Budget Bathroom Makeover + Linky

January 5, 2011

You know those oak vanities picked out by builders and installed in bathrooms across America over the last two decades?  I am not a fan, and I imagine you are not either.  Unfortunately, I happen to have one of those very same bathrooms in my own home awaiting a remodel.  Patience icky bathroom, patience, you’re next!

Meanwhile, my friend Mia and I got to talking over the Christmas break.  We were discussing her master bathroom.   Mia said “It needs help.”  I said, “I’ll bring my paintbrush.”  So I set to work to bring this bathroom into the modern age and add a few more upgrades as well.

Mia’s has an affection for warm earth tones and rich dark wood ~ her style is the yin to my ‘paint it all pale gray or white’ yang.  With all the dark wood and light bedding in the adjoining master bedroom, painting the vanity a rich espresso color made perfect sense.

Some of the pros of the existing master bath:  good paint on the walls and clean white tile countertops.  The cons: oak cabinets, those bathroom vanity light fixtures that should be outlawed, a very plain mirror, gold accents on the faucets, and no hardware on the cabinets.

Here it is Before:

mias before

 

And After:

budget bathroom after

 

The most time consuming part is the refinishing of the vanity cabinet.  Here are the six simple steps I followed.

1)  Remove all hardware and cabinet doors.  Usually I remove the drawer fronts too, but this time I taped off the edges and refinished them in place.

2) Tape off your walls, countertops, and flooring with painter’s tape.

3) Clean all parts of the cabinetry and lightly sand with medium grit sanding wedge (80 – 120) to remove any debris.  Wipe clean.

valspar kitchen and bath4) Prime cabinet door fronts, drawers, and frame with oil based primer.  Sand away any brush strokes or drips.  If painting a dark color, like brown or black, use a layer of dark primer before your dark paint.

5) Paint with two coats of either a) oil based paint in semi-gloss, or b) latex paint specialty designed for bathrooms.   Use a paint conditioner and high quality brush like I mentioned here to minimize brush stokes.

6) Reattach doors, drawer fronts and hardware.

 

bathroom lower cabinet before

 

lower cabinets after

 

A few other details we fixed:

I was not in love with the gold detail on the chrome faucet fixtures, so I simply unscrewed the gold parts and spray painted them in a nickel shade.

bathroom fixture before and after

 

Don’t forget new pulls and knobs!  These are so modern like jewelry for cabinetry.  I love the contrast of the cool chrome against the warm brown tones.

 

new cabinet hardware

 

Freshen with a few bright silver accessories . . .

chrome accessories

 

Add a new towel bar to the left, a new chrome light fixture above, and a mirror frame from MirrorMate.

mirrormate frame

 

Another new detail were the addition of these simple lattice patterned window panels and a new curtain rod.  I found those Waverley panels at Lowes, can you believe it?  I love that fabric!  I hemmed them to the length of the window above the bathtub.

new lattice panels

 

This ordinary bathroom vanity area was refinished in about eight hours and on a budget.  The vanity is so much fresher and more modern!

 bathroom vanity after

 

Have you remodeled a bathroom in your home?  Refinished cabinets and added new hardware?  Perhaps you’ve added new wainscoting, wallpaper, or a new sink.  Or you’ve designed a major overhaul of your bathroom space !   Link it up so we can all see the magical before and afters!

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184 Responses to “Budget Bathroom Makeover + Linky”

  1. What a beautiful transformation! I love it all. You’ve given me ideas for when I actually decide to add accessories to mine and give up the bare look.

    Thanks for hosting a linky too! xoxo

  2. Oh how timely!! I am about to makeover my first floor bathroom – I will begin this weekend and eventually we will paint the cabinets. Thanks for the tip about finding bathroom-specific paint — I didn’t know that these things existed!

    Since I can’t link up because my bathroom is not done, but you can see my plans for it here: http://whatthevita.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/a-change-of-plans/

  3. Lisa says:

    That’s gorgeous! It’s like a whole new bathroom, but much less work! It looks amazing!

  4. Rene says:

    Your bathroom is absolutely stunning! I have seen those panels at Lowes and paused a time or two. They look great.

    I linked up my black bathroom, but it was only a paint job and new art. I hope that is OK. Thanks for hosting Kate!

    -Rene

  5. JP's Mom says:

    GORGEOUS! Just stunning. I would absolutely love to know what brand and color that brown is? That is what has been holding me back is trying to fins that perfect color, but when your photo popped up I thought, “THAT’s IT!”

    Would you mind sharing that?

  6. Tanya says:

    Beautiful upgrade! I also love the dark, rich colours!

  7. J&JHome says:

    Your bathroom looks amazing. I love it all!

  8. SHUT UP! That IS my bathroom. I’m not kidding. Exact same cabinets, exact same layout, exact same mirror, exact same light fixture. I don’t think I need to say that this looks ridiculously cooler than mine does. Amazing work.

  9. Mary B says:

    Looks Fantastic! I “updated” my bathroom to simply deal with it until we could completely overhaul it. Looks like the overhaul will take place sooner than later thanks to some falling tile. Not a great thing, but exciting none the less! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Kasey says:

    Great transformation. The dark cabinetry really pops out against everything else in the room. Great job!

