Asked on Apr 28, 2021

Replacing bathroom cabinets ?

by Faddu

Hi all. When I started redoing my bathroom last year, I painted the cabinets first. After putting up the wood frame, I realized the cabinet paint does not match well. I want more of a natural, clean, spa look in my bathroom. I kinda wanna have cabinets that are pure wood, like mine. Is there a cheap way to do this? Do I strip the paint? Build my own cabinet doors? Or replace the whole vanity if I want a pine look? Pic of my bathroom and what I like below (excuse the mess!)

q replacing bathroom cabinets
q replacing bathroom cabinets
  21 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Apr 28, 2021

    Hi there! If your cabinets are solid wood beneath them you could strip the paint off that you put on them. Citrastrip is the more natural of the paint stripping options out there. There is another option that I think I would try first before going to all the work of stripping. You could try painting it to LOOK like wood: Here's a youtube how to video!

  • Maura White Maura White on Apr 28, 2021

    My husband always has told me that once you paint wood - there's no going back b/c it is so labor intensive to strip the paint. Then you would have to stain it to match what you are looking for above. I guess it depends on budget and time. If you have the time to strip it, then go for it. But if you can afford to just buy what you are looking for, then that would be what I would choose.

  • You have a lovely cabinet set up. It will be pricy to replace that, so I would say that stripping, sanding and staining is going to be the least expensive way to go. It will however be the most labor intensive, but there are some really good posts on Hometalk about how to do it well.

    Also, depending on what your cabinets are made of, you might not get the exact wood shade you desire.

  • what are the original cabinets made of? It might make more sense with the time and money you would spend striping them to just buy and install a vanity that you love

    • Faddu Faddu on Apr 29, 2021

      I’m not sure but it’s not solid wood. It’s some cheap quality.

  • Judy in Canton. Judy in Canton. on Apr 28, 2021

    Have you considered wood grain vinyl paper? They make them heat and waterproof.

    • See 2 previous
    • Judy in Canton. Judy in Canton. on May 01, 2021

      Check out EZ faux decor. It's made for countertops.

  • Seth Seth on Apr 28, 2021

    Wow, no rest for the weary. You just finished the floating shelves and now you want to tackle this project. Let's consider your options so far:

    Is there a cheap way to do this? No. You have learned by now there is no such thing as cheap when it comes to DYI.

    Do I strip the paint? Probably the best bet. Labor intensive, but pretty much the only way you will get all of the wood to look the same.

    Build my own cabinet doors? Not for this project. You will enjoy cabinet making. Build a whole cabinet. Doors are time consuming and you need all the right tools.

    Or replace the whole vanity if I want a pine look? Way too expensive and you don't want to ruin the counter top.

    One more option: paint a new base color and use a color wash technique to get somewhat of the look you are after.

    • Faddu Faddu on Apr 29, 2021

      Haha I am doing multiple projects at once. I tend to delay them when I get bored or frustrated. I think stripping or just painting a new color over them will prob be the easiest option. I can save the wood look for another bathroom haha

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Apr 28, 2021

    Hi! If that is the actual look you want, you aren't going to get it from just redoing what you currently have. Option A would be to paint it to look like wood. Option B would be to strip it down and do it over. Option C would be my choice - live with it until it's in the budget to replace it with what I want. But, it really depends on how much time, money and effort you want to put into getting that look. P.S. a lighter color might also give you that look. Good luck!

    • Faddu Faddu on Apr 29, 2021

      Thank you! I think I may have to just repaint it with a lighter color like you mentioned. The wood underneath is some cheap one, so not sure if I can even stain that.

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Apr 29, 2021

    You could try and strip it

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Apr 29, 2021

    The first step should be to find out if it is made of real wood. Find a spot on the inside of the cabinet that can’t be seen and sand a small spot. If it’s not real wood you’re stuck with repainting. If it is, then you’ll have to decide on the time and effort of stripping and refinishing, or the time, effort, and expense of a whole new unit.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Apr 30, 2021

    it all depends on your budget. Making new doors is not going to be inexpensive so i would purchase a new one

  • on May 01, 2021

    Repainting it will be much much easier than stripping them.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on May 01, 2021

    I’d re-paint the case and buy replacement doors and drawer fronts. I didn’t find pine, but I found oak, cherry, maple and hickory at Menards.

    The pic shows the price for what I guessed was the vanity door size.

    You can white wash or clear coat the new doors & drawer fronts.

    Replacing everything will be a huge project, for time and money.

  • Dee Dee on May 01, 2021

    Stripping the paint is very tedious but doable. I would get General Finishes stain and prestain to get the look you are looking for.

    If you have a Builders Surplus store near you, go check out their vanities. They are very reasonable and you would be able to get exactly what you want.

    PS I like the painted look you finished.

    • Faddu Faddu on May 01, 2021

      Thanks I liked it too but I feel it’s too dark with everything else

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on May 01, 2021

    Wow, I think it looks quite nice. For a total wood look, you may have to replace these.

  • Personally I would go repaint them, it is much easier compared to stripping them.

  • You can do any of those options you list. Just know that what doesn’t cost you in money will cost you in time and effort.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 02, 2021

    Just repaint. You can also create a faux wood look when doing this.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on May 04, 2021

    We found that going to a place like Home Depot and getting new cabinets was more cost-effective than all the time stripping and redoing our old cabinets.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Sep 27, 2021

    I agree with Chas, that for the total amount of time and money spent, plus the 'down time' in your bathroom, due to the project being on-going, it may be easier, and more cost effective to purchase new doors for the vanity. This way you can get the modern style and updated color that you really want.

    Purchasing new doors for existing vanities or cabinets is called re-facing.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 31, 2021

    what are the original cabinets made of? It might make more sense with the time and money you would spend striping them to just buy and install a vanity that you love