Easy Instructions on How to Paint a Vanity

Under $50

If you don’t have the money, or time, to renovate your entire bathroom, you can easily refresh it and change the entire look. Adding a coat of paint, new hardware, and framing a builder grade mirror can make a big difference on a budget. Read on to see how to paint a vanity – the proper way.

Painting a bathroom vanity is so easy and inexpensive. To get started remove all hardware, cabinet bumpers, cabinets doors, and drawers from the vanity. Then wipe down the vanity with a damp soapy sponge and wipe again with a rag to dry.

Once the cabinets are completely dry, you can begin painting the cabinets. I painted the cabinets in my basement on a large drop cloth.

refinish bathroom vanity

Shopping Checklist

Step 1 – Wipe Vanity & Lightly Sand

First begin by wiping down all surfaces of the vanity with a damp soapy sponge. After the vanity has been properly cleaned, lightly sand all surfaces that are to be painted. The sanding does not have to be down to the wood, just enough to roughen the surface so the paint sticks. Then wipe down the vanity again to remove any dust from sanding.

Step 2 – Labels

Remove and label vanity doors and drawers with a post it note, so you reinstall in the correct location when you are done painting. Place any hardware in a plastic cup or bag, so you do not misplace these items.

Step 3 – Painting

Apply the paint with an angled brush into all areas that the roller cannot cover. Then paint the entire surface with a high density foam roller and smooth out any brush strokes.

Step 4 – Second Coat

Wait at least a couple hours in between each coat. I applied all paint to the front surface of the doors before flipping the doors. The doors and drawers might feel dry to the touch, but they are not fully cured.

If you would rather not wait this long because you want to get this project done, I recommend painter’s pyramids. Painter pyramids prop up doors, so you can paint both sides of the door even if it is not dry.

Step 5 – Top Coat

No Clear Coat is required – the paint and primer are all mixed in one to finish and seal the surface. This paint is so durable! I painted my bathroom cabinets 2 years ago, and they still look great! If you prefer the extra protection, I recommend using a water-based polyurethane.

I was satisfied with the look of after 2 coats of paint, so I let them dry completely before putting them back on the vanity. Once they were dried, I put them back on the vanity and replaced the hardware.

I was satisfied with the look of after 2 coats of paint, so I let them dry completely before putting them back on the vanity. Once they were dried, I put them back on the vanity and replaced the hardware.

Step 6 – Cabinet Bumpers

After everything completely dried, place cabinet bumpers on the back of the doors and drawers.

Step 7 – Hardware and Faucets

If you really want to take it up another notch, you could replace the hardware and faucets. Below are some ideas to update your bathroom even further.


Products Used:

Behr Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel Paint– I had this paint tinted at the paint counter in Complex Gray Behr paint. This paint is perfect for painting cabinets especially in a bathroom because it can resist mildew and moisture.

The semi- gloss finish adds a light shine that is easily wipeable. This can be found at Home Depot in the paint area or on Amazon. I used a quart of the color Complex Gray by Behr to paint my vanity.Below is a picture of what the paint can looks like, so you can easily locate it in the store.

High Density Foam Rollers for Smooth Surfaces– I recommend using smooth rollers so you do not get any unwanted texture on your cabinets. Below are the rollers that I used from Home Depot. Don’t forget to purchase a paint roller frame that will fit, if you do not already have one.

Brush for Semi-Gloss and Enamel Paints – I used angled Wooster brushes for every project in my house. This angle Wooster brush for Semi-Glass and Enamel paints left a nice smooth finish. This brush is a little more than I typically spend on a brush, but you can use this brush multiple times if you wrap the brush.


To use the brush again, simply place the wet brush into an air tight plastic bag. The brush can typically last up to a week in the bag, so the brush can be used multiple times for your project.

DIY Mirror Frame in Bathroom -$20

Believe it or not, there’s a quick, easy, and affordable way to change the look of your bathroom, without replacing anything. Instead, you’re adding something – a simple DIY mirror frame around your already existing mirror.

Most “builder’s grade” homes today come with one large mirror in some such area. It works as mirror should and I can see my reflection – great. But it’s not the most attractive or decorative item, but it can be MUCH more appealing with a simple frame. Mind you, a frame can be added for any mirror but in particular, I’m going to show you how I put a frame on my large, 58×42 inch, mirror.

STEP 1: Cuts

I cut the two short sides on 45 degree angles at 42 inches long each. The long sides were also cut at 45 degrees (both sides put together make a perfect 90 degree angle – High school for the win) and they were each cut at 59 inches.

I know what you’re thinking: “But you said your mirror was only 58 inches long. Do you even math, bro”? …well, it’s always better to have more than less and the overlap certainly doesn’t hurt because I wanted to make sure it covered the entire mirror.

Click here to see the rest of the instructions on how to add a frame to a bathroom mirror.

Bathroom Mirror Frame

Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation

This kit includes everything that you will need to complete this project except for brushes and rollers. View our Rust-Oleum Transformation post to find out what we wish we knew before tackling this project.

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