  11. GREAT transformation! Did I tell you that I “got” a new tub/shower from my parents for Christmas? It is the best DIY gift a girl (with a yucky shower) could ask for!!! : )

  12. I have had this exact bathroom . . . lights and all. It is so fun to see all that you did and how you did it. I love how you redid things, rather than just ripping everything out. Strong work.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  13. Kim says:

    I have that EXACT cabinet and mirror and want to do that EXACT thing!!! I’m totally a “got to see it” type person so this was just what I needed!!! We used a brown paint on a small chest of drawers but the color isn’t right. What color did you use for the cabinets? AND my husband tried to make his own mirror frame, but well…..let’s just say it came to a crashing halt. THANK YOU!!

  14. Anne says:

    Just found your blog and this totally looks like all of our bathrooms. Ugly vanities and light fixtures and huge mirrors. We definitely want to paint the vanities but haven’t known where to start. Thanks so much for the inspiration. And I love the mirror frames. I wish our mirrors didn’t go all the way up to the celing because that would be so much easier than trying to take a huge mirror off a wall :(

  15. Omg that’s amazing… im so jealous of people that can paint whatever they want… as a rented I don’t have that luxury! Some day… **swoon!**

  16. Stephanie says:

    You’ve done it again! Gorgeous makeover! Your friend is very lucky to have you by her side.

    My entire house has those icky wood cabinets, even worse they were neglected so the wood was dry and stained. I’m in the middle of tackling the makeover, but I’ve finished our master bath. If you’re interested you can view here: http://www.loveandlaceblog.com/2010/10/painted-bathroom-cabinets.html

  17. Claudia says:

    Funny, I just posted about my soon to come bathroom revamp, well, not soon enough – I’m getting great inspiration here!

  18. Ban Clothing says:

    The transformation looks great! It seems we all have standard builders grade bathrooms and this truly shows what you can do without spending a ton of money. Painting the vanity was definitely the right choice. By spray painting the faucet’s the bathroom looks completely modern. The hardware you added to the vanity is to die for!

  19. Jessica says:

    Nice! I have 2 questions: what type of paint did you use for the faucet? and do you have any suggestions on how to update my much older looking cabinet/mirror (the type that has 3 different doors that open with a mirror on them)? We’re moving so i don’t want to put $$ into taking it down and putting up just a mirror. Will just painting it do the trick?
    Thanks!

  20. Maddie says:

    What is the color of the cabinets? I would love to do this in my kitchen, everyone has recommended that I paint white. But I’m a dark wood girl too, just haven’t found something that looks rich enough.

  21. Can I just say again how much I wished I lived next door to you? ;) I bet we’d solve all sorts of decorating dilemmas with your mad skills. The outcome is simply fabulous! I love the new window treatments, and the hardware on those cabinets are beautiful. Job well done!

  22. What a difference! I need to do the same to my son’s small bath. I’d like to raise the sink though like I’ve seen done before. Was it at TLC? He’s 6’2″ so it’s rather short for him. I have a closet to half bath I’ll link up.

  23. I have to show this to my husband!! I hate oak cabinets and I have them everywhere. Love the job you did.

  24. Heather says:

    Wow..You are a miracle worker! That’s a beautiful bathroom. I’m sending this post to my parents, as they have brass fixtures in all their bathrooms and they need to replace them all with updated nickel before they put their house on the market. Looks like they can save a bunch of $$ and do as you did! Thanks!

  25. Dori says:

    Looks really great. Love the colors and the great curtains. I have those ice block looking things on my windows. I’ll definitely cover them with curtains after I saw how great yours look!

  26. treen says:

    This is why I like your blog over a lot of other home decor blogs – it’s REAL instead of supposedly “motivating” me with unrealistic Pottery Barn pictures. (Not even pictures of Pottery Barn stuff in their houses. The catalog shots themselves. Boo on that!) Anyway, I can only do furniture changes because we’re renting in a complex .. but this still gives me ideas. Where did you get the cabinet fixtures? I could switch out the drawer and cabinet pulls in my kitchen and bathroom, and just switch them back when we move out.

  27. Jenni says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I started my bathroom re-do some time ago and then lost all motivation :( Thanks for sharing it makes me want to finish!

  28. We pretty much have that exact same vanity, mirror and lights. eeeew. It’s on “the list”. Now I can’t wait to get to it!

  29. Jessi says:

    Thanks for the ideas! We are getting ready to do our master bath…the layout is just like yours!

  30. Well, we are in the MIDDLE of a major renovation of our 1952 bathroom. I won’t link up to the party because we are only in the middle stages (my bathroom as it is right now probably looks like your attic- stripped down to studs, floor joists and insulation!!), but here’s our latest update from last weekend: http://www.tenjuneblog.com/2011/01/ugly-duckling.html.

    Seeing beautiful remodels like these gives me hope! There IS a light at the end of the bathroom renovation tunnel! :) Great job with those cabinets, Kate!

