How to Restore a Bathroom Vanity

A bathroom update often comes with a hefty price tag.

If your budget is limited, consider restoring the current bathroom vanity for a new look without a large investment. The current condition and finish of the vanity determines the amount of work necessary to bring it up to date. A fresh coat of paint or stain gives the vanity a new, clean look. Polishing the vanity top makes the entire piece look new again. Consider your level of comfort with these processes before beginning the project.

Wipe the vanity clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Remove any built-up dirt or grime. Rinse the vanity with a clean damp cloth.

Remove the hardware from the vanity. Remove the doors and hinges to make the job easier. If you plan to reuse the hardware, place it and the screws in a zip top bag to make sure nothing is lost.

Assess the current condition of the vanity. Determine what needs updated. Inspect the wood for splitting, holes or other damage.

Repair any damaged areas in the vanity. Fill in small cracks or holes with wood putty following the package directions. Allow the putty to dry fully before continuing the vanity restoration.

Lightly sand all the surfaces of the vanity base and doors if you are planning to paint it. Wipe away the dust with a barely damp cloth. Apply the primer and paint, allowing each layer to dry fully before moving to the next. One coat of primer and two coats of paint should produce a smooth finish. Add a third coat if necessary.

Strip the varnish or paint if you plan to stain or varnish the vanity. When using a chemical stripper, make sure the room is properly ventilated. Always follow the package directions exactly when working with chemicals. Apply the new stain followed by a coat of polyurethane to protect the vanity.

Attach the new hardware to the vanity. Reattach the doors to the piece. Test the doors and drawers to ensure proper functioning.

Things You Will Need

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Chemical stripper
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Hardware

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.