Dresser to bathroom vanity a makeover!

Our children share their own bathroom in our home.  Over the years, I’ve tried keeping this space bright and fun by adding beach-inspired touches and decor.

Years ago I added this vinyl “Splish Splash I was takin’ a bath” and hand-painted waves above their tub/shower.  It was cute back then but now at ages 18, 12 and 10, not so much !


Our son is 6’1″ and both our girls measure over 5′ which makes their low, petite vanity and small mirror feel VERY small and cramped.

My mantra for the later part of this year has been “making-our-space-less-cluttered-and-more-organized-while-updating-room-by-room”.  My husband’s office was my first priority and it came out great.  I will post before and after pics soon.

My kids bathroom was my next.  I wanted to make their space feel bigger and a space that they can all use effectively, without feeling cramped.

My inspiration was Nantucket.  A beautiful Island that is near and dear to both my husband and I.  Michael and I have visited Nantucket many times over the years.  As a matter of fact, it’s the first trip we ever took as a couple.   We also spent our honeymoon on the Island and each summer we visit some close friends for a few days.  It’s always so amazing and we have so many fond memories.  Just a few weeks back, we visited Nantucket for the weekend with our friends for a special birthday.  We laughed for 3 days straight! Fun, fun, fun !!

The morning we were scheduled to leave the Island, Michael and I took a nice long walk along the cobblestone streets.  We thought it would be fun to visit the B&B where we honeymooned back in 2001.  The owners were so incredibly sweet and invited us to stay for breakfast.  If we had time we certainly would have but we had a flight to catch home.  It was really lovely going back, walking through the home and reminiscing.

After returning home I decided I would make our kids bathroom feel like a warm and inviting Nantucket B&B.

My wheels started turning.


So let me share some pics of the kids bathroom before.

It wasn’t terrible, but certainly needed some work and some updating.

My initial vision was to use an old dresser as a vanity.  I was thrilled when I found this curvy, solid wood dresser at Savers for only $35!!  (pictured with all of the drawers removed). 

It certainly was very scratched and I had no idea what kind of wood was under the thick, black paint.  But it was the perfect shape, size and price for this makeover!


Imagine my surprise when this beautiful wood grain was discovered after much power sanding.  I believe it’s called Zebra wood ?!?



After clearing everything out of the bathroom,  I shut off the water, removed the sink and the vanity (amazing the things you can do with the power of the Internet!).   Next, I patched holes then painted the walls.   I’ve been asked what color I used but unfortunately it’s a $5.00 gallon of mis-tint paint.  It’s a pretty blue-grey by Benjamin Moore.  I wanted to do bead board however I didn’t want to try and cut the real thing.  Instead I used faux bead board wallpaper at Lowes and it was perfect!  Once the wallpaper was hung and dry, I trimmed it out with pine board and painted everything in a white semi-gloss.

The small builder-grade light had to go and a larger mirror was a must!  I found the perfect size mirror at Home Goods.  Next, how to figure out how to center the fixture ?!?



I had to think outside of the box for this one…the junction box that is!  (haha, that’s a little electrical humor ).  Obviously I didn’t want to try and move the junction box myself, yikes!  And I certainly didn’t want to bother my Dad to do it for me since I had other jobs I would need his help for.

My vision were two galvanized barn-style lights similar to this one, but again without moving or adding another junction box I was very limited.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.16.47 PM

I decided that I needed a fixture with a long base, allowing me to adjust the placement of the fixture above the mirror.  It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped and I did have to cut the metal mounting piece in half, drill new holes and flip it upside down to make this work.

Good Golly it did !

More lighting in this bathroom was a must !   What a huge difference.  It’s like night and day!  (sorry, I can’t help myself).


I hot glued oyster shells around the entire frame of the mirror for that beachy-feel.


A vessel sink was my vision but after looking at Lowes and online, I realized that vessel sinks and faucets are expensive!  Much more than what I intended to spend on this update.   So I convinced myself that a drop-in sink was perfectly okay with me.

Before I committed to anything, I took a quick trip to Home Depot to check out their bathroom fixtures.  While browsing their clearance section, look what I found for only $83.00!  A vessel sink with a faucet!!!  I think this was all meant to be!

vanity-box vanity-clearance

I applied several layers of poly to the top of the dresser to protect the wood from the inevitable wetness.  Next, I drilled the appropriate holes for the sink and faucet.

Of course, I had to cut the back of the dresser so that the plumbing pipes would fit properly.


I was so excited to place the sink on the dresser.

However, I was a little surprised by this….my pipes were WAY off ?!?  Ooops!!


Here is where good ole’ Dad comes in to save the day!  My Dad ALWAYS knows what to do!  He can figure just about ANYTHING out when it comes to DIY!  I swear, my Dad is TOTALLY Superhero cape material….beyond handsome….waaaay smart….!!!

We met at Lowes early one morning and got what we needed.  Thank you so much Dad !!!


Once my Dad worked his magic, it was time to see it all come to life !!


Here is how my Dad added to the existing piping and how I had to cut the back of the dresser so that the pipes would fit underneath.


And it was just like I had imagined.  Even better !

bathroom-after2  kids-bath-after-full



I made a wooden sign to hang above the tub/shower to replace the “splish splash” wording.


Much more fitting for my older kiddos.


An old wooden ladder holds decorative towels.   I hung their original smaller mirror/medicine cabinet above their toilet.



I replaced the fabric on this little bench to fit their decor.



The rest of the towels and their toiletries are stored in the dresser drawers.  I had to cut each one in order for them to be functional.  Can’t tell from the outside.



The only finish I did on the original dresser was to heavily sand the edges, that’s all !

Our kids are VERY pleased with their makeover and have actually taken the time to hang their wet towels instead of just letting them lay in a heap on the floor.

So, so far so good!!


Thanks for visiting!


5 thoughts on “Dresser to bathroom vanity a makeover!

  1. Hi Did you make the sign “it’s a shore thing”?? I have been looking every where for a sign for over a year of that saying but in a wood look and I saw it in your bathroom pic, I just love it. I would love to order one or can you make one? Let me know Thanks so much! Tammie

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