Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bathroom Renovation - Part 5 - The Commode Turned into a Vanity

This is a continuation of our bathroom renovation that started with me needing an outlet to plug in my hair dryer.  You can read Part 1 here.

Of course we needed a vanity and I wanted to make my own from scratch.  Unfortunately I still don't have a workshop so I decided to buy an old commode and strip it.  We found one just the right size at a local antiques store.  At first we were going to get a dresser but then I realized there would be three or more drawers that would have to be altered to allow room for the sink's plumbing.  It's much better to use a piece with one drawer which has two doors below.  (I will do my next post on how I changed the commode to fit around the plumbing).

This is the commode we chose.  It is done in a tiger oak faux finish probably from about the 1920s or 30s.

My first thought was to strip the finish off and then put a nice clear coat on the wood. 

Here's the drawer front:

Here's one side:

And the top:

A close up of the top:

As you can see, the commode was not in very good condition.

While we were completing work in the bathroom, I began to strip the top of the commode first. And because I had no other place to work, this was done in our bedroom!

It became apparent that this was a very time-consuming task and I was not sure that I wanted the whole piece to be stained wood, so I decided just to strip the top.

This is what I ended up with after multiple layers of removal and at least seven coats of wipe-on polyurethane:

As I said earlier I will detail the sink and the drawer reconfiguring in my next post.

I painted the rest of the cabinet with chalk paint without stripping nor any primer.

As you can see, it is really quite a difference from the original piece.

We found a mirror that just fit into the space under the light fixture.  The upper right corner actually touches the slanted wall, so we could not fit anything larger there. We are quite pleased with how it all turned out.  I also have the shutter cupboard that I made (which has matching paint) in the bathroom to hold toiletries.

Please stay tuned for the next post where I will show how I altered the drawer to fit the sink's plumbing. You can read that here.

I was featured at:
My Repurposed Life

Elizabeth and Co.

blog feature

Sharing at the following blog parties:
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  1. Oh my word, I love it! Turned out perfectly gorgeous!

  2. Your new vanity looks great Julie! Around these parts a toilet is called a commode ;)
    I don't think I've ever heard this piece of furniture referred to as such. lol

    loving the new look and the color is perfect!

  3. Thanks Gail. A commode in the old farm days was a piece of furniture with a towel rack and a spot for a bowl and pitcher to sit. Also a chamber pot would be in the cupboard below. (Perhaps where the toilet reference came from)

  4. I LOVE this Julie - it's just gorgeous - and now you can hang a couple of hand tails on the bar part of the harp !!!
    Beautiful job !

    1. Thanks Suzan, it means a lot coming from the furniture painting queen!

  5. beautiful, julie! the wood on top is gorgeous!

  6. Well, that is interesting. And that’s a nice piece of furniture you chose for the sink drawer. This renovation thing is really all about innovation and resourcefulness, but we should also not lose the aesthetic part of it. This is a really great help, Julie, and we are sure to take note of this for our future bathroom remodeling. Good day!

    Roxanne Vaughn @ Total PLBG

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Roxanne. Please look for my next post about how I changed the drawer to fit around the plumbing. I have all the photos, just need to write it up.

  7. I love these style of cabinet, I wish I could find them here. Such a beautiful restoration of the wood.

    1. Thanks Gilly, it's a style that was used years ago in farm houses here. I've seen a few but I think a lot have been thrown out.

  8. What a transformation! Looks great and I love the color!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  9. That top turned out gorgeous! Definitely worth your hard work. The color is pretty awesome, as well!

  10. Thank you Cindy, Martina and Cynthia for your nice comments!

  11. Your beautiful makeover caught my eye at the Vintage Inspiration Party. Such a pretty bathroom vanity - swooning over the color and the stained wood!
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  12. How gorgeous! I love it. The color you picked for it is perfection.

  13. I love it Julie - the perfect mix of old and new! Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Stunning Julie, just stunning!!! It really looks like an expensive piece inspired from the Victorian era. Even something the famous Marie Antionette would have in her palace. The color really does it justice and it's a beautiful shade as well. Truly inspiring creativity you have been gifted with. The differences in the "before" and "after" are night and day. It's now become something completely new.

    Levi Eslinger @ Capital Plumbing

  15. Beautiful! Do yo u mind me asking dimensions of piece and where you purchased sink? Having a hard time finding one for mine..

  16. This is an American Standard sink. I am in Prince Edward Island, Canada, so you may not have the same store but here is a link with some information that may lead you to finding one.


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