Vanity Refresh


One thing that always makes a piece of furniture look brand new is a new coat of paint.  As you can see (here, and here), I've had my fair share of refreshing furniture.


The vanities in the master bathroom were originally painted white.  It was weird though, some pieces looked like they were hand painted, and the others professionally sprayed.  The vanities are original to the house and they were custom made.  They are solid and study so there was no need to get rid of them, just a nice coat of paint would do the trick.

12 Shades of grey
My M.O. is usually black paint, but we did our best to find a gray that would go with the tile that is already in the bathroom.  The tile isn’t our favorite, but it is in great condition.  It has tones of yellow, beige, and grays.  We took paint swatches in every gray we could find at the local do-it-yourself store.  The choice wasn’t easy, as they all looked ok to me.  In the end, we chose Valspar Mark Twain Ombra Gray (who comes up with this stuff?) because we both liked it and it was dark enough for the job.  A gallon did the trick for both vanities and we used semi-gloss.

So writing about this process is a hell of a lot easier than actually doing it.  It is time consuming, but can be done in a weekend.  You’ll be happy in the end when it looks like you have a brand new piece of furniture.


Remove everything from the drawers, etc.  Remove all of the hardware and take off the drawer or door. This might be a good time for you to organize your belongings too.  Everything will be sanded down and be full of dust, so there isn’t a need to clean anything off.  Put down a drop cloth, because it will get dirty.


Using a sander (we used a random orbital), start with a coarse grit sand pad.  Attach a shop vacuum to the sander and don’t forget to turn it on.  The coarse sanding will take off most of the current paint. Make sure you don’t round the edges of the wood when you do the sides.  Once you used the coarse grit, do another round of a finer grit, and then another round of the finest.  The wood will be exposed in most parts.  You should be able to run your hands smoothly down the wood.


Use the wet vacuum to clean up any dust or paint that came off while sanding.  Using a wet cloth, wipe down the furniture and allow it enough time to dry.

Prepping for Painting

Make sure your area is dust free and clean.  You don’t want any of the sanding dust mixing with the wet paint.  Don’t forget to clean off the drop cloth you used for the sanding.

If there are any areas that you need to tape off, do it now.  Using a hairdryer on the tape will help to prevent any bleeding around the edges of the tape.


A small foam roller works best for a project like this.  Because we are using a semi-gloss, any imperfections are more forgiving and you wont have to sand in between coats, like I did with the bar table.

This project took three coats of paint.  The primer was already built into the paint, which also saved an extra step. Allow ample time to dry as it will be tacky.

Putting it all back together

Once the paint is no longer tacky, about 24 hours, you can put the hardware back on and put the furniture back together.  It is recommended to wipe down the drawers again and put a liner in the bottom before putting your items back in.  In the future, we will be adjusting the gaps - see a future post on that.


There you go, a “new” piece of furniture that cost you not much more than a gallon of paint (assuming you have the other supplies). It is worth your time and following all the steps so it looks its very best.

<3 mk

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