Friday, March 22, 2013

Wooden Bathroom Countertop

I told you about the counter and sink in the upstairs guest bathroom.
The cultured marble sink was just worn out. The marble was a yellow color and at some point, very soon after we moved in, we got a big chip around the rim of the sink. The threads for the drain were stripped so the plug wouldn't attach properly. It was also a very groovy, shell design. 
[Dear designers and bathroom manufacturers, 
Stuff in a faux shell motif very rarely works out well. Please do not purvey these goods to home builders.]

I love shells, but only the ones I collect at the beach.

A new master bathroom is in the works so we didn't want to spend a lot on this project. We estimated a new quartz counter would have been 600-700 dollars. 
We looked at free standing sinks when we went to the salvage shop. This would require new flooring. 

I thought about ripping out the vanity and re-purposing a dresser. This would require new flooring as well. Our carpet is only two years old. I was not willing to redo the floor. The existing vanity had to stay.    
I spent several days searching Pinterest for ideas. I was looking for a wood bathroom counter that I'd seen about a year ago. I came across a pin from Cleverly Inspired. The $10 dollar countertop. Here. I wondered if Bill would go for it. 
Bill had already been pondering this for this bathroom. 

He pulled out the old counter. He used a razor blade to cut all the chalk around the back and side splashes. 
This counter was insanely heavy. This was as far as we got trying to get it downstairs. He needed reinforcements.

We headed to Home Depot for supplies. We picked up a sink and faucet and the wood. Our counter was 22 inches deep. I thought we would need any configuration of board sizes that would end up be 22 inches. I felt sure something would have to be ripped to get the depth. It is a good thing Bill was with me because he said we needed two 2x12s.

I asked him why the 2x12s were the right size. He said and I quote, "If you had taken wood shop instead of home ec, you would know." Well smarty pants- I didn't take home economics. I took metal shop, electrical shop, pottery and a slew of others. I missed wood shop and I missed home ec because I transferred in the middle of the 7th grade. I missed all the electives from 6th grade through the first half of 7th. I did learn how to wire a switch. It has come in handy every time I rewire a lamp ;)

He said that a board is labeled at the saw mill before it's kiln dried and surfaced. It is actually smaller after those processes.  I never knew that. 

Bill cut the wood to the length of the counter and joined the two boards with a biscuit joiner. Get your own here. 
Bill cut out the sink with a jigsaw and we dry fit everything.

The sink came with a template so there was no guessing about the size of the sink opening.
He sanded it after 24 hours of dry time.

I stained it with one coat of English Chestnut and one coat of Jacobean both by Minwax. The English Chestnut alone was a little too red.

I let it dry and gave it four coats of Helmsman Spar Urethane in a satin finish. It is an indoor/outdoor product. I made sure to seal the underside and inside edge of the sink. It should hold up.
I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper in between coats. 
The finish on this will be enough to withstand the water it will come into contact with and the total cost of the counter was about $24.00. We had both the stain and the Urethane.
The sink was $60.00 and the faucet was $99.00. 
Here is a sneak peek.

There is no natural light and all the mirrors are just a reflective nightmare so I'll be working on some more pictures.

I am also going to do a glass tile back splash. I have a tile in mind so I will keep you posted.
I'm keeping the mirror but I'll trim it with molding soon.
The black paint is staying for a while. We have company coming next weekend, so I need to get this bathroom finished.

Linking with,
Feathered Nest Friday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia  
Funky Junk Interiors  
Savvy Southern Style  
Between Naps on the Porch  
I Gotta Try That  
Coastal Charm


  1. Great job on that counter. Love wood counters.

    1. Thank you, Kim. It is holding up well so far. :)

  2. Beautifully done and better than the standard bathroom countertops. Can't beat the price, either. Love the finished look.

  3. I love a wood counter - it looks beautiful! :)

    1. Thank you, Stephanie. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

  4. love it... beautiful counter... :-)

  5. This is gorgeous; I love the look. I'm passing your tutorial on to my daughter who wants to do this too. Thanks!

  6. Thanks, Kathy. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate all of them. :)

  7. Your bathroom looked Victorian because of your wooden countertops! And I must say that it helped to create a cozy ambiance. However, you should keep it clean and dry so that mold won't be forming in places you don't want it to.


  8. That looks fantastic! After a year, how has it held up? Would you still recommend a wood counter top? Thanks

    1. It is fabulous! I'm working on a follow up post saying this very thing. It's been used daily and still looks like it did the day we put it in. I'm going to try to talk my husband into doing this on the island in the kitchen.

  9. I love your wood countertop! We want to do the same thing in our guest bathroom. I can't decide what kind of wood to use. What kind did you use? I've heard that maple is really hard to stain and that pine is too soft. Any suggestions?

  10. You have made really nice bathroom counter top with the help of wood, its looking amazing.