Thursday, May 1, 2014
Minor project. Major transformation.
I was asked by the folks at Zillow to write a blog post about a D-I-Y Bathroom Transformation Project. Since I happen to be the proud renter of a uniquely ugly bathroom, I was happy to oblige, and just tackled my bathroom vanity-- fists first.
It should be mentioned that our bathroom vanity is literally decaying before our eyes, so it will likely be replaced in the not-too-distant future. That said, I'm so taken with the results of this project that I'm inclined to channel a similar look for whatever we eventually get as the replacement. In fact, if I wasn't so sure that the whole bloody thing is about to capsize, I'd probably keep it now because it looks so much better.
Check out my blog post below... And try not to judge me for the woeful state of our bathroom vanity. It's a true eye-sore.
“How to Repaint an Ugly Bathroom Vanity (or similar cabinet!)”
Challenge level: EASY!
Approximate time: 2 hours, plus drying time.
Fine-Grit Sanding Block
Self-Priming Enamel Paint (The brand used for this project was Olympic's Paint-and-Primer All in One, in Semi-Gloss Enamel. Sounds like product placement, but I swear I love it!
2 1/2" angled paint brush
Screw Driver to remove hardware and hinges
Start by removing all of the hardware from your bathroom cabinet. Take off any pulls and knobs, and make sure you put everything into a bowl so you don't lose any of the screws while you're working. Once you've done this, remove the drawers and doors from your cabinet as well.
Rough up all surfaces of the cabinet, drawers, and doors with a fine-grit sanding block. You want to be thorough when you're doing this step to be sure that you've created a porous surface that the new paint will adhere to. **Keep in mind that you're not actually trying to take the old paint off-- just the shiny outer coat-- so imagine you're washing dishes with a sponge... That's how much pressure you'll want to apply while you're sanding with your fine-grit sanding block.
Once the cabinet, doors, and drawers have been thoroughly sanded, wipe them off with a damp paper towel to get all of the residue dust off. Also wipe up the floor around the cabinet, so when you put your painter's tape around the base of the cabinet (to keep the paint from getting on your tile) it will adhere well to the floor. Your next step? You guessed it: Putting painter's tape around the base of the cabinet, and along the sides where the cabinet meets the wall. Nothing says "Amateur Hour" quite like paint all over the place, so take the time to protect your tiles before you crack the paint open!!
You're ready to paint your cabinet now! After you've given your paint can a solid shake, crack her open! Apply one even layer on the cabinet with your paint brush, and then tackle the drawers and doors. It will likely take multiple coats of paint to get completely even coverage, so it's well worth it to apply a thinner coat and then follow up with a second once it's dry, rather than trying to heap it all on in one shot.
After you've waited the recommended amount of time between coats (Olympic suggests 1 hour until dry to the touch) you can put on your second coat. Consult the paint can to see if they recommend doing another light sanding between coats. Different paints have different needs, SO PAY ATTENTION TO THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CAN!
Once everything has completely dried, reassemble your cabinet, reinstalling the cabinet door and sliding in the drawers. Purchasing new hardware can also give a major facelift to an old cabinet, so measure your old handles and see what strikes your fancy at your local hardware store. (Another easy/obvious designer's hint: Make sure that the hardware on your bathroom cabinet matches the finish of your faucet. This simple detail will give your cabinet a nice, uniform look.)
I'm sorry, did somebody just say, "Holy smokes"? Because that is one FINE LOOKING VANITY! I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of freaking out about the hardware I bought for the cabinet, and actually bought matching handles for the medicine cabinet not shown. They're utterly fantastic and are kind of channeling a chinoiserie aesthetic which is all the rage right now.