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How to go about refinishing bath vanity?

Posted by californiaplaya (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 24, 09 at 5:58

Its a cheap 25 year old 60" vanity that looks like:

I would just like to do something with it to make it look better for now with the plan being that this bathroom will be remodeled within a couple of years and it will be replaced. But if that doesn't happen, or if I end up selling the place, I want to make it look decent.

Don't know what the wood is, but its a cheap vanity, so cheap wood. Don't know what its finished with, but whatever cheap vanities were finished with 25 years ago I'm sure is it. So first, what is the best way to go about removing whats on there, sand or strip? I have a palm sander, so that would make it easier. And once its off, what should I stain and finish it with? Is there anything in particular that should be used because it is in a bathroom or would any stain and finish suffice? Also, this is in my master bathroom in the master bedroom. It will not be removed and I will be sleeping in there that night, so I will need something that will not smell horribly bad. And I'm kind of doing this on a budget, so I don't need it to look great or any top of the line stains. Just something simple that will work. I'm thinking about doing it in a dark cherry or something similar.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to go about refinishing bath vanity?

Well, you probably won't be able to stain it in it's present condition because stain won't penetrate the surface. Not knowing the age of the vanity, you probably are looking at a polyurethane finish or something similar.

I would recommend paint and you may have a hard time making paint stick to the polyurethane. I would suggest a trip your local Sherwin Williams and tell them what you are up against; let them advise you how to proceed. I have used a Kilz primer specifically design for this purpose and then applied paint.

The problem we have had with our kitchen cabinets is that when we ding the cabinets during vacuuming and such, the paint will chip off. It seems that the newer primers have been better at keeping this to a minimum.

Pick a pleasing paint color, invest in some cool knobs, new countertop and faucet - I took a similar mirror, had it cut down a little and put it in a picture frame and all of this did wonders for the look of our bathroom.

Good luck!

RE: How to go about refinishing bath vanity?

I realize I won't be able to stain it in its present condition, thus the reason for posing the question. And I do know how old it is, it is 25 years old, as posted in the original post a couple of times. Not sure what, if anything, that tells me. I am not going to paint it, I will stain it, just trying to figure out the best method to go about doing that. Figure the worst i could do is sand off what is on there now, stain it and have it look no worse than it currently does.

RE: How to go about refinishing bath vanity?

Sanding is a bad way to remove old finish. The doors are veneered, so you'll risk sanding through the veneer and doing damage that won't be worth repairing. You'll waste a lot of sandpaper, and make a fair bit of dust.

Staining will require completely removing the old, damaged finish. This will require chemical strippers, which in turn will require excellent ventilation. Do you live in an area where you can open the windows at this time of year?

Paint is what I was inclined to suggest, too. Staining and clearcoating is a lot of work for something you expect to pitch into a dumpster in the next couple of years.

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