Old furniture upcycling - repurposing a sideboard into a stylish bathroom vanity unit

Old furniture upcycling - repurposing a sideboard into a stylish bathroom vanity unit

This Queen Anne style solid wood with walnut veneer sideboard (circa early 20th century) came to me as a classic case of an old furniture piece that had been well used, uncared for and looking just a little bit sorry for itself. A bargain find from a local house clearance at the princely sum of £10! 

old damaged sideboard disassembled       water damaged sideboard top in need of sanding
With water damage and marked veneers, work began to repurpose it in a different setting. Removing everything possible and stripping it off old tarnished hardware  was the first job. The top in particular was extensively sun bleached as well as water damaged and required a lot of sanding. 

Close up of sideboard door and leg

 Reimagining this sideboard into a different use was always going to take more than just some sanding, coat of paint and some new hardware. 

For starters, I quickly realised that the height was going to be too high for the counter top sinks. 

Furthermore, changes were going to be needed that would affect the structural integrity of the cabinet frame so careful planning to accommodate the required plumbing and still have usage storage was crucial to success.

Close up of restored walnut veneer cabinet top, with white porcelain countertop sink and white ceramic drawer pulls in view
A design feature that I often incorporate is to combine painted and real wood finishes. Initially, I was doubtful the walnut veneer top could be revived but the worst damage is hidden by the porcelain sinks. The rest came up a treat after some light but thorough sanding and a couple of coats of yacht varnish. 
The new ceramic drawer pulls were a happy find from a high street and fitted perfectly with the Sanderson Indigo paint colour chosen for the rest of the cabinet.

Removing old finish (varnish in this case), and getting a  smooth & flat surface is key to a quality finish. Forget about the lazy "chalk paint on top of anything method"; if you want a quality finish, sand, sand, sand, prime-coat, colour match under-coat and then top-coat, with very light sanding between. Also, choose a quality paint that pro-decorators would recommend - my favourite just now is Johnstone Aqua System Satin for most timber.

The indigo colour was picked and colour matched from the Sanderson paper in this shot. Its a fantastic hue with a depth of colour that just draws you in.

Wide angle bathroom photo with rolltop bath and end of vanity unit refurb is focus
full width shot of indigo bathroom vanity unit complete with his and hers counter top sinks and a matching full width mirror on the wall above
This is a real statement piece in the bathroom and totally transforms the space. The room itself isn't actually all that big so this vanity unit now provides valuable storage space within a very stylish setting. The "his & hers" sinks are a luxury but this old sideboard really lent itself to this type of upcycling, taking it to a whole new level.
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