Antique Washstand – Easy DIY Coffee Bar

Posted in Furniture Makeover
antique washstand coffee bar
Antique Washstand - Easy DIY Coffee Bar

Pretty often and more times than none, I purchase old pieces based on a feeling or vision. That may sound strange; this antique washstand was one of those visions. I used the little washstand for a short time as a coffee bar in my kitchen, but then “Joanna Gaines” came along with the whole fixer-upper thing. I can’t get enough of the rustic farmhouse look. 

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Antique Washstand – Easy DIY Coffee Bar

I was browsing on Pinterest one morning (with coffee in hand) when I came across a shelf made from a towel harp. They used the towel harp off an antique washstand, flipped it upside down, and built a shelf across the top. It was brilliant! That got my creative juices flowing, and since I already had the antique washstand, I just had to give it a go.

Product List:

Antique washstand… back in the day (because my Grandma told me (*wink *wink) was used to hold a large bowl and pitcher and typically would have a cabinet underneath for storage. When the men would come in from the fields at the end of the day, they would wash their hands and clean up before dinner. This was standard in a well-equipped home. All I remember is that the well water was C-O-L-D.

Transforming The Towel Harp For The Antique Washstand

I used reclaimed fence boards and made a 3’X4′ backing for the towel harp.

How I transformed an antique washstand into a coffee bar with left over fence boards.

Cutting Out The Wood Backing

Next, I laid the towel harp on top of the wood backing I had built and outlined the harp. With my Skil Jigsaw, I cut out the pattern carefully. It was pretty easy. The next step was attaching the harp to the backboard I had built. Again, I used wood glue and wood screws to secure it to the backboard.

Repurposed fence boards for a custom back on an antique washstand.
Insanely Easy Way To Repurpose An Antique Washstand

I created a cute coffee stencil with my Silhouette Cameo 3 and used that to display the name of the thing that gets me through life. C-O-F-F-E-E

One more board was attached across the top of the antique washstand and secured with glue and nailed into place. This made a cute little mini-shelf. I added a few S hooks to hang my coffee cups from, and it was complete.

Dedicated To My Grandmother- Antique Washstand

The ceramic coffee set belonged to my sweet Grandma. I’ll cherish it always. Oh, to have one more cup with her. 

How to flip a towel harp a functional coffee bar. Cutest idea ever!

I love these antique washstands, and I try to get my hands on one every chance I get. Solid wood and built to last. They don’t make furniture like this anymore, and I am glad I got the chance to save this one. Thanks to Marion with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint for the color inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this unique furniture flip. I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions you may have. Or say “HEY” in the comment section below.

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. I love you Donna. That is brilliant! We had a dry sink at my grandmas when I was growing up. You know, us common folk❤️

  2. I absolutely LOVE this!! It’s BEAUTIFUL!! What is this piece painted with? The color? Stain?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. This is an older blog and I didn’t create a product list but I have updated it with the links now. All the products are in a list for you on that blog post. Happy painting. xo

    1. Hi Michelle,
      For this project, I hung it on the wall. You could also attach it with 2 boards on the back running vertically. The same as vintage mirrors on old dressers. More or less a stabilizer. Hope this helps. 🙂 Do

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