Vanity, Be Thy Name

I am just about finished with our downstairs 1/2 bath budget remodel. The original plan was to remove some old wallpaper and freshen up with a coat of paint. Well, you know how that works out…decorating dominoes. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you’ve remodeled your downstairs bath!

Bathroom floor

Before I show you the before and afters of the completed entire bath, I wanted to share a couple of simple projects that require little work and supplies and $$$, but make a huge impact in a space. You’ve already seen my Oh, Deer Towel Rack,

Oh Deer Completed

now hanging next to the sink. Next up is the old vanity makeover.

Vanity Before Open Doors

This was built back in the 80’s, using some old lumber and planking and painted a tan color. Since this was a budget remodel, every penny counted, and replacing the sink and vanity was not an option. The color palette I chose for the room was based on this awesome rustic wallpaper I found in a markdown bin at our local paint store, over a year ago!

Bathroom Color Palette

I hung on to it, knowing that someday I would be using it somewhere… So here is the vanity base how-I-did-it:Vanity Before White Coffee1.Removed the old (not-so-shiny anymore) brass knobs. Sanded down the old paint on the vanity. The old paint was an oil semi-gloss and after 20+ years it was rock hard. But I managed to rough it up enough. BTW- my favorite workshop toy is this little mouse sander (perhaps the little mouse I discovered a few weeks back was looking for his buddy?).

Black & Decker Mouse Sander

This thing is small and the pointed tip makes it easy to get into crevices and corners. I use it to sand, but also to buff and shine with a foam pad or a soft cloth. The sandpaper is attached with Velcro, super easy and quick!

2. Base coat of Behr Midnight Dream, then a second coat of  Mood Indigo  blue, dry brushed to add color but not completely cover the undercoat. The little sample pots at Home Depot are perfect for small projects! The hinges were painted right along with the doors and frame, so that they just blended in.

Vanity Blue Coats

4. I sanded it all down so that the wood grain showed through, but the colors were still there. (woops, think I was a little overzealous on that middle section!)

Sanded Middle

5. Added the Rustoleum Glaze to bring down the blue, enhance the wood grain and give it a more rustic, aged feeling.

Rustoleum Transformations Decorative Glaze

The left side is unglazed, the right side with a coat of glaze that you paint on and then rub off with a soft cloth.

Glazing Before and After

You only need a little, and you can wipe off as much or as little as you like to achieve the richness of the color.

6. Added a coat of Varathane Polyurethane Matte finish. I love this stuff. It dries fast and leaves a hard, durable finish, and hardly has any odor! And, it doesn’t yellow the color of the paint at all, like some polys do.

Varathan Polyurethane

This is a bathroom, so I needed a water resistant finish that looked good but not shiny, in keeping with the “old worn blue jeans” look I was going for. It needed to look old and chippy without actually being old and chippy. Don’t want any rough surfaces where water and germs could collect!

7. Added these rustic polished nickel knobs to complete the look.

Brushed Nickel Pulls

Done! So, for a total cost of about $14, $3 each for the pewter knobs, $3 each for the 2 Behr Paint Pots, and I only used a tiny bit of the Rustoleum Glaze and the Varathane Poly that I already had on hand-so $1 each for those-all purchased at The Home Depot. Now we have a brand-new-old-looking rustic vanity base!

Vanity Complete

But, you’ll have to tune in again to view the bathroom remodel in its entirety. In the meantime, have a transformative Tuesday, everyone! Susan


  1. I have just come across your post via LinkedIn. I like the cabinet. That is very clever!!


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