January 8, 2021  

How To Paint A Bathroom Vanity

Do you have a bathroom that could use a MAKEOVER? Painting your vanity can transform a room on a budget. Here’s how to paint your outdated bathroom vanity step by step. It’s easier than you think!

A huge thanks to Clare Paint for sponsoring this project. All content and opinions are 100% my own! This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

I recently gave our hallway bathroom a makeover, and the before and after photos are just dreamy! Paint for the win once again!

This room hasn’t gotten a ton of attention but my daughter uses it for bath time and I use it for getting ready in the mornings so it’s important to me to love the way it looks. First, I spent some time painting the walls (that lavender wall color had to go!). Next up was painting the honey oak vanity, which was quick and budget-friendly update that made a huge difference in the look of this room.

I used leftover paint from when I painted our front door last year. Check out that post here! I love the color from Clare Paint – it’s called Summer Friday and boosts my mood just looking at it!

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image of person painting with text overlay


Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

Set yourself up for a success by rounding up all your materials and tools. Here are the items I used to complete this project.


Step 2 – Remove hardware and fill holes

Before you start painting, remove the hardware on your vanity–like the toilet paper holder or any knobs. Then, fill in those holes if you don’t plan to put hardware back in the same location.

screwdriver removing cabinet hardware

If you choose not to remove the hardware, you’ll want to use painter’s tape to protect it from paint and primer. Wait to apply the painter’s tape until you’ve completed step 3. This leads me to…

Step 3 – Wash vanity with soapy water

Simple enough, right? Grab any old rag and wash over the whole vanity to remove any gunk or water spots. It always surprises me how dirty and grimy these things can get!

Step 4 – Apply liquid sandpaper

Liquid sandpaper is great for de-glossing the surface of the cabinets and helping paint adhere. Apply a coat of this with a brush and you’ll be prepped and ready–no sanding necessary!

Step 5 – Apply Primer

I suggest using primer on any surface that’s darker than the new paint color, or if it has a glossy finish. It’ll give a great base for your paint with no chance of the old color peeking through, plus a nice coat of primer helps your actual paint go further.

toddler painting a bathroom cabinet

Don’t I have the cutest helper!? I was convinced this would be a disaster but she did a great job!

Apply a light coat of primer with a brush, and use a mini-roller on the larger surfaces where you can. The first coat always looks a little splotchy but the second coat evens everything out, I promise!

image of bathroom cabinet with primer on it

Step 6 – Paint!

Time for the main event! I am obsessed with the color I used on our vanity – Summer Friday. It’s the prettiest, modern, toned-down blue. I used it on our front door so the remaining paint gets a little more glory here in the bathroom. And, bonus, I didn’t have to spend any money on new paint!

Use the brush and roller the same way you did with the primer – brush around the edges and use the roller for larger areas.

Step 7 – add A Second Coat of paint

Plan to paint two coats on your vanity. It will be even and uniform and you’ll love the results! The trim paint I used goes on smooth and dries very durable which makes it awesome for cabinets!

blue bathroom vanity

Step 8 – Clean Up

Remove any painter’s tape approximately one hour after painting your final coat, when the paint is just dry to the touch. Gently pull it up at a 45-degree angle.

Clean brushes and roller covers using warm water and soap. Once the water runs clear, let dry fully. Pour leftover paint back into the can, tightly close the lid with a rubber mallet, and store it in a cool, dry place (I keep paint in our basement).

Step 9 – Replace Hardware

Install the hardware again and you can check this DIY project off your list!

Our vanity didn’t have hardware before, so I used this cool tool to help me drill holes for new knobs. I chose these simple black knobs and they really take the vanity up a notch.

Painting Doors Frequently asked questions

Can I paint a bathroom vanity?

Yes, you can paint a bathroom vanity. For best results, use Liquid Sandpaper to degloss the surface and primer prior to painting.

What kind of paint is best for painting a bathroom vanity?

Look for paint made for cabinets or trim. It will cure with a more durable finish than your standard wall paint. See what I recommend in my blog post.

Should I prime my vanity before painting?

Use primer if your vanity is darker than your new paint color or if it has a glossy surface like honey oak. This will give you the best results, help your paint go further, and ensure no undertones peek through your final paint job.

Should I sand my vanity before painting?

If your vanity has wood splinters or peeling paint, sand smooth with a power sander. If your vanity is in good condition, save time by using Liquid Sandpaper instead.

Looking for more painting tips? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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