We bought our home, our very first home, just over two years ago. At the time, my inner Joanna Gaines was screaming, “renovation.” The walls were dark, the appliances were outdated, and the carpets had been beaten down so. But as first time homeowners, renovation didn’t come easy OR cheap for us.
And as it did for so many others, COVID’s quarantine had us suddenly staring at nothing but these same interiors we just didn’t love. So my husband and I started small. We chose one of the smallest renovation projects we had wanted to pursue – the guest bathroom renovation. We knew we weren’t gutting it entirely. The vanity and the floors would stay put, but fresh paint EVERYWHERE was at the forefront of the makeover. And with our renovation experience, a slow start was best!
So with the help of Home Depot experts, one super handy relative, and a little luck, we took on our very first beginner renovation.
Prepping the Vanity
First, tape. You’ll need to tape off all areas you don’t want to get discolored from paint or product. This includes wall and floor edges, sink rims, and countertops areas. ScotchBlue worked perfectly for us.
We also decided to remove the cabinet doors. I do think you could maneuver around the hinges and get it done without, but we wanted the paint to be applied underneath the hinge attachments. And because the hinges had already been installed previously, it was super simple to reinstall them after the bathroom renovation using the same drill holes.
While we considered sanding down the vanity base, we also knew that avoiding it all together wasn’t such a bad idea. So instead, we used Klean Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser. This product is like liquid sandpaper. It adheres to the surface without any prior sanding, and creates a rough, textured surface for new paint to cling to. The liquid goes on white, so it also begins to prime the paint if you’re going from dark to light with color. To apply, just pour some of the liquid onto a clean, smooth rag and rub it gently into the surface of the vanity.
Once we let the Klean Strip liquid rest overnight, we applied one coat of paint primer. Because the Klean Strip creates a gritty surface, we didn’t want risk the base color paint looking gritty as well. So we used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer in white to begin layering.
Painting the Vanity
After A LOT of deliberation – hello indecisiveness – I decided to go with BEHR Marquee for its durability. This bathroom sees a ton of traffic since it is used by our kids and by our guests, and we wanted enough durability to not have to go back for a redo reno. The color I chose is Teton Blue. It’s a lighter blue with a slight grey undertone – more on the muted side.
We tested the paint on the back of a cabinet door to make sure it was in good shape. We also compared the look between application with a paint brush and application with a roller. And the roller won by far! The brush left visible streaks in the paint, while the roller kept it super clean and even. So we opted for small, 4-inch rollers to get into the smaller frame pieces of the cabinet doors. If the roller leaves behind a very faint speckled surface, do not be concerned! As our paint dried, it solidified the surface and got rid of any speckling.
We did two coats of the base color paint across every surface of the vanity – the front of the doors, the back of the doors, and the base. We waited about two hours in between coats, and used a fresh roller for each coat as well. This sat for 24 hours before moving on to the sealer.
TIP: Remove painter’s tape while the paint is still wet! If you wait until the paint dries, it will crack a little as you pull the tape from the surface.
Lastly, we sealed the base paint with Minwax One Coat Polyurethane in Clear Semi Gloss for maximum water protection. After all, it is the bathroom.
Prepping the Countertops
For the countertops, we actually used the exact same products throughout the entire bathroom renovation. Talk about cost efficient.
- Sanding – Klean Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser
- Priming – Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
- Painting – BEHR Marquee in Whisper White
- Sealing – Minwax One Coat Polyurethane in Clear Semi Gloss
We used rollers for all of the product applications on the countertops to keep that smoothness we were loving. Prior to rolling on the paint, we used a small, soft-bristled paint brush to cover the circular outline of the sink bowl. Then we blurred the edge with the roller.
Painting the Faucets
I didn’t feel the need to splurge on new faucets. I didn’t mind the design of the ones we already had, but the color did need an update to top off this bathroom renovation. So we opted for spray-paint! Three coats of Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic All Surface Paint and Primer. I chose the color Oil Rubbed Bronze to tie the faucets together with the mirrors that were previously hung. My husband was easily able to remove the faucets and reinstall them, too. Perks of repurposing instead of replacing.