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Paint a Bath Vanity

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Don’t trash a dated but sturdy bath vanity. Give it new life with a fresh coat of paint.

Painted bath vanity

Project Overview

Skill Level

Beginner

Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools & Materials

Tools

  • Painting supplies
  • 180- and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Mineral spirits

Materials

  • Valspar interior latex primer, gallon
  • Valspar Signature, Lyndhurst Duchess Blue (#5002-5C)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Instructions

You can paint a vanity without making any additional upgrades using these instructions. Because you’ll be removing the doors and hardware, however, consider adding new hardware and replacing worn hinges and cabinet bumper pads. For a more complete makeover, add a new vanity top, sink, faucet, and backsplash like the ones shown. These instructions apply to refinishing an existing vanity but can be applied to painting a new, unfinished vanity.

Prep the Vanity for Painting

Step 1

Remove the cabinet doors, drawers, false drawer fronts, and any attached hardware.

Good to Know

If you’d like to add new hardware with a screw spacing that’s different from the old hardware, now’s the time to fill the existing holes with wood putty and sand smooth.

Step 2

If the cabinet pieces have a clear finish over wood or an existing painted finish, sand them with 220-grit sandpaper. Make sure to reach into the inside corners of the cabinet panels and recesses of any molded edges. If the cabinet has a melamine finish (a thin layer of plastic) sand with 180-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface enough for primer to bond.

Good to Know

Some cabinets have a combination of wood and melamine -- the cabinet face frame and the door frame may be wood, but the cabinet sides and door panels use melamine. In those cases, sand the melamine with 180-grit and then 220-grit sandpaper to scuff up the smooth surface before priming.

Step 3

Vacuum off the sanding dust, wipe the surfaces with a soft cloth soaked in mineral spirits, and let dry thoroughly until there’s no odor from the mineral spirits. Wipe off any surface dust with a clean, dry cloth. With painter’s tape, mask off the underside of the vanity top, adjoining walls, floor, and inside face of the cabinet frame. If the cabinet has working drawers, mask off the drawer box or unscrew the drawer fronts from the boxes.

Step 4

Apply an even coat of primer to both sides of the doors, drawer fronts (false and working), cabinet frame, and cabinet sides. After the primer dries according to the manufacturer’s instructions, lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Then apply a second coat of primer and sand again.

Good to Know

Glossy finishes require meticulous surface preparation for a smooth, unblemished finish. A satin or eggshell finish is less likely to telegraph surface imperfections or the wood grain.

Paint and Reassemble the Vanity

Step 1

Apply the first coat of paint and let dry. Then add two additional coats to protect the surfaces from daily use. Let the third coat dry overnight before removing the tape and proceeding.

Step 2

Drill holes as needed for the new hardware. Then screw the drawer pulls and door handles in position.

Step 3

Reinstall the hinges on the doors and fasten the doors to the cabinet frame -- drive the screws snug but not tight. Adjust the door position using the hinges until the door frame edges are even and then tighten the screws.

Good to Know

Got a mounting screw that keeps coming loose? Apply glue to the thick portion of a toothpick or wooden match, insert it into the hole, and break off the surplus portion of the wood. After the glue dries, insert the screw as you normally would.

Step 4

Replace the cabinet drawers or false drawer fronts.