Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Our upstairs bathroom, which is the main bathroom in our house, is on the list next for a makeover. And it has a loooooong to do list.  One weekend while my husband was out of town, I did a mini makeover of sorts {planned} and it turned into me ripping up the floor {unplanned}. These are things I do for fun 🙂  One item I wanted to do in the makeover was to paint the vanity.  I decided that the best solution was a chalk paint makeover.

Enter the before, it needs paint.  Or demo. Paint was in doable in a weekend. This is a picture of the room before we moved in.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint Makeover

I remember this day actually because we were sanding the floors and I was cleaning the bathroom. I should have had industrial size bleach, ewww.

Although what do you think of my gold faucet?! And shell sink?!


Part of my makeover was to paint the vanity with Annie Sloan chalk paint. In graphite specifically, which is a dark charcoal grey. This was the first item I painted with chalk paint, so I was curious to see how it would come out.

This is the only good close up I have of the vanity. It was when we discovered the secret drawer in the bottom of the vanity. Bonus extra storage.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Vanity with secret drawer

After taping off the floor, and assembling my supplies, I got to work. This was at about 9:00pm one night. That’s what happens when I do surprise makeovers.

Bathroom vanity makeover

This was after one coat. Sorry this picture is blurry. I watered down the chalk paint just a little since I like the way it goes on that way better.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Bathroom vanity makeover

This chalk paint performs miracles. It goes on so easily and covered so well.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Bathroom vanity makeover

After two coats of paint and two coats of polycyclic (I used the water based kind), I had a completely new vanity.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint


Bathroom vanity makeover

I did this while I was ripping up the old linoleum floor, these after photos are from when I finished that project. We subsequently covered that amazing hex tile with sheet vinyl. It wasn’t an easy decision, but the best one since the original hex tile floor was very damaged, cracked and dirty. See how to install sheet vinyl here.

I sprayed the hardware in satin nickel, they also look brand new.  Bathroom vanity makeoverBathroom vanity makeoverBathroom vanity makeoverI like how you can also see the wood grain shape under the paint.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

After I painted this I stood back and thought that the room would look 1,000 times better with a new floor and a new vanity top. So you can guess what’s up next on the bathroom makeover to do list – new vanity top. We have to find a new one first, and get a new faucet.

Yes you can upgrade that builder-grade bathroom vanity. With chalk paint! See how here --> Click To Tweet

But I’m so pleased with the vanity. My husband came home and thought I replaced it. Ha! I wish. Maybe some day we’ll get a smaller one, I think this one is a little too big for the room but this is a budget makeover and we are also working on the basement bathroom.

An improvement? Definitely!

Bathroom Vanity Makeover with Chalk Paint

Have you used chalk paint, what about in a bathroom?

Here is the latest on the Bathroom Mini Makeover

  • Paint and seal the vanity
  • Spray paint the mirror and sconces
  • Prime and paint the window frame
  • Make a roman shade for the window
  • Get some kind of covering for the window glass
  • Put up a shelf and some art on the walls
  • Re-do the towel hooks
  • Get a new rug
  • Finish cleaning off the floor adhesive
  • Prime and paint the ceiling
  • Replace the vanity top
  • Select and get a new faucet for the vanity

See how we replaced this vanity several months later HERE and our total small master bathroom makeover HERE.

Plus scroll down to get a FREE printable to keep track of all the paint colors in your home.


  1. awesome redo! i love it with its glossy finish!

  2. awesome redo! i love it with its glossy finish!

  3. It turned out great! There is hope for those wooden cabinets! Question for you..after the second coat of paint was it still a charcoal color? I love how it turned out, but am curious if it’s as black as it looks? I painted a friends oak side table with Annie Sloan graphite and they were not happy at all with the result. They were looking for a “black” finish. She even added an ounce of black paint to it to darken the paint. Any suggestions? Now I want to start on mine. Thanks for the inspiration

    Andrea xxoo

  4. Hi Andrea,

    I tell you that chalk paint is heaven sent. It works on anything and in areas like this when you seal it. I thought waxing would be too hard on a vanity, so on went the poly. It looks amazing.