  31. This looks fantastic! Really transformed the space for the better!

    Can you tell me what style frame you ordered from mirror mate? I’m planning to order from them for one of my ‘builder grade’ mirrors, but am having a hard time seeing the details in the pictures on the site – and the one you chose here looks like *exactly* what I’m looking for.

    Thanks!

    Emily

  32. Sarah says:

    Wow, I have the same dilemma in 3 bathrooms right now. Before reading this post I was just searching Ikea and some other bathroom site looking for new vanities. The bathroom turned out so nice, I’m half tempted to just upgrade what we already have and splurge on a new countertop. (We have a double sink but only use one, so we need to do something with the second….thinking of extending the counter.)

  33. Gorgeous. I love the dark wood in contrast to the silver and the white countertops.

  34. Mia is so lucky to have your help! It came out great; I love the color choice. Thanks for the linky, too! I added my budget bathroom makeover where I covered up some hideous orange oak; it’s holding us over until we replace the vanity and tile the floors…

    xo,
    – e

  35. Lauren says:

    This is great! I was planning on repainting our awful vanity to save some $$, thanks for the tips!

  36. This reminds me of our bathroom! What a great fix. I’m going to save this post for inspiration.

  37. Ashly says:

    I love the dark wood! The hardware you picked for the cabinets is stunning!!!

  38. Carrie says:

    Please oh please tell me the name is of that paint color. That’s the exact color I want for my kitchen cabinets! Wonderful job, as usual. It may be the yin to your yang but it still looks like a CG room!

  39. Jessi E says:

    Great update, as always! Would you mind sharing where the new vanity light is from? From what I can see, it looks square-ish, which is exactly what I am searching for. I think it may work in my bathroom plan. Thanks!

  40. Catherine says:

    Wow, that’s an amazing transformation. Our master bathroom is ugly (think stuck in 1980 with a couple “lovely” touches from the early 1990s). I didn’t realize how quickly we could change it.

    What spray did you use on the faucet?

  41. What a great job! I love the new hardware! Since I have two more bathroom mirrors to frame I’ll definitely check out MirrorMate.

  42. Whitney says:

    WOW!! That looks amazing! I can’t believe how much of a transformation that made :) Looks like a totally new bathroom. Way to go!

  43. Emily says:

    Looks Very Exspensive. Great job. My favorite detail are the curtains, they are perfect for the space. I linked up my bathroom….not as cute as yours but I was very proud of my floors.

  44. Love the painted vanity. Here is a question (keep in mind I am a beginner DIY). My vanity is the same oak style vanity installed by builders. The doors and drawers I believe are hardwood. But the rest of it I think maybe particle board (?) or at least not real wood. I am not sure it is even laminate. Can that be painted too? I would love to paint it a dark brown to go with the overall theme of the bath.

  45. Ashley says:

    I love the color that you painted the vanity. Would you mind sharing the name of the color? Thanks!

  46. Joy Cooper says:

    The bathroom looks fantastic. I did a similar redo in my bath, but the cabinets do not look nearly as nice. Do you mind my asking where you got the hardware? I think it makes a big difference.

  47. Vicki K says:

    That is miraculous and beautiful!! I really like that dark wood transformation with the new hardware. What would you have done if, say, the vanity tile had been, oh, maybe…light pink? Not that my master bath has it or anything…

  48. Nicole says:

    Beautiful! We also have a very similar bathroom…I’ve updated the light fixture and have turned my eye towards the ugly oak cabinetry. Can you tell us what brand and color paint you used?

    Thanks!!

  49. Pam Fitz says:

    I love Mia’s bathroom! What a change in one day!

    I did my $8 makeover over a year ago and now I’m itchin’ to makeover my makeover (I’d at least like to change all the caramel-y tones to gray and add a new light fixture and new hardware) but I’m still so glad I spray-painted the cabinetry.

    BTW- I love the hardware in Mia’s bathroom. Was that from Lowe’s too?

  50. Bravo! Quite impressive — I especially love that you spray painted the sink handles and spout.

  51. I have been a reader for a long time. You have inspired me to start blogging.

    You have been selected for the crafty blogger Award.

    check it out.
    http://houseonashwelllane.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

  52. The flip’s on the market now so obviously the bathrooms are done, but I haven’t had a chance to post about them yet! Sad, because I would love to link up to your fun party! But here’s a link to the bathrooms when they were ALMOST finished: http://itsgreattobehome.net/2010/12/15/the-flip-ch-ch-changes/. :)

    Kate, your friend will be indebted to you forever!! It looks fabulous, and I love the color brown you painted the vanity – I think it’s so hard to find the perfect brown! Would you mind sharing the name/brand? Thanks, chickie!

  53. Skye says:

    Beautiful! And I have been agonizing over a way to frame out my bathroom mirrors and before now had never heard of MirrorMate. Genius! Thanks for sharing! :)

  54. Annalea says:

    That’s amazing. I love it!

    One tip: uplighting is much more gentle and throws fewer shadows (makes makeup time so much easier, too). Re-mount the light fixture with the bulbs pointing up, and you’ll be amazed at how much more inviting and bright the entire room is.

