Can I paint this vanity unit?


It’s discoloured and I want to spruce it up for my daughter, I’m not sure what it’s made of, I don’t think it’s wood, it has a shiny smooth finish, please can someone tell me the best products and methods to use. Thanks 👍

q can i paint this vanity unit
  25 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Nov 17, 2020

    This piece has lots of potential to be a pretty little vanity.

    You may want to consider painting only sections of the vanity, such as the fronts of the drawers, the legs, or the mirror frame. This would be much less work and expense that painting the entire vanity, and the existing factory finish on the countertop may be more durable than a spray painted surface.

    Swapping out the drawer knobs for new ones is also a fast and easy way to add new life to older furniture.

  • on Nov 17, 2020

    Very pretty! Of course you can paint it. Sand it well to get some of the shine off. Prime it with a high adhesion primer and then paint with an enamel or mineral paint. :)

  • Michelle Michelle on Nov 17, 2020

    Since it is already painted. I would sand a little and repaint . I would highlite the carved areas with another color or if using chalk paint - wax . Maybe glass knobs but definitely different ones

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 17, 2020

    First, thoroughly clean with TSP. Scuff with fine steel wool to make a better surface for the new paint to adhere to. Then wipe away any residue with denatured alcohol. Then you can paint.

    As for product, I have used everything from house paint to chalked paint for furniture with great results. The biggest drawback to chalked paint is the lack of durability.

    I do have another idea rather than a full on paint job. Consider adding a glaze for a different look. It wouldn't be much effort and would bring out the details like the trim above the drawers and the work around the mirror. You could use black or brown, depending on your color scheme. You rub it on and after a minute or so wipe off. If not deep enough, repeat. You might at least try that before painting.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 17, 2020

    You can spray paint it. Any spray paint should work on your vanity. First, make sure you prep it well, a light sanding and then cleaning it with a tack cloth.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 17, 2020

    Do a very good job of cleaning it first, warm soapy water with dish soap and wipe a rinse of clear water. Let dry, sand it down to rough up the surface paint with high grit sand paper, 180, this will give the new paint something to adhere to. Wipe it down with a damp rag so no sandings remain. When you go to spray it, use light coats to avoid runs.

    Here are 2 links for transfer designs, that would make it stand out:

    Or you can can look up:

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 17, 2020

    Hello. I use both spray and paint on Zinsser BIN primer, the one with the shellac base for most furniture projects.

    Going from a dark stain to a light color—- a shellac based primer is essential. I spray the primer, lightly sanded with 400 grit, cleaned the dust with a tack cloth and then applied a second coat.

    Spray paint

    Rustoleum recommendations


    Always work in a well-ventilated area. Cover the floor and nearby items with a drop cloth. Lightly scuff any glossy surfaces and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. Use Painter’s tape to hide any surfaces you don’t want to paint.


    Using slow, back-and-forth motions, spray paint each item with several light coats of spray paint, making sure to overlap each stroke slightly. Apply 2-3 coats of spray paint, waiting a few minutes in between each coat.


    Let spray paint dry for approximately 1 hour before handling.

    Tip: Use of 2X Ultra Cover Primer or Bulleye 123 provides better paint coverage and color.

  • William William on Nov 17, 2020

    Here are some ideas

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Nov 17, 2020

    Based on the style and details such as the legs, I'm pretty sure the vanity is wood. The top might be formica but doubtful. If so, even that can be painted by scuff sanding, wiping down, a great bonding primer x2 coats and then paint.

    The rest of it most certainly is wood, which is good. You could put CitriStrip on it to remove whatever "shiny" surface was applied. Cover her with saran wrap and let the CitriStrip do it's thing. Use a plastic scraper so you don't damage the wood and scrape the gunk right into a lined garbage bag. Wash/spray with a hose and scrub to remove all remnants of the stripper and gunk. I would remove the hardware first and fill the holes with bondo, sand smooth. You can then replace the little boring knobs with something terrific once you're done painting!

    Do a scuff sand and use that great primer and then paint with a great paint. You can use a cabinet paint that self-levels so you don't see brush strokes.

    William's link has tons of pics but here are a few similar to your vanity style that have been redesigned (you can do "color blocking" by putting on painters tape and painting within the shapes)

    Be brave! Have FUN! You CAN do this! 😎

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Nov 17, 2020

    Spray paint should work.

  • Em Em on Nov 17, 2020

    Chalk paint is my go to. Two coats. Dries really fast. Spray paint is subject to drips if you aren't careful and that is a pain to fix. You have to sand and try to match the layer or layers you already have on it.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 17, 2020

    you could distress it or paint it even if it is not wood

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Nov 18, 2020

    There are lots of vanity projects here that you might like:

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 18, 2020

    Hi Claire: I would use a paint with a built in primer. Either take the mirror out of the frame or tape around the glass very carefully. Spray paint may be your easiest route.

  • I would do two coats of primer to cover up any discoloration and then latex paint in a color of choosing. Then a furniture wax.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Nov 18, 2020

    Hi! Here's one I did for my granddaughter:

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Nov 19, 2020

    Sand to scuff it up then paint and seal

  • Maura White Maura White on Nov 20, 2020

    You can totally paint this! Check out the product I used so I didn't have to sand when I painted my kitchen cabinets:

  • Calceus Calceus on Nov 21, 2020

    I personally think it should be possible to spray paint.

  • Claire Claire on Nov 21, 2020

    Thank you :)

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    of course that you can ... What a loverly project to have !

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 19, 2021

    Since you don't think it's wood, then it could be melamine (paper thin plastic) over MDF (medium density fiber).

    If it is this, Do Not Sand it! Once that plastic film is pierced or gauged, the MDF will suck up any liquid (like chalk paint) and "mushroom".

    I would spray it with enamel paints.

    You can make stencils or borders with painters' tape & masking.

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Feb 28, 2021

    Chalk paint would be the easiest