I Used Chalk Paint on the Vanity in the Downstairs Bath

11 Materials
2 Days

We have two bathrooms in our house, one upstairs and the other one downstairs. Since our house is not a custom one, so we had just the standard, Contractor grade trim, cabinets and flooring when we moved in. A couple of years ago, I updated the bathroom downstairs with board & batten, fresh paint on the walls, new light fixture and painting the wood vanity. I love the look of oak but the wood the cabinet was showing wear from being in a bathroom. Yes, I could have done a little sanding & add another coat of polyurethane but instead, I decided to paint.

Before picture of the vanity

When I decided to paint the vanity, I chose chalk paint. Since it has a wax finish, I figured it would be a good choice to use in a bathroom where it might get wet. The paint has held up very well and since it is protected with the wax, it wipes up easily.

Trim added

Before starting the painting process, I added wood trim to each side of the vanity. I wanted to make it look more like a custom cabinet.I chose a rope trim that is 1 1/2" wide. Using my compound miter saw, I cut the pieces to size and attached them to the cabinet with some Elmer's glue and my nail gun. When the pieces were cut, I spread a bead of glue to the back of each piece then positioned it on the cabinet, held it in place and used the nail gun to secure it.

Choosing the color

Now, onto the painting! As I mentioned, the paint I used for this vanity was chalk paint. I had been painting some of the furniture in the house - mostly laminate pieces - with chalk paint and was loving the look it gave to the pieces. I thought, 'why not try chalk paint on this vanity?' The first step was to decide what color to use. The downstairs bath has a gold shower curtain and a soft, buttery color on the walls. I wanted to add a pop of color in there and thought teal would provide a nice contrast. As you can see in the pics below, I tried several different teal colors before choosing Waverly's Pool. It looked the like perfect color! I painted samples on a piece of wood then added dark wax to see what they would look like once it was finished.

Is this the color I want?

As I was painting, my intuition was whispering 'this is too blue' but I ignored Ms Intuition and continued painting the cabinet, both doors and the two drawers.After the first coat of paint was completed, I stood back and YUP, Ms Intuitions was right! It was TOO blue! Not the least bit teal! Drat!!! I headed to the store to see what color might be closer to the teal I was looking for. I settled on Agave and brought it home. 

That's a much better color!

As soon as I started painting, I knew this was going to be the color.

Small drawer not yet waxed

With chalk paint, you normally only need one coat, sometimes a second one helps. In this case, the only reason that I used two coats was because I changed the color. The blue coat covered very well so I wouldn't have added another coat if I had stayed with that color. When the paint was dry, I used Annie Sloan Dark Wax to antique it. I have tried other brands of wax for chalk paint but her brand is my favorite. When applying the wax, use less than you think you need to as a little goes a long way. You can always apply more but if you apply too much, it is difficult to buff out and stays tacky. I prefer to use a waxing brush to apply the wax but I think you can also use a cloth, it'll just be messier. 

Finished vanity

After the dark wax was applied and buffed with a soft cotton cloth, I applied a thin coat of Annie Sloan's Clear Wax. The same procedure holds for this wax too, apply less than you think you need - a little goes a long way. When the clear wax was applied, I used a soft cotton cloth and buffed it to a sheen.This vanity did not have any knobs or handles on it. I found some bronze ones that I really liked. The only issue was, there were no holes in the drawers or on the doors. To attach the new handles and knobs, I marked the drawers and doors where I wanted to place the new hardware and used my battery-operated drill to drill through the wood. The handles came with two sets of screws, a short one for doors and a long one for drawers.

Added little feet

To complete a custom look, I added little wooded legs to the front of the cabinet. I also bought these at Home Depot. They just set on the floor, I have not attached them to the cabinet. Since I already had the wax, the costs to update this vanity was paint, hardware, feet & trim which added up to about $40. The wax I bought was $25 ea for the clean and the dark. It's a good sized can. I think they sell a small one now too. I have used it on many projects. The price I used does not include the cost of the wax. I chose 2 days for the length of this project since I wait a day before waxing after the painting has been completed.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Lisa
    on Mar 23, 2020

    I love the green color and am going to use this on a cabinet. However, most of the product links don’t generate the products used. I found the Waverly Agave on Walmart.com, but not on Amazon. And the Annie Sloan waxes? Where did you get those? What were the sanding blocks used for? How did you prep before painting? Thanks for sharing this beautiful project!

    • Jeanne
      on Mar 24, 2020

      I agree that you won't want to wax the top since you are putting the tiles on the surface. I'd love to see the cabinet when you're done! If you remember, come back here and post pictures. Have fun!

  • Helen
    on Mar 27, 2020

    My bathroom vanity looks similar to yours. I would like to paint it white. Would I need two coats of chalk paint?

    • Jeanne
      on Mar 27, 2020

      I wouldn't think so. I haven't needed to add two coats when using chalk paint in the past except when I was painting a deep red over a white surface. Let me know when you try it.

  • Mert
    4 hours ago

    What is the actual name for this color green?

    • Jeanne
      18 minutes ago

      Hi Mert! This is Agave and the brand is Waverly. It's a teal green, which I love! I found it at Walmart. Amazon has Waverly also but I've not seen Agave online there before.

Join the conversation

  • Susan
    on Mar 9, 2020

    Very nicely done. So glad you added the green color as I think it’s beautiful. The little feet and trim are a nice upgrade.

  • Kerry Canale
    7 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this,I bought a pint of chalk paint having no idea I could use the waverly. I got the blue an black wax to age with clear to seal. I am even more excited to paint mine.

    • Jeanne
      7 days ago

      You're welcome! Post a picture when you finish it, I'd love to see how it comes out!

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