I bought this antique vanity several years ago with good intentions, but it was just one of those projects that I never got to. It was super cheap (maybe $15 or something) and I jumped on it. To be honest, I have even reposted in on Kijiji, just wanting to get rid of it, but not many people were chomping at the bit to pick up this puppy…not sure why??? Okay, I get it…it is (was) super ugly!
This spring when Tim and I decided that our backyard needed to be “dressed” up a bit, I decided to see what we could come up with from our own personal stash of goodies/junk (matter of perspective I guess). With Covid restrictions in place, there weren’t many other options available any way. I figured that if I could find some gems in our own collection, I would kill mulitiple birds with one stone, so to speak….purge, save money, save the landfill and pretty up our back yard.
We really didn’t see any value in this unit in the condition it was in, so the first thing we did was remove the drawers from one side and take them outside to add interest to our garden. Tim simply anchored them together in a staggered stack and we used them as planters. We were pleased with how they turned out and it was super easy because I liked the worn look and didn’t even both giving them fresh paint.
Although the remaining vanity pieces could have easily made their way to the dump, I was desperately trying to make our front porch look more inviting and I was in need of a table for just outside our front door. The space wasn’t large and I thought this might be the perfect upcycle project.
Tim kindly cut the vanity apart and I set to work building a new top out of…you guessed it…reclaimed wood from an old table (from staircase make over last summer).
The first thing I had to do was build a little frame around the top because the original piece had curved edges.I then attached the boards to the top of the half vanity.
I’m not sure why I didn’t take a photo of it, but the right side of the cabinet was a little rough with a gap from where we cut it apart. I knew this would be against the house wall and not visible, so we just cut a very thin piece of scrap wood and covered it, bandage style! When everything was repainted, it was really not noticeable at all. I used exterior paint because this would need to withstand the elements out on our front porch.
I finally decided to use a Pinterest idea I had pinned several years ago. I absolutely love the knobs in the tutorial, but unfortunately, the colour wouldn’t work for my project. I purchased old ceramic knobs for a dollar each at an antique store and then coloured them with Sharpie marker and baked them at 350 degrees for half an hour. (I actually like the original cream colour, but my project was quite a bright white and they didn’t look great together.) Here is the tutorial from School of Decorating. I’m still a little disappointed that I couldn’t use the teal colour from the tutorial, but it just wouldn’t work for this project. I did, however, want them to look somewhat like a natural stone (think emerald), so I opted to go for green to tie in with our deck chairs. I love the way they turned out!
Too bad I could not find an angle where I didn’t get reflections in the gold, but you get the idea. The uneven strokes with the Sharpie are what helps to give the finished drawer pulls some depth and interest.
To finish off this little niche I FINALLY used this old shutter that I had antiqued about a zillion years ago. I made it and loved it, but had never found a home for it until now! I simply sat it on the top of the vanity and leaned it against the house. The piece on top is a plastic medallion that I bought at the dollar store. I spray painted it white and then sanded it back a bit to antique it. I picked up the glass vase/jar at a thrift store for $2 and those pretty flowers are from the dollar store too! I do love how this little “vignette” is coming together, but I must say it also brings this old Sesame Song to mind….
I don’t know, but to me it looks like something in that picture just doesn’t belong….can you guess what it is?
If you guessed the mailbox…you’re right! It is on my hit list for this summer as well! Stay tuned!
Now before I sign off, I am mustering up the courage to get real and show you the before and afters. The vanity transformation is pretty cool, but hold on to your hat if you want to see how bad my porch looked before this tiny make over. Here goes….
Stay tuned for many more DIY, upcycling and make over projects….this summer has been so busy! We have worked on so many different things…so fun to transform a space!