We all have had one. The awful construction level vanity in our bathroom. It is a shiny yellowish tan pine color. It is pale and awful. Most of us simply want to wish it away, or blink our eyes and have it magically be replaced by an updated, more stylish piece...and, yet, day after day we look at it and wish it was different and do nothing. I decided to take the plunge and do something with mine. You can agree that the originally was nothing special to look at can't you?
I forgot to take a picture before removing the first drawer cover. But here is it in all of its glory. BLAH! The previous owner had updated the hardware but it really didn't do much for improving the overall look of the bathroom. The walls were all painted a nice cream color and so it was just a nice, plain, boring bathroom. What it needed was color!!
Off came one drawer as it was going to be my test subject. I used the wonderful Blue Bear Soy Gel Paint and Urethane Stripper and stripped the drawer of it shiny coat. The soy gel stripper is non-toxic, can be put on with your hands, doesn't smell, and works GREAT!!. Once the shiny coat was off and quick swipe or two of a sanding block to just make sure it was all gone was all that was needed before moving to the next step.
RED! You betcha! Nothing makes a statement like red. Since I was doing this in February in the wonderful state of Maine I couldn't very well be outside trying to strip and stain and so Unicorn Spit came to the rescue. Being water-based, and non-toxic it is the perfect stain without causing deadly fumes and a huge struggle with messes or clean-up. Molly Red Pepper was diluted with water and painted on the drawer cover. Once it dried completely (this picture you can see that a section hasn't quite dried yet (it looks wet), I then sprayed a light coat of matte finish oil-based poly to seal the red before moving to my next step.
Because Unicorn Spit is water-based if you try to put another layer of a different color without sealing it a bit first you will reactivate your base color and that could alter your results. By lightly coating it with a sealer I was able to come in with Midnight Blackness (very diluted with water) to give it an aged look. The picture doesn't do it justice, but trust me it is gorgeous!
Next, all the drawer were removed, the doors came off and we all stripped of their shiny coats. Some sanding was needed in the corners, but very little in the scheme of things. Each piece was then stained with Molly Red Pepper and then lightly sealed before adding the Midnight Blackness to darken the red and add an aging factor.
Next all the doors and drawers were removed and stripped. Stained and lightly sealed, and then aged with the black.
The frame of the vanity was also stripped (that was a little more difficult, but not as bad as it could have been). Sanded and stained and aged with the black. I just wiped the Midnight Blackness on and then wiped off. Rubbing more in places where I thought it would look good, and less in other places.
Everything got three good coats of Spar Marine Varnish (because it is in a bathroom). Sanding in between each coat to get optimal smooth and shine.
Reattach all the drawer fronts and doors and BAM! Instant improvement in an otherwise boring bathroom. The brushed chrome hardware stand out with such clarity and beauty now!
To say I am pleased would be an understatement. The color is hard to capture in a picture. As you can see the up close ones look brighter red than the one further away, but it is absolutely beautiful and makes the bathroom much nicer to be in! So glad I took the plunge and decided to risk making the change.
Materials I used for this project:
- Unicorn Spit Gel Stain (www.unicornspit.com)
- Blue Bear Soy Gel Stripper
- Marine vanish (Hardware store)