Posted by: jeb1 | May 16, 2011

Updating a Bathroom Vanity from HGTV

Give a fresh new look to an old vanity with a little paint and some elbow grease.

Layla Palmer, The Lettered Cottage

Materials Needed:

  • 2″ paintbrush
  • high-adhesion primer (preferably one that’s engineered specifically for baths)
  • semi-gloss, latex paint
  • non-yellowing, water-based polyurethane
  • sanding block
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • screwdriver (Phillips or flathead, depending on the type of screws on the vanity)
  • new door and/or drawer pulls (optional)
  • new faucet (optional)

Clean It Up

Wipe down the vanity with a damp cloth and allow it to dry completely.

Remove Hardware

Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove all door and drawer pulls from the vanity. It’s also a good idea to remove the doors and drawers from the vanity because they’ll be easier to paint if they’re lying flat.

Sand It

Using a sanding block wrapped in sandpaper, lightly sand the entire surface of the vanity, including the fronts of all doors and drawers. Move in the direction of the wood grain to minimize the appearance of fine scratches. Once the cabinet, doors and drawer fronts are sanded, wipe them all with a damp rag and allow each piece to dry completely.

Prime It

Coat the entire vanity and all door and/or drawer fronts with a high-adhesion primer specifically engineered for bathroom cabinetry. Move in the direction of the wood grain, using long, smooth strokes. Watch for drips, and when finished, allow to dry.


Coat the entire vanity and all door and/or drawer fronts with two coats of semi-gloss latex paint.

Distress the Edges

For a cottage-style look, use the sanding block to lightly distress the edges of all of the doors and/or drawer fronts.

Seal the Finish

To protect the new paint job, coat the entire vanity and all doors and/or drawer fronts with a layer of non-yellowing, water-based polyurethane.

Attach Doors, Drawers and Hardware

Re-attach the doors, drawers and hardware using the appropriate screwdriver. If the hardware on the vanity is outdated, consider replacing it with updated knobs or handles. Most home improvement stores carry a wide variety of hardware to choose from, and switching them out is a quick, inexpensive way to update the look.

Replace Faucet

If the faucet could use an update, replace it with one that coordinates with the new style of the vanity.

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