    Yes, the color without the poly is charcoal. It looks darker in the photos, I think it’s just the light. But it came out like the color of the graphite paint which is a dark grey. So no, it’s not as black as it looks.

    If you didn’t yet seal it you can always get a small sample of something and glaze over it with black if they want that look. Or just paint over it solid with a black. I believe you can do that over chalk paint.

    Hope this helps – Jessica

    • I love the redo to that vanity! I have that really cheap faux wood over particle board vanity and cabinets in my bathroom. Do you think chalk paint will go over it like it did your cabinet? I’ve never worked with it, but like you, I’m trying to upgrade on a tight budget. Also, is poly necessary?
      Thanks for your info!!!

      • Hi MrsD,

        I’m pretty sure chalk paint will go over your vanity. You can always try it on a test spot if you can and see how it works. It sticks to many surfaces without sanding. And yes poly is necessary. Chalk paint is very flat and will get marked easily. You can wax it, but that is more difficult in my opinion. Poly is easy to brush on. Hope this helps and good luck!

  5. The vanity makeover turned out so pretty!! I have yet to try chalk paint, but I’m always reading good things about it.

  6. I LOVE your vanity makeover. I have a similar vanity with the hidden bottom drawer. It is Birch so it has some type of poly on it now but it is sooo plain and boring. My question is, did you sand before painting? Did you need to primer it? How long did the whole process take you?


    • Hi Yolanda. Thanks for the sweet comment on the vanity. I did not sand the vanity at all since I used chalk paint on it. That’s the beauty of the paint, you don’t have to remove anything or sand. I did quickly wipe it down with a damp paper towel just to get off any surface dust however. I did not use any primer either, just 2 coats of chalk paint, slightly watered down (just slightly). I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in graphite. Then I put 2 coats of clear polycrylic on top of the chalk paint to seal it. It took about an hour and a half of painting time, not counting drying time. Hope this helps and good luck with your project!

  7. Hello! Soooo going to do this to my 80’s vanity that cannot be replaced. A couple of questions – 1. Did you remove the doors and drawers or just paint with them in place? How did that work out? 2. Did you use actual Annie Sloan chalk paint or a make your own kind? 3. If you did use AS paint, where do you find it the best place to buy it?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Laura,

      I did not remove the doors, but I did remove the knobs to spray paint them a different color. The drawers didn’t come out, so I also painted them in place, by pulling them out a bit to do so. I used Annie Sloan brand in graphite. There is a local place where I live so I buy it there. You only need a small amount too, I mix mine with a little bit of water to make it a little less thick but you don’t have to do that. You can search on the Annie Sloan web site for a retailer near you here.

      I just wiped down the vanity to remove debris, but didn’t sand it at all. Hope this helps and good luck with the makeover!

  8. Looks Amazing.. Just started using Annie Sloan and loving not priming. Just curious how did you apply your poly?

  9. Curious as to how it’s holding up after a year with the poly over it? Are you still loving the chalk paint vanity?

    • Hi Lauren,

      Yes we are still loving it. The vanity is holding up great! I have to say I’m really pleased with it, even more than some other painted furniture. I would definitely use poly over chalk paint on other projects too. Thanks for asking.

  10. I’m thinking of trying this in the master bathroom.. I’m afraid that using spray paint will get paint on the walls/floors/ceilings etc. Did you find that the spray was hard to control and that it would drift from the area you intended it to land on?

  11. Sounds like me. When my husband leaves for a day or two, I burst into projects, staying up until the wee hours of the night. Love it.

  12. Hello! I’m going to try the graphite on my son’s bathroom vanity but I have a few questions. First, did you paint the interior of the vanity and behind the doors? Second, did you use the clear wax at all or just the poly? Thanks!

    • Hi Meghan,

      I did not paint the inside of the doors. You can see that in one of the pictures on the post I think, but you certainly could paint them if you wanted. I on;y used polycrylic on it. Two coats actually. Wax wouldn’t be a good choice in a bathroom because of the humidity maybe, plus it shows fingerprints and you have to buff and reapply it yearly. So I thought the poly would be the best for a bathroom and it turned out great.

  13. Can u do this on white pressed wood cabinets . We have cheap kind in laundry room/ half bath .

    • Hi Amy,

      Chalk paint will work on most surfaces without sanding. Just make sure they are clean and you seal them well, maybe with polycrylic like I used. Best of luck with your project!

