Bathroom Renovation: DIY Vessel Sinks

I don’t know a lot about vessel sinks, or at least I didn’t when I started looking at them. I do know that they come in a variety of shapes and materials. They’re also pretty expensive and local hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t really carry much of a selection.

The vessel sinks that I really liked were stone or concrete like this one.

concrete sink

When I was out shopping for storage containers for the vanity, I found wooden bowls that were a perfect size for a vessel sink. And, because the bowls were wooden, I would be able to drill a drain hole without worrying about cracking them.

The bowls were $19.99 each and the concrete is something that I already had at home.


I drilled the hole before applying the first layer of concrete skim. I had to do a Google search to see what size the hole needed to be. There were too many experts saying not to drill a hole until you have your drain, so I was stuck. Once again I couldn’t move on with the project I wanted to do because something else needed to be done first.

I headed to drop kiddo #2 off at baseball and found a faucet and drain set (they are not always sold together) that I liked at Home Depot. I went up to customer service and had them open the faucet box for me so that I could put the drill bit up to the drain. I wasn’t going to risk having to go back. I wanted this bathroom done! The drill bit was also going to need to be drilling pretty deep through the bowl and the countertop. It needed to be steady, unlike what a paddle bit would have ended up doing. I think this is called a core bit.

core bit.jpg

Okay, the bowls had their drain holes drilled out and I was ready to concrete. I used a spatula to smear it around. It took about 30 minutes to dry enough for me to sand it down a bit before applying a second coat.


You can see that a bit of the wood showed through after sanding the first coat down.


The concrete that I was using is fast drying skim coat or what some call feather finish. So far, I used it on my kitchen island, my old bathrooom sink, my bathroom floor and now on my vessel sinks. If you’re looking for tips and tricks, you can check those out!

I was ready to set the bowls on the vanity, insert the drill bit to go through the bowl and through the countertop. After that, I also drilled a hole for the faucet and was finally closer to finally getting the plumbing hooked up! It had been quite a few weeks since I first started this bathroom demolition and although I had power, I was still brushing my teeth in the kitchen. 😀




Bathroom Renovation: Custom Built Vanity

I always have resale value on my mind when I’m making updates to my home. Double sinks in a bathroom is a no brainer.

I was overwhelmed by a few things when looking at vanities:

  • Some vanities come with countertops and some do not
  • Some countertops come with sinks and some do not
  • Some sinks come with faucets and some do not
  • Some faucets come with drains and some do not

Just when I thought that I’d found what I wanted, I would find something that added too much to the price. Also, I really liked vanities that looked like dressers, but they were too deep. I wanted something that left my small bathroom feeling as spacious as possible. I was also constrained by length.

After visiting the spa…KIDDING… After having seen spas on TV, I decided that I could keep with my DIY theme and build my own vanity. I found a super kitchen island DIY post that I thought would work perfectly.

island vanity.jpg

The only thing that I had to do differently was to make it the width and height that I wanted for my bathroom. Building custom was perfect because like I mentioned before, I wanted my vanity to be a bit less deep than a traditional vanity. I also wanted to make it a bit taller than a custom vanity (which I ended up shortening the legs a bit after realizing that the vessel sinks added overall height).


Vanity Legs

Once the legs were even and I was sure there wasn’t going to be any wobbling, like when you’re at a restaurant and have to put sugar packets under a table leg, I moved them into the bathroom to get a visual of where I wanted them before cutting the shelf boards.

This step was so smart! I’m so glad I did it because this is when I realized that adding vessel sinks was going to add too much height. I took it back out of the bathroom and cut the legs down a few inches.


Once I had my height, width and depth correct, I had stained it with gel stain. I planned on painting the shelves white, but was so excited to start seeing how storage containers and other bathroom essentials would fit that I didn’t get the painting done before I had moved my remaining gear in. Remember, I removed a closet in this bathroom! I threw away lotions, perfumes and a bunch of 1/2 empty bottles that I had hoarded for far too long. I was so curious to see how my remaining things were going to fit with just a few shelves for storage.


The countertop on this custom vanity is from an old barn. It’s a 19 inch wide piece of wood! Can you imagine what that tree was like!? I brought it home, sanded the dirt off and pounded a few of the old nails in a bit further so it was a smoother surface. If you’re not fascinated by old wood, I’m sure the picture below won’t leave you oooh’ing or awww’ing. BUT, if you’re like me, I was (and still am) completely in love with how beautiful this is!


Before I drilled any holes, I made sure that everything matched up. Can you imagine having your countertop holes drilled for your vessel sinks and then later learning that they didn’t line up under the light fixtures?! Once I drilled the holes, there was no running to the store for another piece of wood like this. This was it, so I had to be extra careful to get it right. Scary! I placed my bowls, that were going to be my vessel sinks, on the countertop. Hmmm… I realized I needed to drill the holes in the wooden bowls before I could drill the holes in the countertop.

I prefer to finish one job before hopping to the next, but it seems that with every project I do, there are other projects that I have to do before finishing the one that I was originally working on.

Stay tuned for the final vanity! I must move on to the DIY vessel sinks before I can finish this.