DIY: New Molding for an Old Vanity

Our bathroom vanities are really old. 39 years old to be exact. Replacing them isn’t an option since they are irregular sizes, and I don’t want to disturb the groovy retro hex tiles on our bathroom floors. So, with my new miter box and saw (thanks Dad!) I added molding to the cabinet doors. With new knobs from Anthropologie (don’t they have the best hardware?) and a fresh coat of paint, it looks like a brand new cabinet. I even painted the inside and laid peel and stick tiles on the floor of the cabinet to conceal old water stains.

Before:

update bathroom vanity

After:

update bathroom vanity

update bathroom vanity

You’ll need:

tape measure
masking tape
sanding block
molding (buy extra incase you screw up a few cuts like I did!)
miter box and saw
Liquid Nails or other crazy strong wood glue
pencil
wood filler
painting supplies

update bathroom vanity

1. Remove the knobs and measure the cabinet doors. Make a note of the measurements, and decide how far in from door edges you want the molding to be. I wanted mine 2″ in from the edges, so I subtracted 4″ from the width and 4″ from the height of my door to determine how long to cut my molding. Use a tape measure and pencil to mark where the molding corners should meet on each door corner. This makes placement easier when it’s time to glue.

update bathroom vanity

2. Using the 45 degree angle slots on your miter box cut the molding to size. There are 45 degree slots on both sides of your miter box. For each piece of molding you will need to cut one corner to 45 degrees, flip the saw and cut the other corner from the 45 degree slot on the opposing side. This will insure the edges line up like the photo below. Make sure you are measuring your molding length from the longer outer side, not the shorter interior side where the 45 degree angles close in. Lay the pieces out as you go so you can make sure everything is lining up properly.

update bathroom vanity

3. Sand the door a little to rough up the surface so the glue will grip better. Follow the directions on your glue bottle, and glue the molding to the door aligning with the guides you drew earlier. I recommend using Liquid Nails. My molding stuck right away and didn’t slide down, and it allowed me 10 minutes or so to scoot the molding around to make sure my corners were aligned. If your corners don’t line up perfectly it’s OK, just get them as close as you can. You can fix gaps in the next step with wood filler. Tape the glued moldings in place, and allow the glue to dry for the length of time recommended on the bottle. Liquid Nails recommends 24 hours of drying time.

update bathroom vanity

4. When the glue is dry remove the tape and inspect your molding for cracks that need filled. Plop some wood filler in the cracks, smooth it in with your finger and let it dry. Once the wood filler is dry sand any bumpy spots.

5. You can paint just your new molding or paint the entire cabinet. When the paint is dry install new knobs, sit back and admire your sexy new vanity.

11 comments

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I believe I found it at Michael’s Arts and Crafts. It has been a loooong time since I did this though, so don’t hold me to it. ;)

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