      • Hi Jessica,
        I was curious, what made you use the chalk paint, vs Rustolium, vs stain? Is it the texture, appearance, ease., etc? Thank you in advance! The cabinet looks amazing!

        • Hi Mesha,

          I used the chalk paint for two reasons: 1. Because this vanity was already stained and sealed and I didn’t want to strip it. That would have been very difficult to do (because of where it is located next to the wall) and since I was going to paint it, unnecessary. You can’t put stain over a sealed piece of furniture, meaning one that has poly or sealant on it of some type. And 2. Because chalk paint doesn’t require any preparation or sanding, so I put it directly on the finish that was on the vanity. It was the easiest way to redo the vanity. I hope this helps!

          • I have read on several sites that I do not need to seal furniture after chalk paint. Do you know what would happen, if I skipped the sealing? Would there be a major problem, since my project would also be a bathroom vanity. Would moisture create a problem?

  14. Hello – I am contemplating painting my 54-year-old bathroom vanity, so I was happy to find your blog tonight. Question….the first coat of the chalk paint…does it go on gray and then change to black? It really looks more black than gray. Or is that a primer? I couldn’t figure that out. Did you put the floor in yourself? I will check out your updates because I want to see how you painted the sconces. Good job!

    • Hi Annie,

      The chalk paint I used on this was called graphite by Annie Sloan and is actually a dark gray. It may look black in the photo though. I did not use primer, you don’t have to with chalk paint. I used 2 slightly watered down coats of chalk paint then 2 coats of polycrylic.

      We put in a new sheet vinyl floor recently. You can find that if you search for it on here. And I spray painted the sconces while they were on the wall. Hope that helps!

  15. Michelle says:

    I love your vanity. What brand and type of applicator did you use?
    When you apply the paint do you see brush marks.. and if so does it smooth out as it dries?

    • Hi Michelle,

      I think I used a Purdy paint brush, and no I didn’t see any brush marks. I water down the chalk paint a little so that helps it go on smoothly.

  16. I love how the vanity turned out! I have used chalk paint but never in a bathroom before. I have never used polycyclic. Can you please tell me who makes it? Do you brush it on and how long does it take to dry in between coats? I have a rental home and we are doing some updating before we list it. Your response is appreciated and thank you so much!!

    • Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for the comment on the vanity. Many companies make polycrylic. I common one is Minwax. They make stains and sealants and you can find it at home improvement stores.
      You should brush it on. You should NOT shake the can or use a foam roller as both of these will cause bubbles in the poly and you don’t want bubbles in it. It’s not like latex paint. Dry time will be stated on the can. Usually it’s just a few hours, but can vary depending on what type you used. I’ve also seen people use Minwax gel stains on vanities like this and have had good results. Some of those you don’t have to seal, since a sealant is built into the stain.
      I hope that helps you!

  17. Hi! I was wondering how you do your polycrylic coating? I can’t seem to do it without it 1-rubbing off the color paint and 2-showing brush strokes! help! 🙂

    • Hi Amanda,

      For this vanity I used water-based Minwax Polycrylic with a Purdy paint brush. I mention the brand names because I feel both of those are amazing products that will work well for this type of project.

      If you are rubbing off the paint color, you probably aren’t using the correct paints with each other. For example, you can’t use oil paint over latex. I hope this helps you!

  18. Love this! I have the same fantastic vanity in our kids bathroom and looking to paint it the same color actually. Question – I know you said it does not take much paint, but how much did you purchase for that size vanity? I know they are sold in SMALL containers! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Hi Lisa,

      For this I had a quart, but I on;y used very little. I’m 99% sure you could paint this size vanity with the small sample sizes of chalk paint that they sell. I dilute my chalk paint with water for a few reasons. First, I find it to be thick and the water helps it goes on when it’s not as thick. It helps the paint last longer since you use less and it covers better. You only need a little bit of water to dilute it so add just a small amount, like a teaspoon, mix it up and then see if you like how it’s going on. I put on 2 coats on this vanity, so check your progress. Hope this helps!

