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. 😀




Kitchen DIY: Before and After

Now that most things are complete, I thought it would be neat to take a picture from the same position as the before pictures that were posted when the house was for sale! And yes, I did *almost* everything myself. I took a few weeks off from work and had my lists. There were really long days and nights during the demo and installing the flooring, but I am super thrilled about how it turned out!


Kitchen Before


kitchen after

kitchen after 2

  1. remove flooring
  2. remove wall
  3. paint cabinets
  4. replace light fixture
  5. new appliances: fridge, dishwasher, oven
  6. build island
  7. custom fit pantry
  8. concrete kitchen island countertop
  9. granite countertops
  10. paint window
  11. new faucet
  12. glass cupboard inserts


  1. I did need an electrician to come rewire the wires that were in the wall I took down. I would have felt comfortable doing this myself, but it was January and 1 of the wires was for the furnace. There was also a wire that I couldn’t figure out. Turned out to be my doorbell.
  2. I did need a HVAC person to come re-reroute the hot water heater exhaust that was in the wall I took down. I actually ended up needing a new hot water heater that would route out of the side of the house vs. through the roof.
  3. I did have the dudes from Craigslist fabricate and install my granite countertops.

Kitchen Faucet

The original kitchen faucet was okay-ish. It was white, and it sort of spit and spattered when you turned the water on. I was a little bit hesitant to uninstall the faucet and then not be able to install the new one. You know what I did!

I watched a few YouTube videos. 😀

I have no idea how plumbers do it. The space that I had to get into was too small, too tight and a little stinky. My wrench was also a joke. I was using a rusty wrench from the pool shed. It was the only one that would grip wide enough, but the rust made it stick open and closed. I can’t stress enough how having the right tools for a job is so important.

If I had to do it all over again, I would get a new sink and faucet combo and plop the entire thing down in together. I really like my sink though, and I’d already had my new countertops installed and everything. So, if you’re contemplating whether you should get a new sink along with your faucet, do your countertops, sink and faucet all at the same time.

There are a lot of faucets to look at, but you need to consider how many holes you have in your sink. Once you know how many holes you are going to be working with, your selections will slim down. Once you pick the finish, your selections will slim down a little bit more.

You can see in the picture below that I had 3 holes to work with (I was keeping the water filter thing). The old-fashioned sprayer was replaced with the soap dispenser and the sprayer is a pull down from the faucet.

I shopped around for months and ultimately found the best deal at Menards. This faucet was on sale for just $70!