Before we moved into our house, we painted our bathroom red.
Yikes. Big mistake.
It’s not that I don’t like bold color. I do. Really. And red is one of my favorites! But bold color has to be used in the right space or it can get very old very quickly. And I think RED in the small confines of our bathroom was old to me before the paint had even dried on the walls!
But we’d done lots of painting to get moved into our house and the thought of more painting was enough to make me break out in hives, so I chose to live in denial and convinced myself I would grow to like the red.
Never. Ever. Happened.
Finally last summer I painted over it with a plain and sensible neutral. I figured I could decide what colors to accent with later on. But you know what I kept finding myself drawn to? Accessories and wall art with black and…you guessed it…RED! I still love red in my bathroom, just not from floor to ceiling!
|Loved my $3 Hobby Lobby clearance find…|
|And this 18″ x 30″ score from a Big Lots clearance aisle for $12.50. I LOVE it!|
There’s something classy and a little bit vintage in the pairing of black and red, and earthy neutrals just add to the sophistication of the look. I found myself loving the colors together.
But I still had this.
Bleh. Oak cabinets like these are tolerably attractive and CHEAP, which is why builders use them so much. But the oak finish is boring, a little outdated, and very casual and it just didn’t seem suited to the classic colors I was accenting with. I wanted something dark; something classy.
Now I suppose the obvious solution would be to replace the vanity, but with that you’re talking about a whole new level of commitment and I was NOT ready for that. I just wanted a color change and I thought an update like that could be pretty easy.
Stain would have been my preference. I used a dark stain when I redid my kitchen table, (you can read about that project here,) and I LOVE it! But there were a couple of problems with trying to stain my vanity. For one, you’re talking about a lot of work. I’m not afraid of hard work when it comes to repurposing or refinishing, but it’s only worth it if you can be fairly sure of success. And that was my second problem: My vanity is only partially real wood, and while I’ve read of some people having success with stain on particleboard, I’ve never been able to make it work myself.
Paint seemed the only way to go, but I wasn’t sure of the right color. While black would have fit with my color scheme, it’s also a little less versatile if I decide to change accent colors later on. But I wanted something dark, something close in shade to a dark mahogany or espresso stain, so I stood in the paint department of Lowe’s for ages comparing colors. I had all four kids in tow, so I’m pretty sure the Lowe’s employees were as happy as I was when I finally picked my color!
The first step in remaking my cabinet was to remove the cabinet doors and hardware.
Then I just gave everything a light sanding.
|Callouses, black fingernail outlines, and bandaids. Obviously I could NEVER be a hand model.|
You’re not trying to remove any finish with the sanding; just scuffing the surface enough to help the paint adhere, so there’s no need for an electric sander. Sandpaper or a sanding block will do just fine.
After that I taped off the surrounding areas with painter’s tape and protected the floor with plastic. (TIP: When I put up a new shower curtain liner, I always hang on to the old one, just for projects like these. Makes for a great drop cloth.)
Then it was time for the paint!
I immediately fell in love with the color. It’s called Black Raisin (4002-2C) Ultra Paint + Primer in gloss from Valspar and it was just the shade I was looking for. Two coats covered my vanity perfectly, so I was pretty impressed with this paint.
I did much of the painting with a brush, but I recommend picking up one of these, too…
Bathrooms tend to get dirty and ours sometimes gets CROWDED, so I wanted a durable finish that was also easy to clean.
I love this polyurethane because you don’t have to sand between coats and clean up is easy with soap and water. I did the recommended three coats, allowing drying time per the instructions between each coat.
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