  19. Hello, I am thinking about doing my hall bathroom. However, everyone says to use chalk paint, can you explain to me why? And after you paint with it, you apply a top coat? Ugh! I’m nervous, but I want to just dive in. Any help or suggestions are great.

    • Hi Ashely,

      People recommend chalk paint because it doesn’t require you to sand or prime your furniture/piece before painting it. It’s easy to use and comes in a variety of colors. Yes you do have to apply a top coat because it finishes flat and can get marked easily. I use polycrylic or wax over my chalk paint. Poly is easier to use, dries fast and is water based. No need to be nervous! You can always test it out on a scrap piece of something before you put it on your furniture. I dilute my chalk paint with water slightly when I use it. Hope this helps and good luck!

  20. I would like to apply this to older wood cabinets that have a grain and I don’t want the grain to show what I need to apply a filler first? If I did so what I need to sand before I use the chalk paint.

    • Hi Sheree,

      I have not done that kind of makeover myself, but yes you would need to apply a filler, after you de-glossed the cabinets. I found this post on how to do that. I hope it helps you:

      • HI Love your vanity! it came out amazing!!! i am going to paint my bed frame and dresser with graphite chalk paint. I have two questions I tried to read through the comments but i didn’t see the answer :-/ sorry if you answered them already.

        1. What brush did you use for the chalk paint? I ask because the Annie Brush is like 30 bucks and i want to try to keep the price down if possible
        2. I looked up the poly and there is gloss ,semi gloss, and satin which did you use? i have no knowledge of paint

        • Hi Asia,

          Glad you like the vanity! I use Purdy brushes, which can be purchased online. I don’t know which local store to you would have them. They are great quality brushes and come in long or short handles. The finish for the poly is up to you. I think for this one I used Satin, which I would recommend. Hope this helps!

  21. Love this project and the color scheme. What paint color did you use on the walls? Thank you!

  22. Becky Welborn says:

    I have wooden cabinets…but they are painted white. Can I use the chalk paint with out sanding since the cabinets are painted. I don’t want to have to do any of that, that is why I have chosen to just use chalk paint. Will it work over the white paint.

    • Hi Becky,

      Yes chalk paint should work over most surfaces without sanding. I would wipe the cabinets down first with a mild cleaner and dry them. Then use the chalk paint. You do have to seal them if you use chalk paint. There are other paints out there that people have used on cabinets without sanding if you get a chance to look that up. Make sure you know your options before starting so you get the best result!

  23. This looks awesome!! I am in the process of painting my kitchen cabinets the same color. Did you sand between your coats of poly?

    • Hi Lindsey,

      Yes I did sand between poly coats, and wiped the vanity down after sanding. This will give you a very smooth finish. Good luck with your project!

  24. Hi,

    Was this a true oak cabinet or one of those cheap veneer covered ones that just loos like oak. Unfortunately, the latter is the type I have and I’m looking for ideas on how to repaint it rather than replace the whole cabinet which is still in good shape.



    • Hi Mel,

      This was not an oak cabinet, it was an imitation wood. I’m sure you can paint your current cabinet and it would turn out well. Chalk paint can be used on most surfaces, including concrete, wood and others. Be sure to seal it with a polycrylic since chalk paint is flat and marks easily. Hope this helps!

  25. Hi Jessica, I’m amazed by how great the vanity looks! I have one that I’ve been wanting to do up! It’s a double sink and 4 cupboards. I’m just wondering how it has worn being in a wet area? Also the handles, I’d be worried that the paint would scratch off, has this happened? I have 3 young children under 6 and they are pretty hard on everything. Thank you so much

  26. Jessica, love your vanity. M y daughter and I just painted her vanity with AS chack paint and waxed it with the clear wax. It looks great. My question is – can we use a poly coat on top of the wax ? Being that the vanity is off her master bedroom it will be exposed to moisture, water drips. Is the wax enough for vanities? We would hate to redo it.

  27. Hi Bonnie,

    Once wax is applied over chalk paint, no other finish can be applied. That is from the AS website. Wax should be enough for the vanity, to protect it from water. You may find that you have to polish the wax sometimes, and maybe reapply in spots if it wears.

    Congrats on your project, I’m sure it looks great!


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