Flavorful Experiences

Dedicated to experimenting and experiencing new ways of cooking, eating, working out, and home decor.

Cheap Bathroom Vanity Makeover

Over the course of a week, I took my cheap bathroom vanity from this:


To this!

If you haven’t read anything about our house, here’s the scoop: we purchased it about a year ago. It had been occupied by an owner for about 4 years, and before that, a contractor took a tired, run-down rental and flipped it into a beautiful (albeit slightly character-lacking) little house. He, uh, didn’t exactly use a lot of care in his TLC of home renovations. In fact, we have to wonder often if he sold the house before he was really done with it…

At any rate, one of the red0ne rooms was the bathroom. He installed some laminated flooring, a side surround for the tub (you can see my experience with that here), and a cheap (CHEAP) vanity. And then painted the bathroom (and the rest of the house) khaki tan. I painted one of the walls with beautiful results, and now that my bathroom was looking so nice I couldn’t just leave the vanity looking like that.

Could you?

So, after scouring Pinterest and reading some experiences where people had painted cheap furniture without any problems, I decided to tackle our cabinet. This was easier said than done in the paint department. I could not, for the life of me, find an espresso color I liked. So, I decided to just go with white and call it good. I picked up some Zinsser primer that promised to stick to glossy trim. And a good, small roller (I wasn’t about to repeat my experience with the wall and not have the right tools on hand. A roller will always cover more smoothly than any kind of brush.).

I took the doors off the cabinet, sanded each of the doors, then primed them. Sanding was too annoying. So, I decided to try the primer on the cabinet without sanding it. Lo and behold, it stuck! It would come off very easily if scratched, but that’s the only drawback I saw to that. I knew I’d be putting at least two coats of white latex on, so I doubted I’d have any problems with the primer scratching in the future. I also let it sit, primer only, for about a week (more due to my schedule than anything). That seems to actually be a good thing, since it allowed the primer to fully cure. Full disclosure: I did put two coats of primer on the entire cabinet and I didn’t wait long between coats. Maybe it would have been a good idea, but I didn’t care to wait. Just long enough to make sure the first coat wouldn’t come off on the roller.

After a week, I put on the two coats of latex. Seeing it finished, really finished, made me sad. It was so boring!

Hmm, white vanity, cream-color countertop, and tan wall. Uh, no.

I decided the white could not stay (at least, not fully). I researched painting the countertop, but decided pretty handily against that. My family was already throwing a fit, and having to wait a week for the countertop to cure before using it was a recipe for disaster. Lucky for me, I ran across the idea of using spray paint. Even more lucky, when I looked at colors, there was the perfect one: Krylon Brushed Metallic in oil rubbed bronze. Sigh of relief!

Saving Grace of Awesome.

I picked that up at Hobby Lobby (more luck! 30% off sale on spray paints!) along with a bottle of Copper Metallic acrylic paint and a stencil. I wanted the vanity to have detail, not just be brown. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any knobs I really cared for at Hobby Lobby (the one I fell in love with only had three in stock- I needed 4…), so back to Menards. Lucky again: I found some knobs for 95 cents. And then found out they were on sale. Oh yeah, perfect for a bathroom remodel on the cheap.

Lovin’ the detail. Not the silver and black so much.

After some extensive taping and covering surfaces with newspaper and plastic, I was ready to spray the vanity.

Even this much taping wasn’t enough. Make sure you tape EVERYTHING, and tape it well.

Add the stenciling to the cabinet doors and some distressing detail on the edges, and it’s super nice.

Just one more piece to make it look like a brand new vanity: the knobs. I added some acrylic paint to bring out their detail and match them better, a bit of the brown to erase the black, and then a slight bit of distressing so they didn’t look too shiny.

Then the tough decision: top or middle?

Add an adventure with trying to get them to screw into place (dang, that stuff is hard to drill through), and voila!

A brand new cabinet to go in my “brand new” bathroom.

And now, I have promised my family I will leave the bathroom alone. Um, after I replace the lighting strip above the mirror and paint the towel rack… 😉


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This entry was posted on September 18, 2012 by in Decor Experiences and tagged , , .
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