Asked on Oct 02, 2012

Would oak trimming and doors still match if I painted bathroom vanity a chocolate brown color?

Maria McCallum
by Maria McCallum
I have oak baseboards, cabinets, interior doors as well as crown moldings. I would like to paint my bathroom vanities a chocolate color. Would the painted vanities still match with the oak moldings and doors??
  12 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 02, 2012
    I love all types of natural wood trim...In my home I'm set up with knotty pine doors and clear pine trim. oak would be nice but it s costs a lot more...LOL
  • Z Z on Oct 02, 2012
    I think what your asking is if they'd look okay, not match. They won't "match" since one will be painted and the rest still stained, if I'm understanding your correctly. As for looking okay, that's all about personal opinion. I'm with Kevin in liking natural wood and would never chose to paint a vanity in our home. Since you are obviously of a difference of opinion I'll ask what color is the stained wood and the paint? Do you think the colors go well together? Just because they are both brown doesn't mean they will blend well. I'd recommend in your case bringing home as many brown paint samples that you can get your hands on, whether you think you like them in the store or not, and tape them to the wall using painters tape and check how they look through out the day. Make sure to take notes of which ones you like each time. This will help you make sure you're making the right color choice.
  • Shari Shari on Oct 02, 2012
    Oh Maria, absolutely YES! No where is it written a bathroom vanity has to match or be the same as baseboards, doors and moldings any more than kitchen cabinets do. In fact, it's more visually appealing when everything doesn't perfectly match. Actually, the trend now is to treat vanities more like a piece of furniture and many people are replacing their builder basic vanities with actual old dressers or buffets that have been painted and converted into vanities. Even the companies manufacturing vanities are designing some of them now to look like beautiful accent pieces rather than a bland, boring, utilitarian wood box with a sink. If you start visualizing your vanity as an accent piece of furniture, I think you will quickly let go of the notion it needs to match the moldings and doors. Also, you are not just limited to painting the vanity chocolate brown...unless you want chocolate brown. Painting a vanity is a fun, inexpensive way to play with color. Vanities (as well as kitchen cabinets) are showing up in all kinds of beautiful and dramatic, gray, different shades of green from light to dark, watery, beachy blues, pale buttery yellows...the choices are endless! Take your color cues from the colors in your shower curtain, towels, rug, or accessories and have fun with it. Worst case scenario: you hate the color. Repainting a vanity involves a quart of paint a couple hours of your time. That's a very small investment for something that has the potential to refresh, revive and update your whole bathroom!
  • Maria McCallum Maria McCallum on Oct 02, 2012
    I guess my problem is this...when I'm browing on hometalk, and I see a beautiful chocolate brown bathroom vanity that has been redone from its older 'blah' color, then I want to do the same thing with mine. I do want to consider what effect this new paint color might have on resale value. Becky, are you saying that I should choose one of the darker grains in the oak trim and then do the vanity in that darker solid color? Shari, I agree with you on the multitude of colors that are showing up on hometalk. I love most of them and do realize a paint job is relatively inexpensive. I'm finding that hometalk is becoming more addictive to me all the time....I've even giving up TV time in exchange for hometalk.
  • Z Z on Oct 02, 2012
    Yes Maria, that would certainly work and it is basically what I was saying. Brown stains can lean orange, red or even yellow in tone.
  • Becky P Becky P on Oct 02, 2012
    I painted my "oak" bathroom cabinet black and I absolutely love it. I did this with the intention of getting me a few more years in before we remodel the bathroom.
  • Z Z on Oct 02, 2012
    Becky J's comment popped a visual into my head about painted oak that I do like very much. You can still see the grain!
  • Maria McCallum Maria McCallum on Oct 02, 2012
    thanks Becky. I do believe I'll get a color fan and match it to the darkest grain in the oak trim. This would be a great winter project for me. Thanks.
  • Z Z on Oct 02, 2012
    You're very welcome Maria. Make sure to lightly sand the cabinet before painting. I've not used it on wood, but I do like the paint and primer mix for walls.
  • Shari Shari on Oct 03, 2012
    Yay Maria! You go for it! If your vanity is in a high-traffic bathroom that gets daily use, I would recommend buying a separate primer and the best quality paint you can afford (rather than a primer/paint combo). On an oak vanity I painted, I used the Valspar Interior Latex Multi-purpose Primer (comes in a blue can @ Lowes) and found it to be tough as nails. I couldn't even scratch it off with my fingernail once it was dry! After I used it on my vanity, it's now the only primer I'll use. I followed up with Sherwin Williams paint. Despite daily use, the paint has held up unbelievably well. There is only one tiny chip in the leg where I accidently bumped it when I had a cast on my foot. Good luck!
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  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 04, 2012
    Just a tip...several years ago my bathroom cabinets were dated...they had a light oak trim on white. First, I painted on a primer (Kilz)...let it dry a couple of days and applied a second coat. I had white flat paint to which I added a few drops of a biege-ish color paint I had on hand to tint it to desired white. Then I painted 2 coats of paint. That was 7 years ago and it still looks new! I think the secret was letting each coat dry thoroughly! Since I was still working, I had to paint when I got a chance and was not too tired, so it was a slow job! People get in a big hurry to "finish" a project and paint sometimes gets blamed for their impatience.
  • Maria McCallum Maria McCallum on Oct 04, 2012
    Jeanette, I agree with you--totally. Work does sometimes interfere with our 'wants'. I've learned, this past year, to only do what I'm comfortabe doing. I repainted my complete home this past year (took me from April to end of May). I set an area of 2 walls, maximum, per day, if my health and lack of tiredness would allow it. This way I could still see the progress I made and the job wasn't too daunting. These golden years are creeping up quickly on me, and at present, I'm waiting for a hip replacement. So, I'm not moving too quickly at the moment--(sad to say, I'm still working for a paycheque).