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DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

by | May 17, 2010 | Bathrooms, Decorating Inspiration

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DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Paint your vanity!

My projects take on average about 50.34323 times longer than other blogger’s projects do to complete. This is now a scientific fact. I almost called this post DIMS: Powder Room Vanity Before & After. DIMS would stand for “Did It My Self” instead of DIY. (OK, that DIMS thing sounded funnier earlier to me for some reason and now that I am about to post it, I don’t even get it. DIMS? Whatever. Nevermind). I just have to fit these projects in around all the other things I do, or it will never get done! And yay! I fit it in because friends came over to help me!

I am always happy to report my progress because it just makes me feel like I am in fact heading somewhere with my house, even if I meander around like a crazed snail. So today I present to you a piece of the powder room project: the vanity BEFORE.

DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

Remember, I am not a wood hater. I love beautiful wood. But I am an ugly faux wood hater. There is definitely a distinction there.

This wood cabinet was, in fact, an impostor — it was simply faux painted wood. Which means I was released from all guilt or blame and could wreck it all up with paint to my heart’s content. Not sure what it is actually made of … maybe a laminate over particle board or something (but it feels very solid and not fake). But, you’d never know it wasn’t really wood now! It has been born again….it has new life as an old antique wood cabinet turned vanity.

It was easy peasy to change!

DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

It is hard to show pictures of this because the powder room is so dark and has no windows! I am feeling pretty brave to show you my close ups because you can see the paint drips and so not amazing antiquing job (that I am going to paint over with one final coat of paint).

DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

My imperfect painting also goes to show you can let go of perfection if you allow yourself a little shabby chic! It is the perfect style for imperfect painters like me. You could embellish a plain cabinet, by the way, by getting some of those fancy flourish things at the hardware store. This was already a highly embellished fake carved cabinet so I didn’t have to do much at all.

A coat of Zinsser water based primer will stick to anything, no sanding was required. SCORE! Love no sanding.

And a quick coat of white paint (and a final coat which I will do later this week) and you have your reborn cabinet.

DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

I was envisioning a new green glass knob which would have been very pretty and appropriate, but then we remembered we already had this checkered Anthropologie knob sitting around and decided it would be fun, quirky and unexpected. And free.

Here is another angle…cause all the cool bloggers show you every possible angle of the same thing. I almost took one at an extreme sideways angle so you could get the full blogger “after” effect (it always makes your project look way better than it is if you have that angle, doesn’t it? I kid!!) but those kind of make me seasick.

DIY Powder Room Vanity: Before & After

More updates to come on this tiny bathroom cosmetic makeover! One step at a time!

I heart you for coming by to see my little project! HEART.

I’m sharing this DIY post with DIY day at Kimba‘s.


  1. Elisa

    Looks SO much better white! That’s a really cool looking vanity. Very unique, love it.

    I’m in the middle of a painting project and I now officially HATE paint drips. AARGHhhh. (guess someone hasn’t let go of perfection)

    Can’t wait to see more..

  2. Kacey

    It’s fabulous! I mean, seriously fabulous! Envious over here!
    .-= Kacey´s last blog ..Happy Monday! =-.

  3. Katherine

    It is GORGEOUS! I can understand why it HAD to be painted. This is a huge improvement. :) Great job!

  4. angela

    Looks fab! No guilt here, even when painting real wood. I tell myself if I ever change my mind it can probably be sanded and refinished. Though in 15+ years I’ve never wanted to go back. Even painted solid oak end tables and a sofa table antique white then distressed them. The only thing more distressed was my Mother who couldn’t believe I’d do such a thing. Six years later she still laments the loss when she glides her hand across. I, on the other hand, think they look great. Love the details in the cabinet. Would have never known it to be fake wood if you hadn’t pointed it out.

  5. Lisa

    Love the vanity painted white. Now it has character and looks like a piece that you found at an antique store or got at auction! As usual…you inspire!

  6. Barbara (WA)

    What a wonderful improvement over the “before” and I love the knob including the story behind it (use what you own kinda story) ! Thank you so much for sharing ~ it encourages me.

  7. Cerri

    Your bathroom vanity turned out GORGEOUS! I love it!

  8. Kathy

    Love it white, Melissa! Looking forward to seeing more!
    .-= Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions´s last blog ..Screen It =-.

