Vanity and Bench Makeover

Written By petite karinne on Friday, September 26, 2014 | 8:49 AM

How lucky I was to get my hands on this gorgeous Leo Jiranek Designer vanity and bench seat! 

Unfortunately, it was brush painted; and the upholstered bench pad and mirror were missing. 

But missing parts weren't a problem. I made the set complete after all.  A thrift store mirror worked itself into the set. 

With a trial run for the look, I went with it. 

I started with the bench seat.  I sanded down the top to raw wood. Then painted the legs.  I also removed the drawers from the vanity.  Then cleaned the vanity and painted it. (I'm missing those vanity painting photos, being busy with 15 projects going on.)

Then using newspaper, I made a pattern to cut a piece of plywood for an upholstered seat pad. 

The pattern was large enough to cut the curves with the band saw. 

I wanted to maintain the original design of the seat for the upholstered piece, yet allow about 1.5" of the designer's wood top to show. 

Then I stained the wood. Then coated with polyurethane. 

It was doing what I planned.  I loved it. 

I used memory foam for the padded seat. Cutting it to fit over the plywood piece. 

I used this fine wale corduroy fabric to match the vanity color. 

I put the padded piece aside while working on the mirror. 

I cleaned the mirror, then taped it off for painting. 

I painted the mirror frame and the swivel attachment. When dried, I measured to center it onto the vanity. 

I drilled pilot holes through the swivel frame into the vanity top. Then secured it with wood screws. 

Then put the mirror back in its place. 

It took a few days and many hours to  remove the thick white paint job from the drawers. 

But it was so worth it. The wood is beautiful. 

I stained the drawers to match the bench seat. 

I took out of storage,  these square wooden knobs given to me from my mother, who had them from one of her projects.  I cleaned them up and painted them to match the vanity. 

Measuring to center the knobs, I drilled holes through the drawers and added them. I purposely wanted the knobs to appear diamond shape rather than square for a design statement. 

With the vanity now complete, 

I attached the upholstered pad with screws through the bottom of the bench seat. 

I really adore the contrast while maintaining the original vintage style. 

So well constructed; this vanity should last a century or much longer with proper use. 

It's a very heavy and solid piece. No repairs were needed.  No major modifications.  Just a couple of additions and a makeover to bring it back to life. 

I appreciate that even though it's different now, it maintains its classic style. 

I was very pleased that it came together the way I planned. 


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