Published on March 26th, 2011 | by Wenona Napolitano7
Bathroom Vanity Makeover
In an effort to save money during the remodel of my bathroom, and being somewhat green at the same time, I decided that instead of buying a new bathroom sink and vanity, I would clean up the sink and refinish the vanity.
I purchased an over the toilet cabinet in a rich java color that was my inspiration for the vanity color choice. I couldn’t strip and stain the vanity because only the front is real wood and the sides are some kind of thin wood board with a sticker veneer over them. Yuck, but I worked with it.
I was afraid I’d never be able to sand it down and make it look good. Many times during the redo I was sure it was going to turn out horrible but it didn’t.
This is what I started with. The vanity and sink are less than ten years old and in remarkably good shape for the abuse my family tends to put things through.
So refinishing was a good option to save money and save something that was perfectly usable.
My husband removed the vanity from the bathroom and hauled it downstairs for me to to work on. I took the off the doors and drawers and the hardware and started sanding.
After sanding by hand for awhile and getting nowhere I went in search of a tiny handheld sander. I then finished sanding in no time.
I didn’t completely strip everything, just sanded it enough to get the outer finish off and rough it up so the paint would stick.
I was worried that the paint wouldn’t match up to the stained cabinet since stain has a variance in color you just don’t get with paint, so I grabbed my acrylic paints and blended black and red into the java paint to give the overall finish a subtle color difference.
After letting the paint dry overnight I applied a clearcoat over the top to protect my paint job.
At first I thought it looked terrible. I didn’t think I got the right clearcoat to use over paint. But after it dried (overnight) I lightly sanded it with fine steelwool and added another clearcoat. (Note: be sure to clearcoat in a well ventilated area because it stinks)
I let the second coat dry overnight and inspected everything. I decided I liked the finish and left it alone after the two clearcoats.
This is the finished product. I am particularly proud of this because it is my first redo that is all mine. I had no help on this one other than the hubby hauling it downstairs for me.
I used satin finish latex paint and a satin finish poly clearcoat. So the end result is a slight gloss that isn’t over glossy. It looks shinier in the photo than it really is thanks to the flash. I added new brushed nickle knobs, they are a pewter color and I got rid of the old gold ones (which I saved, they may come in handy for some project down the line).
I think the two cabinets ended up matching pretty well even though one is painted and one is stained.
I am super picky yet I’m happy with the results so that’s saying something.