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Makeover on a Budget: Bathroom Vanity Update

A few months ago I made a blog post with my design plans for updating our ensuite bathroom. Being on a budget, I’ve had to get a bit creative in how to go about sprucing up our dated builders-grade bathroom to something a bit more in-style. Although I haven’t finished updating the bathroom completely, I have managed to makeover the vanity and thought I would share the progress so far! So continue reading on if you’re interested in learning more about how I updated our old bathroom vanity on a budget!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Before I share how I updated the vanity, let’s all take a look at what I was working with before…

An ugly green countertop and a basic white vanity. I absolutely hated it and knew I had to do something to update this!

Let’s start with the countertop. I’m sure you’re all wondering how in the world I got rid of that green laminate without breaking the bank? After searching high and low for an affordable option, I came across this – Giani Countertop Paint Kit in White Diamond Granite.

Basically, it’s a way to give you a granite-like countertop by sponge painting multiple layers to give you the effect of having real granite for a fraction of the cost. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous to paint over my countertop in case I messed this up. I feel like it could have gone really good, or really bad. However, with the instructions included and the online video tutorials, I was able to cover up the ugly green counter and was pretty happy with the results. Now this certainly isn’t perfect and I did mess up here and there, but overall I am truly happy with the results. I think it’s definitely a big improvement!

With this kit you get pretty much everything you will need:

  • Primer
  • Three colours of paint (one extra in the colour white limestone)
  • Glitter topcoat (plus extra)
  • Roller brush to roll on the primer
  • Sponge to dab on the layers of paint

The instructions also recommend picking up a few extra items:

  • Drop cloth
  • Exacto knife
  • Sanding blocks
  • Paper plates
  • Scouring pads
  • Painters tape

Step 1: Prep

First thing first is prep work! I started off by scraping out the old caulking around the sink, followed by a good ‘ole scrub with an SOS scouring pad to make sure all the old dirt and grime was removed. Lastly, I used painters tape to tape off what I didn’t want painted.

Step 2: Base Coat

Once my countertop was prepped, I used the roller brush that was included to apply the black primer. There was no turning back once I applied this! Working in small sections at a time, I covered the countertop with one coat of primer. After 8 hours of the recommended waiting time to dry, I was ready to move onto the next step.

Step 3: Sponge on Mineral Paints

After the primer was dry, it was time to go in with the sponge and mineral paints. There are three colours that were each layered on. This was the part I was most nervous about as there is a bit of a technique to it. There are some tutorial videos online to show you the application which I found very helpful, however it is good to do a practice run first. The kit includes some black cardstock to practice layering each paint.

In small sections, you start by layering the greystone paint (2a) by sponging it overtop of the primed surface, followed by quartzite paint (2b) and then finally the white limestone paint (2c). It’s important to layer them right after each other so the paint is still wet in order for the colours to blend together.

Step 4: Roll on Topcoat

After the mineral paint was dried (4 hours), I used the roller brush to apply the topcoat. The topcoat has glitter which really gives it that granite-like appearance once it’s applied. After applying two coats of the topcoat (waiting 4 hours in between) I was all done!

So here it is all done!

It’s hard to see in the photos, but I felt that the topcoat had a hint of blue undertones to it (and later discovered that other reviews commented on this as well). It definitely comes out as a cooler-toned granite, which may be an issue or may not depending on the rest of your colour scheme. Although not originally in my design plans, I quickly discovered that I would need to paint the vanity as well in order to tone down the blue tinge. My plan was to try and bring out the grey specks of paint in the “granite” so I decided that I would paint the vanity a grey colour. So overall, although I initially was not in love with the final product, I still felt it was an update to the green laminate!

I also avoided setting anything on top of the countertop for at least a week. I know that’s probably a bit long, but I didn’t want to risk getting making any of the paint chip!

It’s been about a month so far since I initially painted the countertop and it seems to be holding up well so far!

Okay so now moving on to painting the vanity!

The first thing I did was prime the counter with UMA. This was recommended by my local Dulux paint store. I was tempted to use BIN Zinsser primer (as I know this is commonly used by a lot of DIY’ers and bloggers), however I was told that this stuff works even better! And considering this vanity is laminite, I did not want to take any risks that the paint would chip right off.

The paint I used is also from Dulux. It’s a melamine paint and is meant to hold up on hard to paint surfaces, such as laminate. The paint colour I chose is not the colour shown on the paint chip! #bloggerfail! Oops! I think I was deciding between that colour shown (Stepping Stone) and the colour I actually chose. The colour I actually went with is Silver Charm.

Once I decided on the colour it was then time to paint! I took out each shelf which initially I didn’t do thinking I could get away with painting the shelves still in the vanity. Don’t do this! It ends up being more difficult and taking out each shelf really isn’t that big of a deal and makes it way easier to paint). The paint was fairly opaque, so one coat pretty much covered the vanity with some touch-ups here and there.

If you have any raised paneling on the drawers of your vanity, like me, it’s easier if you paint the grooves first to avoid brush strokes.

I then used a roller brush to apply the rest of the paint for a seamless finish.

Once the vanity was dry, I avoided using the bathroom for the rest of the week. I didn’t want to risk any paint chipping off. Also, I was too lazy to move everything back up from our second bathroom back to this one…

After it was all done, I added some new caulking around the sink.

Also, if you’ve never used these painter’s pyramids, what have you been doing with your life?! Okay I only just discovered these and I couldn’t believe how much easier this product makes it to paint. You put them underneath whatever it is that you’re trying to paint (so the vanity doors in this case) and it props them up just enough that you can paint the sides without getting paint everywhere! You can find them at any hardware store, but Amazon also sells them for just over $11 – totally worth it!

After I painted the vanity, I also wanted to give the knobs a makeover too as they definitely would not match the new vanity. I picked up a can of spray paint by Rustoleum in Satin Nickel at my local Canadian Tire and was very happy with the outcome!

I am trying to go for a brushed nickel finish with most of the hardware in the bathroom. So instead of buying all new hardware (which can be pricey!), I opted for spray paint which does the trick! I let them dry a few hours before I screwed them back in, and waited a few days before I screwed them back in tightly.

So there we have it! My bathroom makeover so far! I definitely have more plans before this is finished (such as painting the walls, painting the floor, framing the mirror and making some new towel racks), so it’s certainly a work-in-progress. However, I think it’s already a big improvement and couldn’t wait to share it so far with you all!

Also, I forgot to mention, I updated the faucet with a new one in brushed nickel! I got it on sale at Canadian Tire for around $50 and is definitely an improvement from the old.

And now for the best part – the final results!

And now for the before and after! (I love me a good before and after).

So what do you think???? I personally think it’s a big improvement! For under $200 you certainly cannot buy a new bathroom vanity! I can’t wait to continue working away on the rest of my plans for this space and see how much of a change it will be then! So follow me along as I work away at my bathroom makeover on a budget!

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