    Thanks for the before & after!

  55. Anna says:

    Like most people I also have the horrid factory oak cabinets in my bath. There wasn’t even a framed mirror in there! I’ve since upgratded the ugly gold hardware and light fixtures and mirror, and even that was a major transformation. THANK YOU for this post! I am going to sand and paint away! I need to do something on a budget, and this is a perfect fit!

  56. Mrs H in WV says:

    Gorgeous!!!!!
    Where did you find those cabinet pulls?
    We completely gutted our masterbath this summer but it’s still not ready for pics.. maybe next month?

  57. Yuppie Lady says:

    I luv the handles…where are they from?

    I’m linky #42…I luv linky parties.

  58. kristin says:

    It’s amazing!! I love seeing these cabinets transformed. Our whole house had them installed and finally they are all painted over, every single one, 10 years later :)
    Thanks for the link party, how fun!
    XO
    Kristin

  59. Kris says:

    Wow! I have been thinking about the master bath and attempting to paint the cabinets. I was thinking I would be stuck with the giant builder grade mirror forever, but that frame totally makes it work and how easy is that. I love it!!

  60. Cassandra says:

    I took a second look when I saw this bathroom- It looks JUST like ours. I would love to replicate! What brand and paint color did you use?

  61. Corinne says:

    WOW that is amazing! My bathroom is very similar to this, except that there’s only a cabinet directly under the sink and a huge open space under the rest of it. I’m completely stuck but this has given me quite a few ideas! I wish I could spray paint the faucet but I think I’ll have to settle for a completely new one. Mine is the really old school faucet with the plastic knobs that say “H” and “C” on them. And it leaks. Fun!

  62. That is amazing! Where were you when we lived in America and actually owned a house? I had those same cabinets (in the same color) and the same mirror and light fixture. If I had seen this, I would have been running for the cans of paint. We’re in Germany now and I can’t paint the bathroom walls (they’re all ugly brown/yellow tile) or the melamine cabinets. It pains me greatly. I did what I could (as you can see in the link above), but what I wouldn’t give to be able to paint. Your bath looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Courtney says:

    Beyond fantastic! Have a question for you, though: if you
    don’t sew/have a machine, is there another way to “hem”
    curtains to get them to work on a short bathroom window?

    Thanks!

  64. PS. I frequently had the same blown out light bulb too! ;)

  65. Rebecca says:

    THANK YOU. THis is EXACTLY the inspiration I need to do this is my own (currently very blah builders grade) bathroom. though the ceilings are too high to paint ourselves, seeing the difference just the cabinet color makes is reason enough for the hubbie and i to finally get to work on this…

  66. Judy says:

    What a great transformation. I didn’t know you could spray paint a faucet. That’s awesome. Great linky party.

  67. OMG – it looks absolutely beautiful! I love the color you painted the vanity. Great job! Thanks for the link party!

  68. The mix of chrome and chocolate is gorgeous! The lattice patterned window panels are beautiful, too. Such a great transformation!!

  69. Allison says:

    What a transformation, Kate! You did a beautiful job. Nice sleek and modern now. Great tip on spraying the gold parts. I bet your friend, Mia is thrilled with her new bathroom!

  70. ButterYum says:

    Ab-fab makeover! Seriously, it’s magazine worthy. Hate those contractor grade cabinets – huge transformation!!

    :)
    ButterYum

  71. Pam says:

    Wow…what an awesome finish that turned out to be! Very, very nice.

  72. Karen says:

    Amazing, redoing my bathroom is on 2011 to do list.Seeing all of these beauties is just the inspiration I need to get moving. Your did a great job on your friends bathroom.

  73. Janet says:

    We have the same lights in our bathrooms. What kind of connection is there when you remove the light fixture? Does it have to be rewired or is it a standard connection?

    thanks,

    Janet

  74. Deborah in Atlanta says:

    What a lovely contrast with the chocolate brown and chrome. And such a great job on the faucets. Wow! You are awesome. I don’t blog yet, but have a tutorial another blogger posted about how you can do your before and after photos by hovering over the photo with your cursor. If you’re interested, e-mail me and I’ll send you the tutororial/directions she provided. dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

  75. Aimee says:

    Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I want to do with my master bathroom. Thanks for the great inspiration.

  76. Hey, friend! I’ve been out of town & offline for a few days. What a fun bathroom project! Amazing what painting those old vanities can do & adding a few well placed current accessories make a huge difference. Love it all! See you soon!

  77. susan says:

    So what are the details on framing in the mirror? Is it a kit? You have inspired me to tackle my kids bathroom.

  78. debbie says:

    Hi Kate! Another beautiful makeover! Like so many others, I LOVE the vanity hardware and also the paint color. Please share?

  79. sara says:

    i was wondering if this would work with cabinetry that is laminate? i saw this post and got excited but my husband was like, would this work with our laminate cabinets?? :)

    sara

  80. Kate – this couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re working on the bathroom remodel and all the eye candy is seriously rocking my socks off. Thanks for the link up.

  81. jen102905 says:

    Beautiful! Love the cabinet color. Will you share please?

