But this doesn’t mean that Bre’s vanity can’t trigger a unique look using the same concept, I just have to think outside the box. LOL….
But when you see what I ended up doing, you’ll likely think, “Huuuum. Not so unique.” And you’d be right.
Yes, this look is all over the internet right now, so I can’t take credit for thinking it up first.
Solid Wood Vanity Source
Since a chest to fit the space (about 16 inches deep by 38 inches long) could not be located, I settled on an unfinished console table that is 14 inches deep and 38 inches long. And although it is short for a vanity, when the rectangle vessel sink is added to the top, the height is exactly the same as a traditional vanity/sink combo.
The plumbing will show underneath and a couple of baskets will hold towels on the lower shelf. So ok, this will work. In fact, it will probably be better in the end because the openness of the console table helps to unweight the cramped square footage in the bathroom.
And just like that, Plan A changed to Plan B.
Just FYI, this table is available through several online vendors, but I shopped for the best price. And side-by-side price comparisons showed Wal-Mart nearly $20 cheaper than competitors. Plus, they offered free shipping in a flat box to my door.
Get Ready to Work
Always wear protective eye gear and clothing, protective gloves for sanding, and nitrile gloves for applying the conditioner and stain. The wood conditioner and stain are both oil-based so use a brush made for oil-based paints/stains and apply only in a well-ventilated area.
How to Stain a Solid Wood Vanity
Step One: ASSEMBLE and SAND
Assemble the console according to the directions that come in the box.
Then lightly sand every square inch of the unfinished piece with 220-grit sandpaper.
Wipe the dust away with a tack cloth.
Step Two: APPLY WOOD CONDITIONER
To prepare the wood to receive the stain evenly, first brush on a product called a wood conditioner.
Always apply with the grain of the wood.
There is no need to wipe a little excess conditioner away. It should soak into the wood.
I used Minwax brand Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and, during application, it looks like water going on the piece. Trust me, it’s not water and is a must-do step for getting the stain even on this piece.
The big caution is that the stain must be applied within two hours. So I had to decide if I could apply the conditioner to the entire table and then stain the entire table, completing BOTH within two hours. Since the piece is small and I could control interruptions, I opted for completely conditioning and then completely staining.
If you think you may have interruptions, then break up applying the conditioner into sections, such as legs, surface tops, and side panels. The key is to always stop at a joint and not in the middle of a flat piece of wood. Then, of course, stain the section that was just conditioned before moving on to the next section.
Step Three: APPLY STAIN
Wipe or brush on the stain.
I used Varathane brand stain in the color Dark Walnut.
A light coat was brushed on the console in small sections.
Before the stain dried or even set, it was wiped back using a clean, cotton cloth.
I knew I could always add more stain if the color needed to deepen, but wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of trying to reduce the color should the stain become too dark.
Stain was applied to every square inch of the console table, this includes the under sides.
The console was housed in a spray paint shelter to protect it from dust and flying debris from the lawn crews. To learn more about these shelters, please visit this blog post.
How to Protect A Solid Wood Vanity
Step Four: APPLY A WATER PROTECTION PRODUCT
Once the stain is thoroughly dry, it’s time to add a product that will protect the vanity from water.
I used Gator Hide by Dixie Belle Paint since I’ve used it before and had phenomenal success.
And yes, this product is water-based, but adheres to the oil-based stain like a boss.
Three thin coats were applied using a one-inch angle Mod Podge brush. The magical thing about a Mod Podge (1-inch angle Americana Decor on Amazon) brush is that it really is amazing at minimizing brush strokes. If you can’t get one of these brushes, just be sure to use a brush that works for a water-based product and promises to minimize brush stokes.
And between each of the coats of Gator Hide, buff the dry wood piece with steel wool (buff and wipe with a tack cloth). This will add to the buttery-smooth look and feel of a factory finish.
Remember to be completely thorough. Flip the table over and add several thin coats to the bottoms of the feet and to all of the underside’s nooks and crannies.
When dry (no stickiness when touched), flip the table back over and add the water repellant to the top sides (three thin coats, buffing between coats).
Disclosure: This post is not technically sponsored by Dixie Belle Paint since I just used left over product from another project (click here to see the project). But since Dixie Belle sent me the Gator Hide to try over a year ago, I wanted to let you know.
I also wanted to share that the little side table has been in the man cave for about 18 months where it is totally and completely abused. At last check, there is not one sign of a water stain or ring. Nor is there any chipping, cracking, flaking, or yellowing.
And so, here we are with a stained and sealed solid wood piece of furniture that is ready for vanity prime time.
If you have any specific questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section (below).
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