When doing a bathroom remodel, one way to save money is to reuse the existing bathroom vanity if possible. On top of that, it seems that some older vanities are made better than newer ones. If there isn’t any water damage, it might be in your best interest to work with the existing vanity rather than buying a new one. This was exactly the case in our recent hall bathroom remodel at our ’70s landing pad.

While a new vanity would have been nice, I couldn’t find one I liked that would also fit in our budget. Instead, we opted to keep the existing vanity, but painted it and switched out the hardware to update its look. We also topped it off with a new white quartz countertop.

This was actually the first time I had painted a bathroom vanity. I did a lot of research before painting it. Here is what I learned along the way.


-Clean the vanity extremely well before painting it. Use a deglosser to remove the shine, followed by a primer. If your vanity has any uneven places in the old finish, using a sander might be a good idea to even those places out before painting.

-Remove the doors and drawers from the vanity before painting. Prop the doors up on wood scraps or painter’s pyramids to easily paint the edges. Wait at least three days before reattaching the doors and drawers to the vanity after it’s painted. Wait another two weeks before closing the doors and drawers completely against the vanity. This ensures that your paint finish has enough time to fully cure.

-Use a paint that has a semigloss or gloss sheen. Semigloss and gloss sheens can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth, whereas matte and satin sheens are not so easily cleaned up. Give the vanity at least two coats of paint. If you think your vanity is really going to take a beating, layer on a topcoat such as a semigloss polycrylic.

-Since we were replacing the countertop of our vanity, I was able to remove the vanity from the bathroom, take it into my garage and paint it with a paint sprayer. This gave it a smooth, professional finish with zero brushstrokes. If you aren’t replacing your countertop though and can’t do this, don’t worry. Mix Floetrol into your paint, following the directions on the bottle. This will help reduce brushstrokes and roller marks.

-Replacing the hardware is a great way to update the look of your vanity. Wait at least 24 hours after painting the vanity before putting the hardware on.

Do you have any tips for painting bathroom vanities?

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Jenna LaFevor rants on at Rain on a Tin Roof about DIY projects, junk d├ęcor, thrifty finds, crafty creations and other decorating dilemmas. She went to UTC, where she got a teaching degree that now collects dust. When she isn’t trying to keep her kid from climbing out of the circus ring or making sure her husband’s shirts are taken to the dry cleaners so she gets out of ironing, she can be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cheap beer in the other. But if you’re buying, she’ll have a cosmopolitan. You can email her at [email protected] or you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @raintinroofblog or at her blog. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.