Vanity Set Makeover - Breast Cancer Awareness Month Tribute

12 Materials
8 Hours

When my husband found this beautiful vanity set we knew it was something special. It did have worn down areas typical of a vanity this age and definitely some scratches and bite marks (thanks to some excited dogs I hear), but we knew it could be beautiful again, we just had to come up with a plan. Like the other pieces we rehab, the first thing to do after removing the hardware is clean. We used a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water with a sponge, scrubbed then rinsed. Once it was dry we sanded the top down and scuff sanded the rest so the paint would have something to adhere to.

Antique Vanity
Antique Vanity Mirror

Tools and Materials

  • sponge
  • denatured alcohol
  • water
  • sandpaper
  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • Saltwash
  • stain
  • wire brush
  • Barkeeper's Friend
  • fabric



Then, taking into consideration the cosmetic flaws of the piece where dogs had chewed some of the leg and there was molding that would need to replaced, I thought this would be a good candidate for some texture and what better way to do that than with Saltwash.

Add to Edges

We mixed some Saltwash with some chalk paint according to the directions. The Saltwash builds texture - it forms small peaks and you can sand it down once dry to have as little or as much texture as you like. I added it to the corners, on the feet and in some edges for a little extra fun.



After that had dried, I applied Chalk Paint in Florence knowing that I was going to layer another color on top of this glorious blue and sand here and there so there would be areas where the blue would pop through. I love it when things in your head work out!

Paint Again and Sand

Paint Again

After the Florence, I applied a color called Lotus, by Wise Owl over the entire piece (except the top surface). This perfect bold pink was exactly what this vanity needed! I sanded between coats with 400 and applied my next layer. After that was dry, we distressed to reveal the different paint colors and smooth the finish. We then stained the top with antique walnut to match the beautiful drawers.

Add Highlights

Add Highlights

After that, I used Fusion Metallic Gold and added highlights throughout the vanity. I also decided to do something fun with the mirror. I painted the bottom 2/3 in Lotus, then dry brushed some of the gold highlights onto the Lotus and did the same with the top third over the dark mahogany stain.



Looking pretty and regal with those gold highlights! In the midst of this we scrubbed the hardware down with Barkeepers Friend and a wire brush. That stuff is amazing.

Sand and Paint

Sand and Paint

Now on to the chair! With solid wood and a beautiful design, I knew it just needed some love to shine again. We sanded it down and painted it the same fun pink, Lotus.

Dry Brush

Dry Brush

Isn't it bold! Next comes the same fun dry brushing. We started by dipping a chip brush in the lid of the paint, then tapping most of it off onto a dry paper towel and very lightly brushing onto the chair. This leaves a light highlight rather than solid coverage.



Looking good! Next it was time to reupholster. Not much to say there. My husband did that because reupholstering is not my thang!

DIY Antique Chair Makeover

He did a great job! Love this beautiful French Blue! We sealed all painted areas with a satin top coat making sure to sand between each application with a 1000 grit sandpaper. We then reattached the hardware and the piece was done! It turned out pretty sweet.

We decided to donate 100% of the proceeds of this piece when it sells to charity in honor of my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor, hence the color we chose to focus on, Lotus for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

DIY Antique Vanity Makeover

Hope you enjoyed following along, we sure had fun doing it!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Alberta
    on Sep 9, 2020

    Where did you find the marvelous fabric for the upholstery?

    • Kimberly Ferreira
      on Sep 11, 2020

      I thought the same thing... I absolutely love the fabric and thought to myself a bunch of different projects id love to do with that fabric.. I too would love to know where she got it from... 😃

  • Maureen
    on Sep 11, 2020

    Inspired. Impressive.

    Did drawers move in and out smoothly when piece was acquired? If not, how do you fix that besides fixing bottom wood drawer guide? Do you ever add metal drawer glides?

    Do you refinish the drawer sides or inside the drawer? Many drawer interiors are not in good shape. In what condition were these drawers?

    I feel that if outside was made beautiful so should interior and drawers as well.

    If mirror was removed one could have a lovely desk.

    Many vanity chairs have casters. If using as a desk, I would use casters. That chair is stunning. Beautiful job.

    Very nice that you are giving sale profits to charity. Makes project even more special.

    • Jean Quintana
      on Sep 12, 2020

      I had a vintage Mahogany dresser and the interior was in horrible finish. I was surprised that the Mahogany refinisher was able to return in inside of these drawers to a like new finish with not much work at all. Regular wood refinisher didn't work but the Mahogany refinisher did. I've fought with refinishing Mahogany wood my whole life, but it never turned out right because I was using the wrong refinisher. I thought all refinisher would work on all Woods, but I was so wrong.

  • Linda
    on Sep 11, 2020

    What is salt wash

Join the conversation

2 of 248 comments
  • Dee Guy
    on Sep 12, 2020

    It turned out very beautifully! As I had my own scare a couple of years ago, I truly appreciate that you are donating to breast cancer.

  • Lisa West
    on Sep 12, 2020

    Gorgeously done and a worthy charity. I buy and donate for cancer as well. To many in my family have passed from the disease from hell. Breats brain lung liver Colin bladde ovaries etc y I u name it some one in my family had it. My cousin right now after breast cancer is now battling stage 4 blood cancer. The doc thinks it eas caused by agent orange my uncle was exposed to when she was conceived on the base. It ducks to because we are very close.

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