Beautifying a Bathroom Vanity on a Budget
Well, we did it! We completed our DIY wallpaper project and the rest bathroom and it turned out wonderfully…just in time for Thanksgiving! There were lots of “ooohs and aaahs” which is always a great feeling!
One of the main things we did that really impacted the space was to update the bathroom vanity. After all, there’s only so much you can do in a powder room! While getting a new vanity would’ve been ideal, the budget called for a more cost effective solution. The bones of the vanity were in great shape (thank goodness) which allowed us to keep costs low. Here’s the poor unfortunate soul before his transformation.
We looked at the vanity area as more than just the actual cabinet box, we also considered the mirror and lighting area. As for the lighting we just replaced the fixture (with help from someone who knew exactly what they were doing), but we did almost all of the work for installation of the vanity, sink, and mirror.
We started off by removing the cabinet doors and sanding each door as well as the cabinet box. We used an orbital sander and 150 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and any blemishes. *Make sure to use a damp cloth after the sanding is complete. The cleaner the surface, the better the finish.
Once the sanding was complete, painting could begin. I chose Elegant Charcoal by Glidden. It’s a deep gray with blue undertones. It’s understated but also bold enough to stand out. I love the contrast against the white and yellow walls. We painted two coats lightly sanding in between each coat to ensure the smoothest possible finish.
*Wendy’s Tip: Rolling the final coat with a small foam roller will ensure a smoother finish than a brush.
After the painting was complete, we put on a new vanity top. We used this inexpensive but beautiful butcherblock veneer Saljan countertop from Ikea for $59. We took our measurements from the old vanity top, transferred them to the new countertop, and made our cuts.
With our new countertop cut to size, we now needed to make a hole for the sink. Again we kept it simple with this white metal sink from Home Depot. With all the little ,albeit inexpensive, touches we were adding to the bathroom, I didn’t feel the need to go crazy with the sink or faucet. In this case, simple was better.
Now, to cut a hole in the countertop for the sink, we flipped the sink upside down, measured to make sure it was centered, and traced the sink. Once we had our guideline established, we drilled a hole and cut inside the line about 5/8’s of an inch all the way around. Then we then we turned the sink over and dropped it in! Boom! 🙂
Look closely to see the sink template
We used the drill as a starter hole and then cut the rest of the hole with our reciprocating saw (I have no pics because I was holding the countertop steady…oops!).
Next we attached the countertop to the freshly painted vanity cabinet and installed the plumbing and new cabinet hardware. The plumbing was above our pay-grade 🙂 so a friend of the homeowner completed it. Apparently, because we used a similar sink and had shutoff valves for the faucet, it was a pretty easy install.
New countertop & sink!
One problem we had to address with the new vanity top was the lack of a built-in backsplash that was attached to the old countertop. It was about 4 inches tall and when we removed the old countertop, it left the wall in rough shape. See photo above.
Our new countertop did not come with an attached backsplash so we improvised and came up with this tile solution. We used pine trim which we painted white and these 1 ft x 1 ft subway ceramic mosaic tiles to create a ban around the entire bathroom. We cut the tiles into 4 inch strips using an exacto knife laid them out. I love the way these turned out and it felt even better that the tiles, grout, and mastic all totaled about $40!
The final piece to the puzzle was the mirror. We originally were going to frame out the mirror but we when unscrewed the clips it just came off the wall…..and oh, revealed a large hole left by the builder. I was admittedly happy about the mirror coming off the wall so easily because I thought we could swing an upgrade though we didn’t anticipate having to patch the wall. However, 8 bucks and one patch kit later the wall was as good as new!
And that’s how we did it! Along with the mirror we added art work, decor, a new towel holder, toilet paper rack, and toilet seat. All of the sudden our poor unfortunate soul looks like a million bucks!
What do you think of our finished product? Please let us know in the comments!
Create. Innovate. Decorate!