    Jen
    http://www.1creativemomma.blogpost.com

  82. Jane Little says:

    Very inspirational! I have that exact same vanity, mirror and light combo. Well, actually the vanity is in sad shape to boot. This summer it is on my list to make over.

  83. Love Love Love the painted cabinets! What a change from builder’s grade to sleek, modern, yet comfy! And all the silver bling add a nice sparkle. Where’s my paint brush? I just might tackle my bathroom now! Great job!

  84. Dawn says:

    Would you mind sharing how to paint those bathroom faucets. I am inspired to save ours rather than pitch them! What paint did you use and do you need to prep the faucets other than cleaning? Did you take it apart or just tape around it? I would think I would have to take it apart.
    Thank you for your valuable time.
    Dawn

  85. Rebecca says:

    Love the bathroom. Would you mind sharing the name of the paint color and the style/name of the mirror frame. Thanks!

  86. Kristin says:

    Anther inspirational makeover – reminds me that I need to tackle the bathrooms in our home as well (any ideas for a boys’ only bathroom??). As always, thanks for sharing your tips and techniques; I’m starting to try some of them myself.

  87. Liz says:

    Wow! There’s a lot of inspiration there!

  88. I want to paint my master bathroom vanity too. I’m currently working on my kids bathroom though. Could you share the color you used to paint the vanity? I would love to use it in my house! Thanks!

  89. Gorgeous re-do. Now I want to do mine!

    I would really like to know what spray paint you used on the fixtures. My fixtures look horrible but I can’t afford to replace them all now so I would love to do this. Whatever the paint is, will it stand up to constant use and the moisture in the bathroom?

  90. Meeks says:

    oooo Loving this transformation! Oh to be your friend…all the painting that would happen in my house! (I’m off to have a wee daydream of all my pieces of furniture turning white!)

  91. I love it! It looks wonderful. So much better!

  92. Lauren says:

    You are GOOD sista!!!

  93. Ash says:

    Oh, you did such a beautiful job! I am always in apartments, and so of course I am always longing to repaint the counters in the bathrooms : ( I long for the day that I have my very own house where I can paint the wood in the bathrooms … or get all new ones if I please!

  94. Echoing the sentiments of other posters – this is amazing, Kate and please, please provide information on how you painted the faucets!

    I have the exact same faucets and I’ve hated the brass forever. Thank you!

  95. Karen says:

    I love it. Those before-and-afters are unbelievable. You’re a clever chick!!

  96. Jessie says:

    It is so lovely, your before is my bathroom right now! I have been wanting to update it for 5 years now. I am bookmarking this for Inspiration.

  97. orangesugar says:

    I’m curious to know how the spraypainted faucet will hold up.

  98. Wow! I am absolutely in love. I think the knobs really really make the room! Gorgeous!

  99. Merry says:

    I finally have hope! Gorgeous on a budget!! I actually have that hideous Hollywood light over our vanity and thought I was stuck due to the placement of the hole and wiring. Would you please tell me what exactly is this fixture?? Thank you!!

  100. Stacey says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Such good timing for this post as I also desire to PAINT my vanity and mirror white as I recently repainted my bathroom a turquoise with white accents! I appreicate your tutorial as I wans’t sure how it would look – now I am inspired! I am all about budget updates! Can’t wait to do this – will keep you posted – thanks again! Love your blog!
    Stacey :o)

  101. ches says:

    Amazing transformation and I am sure that it added value to thier home. It looks like a totally different space. Please share the paint color used on the cabinet and the wall color if you know it. Thanks for sharing.

  102. Oh, nicely done, nicely done! I had no idea what you meant by the description… scrolled a bit… “oh yea, THAT bathroom.” As featured in every middle-market hotel or vacation condo in all of North America… can you & your paintbrush visit the other 50,000 on a humanitarian mission?

    I’ve just posted my ugly bathroom today… well, Canada’s ugliest bathroom. Check it OOT!

  103. Michelle says:

    I am borrowing some of these ideas — the bathroom turned out lovely! Love the idea of the curtain panels in the bathroom (totally going to do this). I want to add some hardware to cabinets/drawers and get some new towels and rugs. So excited!
    The thing I can’t stand about our bathroom: glass sliding shower doors — ugggh, can’t stand them! I need to think of a re-do for that part!

  104. Oona says:

    It looks so great, Kate! Mia is super lucky to have a wonderful friend like you.

  105. Teresa says:

    You did a great job on this bathroom! Love it! I, too, am curious about the durability of spray painting the faucet?? Would love to do that if it is durable! Thank you for sharing!

  106. Joanne says:

    Gorgeous! I don’t have any photos, but gel stain can be used to change the wood tone of those inexpensive vanities too. I needed to buy my stain color online, but I was able to locate a very dark shade, similar to wenge and it is divine.

  107. I don’t have a bathroom to link up, but I just have to say you are so talented, Kate! What an incredible transformation. I wouldn’t have had the guts to paint an oak vanity, but you have shown me that it can be done!! Must remember that when I finally buy a place–not to get turned off by those ubiquitous oak bathroom vanities.

