How to Make His-and-Hers Vanity Cabinets

Add personality and graphic impact to cabinets, an armoire or a dresser with trim and plywood silhouettes.

By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Related To:

  1. Vanities

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Sharing a small space can be tough – avoid conflicts by identifying storage compartments with these clever plywood people figures – customize them to your needs.

Materials and Tools

flat-panel cabinet, armoire or dresser
1x3 trim to border the cabinet doors
3/4" paint-grade plywood
spray paint with a spray-can handle
semigloss latex paint and paint tray
paint roller and a roller sleeve
paint-grade plywood
electric sander with extra sanding pads
sanding block
drill with wood screws
caulk gun with liquid bonding adhesive
jigsaw
damp cloth
safety goggles and a dusk mask
miter saw

Choose the Piece

When choosing the proper piece, focus on cabinets, chests of drawers and dressers with flat-panel doors.

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Remove Existing Finish

If necessary, use an electric sander to remove the existing finish. When you get it smoothed out, wipe off the dust and residue with a damp cloth.

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Apply a Coat of Primer

Using paint roller and roller sleeve, add a coat of stain-blocking primer to interior and exterior of the cabinet. Tinted stain-blocking primer (which often comes in gray or brown tones) will ensure that imperfections or wood knots will not show through the newly painted finish.

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Paint Background Color

Using roller and roller sleeve, apply the background color to the interior and exterior of the cabinet. Two coats is often the perfect amount to ensure a great finish.

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Measure for Trim Pieces

Using a tape measure, determine the proper dimensions needed for the trim pieces that will go around the edges of door fronts.

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Miter Cut the Trim

Using a chop saw, cut 45-degree angles into the top and bottom edges of the trim. Sand any rough edges, then wipe away residue.

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Spray-Paint the Trim

Attach a spray-can handle to can of spray paint, then apply an even coat of paint by moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner.

Tip: By spray-painting the trim before attaching it to the door front, a perfectly clean edge is made where the bottom of the trim will meet the door fronts.

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Sketch the Silhouette Pattern

Find an inspiration image — or print something off your computer — that you can trace upon the plywood. Draw the cut-out pattern directly onto the plywood using a pencil.

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Cut Out the Silhouette

Use a jigsaw to cut out the shapes along the sketched lines of the silhouette. Remember to wear safety glasses. Use an electric sander or sanding block to smooth out the edges of the silhouettes.

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Paint the Silhouettes

Spray-paint the silhouettes the same color — and in the same manner as the trim pieces. Apply two coats.

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Adhere the Trim

Using a caulk gun, add a bead of liquid bonding adhesive to the back of trim, then place directly onto the door front. Repeat this step for all pieces of trim, lining up each mitered corner.

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Adhere the Silhouettes

Add liquid bonding adhesive to the silhouettes, then press them into place. Allow the adhesive to set for at least six hours before turning the cabinet upright.

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