Easy DIY Painted Bathroom Cabinets

Hi everyone! I know, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted, but for good reason! We’ve been busy figuring out what in the world to do with a couple of rooms in our house. In case you’re new to the site, you can read a little about our situation here and here. In short, we bought a foreclosure that we will eventually sell once it’s time to head to our next duty station. While our kitchen cabinets are going to be completely replaced, 2 out of 3 of our bathroom cabinets weren’t so bad. Although we originally planned to replace all of the vanities, I thought I’d give a little DIY paint job a shot! I mean, after having to replace basically everything in the house, it would be nice to save a few dollars, if possible!

The master bathroom vanity was my guinea pig. Let me tell you, I’m SO excited about how it turned out! Not only that, but instead of spending hundreds of a vanity, I spent a total of $60!!! That’s right, $60 freakin’ dollars! AND all of this was done in just a day! Check out my list of supplies:

Sandpaper- Assorted grit

Sander (If you don’t have a sander, you can also try deglosser!)

Painter’s tape


Garbage bags (to line the floor from spills and drips!)

Old hand towel

Oil or water based paint

Wooster mini-roller and pan

Purdy 1.5″ paintbrush

Cabinet hardware

Here is a before photo:

The cabinets were the builder’s grade oak beauties, that you used to see everywhere. Nothing special, but they weren’t chewed apart or ridden with holes, like our other cabinetry. Since we’re not going to live here for too long, we were okay with not aiming for our dream bathroom. Although, the cabinet color is pretty dreamy, right? (I mean…I like grey, so…) Okay, onto the project. Below, you’ll find the steps that I took while painting these babies!

1. Cover the floor

This is what the garbage bags are for! I just tore them open at the seams, laid them flat, and voila! If you have old sheets around, you can use those too! Basically, find something flat and slap it down.

2. Detatch doors and remove hardware.

Grab your drill get those doors off! Once they’re removed, continue to remove the hinges from the door as well, along with any hardware (handles/pulls) that may have been attached. You COULD paint around them, but that’s entirely too much hassle. Be SURE to either label your hinges, or keep track of them. When you go to reattach everything, it will be nice to know where it goes. We only have four doors, so all I did was lay them on the bathroom counter near their respective spots.

3. Tape off area that paint should NOT touch.

Grab your painter’s tape and carefully tape off the countertop, walls, floor, etc. I did tape off a little of the inside, but the interiors of the cabinets are lined with contact paper anyway, so I wasn’t very concerned. Make sure the tape is smooth and no paint is going to sneak it’s way around.

4. Sand

I sanded everything! These cabinets were gritty. Remember, the house was not livable when we moved in and things weren’t so pretty. I used our sander for most of it, but corners and crevices were done by hand. To get old paint and tarnish off, I used a 100 grit, but for the rest, I used 180!

5. Wipe down the cabinets and doors!

Make sure you don’t have any pesky dusk hanging around after sanding! Your paint job won’t be quite as awesome if you skip this step.

6. You’re ready to paint, so make sure you have something to set your doors on!

You won’t want your doors laying flat on the floor, because they’ll get stuck there! I’ve heard of people using cups, but I just used books and boxes that were close by. I know, I’m pretty fancy.

7. Prime and paint!

I didn’t prime, but you may need to, depending on what paint you choose. My paint was Behr Alkyde from Home Depot. I chose this because not only did it mean that I could skip the primer, but also because it’s not as smelly and I have two one year olds fumbling about my home. The fumes were little to none, and you can’t tell that we didn’t prime at all!

Paint your corners and edges first with the brush, then get to rollin’. I painted the cabinet edges with the brush, then moved on to the edges of the doors and faux drawers, as well as the corners and crevices. Next, I used the mini roller on every flat area, which made for a nice, smooth look.

8. Check your drying time, then add a second coat if necessary!

Behr Alkyde takes 4 hours of drying before re-coating. The second coat goes on a bit more quickly, so you’re almost done! I didn’t put any top coat on. I might do this in the future, but for now, the semi-gloss is enough!

TIP: If you’re going to do a second coat, you can wrap your brushes in plastic, or use a baggie, and put them in the fridge to use later!

9. Attach hardware and hinges.

If you have some cool new hardware or are reusing your old hardware, grab your drill and reattach them now! Then, go ahead and put the hinges back on. Once you’re done, you’re ready to drill those doors back onto the cabinet and put your drawers (or fake doors) back on, as well.

10. Revel in the beauty of your masterpiece!

Step back and be amazed at how awesome you did! Seriously, you’re going to feel awesome. Not only did you just put in some good handyman work, but you also saved yourself some hassle and a bit of money!

Now, we did also replace our faucets and frame the mirror. We also still need to replace the flooring (ugh). So, we’re not going to show you the entire finished project quite yet! If you have any further questions, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment here, or find me on Instagram!

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35 thoughts on “Easy DIY Painted Bathroom Cabinets

  1. wooooow! paint makes such a difference! and i love the touches of brushes silver with the hardware. we’re always stuck in gross/outdated houses so this gives me total house envy! you did such a good job! <3

    • Thanks lady! Since we bought this one (we usually rent!), I was able to paint! We did the brushed nickel hardware because that’s what we chose for the doorknobs, sinks, etc…and I’m glad!

  2. Thanks for posting this tutorial! I have both my bathrooms AND my kitchen cabinets to replace, and it seems like such a daunting task! I’m definitely saving this post for when I get around to doing it 🙂

    Rae | Mindful Rambles

    • Thank you for reading!!! It’s not as daunting as you would think! Once you get started, you’ll get on a roll and it’ll go by pretty quick! Good luck to you, I’d love to see everything when you’re done!

  3. This is awesome! I love how you broke everything down and gave clear step by step instructions. I get so frustrated with DIY’s that skip over steps and do not clearly explain the process. The finished product looks great!!

    • Thanks so much! I tried not to forget anything, so that no one would feel lost amidst wet paint!

  4. Wow! Love your paint color. Painting your cabinets totally updated your bathroom and for only $60! I’m inspired to repaint ours. I installed my own hardware like you did about a year ago and it was so stressful making sure I drilled the holes in the correct spot. Yours look great!

  5. Wow, these look amazing! Our kitchen cabinets are very heavy and high quality, but quite dated looking. I am pinning this post for future reference. Replacing them is not necessary or in the budget, but painting them I can do. 🙂

  6. I love what you’ve done with the cabinets. They look really nice. The color you chose is perfect for the space.

  7. I like it! I literally had the EXACT same cabinets in the kitchen of our old house and painting them & adding handles was on my list of things to do. We just never got the chance, moved too soon.

    They look great! Way to go!

  8. I have TWO bathrooms with these same, ugly, brown wood cabinets. I think I am going to try this! Never done anything like this before, but I bet I could. Honestly, they couldnt look any worse than they already do

    • That is honestly how I felt…like, how could they look worse?! I’m positive that you can do it! The $60 covered both the master and another bathroom upstairs, with PLENTY of paint left over for more, or just other projects! I’d love to see how it turns out for you! PS- I bought the handles for the doors at Home Depot, but I bought the exact same ones for another bathroom at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore…brand new!

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