  108. Amanda says:

    What color is the cabnet painted?? Love, love it!

  109. […] see more Before & After photos? Check out what Kate and her friend Mia […]

  110. CentsationalGirl says:

    Answering all questions in a post later today!!!
    Kate

  111. Wow, what a great makeover you all did! And even better that it was all done in eight hours. I’m going to have a tough time when I have my own home to decorate because I am like you and love me some light gray and white but also like Mia and love dark wood too. I’m sure there will be room for both, though. :)

  112. Ali says:

    I LOVE this! We just had our masterbath flood and had to rip up the floors and everything else. I am seriously going to paint my vanity exactly like this! I was looking for an inspiration picture and this is it! Thanks so much for posting!

  113. Janell Beals says:

    You are amazing…the difference if quite something. Okay, that hardware? It is seriously gorgeous and works perfectly with the paint color choice for the vanity. Now go pat yourself on the back…a few times.
    Janell

  114. Laura says:

    What color or stain did you use on the vanity??

  115. Katherine says:

    Gorgeous! It looks completely different. Very spa like.

  116. This post could not have come at a better time for me! Along with an extra linky bonus for me to search through.

    We just moved into our house last October and I currently have three builder grade bathrooms that are in desperate need of face-lifts. The rule is kids rooms first, but I’m not big on patience. I will book mark this post and absolutely link back once I post my completed projects.

    Thank you again!!!

  117. diane says:

    Great job…dont you just love mirror mate. I have used them in several clients homes with great success. I have the same fixtures you have and I never knew the gold parts unscrewed. Learn something new every day!

  118. Great make-over! Makes me want to get started today!

  119. Jen says:

    Looking forward to seeing what your grey bath with teal/grey rug turned out like :)

  120. evelania says:

    LOVE!!! Can you please be for hire in Texas???

  121. Great post — and great makeover Kate!!! You are a seriously good friend! :)

    Thanks for the linky — I put my striped bath in.

  122. Beautiful before and after! I have light maple cabinets all over my home and am in the process of repainting everything. I am sure it will take years. I am about to start on my kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration and tips!!!

    xoxo
    Jen

  123. Those oak builders’ cabinets that used to be standard are my least favorite look ever. And what you’ve done to your bathroom – well, there’s no way I’d ever have guessed it was previously so bland! That combo of fun hardware and dark stain looks perfect.

  124. kathysue says:

    Kate what a difference a can of paint and some good design can make. Valspar is a great product isn’t it. The black is stunning and the knobs you chose is perfect!! I linked my 1970s small 6×10 bathroom up. I don’t have any before only afters, please let me know if that is Okay, if not please feel free to take down my link. This is a fun linky party, bathrooms are my favorite to decorate!!! and believe it or not I like to clean them too, I know crazy,huh? Kathysue

  125. Jenny B says:

    MirrorMate, where have you been all my life??? :) I clicked over from The Lettered Cottage. I love the bathroom, but your link to MirrorMate alone was SO worth stopping by!! Thanks for sharing! P.S. My bathroom looks very similar to the “before.” :)

  126. I love the idea of the different lighting. I am so going to take the lighting I have, which is the same, down and replace it with something new.

  127. sonja says:

    Can you tell me what color you paint the cabinet? Thank you!! It is beautiful!!!

  128. Annie says:

    Unbelievable transformation. Elegant! I love the Canadian Walnut Mirrormate. It would look great on the half finished handicap bathroom we are doing over for my husband.

  129. Deb Toland says:

    Absolutely love this article, and it couldn’t have been posted at a better time! I have four UgLy mirrors that would really benefit from this idea! Hmmm, which one first??!!??

  130. Janet says:

    I love the mirror mate! I have a 70’s bathroom with the original big boring mirror and the Cherokee frame in the dark walnut that you used will be perfect! It’s now on my DIY wish list!

  131. Vicki says:

    You did a fantastic job! I cannot believe what a smooth finish you got on that vanity! Did you really use a brush?

  132. Teresa says:

    Kate, thank you for answering our questions! One more: did you prime before you painted the faucets? I cannot wait to try this in my bathroom! YAY!

  133. Kristin says:

    Beautiful job! It looks pretty simple to do but the end-result is really rich-looking. Thanks for sharing this one!

  134. alisha says:

    How fun…thanks for hosting! Your new vanity looks wonderful–right out of a pottery barn catalog!

  135. alisha says:

    Re-reading your post…I guess I should have said your friend Mia’s new vanity looks wonderful…right out of a pottery barn catalog!

  136. Jessica says:

    AMAZING! You should be so proud of yourself! I would love to know the cabinet paint brand/color, the wall color and where you found your rug. Thank you!!

  137. Irene says:

    That is an amazing transformation!

  138. Rita E says:

    It is CENSATIONAL! I cannot believe the amazing transformation! I have the EXACT same before bathroom … actually I have 3 … in my home that I bought new 14 years ago. And it’s time for a change. I have been thinking of doing something after reading so many before/after blog posts but was intimidated to take the plunge. But I am now encouraged by your wonderful post and blog with so many helpful hints and resources. Please, where did you get the knobs? Thank you!

