Painted Bathroom Vanity

by Sarah
3 Materials
4 Hours
Updating not so pretty bathroom cabinetry with paint: good. Throwing out completely working furniture and cabinetry because it isn’t exactly what you want: not so good. Paint is seriously transformative. That and a little new hardware and I promise you will hardly recognize your old bathroom vanity. Plus it is super easy and very cost effective! I’ll tell you exactly how I painted this bathroom vanity to get a smooth and beautiful finish.

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Length of time for project: A few hours

Cost: ~$50 for paint and supplies

What you’ll need: Paint of your choice- I used Rustoleum Milk Paint in the Color Eclipse, satin water based polyurethane top coat, paint brush and small foam rollers, hardware if needed- I used this handle and these knobs.

What I learned: Milk paint is awesome! It takes another coat or two to get good coverage, but the finish is WAY smoother than chalk paint!

You can also find some of the items I used in this update (or similar items) in my Amazon Storefront.

Step 1: Prep

Not much prep necessary for milk paint (or chalk paint if you go that route)! I cleaned the cabinet with some spray to make sure all the toothpaste splatters were off. Then I ran a sanding block all over the surfaces quickly just to rough things up a bit. Don’t go crazy here. You don’t need to remove the existing finish unless there is damage or chips.

Then wipe off the dust and you are ready to paint! Also a good idea to tape off any edges that touch walls or floors just to keep things clean. You will also want to remove your hardware prior to painting. If you are changing hardware and won’t be using the existing holes, now is the time to fill those previous holes as well.

Step 2: Apply the paint

Start by applying a thin coat of milk paint. I used a brush along all the edges and then used a foam roller to paint the flat surfaces. You can also consider doing it all with a good paint brush and skip the roller altogether (in all honesty, I go back and forth on this and tend to prefer brush application). It is just a personal preference. I let the paint dry an hour or so between each coat and would then reapply. I think I did 3-4 coats total. I know that sounds like a lot but it goes super fast. As you can see below, it does go on thin with not perfect coverage to start. But it builds with each coat and this really seems to help with the smooth finish.

Step 4: Seal

Once you’ve obtained the coverage you want, it’s time to seal it all! I used a water based polyurethane in a satin finish. The milk paint has more of a matte finish. I think the satin finish adds a nice sheen consistent with newly purchased cabinetry. If you want a different sheen, just choose the coordinating polyurethane. I applied two coats to seal since it is a bathroom that will get a little moisture.

Step 5: Hardware

If you are changing your hardware, now is the time to drill the appropriate holes and install. Otherwise, just reinstall your old hardware. And you are done!

I seriously love how a little paint updated this vanity and kept us from having to replace it completely. My painted bathroom vanity looks like a totally new piece and it cost me less than $50 and just a few hours of work! I also updated the bathroom floor with paint and you can see that  here!

Resources for this project:
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Adele Cruz-Morris Adele Cruz-Morris on Apr 04, 2020

    Did you have to remove the door before beginning?

  • Rita Rita on Mar 09, 2021

    Your links don't seem to work. I love the look of the project. Were your cabinets that laminate type door or hardwood? thank you

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