Bathroom cabinet and counter top redo

Bathroom cabinet and counter top redo

First of all, you like the new added graphics? I am getting all professional and fancy on you now. Look at me now! Ok, so the latest slow reveal to this bathroom is the counter top and cabinet one. I have already shared the wall light sconces, and the tile tutorial. It all started with this random, spur of the moment idea. It took us a little while longer, but it is shining, gorgeous, and done! You will not have to wait much longer for the full reveal. I am thinking maybe even tomorrow. I still have a few small projects to break down in detail but I am getting antsy. And am worrying I am dragging this on. But, today. Lets get this going.

Here is what it started as. In case you needed a refresher. I know I don’t, lets not take too much time to dwell on the past. Once everything was cleared out we took all of the drawers out and doors off the cabinet.
With all of those off it is time to sand the cabinets. Now, for anyone who is a frequent reader, you will know I loathe sanding. That is putting it mildly, I HATE sanding. But, it is a necessary evil. And I now have kids that will do it, “Assemble the Minions!” Really, they sanded for maybe 2 seconds and were over it. It is important to sand the surface to rough it up and help the paint adhere to the surface. Also making sure any grime is off of the cabinet too. Just enough to make the cabinet nice and dusty.
I painted the base, this part did not come out of the bathroom. I did tape up the floor once I got to the bottom. But this picture does not show it. Using painters tape line the floor and wall that touches the surface you are painting. Helping with those mistakes, that really never happen because we are all perfect. Yep! I just used a basic white semi gloss paint and primer that I have used for all of the trim in my house. Doing one coat, just getting the paint on there. And then the final two coats being a little more careful with my lines and brush strokes. Taking one end to the other strokes last to make it appear as smooth as possible. If the wood was dark stained I would have had to strip it first. But, this is a lovely and light faux wood. Perfect for covering up.
While that was drying in the bathroom I went and painted the one cabinet door and the drawers. You can take off the front of the drawers to have them lay down flat. But this is a quick redo. And at this point in the game that was still the game plan. Quick, it was not until the next day things took a bigger scale turn. So, as you can see it is not needed to take off the drawer fronts to paint them. Just use less paint and more coats to prevent dripping.
Having extra hands to paint is always a plus
Next, counter top time. I chose to use a wood, butcher block style counter top. There are lots of options for counter tops but this was the one that fit with our none existent, not planned budget. I also wanted to stain it dark, and figured it would warm up the space nicely. After turning off the water, unscrewing the pipes from the sink base and pulling it out. We pulled out the old counter top by sliding a small knife along the top of the counter. Where it runs along the wall. Just to break up any sealant on it. And then pulled it up. Pretty basic stuff.  It either was not connected very well or we got lucky because this was a none issue with it damaging the cabinet.
 I apologize, I don’t have a picture of the wood before it was all cut up. We selected a large pine slab. It is 1 inch thick and was cut down to be 48 inches long and 22.5 inches wide. We got really lucky with the size and had to cut down nothing on the width of it. To get the hole for the sink, which is the only other tweaking we needed to this. Because we were using the same sink as before, we simply placed the old counter top on top of the new one.
Here is the traced hole, centered and ready to be turned into a real hole.
We achieved this by first drilling a hold smack dab in the center of the traced hole.
And then using a jig saw to cut from center to the sides. Then following the curve of the trace. It was a little difficult at times. And did take a while. But my Hubby Dale has got the muscle to push through. We realized after going through it, that the hole in the direct center was not needed. You can make the hole anywhere inside. It saves time of having to cut across the center to finally get to the outside. You live and learn. Its a hard knock life for us DIY-er’s.

There was more I did here. But I do not have any pictures of the hole or the staining process. We were a bit frazzled and just wanting to get done. But here is the skinny on staining. I sanded the surface down, just a little. Then taking a soft cloth (with my gloved hands) I dip the cloth in the stain. Wring it out over the can and then spread going with the grain of the wood. Usually side to side. If you drip quickly rub it into the wood and you will be fine. The last few times you go over use just a little less stain and wipe from one side directly to the other to smooth out the surface and make it appear with no lines.
Here is the pieces stained, I used a dark walnut stain
Time to attach this counter top to the cabinet. So when we or someone else wants to change the counter tops it will be difficult and there will be damage. As it should be. I used a construction adhesive. A fancy way of saying major glue. Taking it and running it along the top of the cabinet, right where the counter top will lay. Then bringing the counter top in and setting it on top. Push it down to make sure it sticks.
I connected the sink back up. Setting it back on the counter top. I did use some sink caulk to make no dripping or leaking from the water that will inevitably get around the sink. In order to not have the white caulk show around the sink I placed it as close to the inside as possible. It will not dry clear, so any you do have seen will stay seen. If you do get some where you don’t want it quickly wipe away with a damp wash cloth. I also bought a new sink faucet to go in here. I decided to keep the brushed nickel theme going in here. With the dark counter tops and a few other accessories in here I did not want to add to it by using a dark faucet finished. This one has a classic feel to it, just what I was going for. I put them in the same hole that was in the sink already and used the same previous hook ups for it.

The drawers are now ready to get their snazzy new handles.

Place the handle where you want it to go. And draw four points around the base of each side.
 Then draw a dot in the direct center of those marks. Erase the marks afterwards. Or touch up with a little bit of paint.
Make sure the holes are even and fit with the handle. You really can’t mess up on the holes, if there is a mistake you would have to go through with repairing the hole. Painting over it and trying again. So being as precise and certain as possible is needed.


 Drill a hole right over the small dot.  This picture is a little misleading, we did not drill over the bed.


Place the new handle over the holes.


Screw the back of the screw into the hole and the handle itself. To attach the fronts place it up to the drawer itself, lining up the previous holes and screw it back in.
 The drawer handles are in, and put the finishing touch to this project.
I dressed up this space using a tin can, some fake foliage, some towels and a few other odds and ends. I like to keep this as clean and clutter free as possible. As you can see the space itself is tiny, so any amount of clutter feels out of control.


When doing the tiling, after the counter top was put in we got some dust and grout stuff on it. So these pictures do have some smudges in it. But the beauty of wood counter tops is I can sand it down, and re stain it. It will look shiny and new again, I plan to do that shortly and will post pictures of it once it is done.






It all goes seamlessly together. For it all being thrown together, meaning I had no time to obsess and second guess any of my decisions is all flows nicely. I do have a single door knob for the middle door, it just has not made it on the door yet. I would guess for this specific project I spent $20 on the counter top, $16 on the drawer handles, $36 on the faucet,  and $6 for the can of stain. So around $78 total. Really, really reasonable. And had a huge impact. I could have stropped here and never tiled or changed the lighting and it would have been a great face lift of the space. But, we all know I did not. I will eventually, possibly change the counter tops to a marble… years down the line. Dale says never. We will see. This coming week will be the full reveal day. There is still a few details I have not given away, I am excited! I hope you are too. And thank you for hanging out for this late Sunday post, I hope you all enjoy the remainder of your weekend. And come by next week for the big show!





  1. I love how everyone got involved on this project..even the kids. Too funny. The countertop looks really neat. Love the stain color. Looking forward to the full reveal 🙂

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