Thursday, July 21, 2011

Updated Bathroom Vanity

As you guys probably know, Matt and I are working on the world’s slowest bathroom remodel. A few weekends ago we had a big push to get the floor (and more importantly, the toilet) installed before a friend came to visit.
After the floor was in, we could finally install the bathroom vanity, which has been done for a while.

Originally, I wanted to wait to show you until the new trim was installed, so everything looked clean and polished. But patience has never been my strong suit, so here we go :)

A while back I gave you a sneak peek. It was sitting in the driveway looking like this.


This is what it looked like originally. 


Can you believe I painted over that blue? ;)

Seriously, I felt like I had been transported back to 1992.

I’m pretty stoked about how it turned out. Its the same old piece, but I really think for about 15 bucks we made a huuuge difference.

See? We still need the trim on the bottom.

Clearly the color was too much, but there were some other changes we made to help update the bathroom vanity, so it no longer felt like we were on the set of In Living Color.

The little adjustments could really be applied to any outdated piece of furniture in your home. And if you’ve got a small budget like us, its best to work with what you’ve got. It would have been easier to get a new one, but we don’t have that kinda dough.

So, here are my top three tips for updating a bathroom vanity.

1. Make it Taller

Since the house is nearly 40 years old, the vanity height was a little low by today’s kitchen-cabinets-in-the-bathroom standards.

We couldn’t afford to get a new taller one, so we decided to raise the height a little with 2x4s.

BTW, does it irk anyone else that 2x4s aren’t really 2 inches by 4 inches? What a deceiving name!


It worked like a charm. The extra 1.5 inches helps the vanity feel taller, but isn’t a major change since it will be covered by the trim (when we eventually install it).

We also plan to put a 1/2 inch layer of plywood and then a layer of cement board on top of the vanity before the new tile. This will add a little more height as well, and its cheap.

2. Keep it Simple

The cabinet doors had a piece of wood detail in the center (with the knobs… weird?). It looked really dated. Some antique furniture has great detail that you’d want to show off, but if you’re looking for timeless, simple is better.


The process of simplifying the doors was pretty easy. Here’s a breakdown.


- Pry off the parts you don’t like 
- Use a razor blade to take off any splinters
- Use wood filler to cover the holes
- Smooth it out with a putty knife
- Sand it, put on more wood filler, sand again
- Do a third coat if necessary and a final sanding
- Now your doors are ready for primer!

3. The last, but most obvious tip… get new hardware

And don’t forget the hinges!


New hardware doesn’t have to be expensive. Our lovely bright blue-ness had little knobs that were barely seen. I got some new ones at the ReStore for a steal ($1 each) and a can of Krylon’s Brushed Nickel spray paint gave me a sophisticated new look for a low price.

And I barely put a dent in the spray paint can. Can’t wait to turn something else into brushed nickel :)

The old hinges were covered in blue paint. I’d heard soaking it in coke would dissolve the paint but it didn’t work. I got frustrated trying to peel it off so I just bought new ones at Home Depot, for less than 5 bucks total.

Of course, the new coat of paint helped a lot too :) So for about 15 dollars and a little work, we took our bathroom vanity from the MC Hammer days into 2011.

Here’s another look at the before and after.


If you want to see the rest of our bathroom remodel (so far), please go here, here, here, and here.

What are your favorite tricks for updating old pieces?

Linked up to
Thrifty Decor Chick
Homemaker on a Dime, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Thrifty Decorating, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, and The Lettered Cottage. Pin It


  1. Looks awesome! Love the handles you chose!

  2. What a difference white paint makes. I'm sure you were happy to see it done, seems like huge undertaking.

  3. Buh-Bye Blue - love the white. Great job - even though it's been a slow process - totally worth it.

  4. Wow....that's an amazing transformation! Thanks SO much for linking to Thrifty Thursday!

  5. That's very cool! Can't wait to see the completed bathroom :)

  6. Wow! This looks great! You did a fantastic job updating it! I am your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime soon!

  7. excellent job. looks waaaaaay better!

  8. Katie, That looks AWESOME! Nice work. I can't wait to see the final bathroom pictures!

  9. Your posts make me laugh because it could easily be me in all these home project situations. I am inspired by your bathroom makeover, as I tore out mine and only have the backer board installed. I need to lay the tile but am scared to take the leap. I found that a Restore has opened by me and can't wait to go. Looking forward to reading your blog!

  10. Wow! It looks great! Raising the height is a great tip .

  11. Wow! What a HUGE difference!! It looks so so great!

  12. Oh my gosh, SO MUCH better! I love it! :) Fresh and clean looking!
    Thanks for sharing this with me :)

  13. Absolutely lovely! Really appreciate you linking up this great bath post at the Roomspiration blog party.

  14. your blog is very effective and informative.
    i will keep updated with your blog.
    my blog also have relevent information.

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  15. That looks incredible! OK, you've inspired me to give our hideous walnut vanity {in our boys' bathroom} a little facelift while we're planning the big reno! Your blog is great, I'm glad I stumbled on it from Thrifty Decor Chick. :)

  16. Cool! how I wish I could also do the same to my bathroom vanities too.

  17. It is really unbelievable that you have painted over that blue.

  18. Your blog is amazing! thank you so much for your creative inspirations and thank you for sharing.

    Bathrooms Products

  19. Its really great post you have shared, which is informative and knowledgeable. I appreciate your great work. Keep me more updates. M.H.M.Remodeling provide best vanities for bathroom . bathroom remodelling Austin

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