Custom Vanity with Mid-century Modern Charm!

When I bought my last home, I decided to rip out the tenant-destroyed, heavily-listing-to-one-side vanity from 1950 and replace it. I wanted something from the same era that reflected my eclectic style, on a DIY budget, and I wanted it in rose gold. I became slightly obsessed with this idea until it all came together one day with a successful used furniture Craigslist ping and a trip to Michaels and IKEA. Behold the rose gold custom paint job:

DIY custom vanity from midcentury desk

I found a gem of a midcentury modern desk in ugly but reperable condition at a fair price. That same day I drove across town and sourced an IKEA RÄTTVIKEN sink top for the vanity sink and countertop. 


Next was a stop at Michael's for some DIY Home Décor Acrylic Metallic Paint by ArtMinds® in Copper and Gold. I planned to mix several batches of Gold and Copper until I achieved the rose gold glow I was looking for. With all my materials in the YASSSSS FOUND* category---the hard part started.

*Which is the ONLY WAY I start projects like this now, because I learned the hard+expensive way and have a secret, guilt-inducing craft corner where all the unfinished things go to die.

I phoned a friend, got ALL the power tools out, and we measured carefully three times before starting. Part 1 was sanding the old 70's mustard yellow paint off of every nook and cranny. Part 2 was using about four different styles of saws (jigsaw, circular saw, reciprocating saw, rotary saw) to route out the top and innards of the desk to make way for the sink top, keeping the back and side drawers intact. We decided to dummy the working drawer by glueing the faceplate on the desk frame to make way for and hide the bottom of the sink bowl. Last but not least in the fabrication process, we began the painting process. We ended up spraying three coats of the paint, plus a gloss topcoat to help protect it from bathroom weather. One thing we could have done differently is sand down the drawer openings a bit before the paint, to make way for the extra layers. However, the drawers work fine, just a little sticky. I am planning to sand it down a little and wax them one day when it gets too annoying.

Our final step was installing the sink cabinet in the bathroom and hooking up the plumbing. Looks gorgeous and works like a charm! You do need to be sure the overflow drain pipe is not kinked and working well, and be sure to clean it often and run a damp cloth along the back, side and front edges of the vanity to keep it clean when you do your regular sink cleaning routine. 

The finishing touch was finding the copper tubing tp holder out of a local Dallas artist's warehouse loft who was forced out of his dwelling by Staubach's city planning henchmen. But that's another story altogether. I hope you liked my transformation of a dilapidated old desk to literal vainglory!

front view modern desk turned into a vanity

Overall I'm very pleased and would like to make more of these if I had a workshop myself.