


Step one was to remove the old vanity without destroying the plumbing.  A rotozip took care of getting the back board cut out.

Step two was to get the new vanity in place.  A 72 inch vanity will fit in a 72 inch opening with some sanding. It will fit in a 71 1/2 inch opening with a saw.  We forgot to think about the 1/4 inch hardboard we installed on the two side walls.  We also had to cut out a large section from the back to accommodate the plumbing and drain.  Every sink is different, so it is my recommendation if you really want to use the area under your sink for drawers, get a drop in sink for the top of the dresser and make sure it is fairly shallow.  We chose this beauty from Home Depot.  They were less than $80.00 each, which was better than I expected.(They are no longer in stock.)

farmhouse bathroom sink

Step three is to move the dresser into place, drop in the sink and connect the plumbing.  All the drawers will be out, we took a section of the back of the dresser off where the plumbing would go and even had to remove a few cross bars that will have to be reinstalled or reworked when we are finished.

Step four is to begin the process of fitting the drawers around the plumbing.  Once again we looked online for how to do this and saw several potential plans:

drawers on vanity

HGTV  (HGTV recommended dismantling the drawers.  No, thank you.)


An Oregon Cottage  (A more common sense approach.)

We opted to do a sort of modifed version of what An Oregon Cottage did.  The bottom drawer just needed a cut out scoop on the very back.  The middle and top drawers needed to be L shaped in order to miss the plumbing.

Here is what our  dresser looked like inside once the drawers were cut out to go around the plumbing:

dresser guts

It isn’t pretty, but I have a ton more storage than before.  I am going to get it all stained and sealed soon.  I pinky promise.




We removed one drawer from the middle section to allow for taller items like cleaners.



Here is the finished product.  I am so very happy with how it turned out.  Enjoy.


The color is off in this shot but you can see the finished look.



This is the best shot of the dresser and the mirror together I can get in the narrow space.  Love the pieces together.  The light will change.  I just have to find the right one.




The sinks look amazing.




You get the best representation of the finish on this shot.



We have the most amazing natural light in the bathroom.  I love how it reflects around the room.

bathroom makeover

Thanks for putting up with my way too long bathroom reno.  I hope you like the look as much as we do.  I still have doorknob towel holders to add and a little touch up paint to do before we can call it DONE!

I hope you enjoy the look as much as we do and our struggles inspire you to try something out of the ordinary at your home.






28 thoughts on “Turning a Dresser into a Bathroom Vanity”

  1. Great job, it looks amazing! I now can get a good idea how two totally different pieces can look great together in the same room. You continue to be a great inspiration!

  2. Super post! I’ve been wanting one of these, and harping at my husband that “yes…it is possible.” Now I have proof of a real live fabulous result. Thanks for the ammo 🙂

    1. I had to do some digging. The sink came from Lowes, the faucet came from Home Depot. Here is the information: AquaSource White Fire Clay Drop-In Rectangular Bathroom Sink with Overflow
      Item #: 471887 | Model #: LL1601W
      It is $87.00 on the website now.

  3. what was the height of the dresser in the top pic? I found a dresser similar but it 31 in high and seems short for a bathroom vanity

    1. Our dresser-turned vanity is 32 inches tall. We are both really tall, and it is not uncomfortable. The sinks on top add height. Good luck!

    1. The dresser was purchased on Craig’s List and totally refinished to look more like a Restoration Hardware piece. The instructions are on another of my blog posts. I am glad you like the dresser.

  4. Can you tell me how far the sink comes out from the wall? I am looking at the same sink at Lowe’s. The dresser I have is 16 1/2 inches deep and the spec sheets on Lowe’ s says the sink is 17″ in depth but sometimes those specs aren’t exactly right. None of the stores near me have the sink in stock so before I order it I’d like to know if it will fit.

  5. Could you tell me what your bathroom sinks are? I’ve searched Home Depot and can’t seem to find it

  6. If I understood correctly the overmount sinks take up more room than an under mount as far as plumbing goes. So if we did the overmount we probably wouldn’t be able to have storage underneath except in the middle? I love the way yours looks and was hoping to do one like it for our new bathroom addition but we do want storage too…thoughts? or is it possible to see a pic of the inside under the sinks…? That’s probably too much to ask… I’m just having trouble finding many posts with the overmount sink. I had read some of the ones you mentioned.

    1. Actually the over mount sink helped with storage because the pipes are higher in the dresser. I am glad I chose over mount sinks.

  7. This is exactly what I want to do in my bathroom! Thank you for the inspiration!
    Now to find a 72” dresser. Lol

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