Buffet Turned Into Bathroom Vanity

Do you have a dream vanity you’d love to have in your bathroom, but the price tag is too high? With a little bit of creative DIYing and thrifting, you can make that vision come true. This blog post will explore how I transformed an old thrifted buffet into a modern bathroom vanity with plenty of storage space – and how you can do it yourself. Here’s our buffet turned into bathroom vanity makeover.

Get more furniture makeover ideas here!

old buffet before makeover

Here’s what the buffet looked like when I got it. It had some water damage on the top and the back, but overall was in good condition and was a great candidate for a bathroom vanity.

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A plain and large thrifted buffet seemed like an intimidating project at first, but some planning and patience proved that this DIY makeover was totally doable.

With the right tools, materials, and a bit of elbow grease, I was able to turn my thrifted piece into a beautiful bathroom vanity on a budget – and so can you!

Supplies Used for Buffet Turned Into Bathroom Vanity

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Check out our top 10 list of the best painting furniture supplies!

How to Turn Buffet into Bathroom Vanity

Alright, this buffet had a lot of water damage on the top and the back. So, I pried off the back of the buffet with my hammer and some flat tools. It was held on with nails around the edge.

To learn more about repairing water damaged wood, head on over this post for more information.

prying off back of the buffet with a hammer

Then I found the screws that held the top to the rest of the buffet. So I unscrewed those and the top came off.

I ended up replacing the back, but just on the 2 sides (I left the middle open for plumbing.)

And I didn’t make a new top because if this bathroom vanity was for me, I would want to put stone on the top.

The tops of bathroom vanities get a lot of water, and water does not sit well on wood. Even if it is sealed really well, so a stone or formica top is better than replacing the top with more wood.

But if you’re looking on how to make a new wood top for your furniture, check out my post on how to make a plank top dresser here.

I also cut out the shelf that the drawer sat on with my multi oscilating saw so the sink plumbing would be able to sit in this area.

cutting out shelf with a multi tool

I filled the holes left behind with some KwikWood. Learn more about how to use KwikWood here.

The last thing I did to turn the buffet into a vanity was break apart the middle drawer, where the sink will sit.

I took off the back of the drawer so the bottom of the drawer could be removed. And then I attached the sides of the drawers to the inside of the buffet, so that drawer was just a fake drawer.

But if you need a guide on dresser drawer bottom replacement, check out this post to learn more.

buffet with top and back of the drawer removed

Now if the finish on this buffet looked good, it would have been ready to put into a bathroom. But, the finish was old, scratched and in need of a refresh.

Refinishing Bathroom Vanity

I filled the hardware holes on the drawers so I could change out the hardware to something new. Here’s more about filling holes when replacing hardware in this post.

The I scuff sanded the surface to get it ready for paint… Learn more about the importance of sanding before painting furniture here.

How to Lighten Dark Wood

But when I started sanding, the old finish came off really fairly easily with 220 grit sandpaper. Check out the best sandpaper for furniture here.

And because of that, I sanded it all down to bare wood, other than in the details. I left a little bit of the dark stain in the details for an added effect.

Learn more on how to sand down wood with my guide here.

buffet sanded down to bare wood

If you want to recreate this look, here are the best furniture refinishing tools, and the best sanders for furniture.

I could have also used this technique to remove the wood stain, but the stuff on this buffet came off so easy that I didn’t need to.

Check out my Stripwell QCS review, this stripper is great in removing stains and old finishes from furniture safely and effectively.

Then, I cleaned off the dust and wiped down one section with mineral spirits to see what it would look like when I topcoated it.

It was much too dark for what I wanted, and the wood tones looked different, so I opted to bleach the wood to make it lighter. Learn how to bleach wood here.

If your furniture turned out orangey, here’s how to tone down orange wood furniture.

Here’s what it looked like after a couple of coats of bleach.

buffet after a couple coats of bleach

I could still tell that the wood tones were slightly different, so I applied a coat of whitewash, but with tan colored paint. Learn all about how to whitewash furniture in this post.

brushing whitewash onto the buffet

And just like in the post about how to whitewash furniture, I topcoated the wood to seal it and protect it from water in the bathroom. Here’s how to apply polyacrylic to painted furniture.

I also painted the inside of the vanity to make it look nice inside. I used Paint Couture’s Baltic Black paint and sealed it with waterbased polyurethane. Then I added new hardware and voila.

Here is what the buffet turned bathroom vanity looked like after!

buffed turned bathroom vanity with drawers opened
wood bathroom vanity made from vintage buffet

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

top view of natural wood for bathroom vanity made from vintage buffet

This natural wood bathroom vanity sold quickly for full price. I so wish that I had a space to put this because I would have kept it in a heartbeat!

If you want to sell your own painted furniture, check out my handy furniture painting price list to learn more.

If you want more amazing furniture makeover ideas, check out this post for unique and imaginative approaches to refurbishing furniture and making your home uniquely yours.

Buffet Turned Into Bathroom Vanity

full shot of natural wood vanity for bathroom made from vintage buffet

Looking for a way to add some extra storage to your bathroom? Check out this tutorial on a buffet turned into bathroom vanity.


  1. Pry off and unscrew the buffet's back and top. Replace the back parts but leave the middle open for plumbing.
  2. Now, cut out the shelf that the drawer sat on so the sink plumbing would be able to sit in this area.
  3. Break apart the middle drawer to make space for a sink,  then attach the sides of the drawers to the inside of the buffet.
  4. Fill in hardware holes so you can change out the hardware to something new, then scuff sand the buffet surface to get it ready for paint.
  5. With the buffet looking too dark, you can bleach the wood to make it lighter.
  6. Mix some paint with water to make whitewash, then apply a coat of whitewash all over the furniture.
  7. Topcoat the wood with waterbased polyurethane to seal it and protect it from water in the bathroom.
  8. Paint the inside of the vanity then topcoat it with some more poly.
  9. Add your new hardware to the new vanity.

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