In an afternoon, I updated the color of my mom’s bathroom vanity cabinet

Slow and steady is how I like to paint vanity cabinets for that factory finish look.

I updated the wall color and decor of my mom's bathroom a few months ago. We were both happy to see a new color on her bathroom vanity cabinet.

I updated the wall color and decor of my mom’s bathroom a few months ago. We were both happy to see a new color on her bathroom vanity cabinet.

Yes, you can paint your cabinets.

No, you shouldn’t expect to paint them in just one coat.

You’ve probably heard experts weigh-in on both sides of the ‘paint your cabinets’ opinion fence. If you take your time, and pay close attention to the details, you can find success.

I had updated my mom’s bathroom a few months ago, with new wall color, shower curtain, and accessories, but I left the brown cabinet as-is. After I finished the quick makeover, I suggested the new color for the cabinet: dark grey. She agreed.

So when I was on my way to visit for the weekend, I picked up a quart of Rock Bottom grey from my local Sherwin-Williams, decanted polyurethane into a mason jar, grabbed a few of my favorite Shur-Line paint brushes and tray, and headed to her home.

The first thing I did when I started this paint project was clearing off the counter, and made space for my supplies.

While you can paint a cabinet without taking the doors off, it actually ends up taking longer to try to paint around the fasteners and hinges.

DIY Tip: Since this is a single vanity cabinet, I didn’t have to label the doors. If you’ve ever painted kitchen cabinets, it can be confusing and frustrating when you have 10 or more to put back where they started before the painting began.

The next step was sanding all of the surfaces to open up the grain for the paint. If you choose to skip the sanding step, the paint you apply could literally just peel right off the cabinet. So don’t skip this step.

Since it isn’t my bathroom, I tested the color Rock Bottom on the inside of the doors to get my mom’s approval on the hue. She was happy, so I kept trucking.

Here’s the part that’s just as important as sanding and selecting the perfect color: how to apply paint to a vanity cabinet.

If you use those 99 cent paint brushes, you’ll end up with a ’99 cent looking project.’ I don’t use a professional paint brush, either. Those expensive brushes are designed for how professional painters paint. They hold more paint in the brush, and aren’t designed for DIYers to frequently go back-and-forth to dip in the paint source.

I like to use a quality DIY brush, which is my favorite kind of paint brushes from Shur-Line and yes I’m their spokesperson. And I’m their spokesperson because I use their brushes.

Using a dip-and-dab method of dipping in the paint and then running the brush across the rim of my paint container, I lightly applied a few thin coats on all of the surfaces, making sure the previous coat was dry before starting another. It might seem like it takes longer this way, but it helps to increase the dry time, increase adhesion, and decreases the opportunity to painting’s arch enemy: drips.

After the color was dry, I applied clear polyurethane over the entire cabinet. Slow and steady, to avoid drips. I also like to have a larger dry brush handy so I can push any excess clear coat into the details of the doors, so it doesn’t have an opportunity to collect and pool.

I’d love to know what you think of this bathroom makeover project. Share a note in the comments or send me a note. -t

Small bathroom mom before MyFixitUpLifeIMG_2014

My mom’s bathroom had a collection of wall art themed for the butterfly bathroom.

I updated the wall color and decor of my mom’s bathroom a few months ago. We were both happy to see a new color on her bathroom vanity cabinet.

While there isn't anything wrong with the cabinet color, it just doesn't go with my mom's new bathroom mojo.

While there isn’t anything wrong with the cabinet color, it just doesn’t go with my mom’s new bathroom mojo.

My mom's bathroom is much more sophisticated than the original yellow-and-butterfly theme, but that brown cabinet is a visual distraction from the calm luxe look. It's time for a makeover.

My mom’s bathroom is much more sophisticated than the original yellow-and-butterfly theme, but that brown cabinet is a visual distraction from the calm luxe look. It’s time for a makeover.

Take off any hardware you can remove easily. You'll save time by not trying to tape or paint around it.

Take off any hardware you can remove easily. You’ll save time by not trying to tape or paint around it.

My little 17-in-1 multi-tool from HYDE is like my tool bestie. It has screwdriver heads inside the handle.

My little 17-in-1 multi-tool from HYDE is like my tool bestie. It has screwdriver heads inside the handle.

I sanded all of the wood surfaces before I started painting. Since it was a nice day, and sanding creates dust, I took the doors outside.

I sanded all of the wood surfaces before I started painting. Since it was a nice day, and sanding creates dust, I took the doors outside.

After sanding any surface, I brush off the dust. Paint will stick to the dust, and then make little bumps or flake off and leave behind spots on unpainted, and uneven finish.

After sanding any surface, I brush off the dust. Paint will stick to the dust, and then make little bumps or flake off and leave behind spots on unpainted, and uneven finish.

2015_Bathroom_HYDE_Multitool_open paint lid_Theresa_151108.JPG

After just one coat, I'm digging the color Rock Bottom from Sherwin-Williams. Even in a finish like this, I'm happy. But my mom isn't into distressed. She wants polished. On to another coat of paint.

After just one coat, I’m digging the color Rock Bottom from Sherwin-Williams. Even in a finish like this, I’m happy. But my mom isn’t into distressed. She wants polished. On to another coat of paint.

Clear coat of polyurethane is a furniture painter's best friend, especially in a bathroom. It seals in the paint color and protects it from moisture and damage.

Clear coat of polyurethane is a furniture painter’s best friend, especially in a bathroom. It seals in the paint color and protects it from moisture and damage.

2015_Bathroom_paint_cabinet_after_Theresa_151108.JPG

Looking at the cabinet without the rest of the room, this vanity cabinet looks fresh and modern.

Looking at the cabinet without the rest of the room, this vanity cabinet looks fresh and modern.

2015_Bathroom_Paint_Theresa_151108

My mom says she loves the new color and the bathroom makeover. But she's my mom, so what do you thin?

My mom says she loves the new color and the bathroom makeover. But she’s my mom, so what do you think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

You should definitely share this with your friends.
Facebook Twitter Email
Bookmark the permalink.

4 Comments

  1. “Looking at the cabinet without the rest of the room, this vanity cabinet looks fresh and modern”, I totally agree! The cabinet’s new color and the bathroom makeover is truly adorable. Congratulations Theresa!

  2. Pingback: Ask it: Can I add a stand-up shower in a small bathroom remodeling project?

  3. Pingback: A sunny sophisticated bathroom makeover in just an afternoon

  4. Pingback: Bathroom Cabinets and Vanities

Comments are closed