How do I update a large bathroom vanity from the 1960’s?

Maria Adams
by Maria Adams

I have a large bathroom vanity that I would like to update but not sure how to do it. It has two doors that are set far apart with a bit of blank wooden space between them. There are also wooden spaces on either side of the doors. I don’t have much money to spend and no carpenter skills to speak of so it needs to be simple. Thank you for your help!

  24 answers
  • The entire vanity is in great shape! I would just consider repainting in a different color to provide some contrast and update the door hardware. I would keep the faucets as well. Are you planning on changing the wall color?

  • on Mar 15, 2020

    Paint will do wonders! And new knobs. Just Pick a color you love. :)

  • 17335038 17335038 on Mar 15, 2020

    I agree with Naomie that the vanity looks to be in good shape.

    From the photo there are no visible gashes or spots that are disintegrating,

    It is also a neutral color, which is quite adaptable to all decor styles.

    In my opinion, it is the faucets that are dated.

    My suggestion is to leave the cabinet base as is, and purchase new updated faucets instead. Start with this, and swap out the old knobs with a more trendy style. Take this step first before trying to transform the cabinet doors, and see how much of an improvement this makes.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Mar 15, 2020

    Yes I would paint!!! The cabinet looks great and It will be a great makeover! I agree with flipturn...replace the faucets for an update. Definitely change the pulls and hinges as well!

    For the cabinet:

    Your end product depends on the prep!!!!!! It depends on how great you want it to look in the end and if you want it to look GREAT ...believe me the PREP IS EVERYTHING!!!! But definitely consider if these are cabinets that you will want keep for a long time and only go this route if you want to keep them for a while! The reason I say this is because this method will take a lot of your time and is tedious but will look like a professional finish job if you do it well.:

    To go all in to get a GREAT result, that means, prepping by SANDING, PRIMING(maybe B Moore primer) and using steel wool between coats of primer(to get that super smooth finish) all BEFORE you paint. ALSO...the paints are a huge factor for kitchens and bathrooms. You will want to use something super heavy duty for that kind of traffic! Consider using a home paint sprayer for the job to get that super sleek pro finish. No worries if you don't have one because the paint I suggest has self leveling properties and brush strokes will be minimized. If you are putting the time in to prep the cabinets well and paint them well you will want a good paint that will last. Benjamin Moore ADVANCE!! $50 per gallon but it's so worth it!!! That paint is an excellent cabinet paint and you don't need a topcoat. I just wipe it down when it gets dirty.

    If you want to just change the color for a few years before you get new cabinets then there are definitely easier methods to paint them. (ie.. spray paint and finish with a polycrylic spray sealer) I just wanted to give you a lasting solution in case you didn't want to deal with chipping, brush marks and lots of wear in a short few years using other methods. Good luck!

  • I would paint the cabinets and add new knobs. The counter looks like it's in good shape, but to update, you could replace the faucets. I just painted bathroom cabinets:

  • Maria Adams Maria Adams on Mar 15, 2020

    Thank you everyone! I just pulled five layers of wallpaper off the walls and painted them. I plan on changing out the faucets and the hardware on the vanity, and putting up two new mirrors. The vanity is in great shape and has a ton of storage. I just thought it looked a little outdated.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 15, 2020

    Hello! Awesome project! Have a look at this bloggers wonderful rehabs. Theres a few bathroom renos to consider. I hope this helps.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 15, 2020

    Hello Maria,

    I think if it were mine I would use a dry brush and drag a colour down the panels of the doors etc., maybe the colour you have used on the walls. You then should see the base colour coming through the dragged colour grain. I'd also change the colour of handles to match the grain.......

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Mar 15, 2020

    swapping out the knobs and faucets would go a long way.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 15, 2020

    Knobs and faucets to be replaced, for sure. And the paint would make a huge difference. Have you thought about a floral motif on the doors of the vanity?

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Mar 15, 2020

    paint or distress the cabinets and add new faucets (look at the clearance section of places like Home Depot/Lowes) either paint the walls or just add color with decor and towels

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 15, 2020

    Sometimes I just want to update a piece. The easiest way is paint and new hardware.

  • Lindi Lindi on Mar 16, 2020

    Checkout Kristen McGowens bathroom makeover on you tube

  • I'm not sure what your decor style is, but the counter and the faucets look like they're in really good shape. I love the retro look of the faucets. I agree with everyone else though about painting the cabinet and changing out the door pulls, but really not a whole lot of anything else.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 16, 2020

    I think if you change out your hardware and faucets and then paint the cabinet you would be pleased. If you don't like the doors, you could change the style to shaker cabinets by adding 1x4 around the 4 sides. Then do an "x" on each side or add some type of applique, depending on your preferred style.

  • Pamela Pamela on Mar 17, 2020

    Hi ! Easiest and cheapest re do , would be re paint , you can even use 2 colors , change out the hardware . Check hobby lobby for a really cool selection of drawers / cabinet hardware ! And change the faucets ! This is not a hard job , watch a few YouTube videos . You can also change the look of the vanity by removing one of the doors and put pretty baskets on the shelves . Good luck !

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Mar 17, 2020

    Hi I would paint the vanity a color that matches the bathroom then take another color and stencil a lighter color with a design of your choice on the doors even get wood prepaid from homedepot or Michael's to tac on with designs to add in the middle or over each door ,chance handles to match the new colors maybe use wood you could paint them to match and add a design on each knob.good luck

  • Janice Janice on Mar 17, 2020

    New faucets would make the biggest change ever in your remodeling. Your idea of two separate mirrors is an excellent one and it can be done rather inexpensively. I suggest changing the hardware on the vanity and choosing a darker color that makes you happy. I painted mine fushia and added very blingy hardware and each time I enter the area it makes me smile. If and when I ever sell, I may need to paint a more "calm" color but I absolutely have enjoyed the color for the past year. Be courageous and think outside the box. I hope you post a pic of your project when completed. We all love makeovers whether vanities or hair-do's.

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

    Paint & hardware can transform anything!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2020

    I just love that vanity !! I would only change faucets and change paint color in the bathroom

  • Jessica Green Jessica Green on Apr 20, 2020

    If you added a trim "frame" around the doors to hide the lines and give a more shaker look it would update the piece. There was an article here where a woman did that to her kitchen cabinets.

  • I would remove the doors and I would put fabric skirts in their places. You can get fabric super cheap at thrift stores and all you need is a tension rod and a glue gun.

  • Mogie Mogie on May 01, 2023

    There is an old saying "Paint hides a multitude of sins". Very true and it is also a cheap fix. After painting the cabinets and/or counters don't forget new hardware. I got a box of 25 pulls from for less then $40.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 02, 2023

    Paint the cabinet and get new hardware. Those two things alone will make a huge difference (and that includes a new faucet and lighting/fixtures).