Houchens' Vanity Cabinet
Posted March 30, 2007
I was asked to build a cabinet similar to one that the Houchens had seen in a Pottery Barn catalog.They needed it to be built taller in height and smaller in width, and configured to locate the sink in the center of a permanently mounted mirror. Under the sink were to be two flush mounted doors and on the right were to be three flush mounted drawers, all of equal size. The legs were to be tapered and the cabinet body was to sit off the floor approximately 5".
After agreeing on the design, I made a detailed drawing of the cabinet and went about building it. First the cabinet body was constructed using dowel pin joinery after which I constructed two reversed raised panel doors built for stability and three similar drawer fronts. The drawers are built with 3/4" dove tail clear pine sides and 1/2" cabinet grade plywood bottoms, one again for strength and stability. I installed full exposure drawer slides allowing for the entire drawer to be accessible when pulled out.
It had been decided to create a distressed finish, again found in a magazine. I was able to accomplish this by first applying a flat black paint to the cabinet components, then I painted a French blue flat paint over the black. When this had sufficiently dried I used a rough piece of used sandpaper to indiscriminately sand the edges and panels revealing the black paint underneath thus giving us the distressed appearance we were looking for. I then coated the entire cabinet, doors and drawer fronts with a clear glaze, giving it some depth and a satin finish.
The cabinet was modified in the back to accommodate the plumbing, set in place and fastened to the wall. The carera marble top and sink arrived from the fabricator and were installed. The faucet was then installed and hooked up to the plumbing and the job was complete.