  9. Melissa

    LOVE it! the knob is a really sweet touch!

  10. Emily

    you need about 62 more photos to keep up with the other bloggers and their many angles! :)

    it’s gorgeous, Melissa! I don’t see a single imperfection.

    You crack me up!! xoxo
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Life With Chickens =-.

  11. Mary Joy

    Oh wow! Melissa, it is gorgeous!!! I just love how you aren’t afraid to just be yourself. You always make me smile. Thank you for being so real with us. It gives so many of us the courage to step out and try something ourselves…no one is perfect and you make us feel comfortable trying something new…and you show us how beautiful it can be!!!! Thank you!!!
    .-= Mary Joy @ Snapshots from my Heart & Home´s last blog ..Creating home…the desire of my heart. =-.

  12. Heather

    I love DIMS because that’s how I live too. If I need something done, I Do I My Self.
    And you did a wonderful job with this project. I fell in love the with cabinet last week when you gave a sneak peek. So glad it got the full blogger treatment with a post of it’s own.
    .-= Heather @ what’s happening this week´s last blog ..Inspired By…..Saturday Morning Walk =-.

  13. Gina

    I love it!! Great job.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Finally… =-.

  14. Cheri

    Beautiful! That’s exactly what I’d like in my powder room. Do you happen to know where the original version (yes, it would get painted asap) was from?

  15. DeAndrea

    The vanity has waaay more character since it has been painted white. Looks fabulous. I love the knob you used. I chose the same knob to use on a vanity we painted black for my daughter last summer. Great job!

  16. Richella

    Yes, indeed, you are released from guilt. No doubt that this looks better painted.

    So long, swine walls! Farewell, fake wood! Melissa’s powder room is going places!
    .-= Richella´s last blog ..Nineteen candles =-.

  17. Su

    Painted white wood is just fabulous! I love that cabinet. It was beautiful to begin with…. and so gorgeous painted.

  18. melissa*320 sycamore

    100 thousand times better! No more dark and dreary fake wood! Love the fresh, new look and the knob~

  19. Rhoda

    Looks great, Melissa!! I love what a little paint will do.

    I was just in Anthropologie & you know that Hobby Lobby carries SO many of the exact same knobs that they do & with their 1/2 off sales, you can’t beat HL. I was surprised how many of the same knobs they have in common.

  20. Tee

    A crazed snail… giggle snort! I’m one too.

  21. Donna

    I really love the knob. I am a big Anthro fan. : )

    .-= Donna´s last blog ..Home 3 ~ Athens, GA Garden Tour =-.

  22. MzMannerz

    That vanity is beautiful in white. I’m new to your blog and want to assure you that I probably take longer than you to finish projects. Can’t wait to browse your site and read more!

  23. Traci Hutcherson

    I think your vanity turned out wonderful! I like it so much better painted white. Good job with the DIMS. I can’t wait to see the rest.
    .-= Traci Hutcherson´s last blog ..Parties — not projects… =-.

  24. Hip Hip Gin Gin

    The cabinet looks great! But wait, no sanding?? I’m sorry to tell you my husband is going to hate you a little bit now, you’ve taken away his one and only weapon to keep me from painting everything in the house. I say “I’m going to paint xyz”, he says “ok, but you’ll have to sand it”. He knows I’d rather poke myself in the eye than sand.

  25. Fiona Sanders

    That is a GORGEOUS vanity and exactly what I have been looking for!! Where oh where did you find it my dear? And not only that but David would love it too (huge plus there)…….

    Hugs, Fi

  26. Vee

    It turned out beautifully! DIMS is a great acronym and it fits me to a tee. (I’m sure that it doesn’t fit you at all.)
    .-= Vee´s last blog ..Yellow Roses =-.

  27. AnNicole

    You’re hilarious! The “extreme sideways angle”..HA! And I think I have you beat with how long it’s taken me to finish my master bath. I’ve TOTALLY lost motivation there. And I’ve been working on that projects since….1984. So there :).

    Love your cabinet!
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Anthropologie Dreaming =-.

  28. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Oh what a great DIMS project, my heart is going pitter pat. You are one clever and crafty girl.

    I just finished a project that took 23 years to complete.
    Come take a peek.
    .-= Laura Ingalls Gunn´s last blog ..You Raise Me Up =-.