  139. Adrienne says:

    Beautiful!! You do such an amazing job!! Where is the rug from? Would go great in my bathroom!! Thanks!

  140. Traci says:

    I love this re-do! It looks amazing. :)
    I especially love how you painted the gold on the faucets. I wouldn’t have thought of that! Wish I had the boys’ bathroom re-do completed. Oh yeah…I haven’t even started! It’s on my 2011 to-do list though. :)
    See you soon!

  141. michelle says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this.. I have the same ugly vanity.

    What paint colour did you use?

  142. Shelley says:

    I, too, would love to know what paint color (and brand) you used on the vanity. I looked hard but didn’t see if you’d answered that question. ;) Thank you!

  143. Katy M says:

    Hi Kate,
    Do you think that this paint and technique would work on a kitchen table and chairs? I have been wanting a dark, rich brown for my old round oak kitchen table and this looks so smooth.
    Thanks, Katy

  144. Kerri says:

    Beautiful transformation! Can you tell me the paint color, finish, manufacturer that you used for the cabinets? Thank you!

  145. D.Baker says:

    Hi Kate,

    I discovered your blog yesterday, first off thank you for sharing your talent and vision through this wonderful space.

    My bathroom’s vanity is made of this plastic-resin looking material,is there any way to paint it or will the water/steam in the bathroom damage the paint?

    Thanks for the feedback!

  146. Lynette says:

    Did I miss the color for bath cabinets? Also, wall color would be appreciated.

  147. Jaime DiSalvo says:

    I absolutely love how the bathroom turned out…it is exactly what I am looking for! I would love to know the color please…you gave me the motivation to start remodeling right away!

  148. I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me recognise in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  149. Shana says:

    Did you ever give the name of the paint color that you used??? I am getting ready to do mine and I love that color. Thanks.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thank you Molly, it really is fun to have a creative outlet outside the law, ay?
      cheers!
      xo
      Kate

  150. Andria says:

    This looks great! Would you mind sharing the name of the paint you used? It’s exactly what I’m looking for.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Andria, I shared it in the next day’s post you can click over to find it there, it’s Betsy Ross House Brown by Valspar!
      Kate

  151. gailg says:

    How did you update the mirror?

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      That’s a Mirrormate frame Gailg, I wrote more about it in the next day’s post!
      Kate

  152. Emily says:

    Love your blog. I wanted to let you know that a company is using your before and after photos to market their cabinet painting services.
    Here is the link if you’d like to ask them to give credit where credit is due.
    http://www.paintmagic.ca/Vanity_Fair.html

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Emily, thank you! I will ask them to remove the images from their website, thanks so much!
      Kate

  153. Judy says:

    Hi. It looks great! Where did you get your cabinet hardware?
    Thanks!

  154. Nikki says:

    What kind of spray paint did you use for the faucet? I have some brass drawer pulls on our bedroom furniture that I was silver (I’d actually prefer a brushed nickel look to match our light fixtures). I had used Rust-oleum Universal spray paint in Metallic Brushed Nickel and I hate the way it looks. (It has flecks of sparkles in it.) Would another paint, or Rub n Buff, be better for this?

  155. DBC says:

    Great transformation! The cabinet paint color is PERFECT!

  156. franky says:

    Beautiful transformation! Question about the cabinet…did you have to sand off all the cabinets first before applying the paint or you just applied the paint right over the cabinets?

  157. franky says:

    thanks for the tips kate! really appreciate it. I’m going to definitely try this method out. what about countertop….can I apply the same method on bathroom countertops? or is there another method?

  158. Laura says:

    I am in the middle of doing this with my bathroom vanity. I have a lot of wood grain showing. Yours looks very smooth. Any suggestions as to how to make them less visible? I am going bonkers!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Laura, it’s tough to hide wood grain with just paint. Primer helps and two coats of paint will minimize, but if you have grainy oak cabinets, it will still show somewhat. These cabinets were not oak, I believe they were stained maple which is less grainy than oak.
      Kate

  159. Gladys says:

    Hi Kate!
    Quick question,
    What kind of paint did you use on the faucet? Did you have to sand it or anything? I’m going to start this project next week and I can’t wait! Thanks for all of your helpful tips!!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Gladys, that was an indoor/outdoor spray paint and after a year, it still looks great!
      Kate

  160. Alex says:

    Hi there! I was googling information about how to paint bathroom vanities when I found your website. Your work is stunning! I wanted to see if you happen to remember the name of the color you used? We’re looking for an similar espresso color and would really appreciate it! THanks!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Alex, click over to the next day’s post, it’s there – pretty sure it’s ‘Betsy Ross Brown’ by Valspar.
      Kate

  161. Lee Ann says:

    When I decided to take on a soft remodel of our master bath I did an image search of painted bathroom cabinets and this bathroom photo was one of the first ones that came up. I thought the color looked great so I decided to give it a try. Three or four months later I’m FINALLY finished (after stripping the wall paint, stripping the cabinets, repainting the walls and cabinets as well as the inside of the medicine cabinets, replacing the fixtures, etc.) and I’m very pleased with the results. Betsy Ross House Brown was the cabinet color inspiration and the wall/ceiling color fell into place after I picked up a Benjamin Moore bathroom idea card at Orchard Supply Hardware. I had to tweak the ceiling color but after a few different tries I got it as close to the photo as I wanted it to look. Here’s a photo of the before/after: http://i.imgur.com/dRXOz.jpg And a close-up of the cabinet color: http://i.imgur.com/Xgf2T.png

    Thanks for the inspiration! I saw the photo, bought the paint and saved myself a lot of handwringing over the cabinet color.

