Update your existing bathroom vanity to create the trendy reeded or fluted cabinetry look with multi-surface glue and wood dowels from the craft store!
What You’ll Need
- Titebond Quick & Thick glue*
- 1/8″ wood dowels* (a whole bunch!!)
- miter saw*
- tape measure*
- sandpaper or sanding blocks*
- chip brushes*
I love the texture a reeded (or fluted) piece of furniture brings to a room. But if you’re not in the market for a new table or new cabinets, how do you get that look in your home?? You glue them on, of course!
For my particular vanity (on sale now!*)with shaker-style doors and drawers, I measured the depth of the recessed part of the panel. Since it was about 1/8 of an inch, I decided to go with 1/8″ dowels so they wouldn’t stick out. But you could totally do bigger dowels for a different look!
Measure and Cut Reeds to Size
Since we are using wood dowels, you can cut them to size with a regular miter saw. Take the width of each panel and divide by the size of your dowels. That’s how many you’ll need to cut for each section. At only 1/8 of an inch wide, you’ll need a lot of dowels!! I needed 55 just for one drawer. Measure the height of each recessed panel for the length you’ll cut your dowels.
I’ve learned a few tricks over the years. And creating a stop block for quick measuring is the perfect trick for this project! Mark the length you are cutting your dowels. Line up the mark with the saw blade. Then butt a scrap piece of wood to the end and clamp it in place.
Then you’re able to butt 10-15 dowels against it for precise cutting without having to measure again!
This project is sponsored by Titebond. So obviously I’m going to use one of their adhesives! But really glue is the perfect way to attach these tiny dowels to my vanity. There aren’t nails small enough!
I used their Quick & Thick multi-surface glue since I’m bonding wood to my painted veneer vanity. Plus, I’m gluing on a vertical surface. So I needed a thicker glue that wouldn’t run down immediately before I could get the dowels situated. And it sets up fast so I don’t have to worry about clamping or taping up the dowels while it dries.
For small areas like my drawer panels, I applied glue over the whole area. Starting at one end, I set dowels into the glue and pushed them tight to each other working my way across to the other end.
The dowels for the door panels were longer and more wiggly, so it took a little longer to get them situated. I didn’t want the glue to set up before I could get to the other end, so I only applied glue a few inches wide at a time. (It ended up not taking as long as I thought, so I could have glued the whole panel at one time after all.)
After you finish one panel, wipe down any excess glue with a wet rag or paper towel.
Seal Wood Dowels
Once all of your panels are complete and the dowels have dried from being wiped down, you’re ready to protect them with a coat of sealer.
I used some spar urethane I already had on hand from our exterior renovation. It’s specified for exterior use, but bathrooms have a lot of similarities to outdoor spaces, mainly moisture and the potential of dripping water! You could use any polyurethane (water or oil-based) that you may already have on hand too!
I like to use a ‘throw-away’ brush or chip brush to apply oil-based sealers on quick projects like this so I don’t have to clean up a nice brush with mineral spirits. They are inexpensive so I always have a few on hand!
When you’re sealer is dry, you can drill holes for your hardware and re-attach your drawer pulls! This would be a good time to pick out new hardware if you’ve been meaning to anyway! No holes to patch!🙌🏻
Your DIY reeded bath vanity upgrade is complete! I love adding wood elements in rooms to give them warmth and texture. This project is an easy and inexpensive way to do that to many different kinds of existing pieces of furniture around your house too!
Click here to read about all the other changes I made in this bathroom almost a year ago!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from your purchase without increasing the price for you!*