  29. Camberley, The Bella Life

    Anthropologie has the best knobs! I find myself purchasing them, eventhough I have NO PLACE TO PUT THEM. Oh well. Maybe someday I’ll stumble upon a perfect opportunity, just like you.

    .-= Camberley, The Bella Life´s last blog ..Quote of the Day =-.

  30. Sherry

    Melissa, The vanity looks great all painted in white! I can’t wait to see the finished room. Have a great week.
    .-= Sherry @ No Minimalist Here´s last blog ..Junkin Treasures + Giveaway =-.

  31. Lesley

    Love that knob. I think it truly is a fun addition. I like the idea of the green glass knob too. But this is a great alternative.

    And nice job overall! It makes me feel good that folks like you don’t do perfect paint jobs either.
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Easy accents for summer from Kohl’s =-.

  32. Melanie

    It does look so much better painted. I am never afraid to paint anything and I think you will love it when the bathroom is all finished. I can’t wait to see the completed project!
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..A Teenagers Bedroom =-.

  33. Miss Mustard Seed

    The vanity cabinet looks lovely in the white. It looks custom and chic. It was well worth the extra time.
    .-= Miss Mustard Seed´s last blog ..A Rocker & A Caddy =-.

  34. Daisy Cottage

    I love it Melissa!!!! It is gorgeous!


  35. teresa

    Melissa so sweet! Love it. It makes me want to change my brown one to white. =)
    Sweet idea

  36. Julie M.

    I love everything, except for the knob. Go out and get that green glass one!

  37. jenjen

    Love it. I am getting ready to redo my bath — I also want to go lighter with my cabinets. Awesome job!


  38. linda

    OMG! That came out fantastically beautiful! J’adore.

  39. Eileen

    I know what you mean about a GOOD piece of wood. I have a few of those pieces. But I never feel bad to paint up an old beat up piece, and just cheer you on for slappin that white all over anything that is faux painted wood. it looks fabulous!

  40. Kristi

    Melissa, I adore your half bath, especially your white cabinet and the mix of wood tones on the floor. My husband and I would like to change the floor in our master bath but we’re having a hard time deciding between tile(chilly for my feet) and laminate. I would love more info about your floors if you have time. We also like the wood-look tile, but not sure if that’s going to be affordable. :)

    • Melissa

      I believe they are Mohawk natural hickory floors, I got a sample from Lowe’s that looks exactly like them! Hope that helps!

  41. Kristen

    Hi Melissa
    I love the powder room can you share with me the color name and the brand. I LOVE the color. Soo this weekend I printed your photo. Went into our powder room and strip all the wallpaper what a job that was. We move into our house 1 yr ago and now its time to claim this house and make it our home. I LOVE your ideas!! Excellent choices!!
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Melissa

      The walls are Snail shell by Martha Stewart!

      • Kristen

        Thanks Melissa

  42. Kristen

    Strip the U G L Y wallpaper!
    Hardwood is going down in the morning! Yes & hubby agrees to angle the wood and we have move out into the mudroom……….started with redoing the shelves than the closet the mudroom was painted he thought he could keep the design BUT…once he saw what it looked like with the shelves newly painted he agree with new color and today the closet was taken apart & yup you guess it NEW PAINT COLOR!! What a week its been!! WOW lots of late nights but in the morning we will have new floors!! Oh I can’t wait!
    Thanks again!
    PS we painted doors & trim poor hubby is a dish rag snoring in the chair while I am braging him up!

  43. Gina Johnson

    I love this cabinet, it looks exactly like the one I bought in a furniture store, but it was already white and has two doors instead of one. All else is the same. We put it in my beloved little craftsman, but I’m seriously thinking of taking it and putting it in the farmhouse we are in the process of purchasing. I’m a country girl who has lived in the city most of my life. I am so excited to have the opportunity to live the country life.

  44. melissa owczarzak

    love this!! i have a similar faux wood vanity and was just thinking of doing the same thing : )

  45. maureen

    Could you please tell me where you got this vanity? I have searched the comments and could not find the answer.


    • Melissa

      The vanity was already in the house, so unfortunately I don’t know where it came from. I would check a builder’s supply company or even Lowe’s or Home Depot and see if you can find something like it! My house is pretty new so I think it probably came from a pretty standard builder type place. Good luck! :-)


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