  162. I really like the make-over. It turned out really good. I have also got some tips that I can apply for my furniture and room.

  163. Meg says:

    Hi Kate – I stumbled upon this post while browsing bathroom renos. GREAT GREAT job. I haven’t bothered to ask any experts on the web about my dilemma but when I saw that you respond to your comments and questions, I was pleasantly surprised and hopeful, so please let me thank you, and in advance for your commitment to you blog and readers! Not much has inspired me b/c my master bath situation makes my deco options a little limiting. Could you tell me a little about your thoughts on decorating (for less) a bathroom with outdated gold fixtures INCLUDING shower door trim? So far I think I am going dark with the cabinets which are currently the same stain of wood in your before pics and your mirror frame is genius so I believe I will take your advice there too. I’ve pondered Kristi’s fixture painting project which I’m sure you are familiar with at blog Addicted to Decorating (http://www.addicted2decorating.com/d-i-y-project-how-to-paint-a-bathroom-faucet-shower-enclosure.html). BUT – it seems like she is the ONLY person in the history of DIY to ever take on this task. AND she tells us in her tutorial that on top of how incredibly time consuming the reno was, she also has no idea how the results held up over time as it was not her bathroom. Now, being that her tutorial has gotten soooo much attention, you would think, being an expert decorator AND blogger, that she would go ahead and check up on the current status of that project and update the post. Makes me think the the reno may not have taken well to time. I’ve read so many warnings against bath fixture painting and particularly against painting shower trim that I’m don’t think it is the answer for me. Have you any design intel on replacing or refurbishing the gold fixtures and shower door trim? Do you have any tips on how to decorate AROUND the outdated fixtures so they are complimented but not highlighted. You know, as soon as you walk into my bathroom it’s like, “Hello 1990!” Forget the Ralph Lauren paint and beautiful white tile, the fixtures are such an eyesore. Even if I wait around for shiny gold to come back into bath style, as what is “new” in bath design seems to change so often, I’m fairly certain this style will not come full circle. Excuse the long-winded comment. I’ve just been racking my brain for so long about this and I’m really ready to execute on a design decision. Thank you Kate. LOVE LOVE LOVE your work!
    Sincerely,
    Meg (The Golden Years)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      HI Meg, the fixtures at Mia’s house look great, but I have no experience spray painting shower doors or fixtures that come in direct contact with daily water. I’m not sure if that would stand the test of time, but there is outdoor spray paint that is weather resistant, it might work, but again, I have no information on the longevity. Bathroom faucets and handle? Spray paint away! Just make sure you use a super durable indoor/outdoor formula, RustOleum’s are great.
      Kate

  164. […] recently posted this bathroom makeover of her friend Mia’s that really rocked and was cheap! Then there was the Laundry room […]

  165. Alyssa says:

    Great post! I’ve been looking at ways to paint a very similar vanity in one of our bathrooms and this has been so helpful! One question- did you paint the inside of the vanity as well? I’ve been thinking about how to handle this for my own project and was just wondering what you did in this example. I’d love to avoid doing so as it would double the work but am afraid that it will look silly to have the outside painted such a dark color and the inside a lighter oaky color. Thanks!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Alyssa, I didn’t paint the inside of the cabinetes (they were white melamine), but I did paint the inside of the drawers and doors!
      Kate

  166. Betsey says:

    What a huge difference. I can’t believe how good that bathroom looks. With clients always wanting less expensive DIY upgrades, I’ll send them to your site.

  167. Kristy Swain says:

    What a difference! Great vision and work! I linked to your post in a post on my blog via your image of the faucet. http://www.hypheninteriors.com/2012/09/20-things-you-can-paint.html

  168. What a transformation. Great job! Your bathroom looks terrific. This gives me inspiration for my project.

  169. Beth says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have been wanting to reprint my old bath cabinets, but thought it’d be too daunting of a process and it wouldnt look professional. Ifigured the only colors that would turn out decent would be white or black. NOW, thanks to you I can have brown cabinetry, just like I initially wanted! You are my home makeover hero!!

  170. google says:

    gan izin kopi artikelnya boleh?…thanks

  171. Katya MMM says:

    Hi – I just want to know how the spraypainted faucet is holding up after 2 years of use? Has any of the spraypaint worn off?

  172. Mayra says:

    I am so so so so so grateful that i found this. I have the EXACT same layout in my master bath and had no idea how to fix it and make it nice, modern and up to my standards without having to put us in the hole. I also dont have much of a creative gene and so I will use this to help out in my attempt at giving my bathroom a small facelift. Thank you!

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