How to Redo a Bathroom Vanity


Bathrooms are often one of the most expensive rooms of the house to remodel. Between new bathroom surfaces, vanities, fixtures and other essential elements, a bathroom redesign can carry a high price tag. There are some ways to help reduce the costs of a bathroom update, including refinishing your vanity. Paint is a very simple and inexpensive way to completely change the look and feel of your old vanity, and the result is especially impressive to the overall visual decor of your room.

Things You'll Need

  • Household cleaner
  • Water
  • Cloths
  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Sponge
  • Water-based, stain-killing primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water-based, interior paint
  • New hardware
  • Choose a design for your vanity. There are many different styles to paint bathroom cabinets, from shabby chic to country cottage to modern contemporary. Decide what look you want for your vanity piece, as this decision will affect your color palette choices and hardware selections.

  • Prepare your vanity for painting by washing it with a household bathroom cleaner diluted with water. Put solution on a cloth, and wipe clean the inside and outside of the cabinet. You need a clean, fresh surface in which to begin the painting process.

  • Remove the doors, drawers and hardware from your vanity. Removing the doors and hardware makes painting easier and reduces drips on the finished piece. Once removed, mark each drawer and door with a small piece of masking tape with a notation of the original location to aid in the reassembly process.

  • Sand all outside vanity surfaces using a fine-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire outside surface until you remove any prior shiny finish. A rough surface helps the paint adhere properly to your vanity cabinets and prevents chips from developing on the finished piece.

  • Wipe the vanity with a damp sponge to remove any dust residue that the sanding created. Allow to dry.

  • Paint your vanity with a thin coat of primer using a water-based, stain-killing primer and a paint brush. The primer serves as a base for the final coat of paint

  • Paint your bathroom vanity with the finishing coat of paint. Using a water-based paint in your color choice, apply two thin coats of paint to the body, doors and drawers of your vanity. Allow the surfaces to dry in between coats.

  • Reassemble the doors and drawers to their original location on the vanity.

  • Using a screwdriver, add the old hardware back to its prior location, or choose new hardware for an updated and feel to your refinished bathroom vanity project.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose white-hued final coats of paint for a shabby chic or cottage look to your bathroom vanity.
  • Select black paint for a more contemporary vanity finish.
  • Paint in a well-ventilated area to reduce the fumes of paint.
  • Wear a dust mask when sanding to minimize inhalation of dust particles.

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  • Photo Credit Contemporary Bathroom image by Ritu Jethani from
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