When you remodel your bathroom, you are breathing fresh life into your home. There are plenty of ways you can remodel your bathroom. Recently the vanity and cabinets are fast becoming the highlight of bathroom renovations. In this tutorial, I will show you how to make your own DIY Bathroom Cabinet with Epoxy Vanity Top.
Building your own cabinet for the bathroom gives you the ability to make it whatever size and design you want. A custom design cabinet will give you more storage room. Having a better storage area can make keeping your bathroom tidy so much easier. All your hygiene and beauty products will be easier to access and put away when you are finished.
I was asked to upgrade a small bathroom and build a new cabinet for better use of space and storage. I had an old vanity top that I was planning to throw away, but then I decided to reuse it by applying a layer of epoxy over the top. Applying epoxy, allowed me to cover the old vanity colors and make my own design that matched the bathroom. After the vanity was complete, I built the cabinet to fit the vanity measurements.
You also might be interested in another similar project I did for our bathroom that has vanity top with epoxy resin.
Time to Complete
Tools for this project
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut Front and Bottom Pieces
When using a full sheet of plywood on a project, it’s always a good idea to divide it into smaller pieces first. Especially if you don’t have a large table saw, it’s very hard to handle and cut a full sheet of plywood.
Typically, I use a skill saw to cut a full sheet into smaller sections. But when using a skill saw the cut is not always straight, unless I use a skill saw guide. So I make a rough cut slightly larger than what I need, and then with a table saw, cut to the correct measurements.
First, take a full sheet of plywood and with a skill saw cut it into four sections, see cut list for the suggested rough cut. Then on the table saw cut the back piece to 28″ x 26 1/4″, bottom piece to 28″ x 20 1/4″, and a front base piece to 28″ x 4″.
Step 2 – Cut Left and Right Sides of the Bathroom Cabinet
Next cut the left and right sides to 27 3/4″ x 20 1/4″. Both the left and right sides are the same measurement.
On the right side of the cabinet, we wanted to have a drawer that slides out for a trash bin. I made the drawer door the same size as the front doors to keep it symmetrical also large enough for a trash container to fit. If you prefer not to have the side drawer, you could skip the instructions on this drawer.
With a pencil, mark a rectangular opening to 13 3/8″ x 18 1/2″ as shown in the picture and cut it out using a skill saw. The skill saw will not be able to cut the corners completely, so use a dovetail saw to finish the cut of each corner.
Step 3 – Attach Bottom to Back Piece
Drill pocket holes on the bottom piece and the back piece as shown in the picture. Apply wood glue at the seam and attach both pieces together using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. The pocket holes should be on the back and bottom of the cabinet so that they will not be visible.
Step 4 – Attach the Side Pieces to the Bathroom Cabinet
Now drill pocket holes on both side pieces as shown in the cut list. Then attach them to the cabinet using wood glue and pocket hole screws. The side pieces should sit 3/4″ lower than the bottom piece.
Step 5 – Build the Front Frame of the Cabinet
For the front frame of the cabinet, I used a combination of plywood and solid pine wood. Since the cabinet frame will be painted, the paint covers the wood completely, so it really doesn’t matter what type of wood you use. But if you’re staining wood, it’s a good idea not to mix wood types. The stain on plywood will look completely different than on solid wood.
Take 1×8 board and cut two side pieces to 1 1/2″ x 27 3/4″, one bottom piece to 1 1/2″ x 26 1/2″, and then one top piece to 26 1/2″ x 8″ using 3/4″ plywood. Drill pocket holes as shown in the picture and attach the boards together with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket holes. Make sure to clamp the pieces together before screwing-in the screws, this will prevent the boards from shifting.
Step 6 – Secure the Front Frame to the DIY Bathroom Cabinet
Apply wood glue at the seams before attaching the frame. Then using a pipe clamp, clamp the front frame to the cabinet making sure the top is flush to the side pieces. Use 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to secure the frame to the cabinet.
Step 7 – Cut and Assemble the Base of the Cabinet
You should already have the front piece of the base cut in step 1. Now cut two side pieces to 17 1/2″ x 4″. Then drill pocket holes as shown in the picture. Attach the two side pieces to the front piece using wood glue and pocket hole screws. Then flip the cabinet upside down and place the base section flush with the backside of the cabinet. Attach the base to the bottom with pocket hole screws.
Step 8 – Cut Stile and Rail Boards for the Door
When building the cabinet doors it’s very important to have all of the boards perfectly straight. You don’t want a door to bow out in one direction or to be warped. So make sure the wood you’re using for doors is straight.
