vanity step drawer woodworking plans
1 set of Heavy Duty 16″ drawer slides
1 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
1 – 3/4″ plywood 16″ x width of drawer
2 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
120 grit sandpaper
countersink drill bit
You may need to modify or alter this tutorial depending on the type of vanity you use. Optimally, use a vanity with 6″ toekick, as shown, with a full overlay door.
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun.
Remove any doors from the vanity as shown in the picture.
Depending on how your toekick is installed, remove it with a hammer, taking great care to not damage the toekick. My toekick was held in place with plastic corners, stapled, no glue.
Measure the opening left from removing the toekick. In my case, that’s 22 3/4″ wide. I also took a height measurement to confirm I would need to use 1×3 boards to build the step drawer.
Also take a second to confirm that the opening is at least 16″ deep – otherwise, you will need to adjust your drawer depth and use shorter slides.
Once you know the overall width of the step drawer, cut a 1×3 to this length. Then cut two 1x3s @ 15 1/4″ for the sides. If your toekick is not cut out like mine, you could also add a front to the step drawer box, so a second 1×3 the width of the opening, minus 1″.
Now simply attach 3/4″ plywood on top, and nail down with glue and 2″ nails.
Once your step drawers have been built, attach the slides as directed by the slide manufacturer. Preferably, use side mount slides, with a weight rating exceeding 100lbs.
With the step drawer built, install in the drawer opening with drawer slides, placed to the tallest possible position. Attach toekick to step drawer (I used a couple of 2″ finish nails to hold it on, removed the drawer and marked it, and then attached with the Kreg Jig).
If your vanity has inset drawers, you may need to adjust how deep you install the drawers.
And that’s it – you’ve got yourself a built in hidden step.
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.