Bathroom vanity cabinet made out of painted MDF and oak
We were encouraged to accept and to build this bathroom vanity cabinet, after completing our first bedside project, built in the same style. That project was: two white painted MDF bedside tables with two drawers with oak wood fronts.
This time we had to build a piece of white painted bathroom furniture with an oak wood sink countertop. It had to meet several requirements:
- the cabinet had to be built out of MDF
- two drawers
- the two drawers had to be built with a custom shape so that they can hide the drain pipes
- the drawer fronts had to be built out of oak wood
- tandem slides with total extraction for the drawers
- both, the countertop and the fronts had to be stained with a reddish water-based stain
There were many different elements needed for this project, so we worked at the same time at:
- the oak wood sink countertop
- the MDF bathroom cabinet
- the drawers of the bathroom cabinet
- the oak wood drawer fronts
After we glued up the countertop and while we were waiting for the glue to dry, we were working at the MDF furniture, while we were waiting for the white paint to dry, we were working at the drawers and at the fronts.
But let take them one by one.
The oak wood sink counter top
We do not think it is necessary to write more about the way we make a 4 cm thickness oak wood countertop, how we sand it and how we finish it:
- we planed and squared the planks
- we applied the glue and we tightened the planks using the 4-way panel clamps
- we straightened the oak panel
- we sanded it with 120 grit sandpaper on the faces
The countertop should have had almost the same sizes as the sizes of the MDF cabinet (a little bit bigger). We made a cutout in the countertop to be able to install the washbasin.
After all these we sanded the edges and we rounded the sharp edges by hand with 120 grit sandpaper.
We stained it with a reddish water-based stain. We obtained the color by mixing brown wood stain with red stain until we got what we wanted
We finished it with an anti-scratch polyurethane primer and varnish. The polyurethane varnish is also resistant to moisture conditions in a bathroom.
Obviously, there were small problems. At the moment we assembled the entire bathroom furniture and the sink we realized that the dimensions of the washbasin were not matched with the dimensions found on the internet for that washbasin model. So we had to cut the countertop a little bit, we had to apply again the primer and the varnish to the new cuts.
The MDF bathroom cabinet
We used three 18 mm thickness MDF boards in order to build the bathroom vanity cabinet. For the beginning, we needed two square 18 mm MDF strips. Their lengths were equal to the depth of the bathroom cabinet. We needed them to give the rounded shape to the corners of the cabinet.
Before gluing the three MDF boards, we glued the strips at a distance of 18 mm from the edges (on the MDF boards which will become the sides of the cabinet).
After the glue was dried we routed the edges of these boards, using a 3d printed jig for “box joints”.
After we finished the routing process, we glued up the MDF boards.
The boards stuck together very well.
We made sure that they were glued together at 90 degree angle.
When the glue dried, we started the process of sanding the corners. For rounding the inner corners, which was the hardest work, we first cut the glued MDF strip with a sharp chisel.
Then we sanded them with the sheet orbital sander, with the multitool, and in the end with a sheet of sandpaper using a piece of the round wooden bar of 20 cm diameter.
The process of rounding the inner and the outer corners of a piece of MDF furniture is very well described in our new post and a new video about building a set of two white mid century floating nightstands.
For the outer rounding it was sufficient the belt sander and then the sheet orbital sander.
When we got the correct shape, we covered the small remaining holes with wood putty and then we sanded it again until we got a surface without holes and bumps. We manually rounded all the sharp edges of the bathroom vanity cabinet using a sheet of 120 grit sandpaper.
As we said before, the cabinet needed only two drawers: one with 10 cm high front and one with 15 cm high front. So it remained an uncovered area at the bottom of the furniture. In order to hide the pipe system, we made a mask, also out of MDF boards. We used two MDF boards joined with screws at 90 degrees.
We rounded the two corners of the vertical board which joined with the inner corners of the cabinet. Then we rounded all the edges by hand. The entire process of rounding the corners of an MDF cabinet can be found in a video on our YouTube channel.
We did a first check to make sure that the countertop and the cabinet have the right sizes.
We also cut two MDF strips, we glued and screwed them on the upper edge of the cabinet so that the oak wood countertop can be easily installed. We used two more MDF sticks, but shorter, to install the furniture mask.
The raw MDF bathroom vanity cabinet was ready to be painted. We used white paint with hardener because it needed more protection due to the fact that a bathroom is a space with high humidity differences. After the first coat of paint, small holes appeared. They were impossible to be noticed after sanding. We covered the small holes with wood putty and sanded them again.
When we finished applying the paint layers we installed the tandem slides with total extraction.
The drawers of the bathroom cabinet
Now, let’s tell you something about the drawers. As we told you, the drawers had a custom shape, with a cutout in the middle, to allow the pipe system to be hidden. We made the sides out of fir wood planks and for the bottom of the drawers we used 8 mm thick plywood. We sanded them and we applied polyurethane primer and varnish for protection.
The oak wood drawer fronts
We used 20 mm thick oak planks for the drawer fronts. The drawer fronts have a long story. First, we routed the handles, but we didn’t have enough space for fingers. We noticed that only after we stained the fronts and varnished them. As a result, we had to redo them. That’s why in the photos with the router the drawer fronts are colored. But after we corrected the routes, we sanded, stained and varnished them again.
We put all the pieces together. So, this is the painted MDF bathroom vanity cabinet, the oak wood countertop, with custom drawers and oak wood fronts:
Find more bathroom cabinet designs: