Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How To Strip And Paint Your Bathroom Vanity

Since I am a  home stager for real estate and run into many a home that needs an update but not a total re-do, I thought I'd lend a helping hand by showing how easy it is to give that bathroom a fresh feel. Paint is your best friend when trying to change a look or make your home keep up with the times.Most of the homes in my neighborhood are anywhere from 15-20 years old and have the original oak cabinets. They do the job, but after a while they just start feeling 80ish.
The Do-It-Yourself process can save money in this economy and also give you a sense of pride in saying, "I did that!" With a little time, patience and effort you can achieve a better atmosphere that is pleasing to the eye and the wallet.

Preparation Process/Original Oak Cabinets
Drop cloth
Stripper/Paint brush
Scraper/Screw Driver
Trash Can/Cloth (old Rags)
Paper Towels/Plastic sandwich bag
Mineral Spirits
Primer (white/grey depending on color chosen)
Sand Paper (100-120 grit)

Keep a well ventilated area by opening the windows.
Remove all the items from cabinets.
Remove the doors from the cabinet face and remove the
hinges, store them in a plastic bag for safe keeping.
Remove the drawers. Arrange Drop cloth accordingly.
Remember the insides of the cabinet as well.
Apply stripper, just about any full strength stripper will
work, they have improved over the years and work beautifully.
You can also opt to sand the wood. Either way, the goal is to
remove all the sheen and/or finish, so the new paint can adhere.
I start with the cabinet face frame and then work towards the doors
and drawers.
Allow proper sit time if using stripper (directions on back of product)
and scrape the excess finish off. Have a paper towel handy to help keep
the scraper clean and place in trash can. Allow time for cabinet surfaces to
dry and look for spots that may have been missed by the scraping process.
Sand these areas to dull look and feel.
Stripped Cabinet, Begin Priming

Prime the cabinets. One coat usually all that is needed.
A white primer is best for light colors. A grey primer is
best for dark colors. (Although I used a white primer
for a Chocolate Brown color-I used what I had for
economic purposes, and it turned out fine)
After the primer has dried, a quick sanding to knock down the
nubs for a smooth surface is needed. Wipe the surfaces with clean, dry cloth.

Apply First coat of color. I chose a water-based satin,enamel. Oil is best but if you are not experienced in painting it can leave brush marks and is a clean up nightmare. Enamel hardens and provides a good cleanable surface. I only had to buy a quart and had some left over for later touch-ups. I also applied 2 coats for best coverage.
Let paint dry fully between coats. I recommend waiting 12-24 hours before putting the cabinet drawers and doors back on.

Enjoy the new look.
For added fun you can install door pull or knob hardware

(*This picture sadly doesn't do the final work justice)
When all was finished, I spent around $45.00
(my costs were for mineral spirits, paint,drop cloth, and stripper)

NEXT: How to improve and update lighting. Hollywood lights are a NO! NO!


  1. Paint, or stain? They look like you re-stained them.

  2. I used a Satin Enamel Chocolate Brown Paint...the pic quality is bad (sorry!) They look yummylicious in person!

  3. Nice blog and nice information which shared by the blog owner I want to say thanks to this blog owner. I would like to come again on this blog. Strips Doors Delhi

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. very beautiful blog many useful information mentioned.

    Wooden Bathroom Cabinets