The door consists of a 3” wide frame that clamps the ¼” plywood panel in the middle. First, cut six stile boards to 3” x 19 3/4″, then six rail boards to 3” x 7 7/8″ for three cabinet doors. These boards will hold the plywood panel in the center. Now cut three 14 1/4″x8 3/8″ panels using 1/4″ plywood.
Step 9 – Cut Grooves in Stile and Rail Boards
The middle plywood panel will need to be clamped inside the door frame boards. So the rail and the stile boards have a ¼” deep groove along the inside edges. The width of the groove needs to be cut wide enough for ¼” plywood to fit easily, but not too loose.
To accomplish this, raise your table saw blade ¼” high. Then draw a centerline at the end of one of your test pieces. Place this piece on your saw, and then adjust the saw’s fence so that the blade is positioned slightly off the line. Make your first pass, and then flip the board end for the second pass. This widens the groove. Check if the groove is wide enough by inserting the ¼” plywood. If the groove is too narrow, nudge your saw fence a tiny bit and repeat both cuts. Once you get the plywood fitting perfectly, then cut the stile and rail piece.
The groove on the stile piece will not go across the entire board. I started the groove about 1” from the top and finished it about 1” from the bottom. But the top and bottom rail boards will have a grove that goes across the entire board.
Step 10 – Drill Pocket Holes on Bottom and Top Rails
Now take the bottom and top rail boards and drill two pocket holes on each end. Make sure your Kreg Jig is set for ¾” wood thickness. Then using a random orbital sander, sand all the boards to remove any rough edges.
Step 11 – Assemble the Doors
Position your boards on a workbench, then apply wood glue in the grooves and on the edges where the rail boards meet the stile boards. Insert the ¼” plywood into the top and bottom rails first, and then into one of the stile boards. Using Kreg face clamps, clamp the boards at the seam to prevent the board from shifting while driving in the screws. Make sure the clamp is tight; otherwise you’ll have uneven boards in the front. Since we’re using 3/4″ wood, use 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. Then place the second stile board and secure it with screws. Repeat the process for each door.
Step 12 – Drill Holes for the Door Hinges
To install the hinges on the doors, you will need a 1 3/8″ by 3/8″ Shank Forstner Drill Bit. Take the door and measure 4″ from the bottom and 4″ from the top and mark it with a pencil. The hinges you purchase usually come with a template. Place the template at the 4″ mark and with a scratch awl or a nail, push down through the template x marks to make a little dent in the door. Remove the template and drill a 1 3/8″ hole at the center of the mark using shank Forstner drill bit. You only need to drill these holes on two of the doors; the third door will be used as a drawer so it does not need hinges.
Step 13 – Stain Doors and Paint the Bathroom Cabinet
Before staining the door, apply a coat of pre-stain on both sides of the door. Then apply a coat of Briarsmoke stain and wipe it off with a clean cloth. To make the color slightly darker, I took a dark brown paint, and with a wet cloth lightly applied a thin layer over the stain. The wet cloth makes it easier to spread the paint. After the paint/stain dries, apply a coat of water-based matte polyurethane. I like to use water-based polyurethane because it does not have a yellowing tint to it as oil-based does.
The frame of the cabinet also needs to be painted. I used the same dark brown color to paint the frame.
Step 14 – Attach the Front Doors
Now attach the hinges to the front doors and attach the doors to the frame of the cabinets. Use the adjustment screws to adjust the doors if necessary to make the caps perfectly straight. For this bathroom cabinet, you need to use face frame hinges, because the door is attached to the front frame.
Step 15 – Attach Slider Supports to the Side Door
The side door of the cabinet will be sliding open on the drawer slides that are attached to the backboard of the cabinet. Take ¾” plywood and cut four pieces to 16”x3”. Then glue them together by sets of two so that you’ll get two boards that are 1 ½” thick.
These boards need to be attached to the door. Set the Kreg Jig to ¾” wood thickness and drill pocket holes on one end of the board that will be attaching to the door. The pocket holes need to be far apart to fit a drawer slider in between the pocket holes. Now attach these supports to the inside of the door 1/2″ from the edge of the door.
Step 16 – Attach Side Door to Drawer Slides
Now take ¾” plywood and cut 16” long piece with a 45-degree miter cut on both ends. Drill pocket holes on both sides and attach it at the bottom of the door diagonally. This diagonal board keeps the door sturdy in place and also serves as a support for a garbage bin.
Next, attach the drawer sliders to the backside of the slider support boards. Then attach the entire door assembly to the backboard of the cabinet.
Right above the cabinet drawers attach a 28″ x 5 1/2″ decor board, using 1 1/4 brad nails from the inside, with a nail gun. Then attach door handles to the cabinet doors.
