DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover: Instant Bathroom Refresh

Take a blah vanity to the next level with fresh, bright paint! I used a beautiful green/blue Sherwin Williams color on this DIY bathroom vanity makeover, and I’m obsessed.

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Bathroom Vanity Before

The bathrooms in our 70s era house were updated at some point, so they weren’t terribly outdated. However, they were all very boring and needed a refresh.

Since moving in, I’ve wanted to bring some color into the main bathroom (also our guest bathroom) and give it a little more pizazz. The good news is, a bathroom vanity makeover is an easy and quick way to give any bathroom a facelift.

The obvious choice was to paint the vanity! The original color was white, with silver knobs and a granite, grey countertop with some streaks of red.

This is the bathroom vanity when we moved in:

The floor is beige, the walls were beige, and the vanity was drab. Thankfully, I do like the countertop.

I’ve been painting cabinets for many years, back to 2015 when I made the rather dubious decision to paint my oak, 1990s kitchen cabinets. Whew! That was some job. Luckily, that project made this DIY bathroom vanity makeover feel like a cake walk.

I’m going through a real green phase, but wanted to find a shade that had blue undertones. I finally settled on Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green. Halcyon Green also has grey undertones, which works well in this room. I will caution you, however, to test it out before trying it in any location. I painted it to our sunroom door (without testing!) and the bright light in there made it look washed out.

Bathroom Vanity After

This color works great in this south facing room with one small window. In some lights, it looks much more blue than green, but in a coastal-vibe kind of way.

I really love the final result. Its just the right amount of color, without being too much.

I also painted the walls in the room. Our entire house was painted in a greige color that has since gotten quite drab and dirty. I wanted to get a fresh, clean look.

It was actually pretty difficult to see the difference in some lights, but you can really see the lighter color here. I can’t for the life of me remember what paint color I used here- but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. I used it in another bathroom with brighter light and it looks like a prison cell. However, its not bad in here, so its staying.

I added a couple new decor items, a colorful rug (I have it in a few different sizes!), and that did it for my bathroom makeover!

Here’s before, again:

And here’s after:

I love the colors in this rug– I have it in a couple different sizes!

Let’s talk steps when tackling your own DIY bathroom vanity makeover.

  1. Prepare the vanity: Remove any hardware, such as handles or knobs, and clean the surfaces of the vanity thoroughly. I like to use the bristle brush on my vacuum to clean up any loose dirt. Then I usually use a degreaser like trisodium phosphate and a sponge or cloth to remove any dirt, grime or grease.
  2. Remove doors: Don’t skip this step, it really is worth just taking the cabinets off to paint them. I don’t always remove the drawers, because I find its fairly easy to paint them in place.
  3. Sand the surface: Lightly sand the surface using fine-grit sandpaper. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. This is only necessary if the material on your vanity is a material where the paint won’t adhere easily. When I painted my kitchen oak cabinets, I absolutely had to sand the surfaces to open the pores of the wood to have something for the primer to adhere to. For this vanity, I skipped this step, as it had previously been painted and wasn’t necessary.
  4. Prime and paint: Apply a coat of primer, or an all in one paint and primer, to the vanity using a brush or roller. Start with the edges and any intricate areas, then move on the the larger surfaces. Apply multiple thin coats for a smooth and even finish. Allow the paint to dry between each coat. I like to use a small roller for the larger areas.
  5. If necessary, apply a protective finish: This will help protect the paint from moisture and scratches. You can choose between a clear coat or a wax finish, depending on your preferences. When I use Sherwin Williams Durability or Emerald, or Benjamin Moore Advance paint, I skip this step as well. I’ve found both these paints to stand up to a lot of hard wear!
  6. Reattach hardware and doors: Once the protective finish or paint has dried, reattach hardware to the vanity.
  7. Add bumper pads to doors and drawers: I like to add the little self-stick clear bumpers to the drawers and cabinets, so they don’t bang close and wreck my paint job (I have kids!)

What is the best paint for a bathroom vanity?

If you’re looking for a good primer/paint combo, I really like Sherwin Williams Emerald for its durability and washability. I’ve also used Benjamin Moore Advance on cabinets, which is equally great.

My sister Melanie is the publicist for Benjamin Moore (she’s not, I’m kidding, but she should be) so if she sees this she’ll be so annoyed that I said SW and BM were equal. What it really comes down to is that the Sherwin Williams store is closer, and I like the employees there better.

Tackling your own DIY bathroom vanity makeover project? Tell me about it in the comments!

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