Vanity and Mirror for a Bathroom Makeover

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Project by Michael23 posted 11-04-2011 12:56 AM 1781 views 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife wanted a bathroom makeover so she took care of the tilework and I built her this vanity and mirror. Both are solid cherry. The vanity accent is maple with amber shellac.

This was my first attempt at cabinetry. It was also my first attempt at a new finishing technique that I had read about. Intead of using commercial oil based stain I first dyed the cherry with a water based dye to bring all of the vaious tones in the cherry to a more homogenous tone with out diminishing the grain pattern. The I used a reddish dye to give a traditional cherry red undertone. Then I sealed the dyed wood with clear shellac. Once the shellac was dry and lightly sanded I rubbed on my own gel stain made from artist oil color (van dyke brown) and liquin oil colors medium. Once dry I finished it using an HVLP sprayer with M.L. Cambell Krystal (satin) post-catalyzed conversion varnish. This stuff produces an unbelievable finsh. Better then a factory finish in my opinion.

I used Waterlox on the cherry countertop. I was worried about water damage. I highly reccommend Waterlox also for surfaces exposed to water. My wife currently has me working on a kitchen cabinet mission using the same finishing process (different color).

Thanks for looking.

-- Mike Sparks - Dear God, Please help me to become the person my dog thinks I am.

16 comments so far

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 11-04-2011 01:11 AM

Nice job! It’s a great blend of traditional with modern (vessel sink, wall-mounted faucet). The finish came out great.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Norman1's profile


103 posts in 1520 days

#2 posted 11-04-2011 02:14 AM


Nice work and I’m sure your wife is happy with the new bathroom.

-- Michael A. Norman

View sras's profile


3946 posts in 1882 days

#3 posted 11-04-2011 03:15 AM

A stunning upgrade! The colors turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View nittanylion's profile


53 posts in 2542 days

#4 posted 11-04-2011 03:31 AM

Project looks awesome! Did you use plans or did you design this yourself? Either way, looks great, my wife has some new found ideas…

View ShopTinker's profile


881 posts in 1521 days

#5 posted 11-04-2011 03:39 AM

That is a beautiful cabinet. The inlay in the top really stands out. Well done!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Napaman's profile


5365 posts in 2830 days

#6 posted 11-04-2011 03:57 AM

i love the golden “banding” around the sink…and the mirror cabinet is great…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View blackcherry's profile


3209 posts in 2576 days

#7 posted 11-04-2011 05:04 AM

Now this is the way to showcase your SKILLS man…nice work…BC

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2426 days

#8 posted 11-04-2011 05:05 AM

Beautiful Vanity.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View lanwater's profile


3100 posts in 1687 days

#9 posted 11-04-2011 05:25 AM

Great work on the remodel.

The Vanity is nice. Thanks for sharing detail about your finish.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Ken90712's profile


15337 posts in 1941 days

#10 posted 11-04-2011 09:51 AM

Great work! I love the color. I made a Entertainment Center that has a similar color with dye stains. I used 7 parts orange and 4 parts Med Brown. Great inlay work as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Knothead62's profile


2364 posts in 1714 days

#11 posted 11-04-2011 01:28 PM

Nice! I like the two-level countertop. Work and finish is outstanding!

View Broglea's profile


669 posts in 1843 days

#12 posted 11-04-2011 01:52 PM


View Ahenry's profile


14 posts in 1212 days

#13 posted 11-04-2011 04:39 PM

Wow. Beautiful work. I’m with Napaman, I really like the maple accent around the sink. The more I stare at it the more I think ithat t kicks the piece up to a whole new level.

-- If it is to be, it's up to me

View Michael23's profile


23 posts in 1154 days

#14 posted 11-05-2011 12:13 AM

Thank you everyone for the compliments.

To answer NittanyLion’s question, I drew up the plans myself based on my wife’s ideas. She watches all those home shows and never runs out of ideas.

-- Mike Sparks - Dear God, Please help me to become the person my dog thinks I am.

View Topapilot's profile


165 posts in 2593 days

#15 posted 11-05-2011 04:54 AM

Nice Work! Very well executed; compliments the tile work too…

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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