DIY Bathroom Cabinet on a Budget

DIY specialist and renovator Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries shows how to take a regular shaving cabinet from standard to stunning by framing it in solid timber and sealing in marine-grade varnish for an elegant, protective finish.

How nice is this bathroom build-on-a-budget? Simply framing a standard shaving cabinet with solid timber adds an extra shelf while instantly injecting warmth and designer style. I love how it adds a practical-yet-handcrafted element, especially when installed on a tiled wall.

This project ended up costing less than $250 to make. I picked up the regular two-door shaving cabinet from a hardware store for less than $140, and the timber cost about $100. To buy an off-the-shelf similar design with solid timber frame can cost up to $1400.

I bought a 1800-long and 1200mm-long 405 x 18mm hardwood panel from Bunnings. Using a track saw, I cut them into lengths, each with a factory edge, the same width as the depth of the cabinet. Then I cut the lengths to fit around the cabinet, allowing 3-4mm extra for wiggle room when assembled.

After removing the screw caps on the cabinet so the frame sits flat, I dry-fit the timber with the sides butted against the top and shelf, factory edges facing forward. Then I removed the cabinet, applied adhesive to the joints and assembled with 40mm timber screws.

TIP Use a combination countersinking bit to pre-drill the holes so the screws can be smoothed over with filler later.

I sanded over the frame with 180-grit abrasive paper to round over the edges and corners to match the factory edge, then wiped away dust with a damp cloth. The frame is sealed all over with three coats of Monocel Gold Clear marine-grade varnish to protect from steam and moisture.

With the cabinet face down, I lifted the frame over it, joining them together with 75mm mending plates at the corners and over the shelf backing, securing with 15mm stitching screws.

For the tools and materials list, and more detailed step-by-step instructions for making the cabinet frame, click through to the full project in the Bunnings Magazine.

Are you adding handcrafted timber features to your bathroom? Be sure to post it on Facebook and Instagram, tagging, @monocel.timbercare and @littleredindustries. We love to see your projects!