Step 17 – Clean and Prepare the Vanity for Epoxy
Once the cabinet is completely done, next you need to get a vanity with sink that goes over the cabinet. You could purchase a vanity at the store and install it if you like the design and colors. Or if you happen to have an old vanity, you could apply epoxy over it and make it any color or design you want.
In my case, I had an old vanity top from the bathroom we remodeled a while back. So I decided to reuse it, but I didn’t like the colors, plus it was longer than what I needed it to be. I ended up cutting it shorter with an angle grinder and applying epoxy over the top to make a new design.
Before applying epoxy, you need to clean and prepare the surface of the vanity and the backsplash.
First, clean the sink with water. Scrape off any caulking with a razor blade. Then using the TSP solution, remove any grease from the surface. After that, use a random orbital sander with 320 grit sand disk and sand the entire top including the skink. You might need to sand the inside of the sink with your hand because of the steep curves of the sink. The sandpaper will rough up the surface and make the epoxy stick better.
Step 18 – Apply Bonding Primer
Apply bonding primer over the surface of the vanity top and the sink. There are many different colors of bonding primer. When you apply epoxy over the surface, it will flow over the edges making the layer thinner at the edges. This will make the bonding primer slightly visible. So it’s important to choose the right bonding primer color to match your epoxy design.
Use a small roller to apply the primer. The roller applies primer evenly throughout the surface. It is very important to have the primer applied smoothly, especially in the sink when the surface is vertical. Epoxy will follow the gravity and flow down on vertical surfaces exposing any primer imperfections. Apply a second coat of primer if necessary to completely cover the old vanity design. When the primer is dried, lightly run through the surface with a 320 grid sandpaper.
Step 19 – Mix the Epoxy
The epoxy kit comes with part A and part B that would need to be mixed together before applying it on the surface. First, pour 1/2 quart of part B into a bucket and then 1/2 quart of part A. Use an allway helix paint mixer to mix the epoxy. For best results, you’ll need to mix it for at least 5 minutes.
Epoxy is clear by itself, so to make the base color white, add two teaspoons of white epoxy Gelcoat pigment paint into the bucket. Make sure everything is mixed well before applying it to the vanity.
Step 20 – Spread Epoxy over the Vanity Top
Before applying the epoxy over the vanity, make sure that it is leveled. If you have a slight slope, epoxy will flow down and you’ll have one side with a thick layer and the other side with a thin layer of epoxy.
Pour the epoxy throughout the countertop and backsplash and spread it with a patty knife or with a chop brush. Let the epoxy drip over the edges and use a chop brush to spread it evenly on the edges.
Step 21 – Apply Random Black Lines Across Epoxy for Marble Design Look
Once the white-colored epoxy is evenly spread out, now it’s time to add some color. You could make this as creative as you would like and use whatever colors you’d want. But to make it simple, I just used black spray paint to add a few lines to make it look like marble. First, take black spray paint, then spray a small amount on the tip of a mixing stick. Basically, you’ll use this stick like a pencil for you to draw over epoxy. If you want the lines darker, then spray more paint on the tip. Then draw random lines with this mixing stick across epoxy.
Then take a hairdryer and blow on the black lines with hot air. When epoxy warms up, it becomes softer and runnier and the air moves the epoxy. Now the straight lines that you drew with a mixing stick could be shifted or curved with a hairdryer. You could blow air in any direction making this as artistic as you like.
Step 22 – Remove Bobbles with a Torch
When spreading epoxy over the vanity top, you’ll have bubbles that form during this process. To eliminate these bubbles you need to take a propane torch and quickly run through the top keeping the flame about 8″ from vanity. The fire heats up the epoxy and the bobbles pop. If you still see some bobbles go through it again. Do not overdo with the torch; this can give a yellowish tint to it.
Step 23 – Scrape off Dripping Epoxy at the Edge
The final step is to scrape off any dripping epoxy at the edge of the vanity. During the curing time, you’ll need to repeat this process every half an hour on vanity and backsplash until it does not drip anymore. But if you forgot to scrape off dripping epoxy, you could always remove the droplets with random orbital sander the following day once it cured. Let the epoxy cure for 72 hours before installing any faucets or attaching the backsplash.
Step 24 – Install the Cabinet and Vanity and Backsplash
In the bathroom where the cabinet will be installed, measure the plumbing that comes out from the wall and transfer those measurements to the backside of the cabinet. Cut out the openings large enough for plumbing to fit through the backboard. Now install the cabinet and vanity top. Plumb the sink pipe and install the faucets. You’re done with a DIY Bathroom cabinet with epoxy vanity top.