Vanity Makeover Using Chalk Paint

7 Materials
3 Hours

I was asked by a friend if I could give a small vanity she was given a makeover. It was not in the best of shape and was missing the mirror and a knob for one of the drawers.

I knew I had some chalk paint in my workshop that would be suitable for this vanity. She did not want anything fancy, so this project is not as unique as other projects you will find on my website. My idea was to paint the vanity using chalk paint and I would add some wallpaper to the drawers as a feature.

Clean up the vanity surface ready for painting

The surface had lots of scratches on it, so chalk paint would work perfectly. I started by cleaning up the surface with some warm soapy water and a scourer. There was lots of grease and grime from makeup on the vanity surface.

By the look of the vanity surface, it looked like a lacquered finish. To prepare the surface for painting I gave the surface a sand using 120 grit sandpaper. This will give the chalk paint a better surface to stick to.

You can repeat the same prep work on all the vanity drawers. I used Annie Sloan’s French linen chalk paint for this dresser. I like to store my chalk paint in these FIFO bottles because I find it lasts longer. If you are having issues with your paint rusting inside the cans these are perfect. You can apply the chalk paint with other brushes I personally prefer a chalk paint paintbrush.

Painting the Vanity

Once the first coat has been applied it is normal to see the brushstrokes on the surface. These will be less visible once you have added the second coat. Some people don’t mind the look of the brush strokes but I prefer a smoother surface. To achieve this I use 3m scouring pads and rubbed down the surface. You can use sandpaper, I personally find it clogs up too quickly. As you can see from the image above the original mirror was attached with screws. It is a good idea to fill any holes before painting. I had to go back and fill mine, I only noticed them after taking all the photos and doing the tutorial.

I repeated the same process on the drawers. Once the vanity was dry I sealed the chalk paint with water-based polyurethane.

Applying the wallpaper to the vanity drawers

I chose to use wallpaper for this project because I had one at home that would match the paint colour. If you don’t have wallpaper you can use posters or decoupage napkins.

I cut the wallpaper to the correct size to fit inside the recess on the drawers. Using mod podge or a suitable adhesive apply an even coat inside the recess and place the wallpaper on top. I waited for the mod podge to dry first then I added another coat over the top. This will just add some extra protection to the surface.

With the vanity painted I just had to reattach the handles to the drawers. As I mentioned in the beginning one of the drawers was missing a knob. I could not find anything to match the originals, so I replace both with glass knobs.

Painting the vanity mirror

The vanity did not have a mirror when she brought it but I knew I had one on my shed somewhere. You can find these mirrors at thrift stores or Facebook marketplace. The mirror was very dusty, but 2 coats of chalk paint made it look as good as new again.

This style of mirror is not attached to the vanity so it can sit on the top or be fitted to the wall.

More furniture makeover ideas

This old dresser was given a geometric makeover.

If you are one of those people who hate painted furniture, this post will share some tips to help you restore a dresser. This one ended up almost as good as new.

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