Upcycle: Bathroom Vanity

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I’m quite excited to share with you the journey of this upcycling venture. This delightful vanity transformation was a project taken on and completed by my Mum. It was her first DIY upcycle piece ever and a rather big one to take on! I think she has done an incredible job and thought I would share the process, over which we had many discussions and debates!

Some backfill;

Bathroom Process

My Mum, and her husband Andy, have recently been adding an extension to their house, which has included the addition of a new bathroom in order to make room for family that visits frequently from overseas. We had so many chats about the direction she wanted to take with this bathroom and it was decided that it should be functional yet beautiful with a somewhat hotel feel. This bathroom and guest room open out to a pool area so the concept of a wet room offered practicality for people to rinse off and change after a swim.


I immediately began scouring Pinterest and sent her snippets of inspiration. At the time I had recently visited a friends house and they had converted an old table into a vanity, which I loved so this idea seemed to feature in many of my suggestions! In terms of colours and style my Mum decided she wanted perhaps beachy tones with whites and neutrals. With the Block Contestants completing a crazy 5 bathrooms each there is also plenty of inspiration here in the galleries.

images linked to original source 

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Whilst researching bathroom ideas and vanity options I found this unique bicycle vanity creation by designer Benjamin Bullins – I’m not sure I could have itin my bathroom but I love the idea!


 Then one day a picture message came through, ‘we found one!’

Vanity Before

I must admit when I got the picture, despite my usual ability to mentally transform a piece in my head, I was a little shocked and not sure how this was going to quite fit into what had eventuated as a relatively modern bathroom concept.

Mum explained to me that she was going to whitewash the wood and then replace the vanity. I worried about the whitewash not providing enough contrast and that it would clash with the cream (which were supposedly white) chosen tiles but she had a vision in her head so I sat back eager to see the result.

Firstly she sanded the entire piece. A painstakingly slow and tedious process. If the budget does not matter I recommend getting things chemically dipped and stripped. So much easier.


after sanding

Then came the first coat of paint and the lesson of wood rot.

Wood Rot

After the first coat she noticed that black damp bits of wood starting showing through. She remained hopeful that the second coat would cover it but the same thing happened again. Frustrated and confused she took to Google to discover that it was indeed the dreaded wood rot. She found out that this could in fact be fixed by injecting a wood hardener, and she swears by Earl’s Wood Hardner, which she purchased from Mitre 10, but this added a few extra stages and meant sanding again! This tests the love of a project but she was determined to make it work. She was starting to face the doubts of a few people!

After successfully fixing the wood rot it was time to start considering the sink they would purchase and replacement top, which they chose a marble look laminate for. It was once these were purchased that my Mum started to doubt the white wash finish of the wood so decided that a solid white gloss enamel may be better. She then decided that in order to tie in the rest of the bathroom a feature tile (which caused a whole lot of debate – as I am anti feature tile!) needed to be incorporated.

And here lies the finished result – which I must say I think is quite impressive – feature tile and all!

Before and After Vanity

Bathroom After

I was lucky to be able to fly up to visit my Mum and help with the styling of the guest rooms and the rooms were complete with a day to spare for the arrival of the family from England – who agree that it feels like they are staying in a hotel! Mission accomplished and a huge achievement!

Styled Guest ROoms


12 thoughts on “Upcycle: Bathroom Vanity

  1. Well done, but I loved the original tiles! At first was mad at you, but then I noticed the same tile accents in the rest of the bathroom. So, I’m not mad at you now. Very beautiful room. But…what did you do with the original tile? Hoping that you saved them and will use them in another project.

    • Hi Angelique, thanks for checking out the post! I can relate to how you feel about the tiles but these ones were in fact chipped in parts and somewhat discoloured. Also they wouldn’t have fit the rest of the room. They are a beautiful pattern though. Unfortunately it is hard to remove tiles fully intact so unfortunately I don’t think they will be reappearing in another project soon but they could have had many uses I agree! x

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