A bathroom vanity cabinet is one of the most prominent features of your bathroom. It’s where you can store all your toiletries and towels, while at the same time it doubles as a place to get ready for work or school in the morning. With so much use, however, these cabinets are bound to get damaged or dirty over time. Refinishing them will let you reinvent the way your cabinets look by giving them new paint on existing wood, while replacement means you’ll be getting rid of old things and buying entirely new ones.
Refinish your bathroom vanity cabinet
Refinishing is typically less expensive, but it will require some patience. Your first step should be figuring out what really needs to be replaced. Put aesthetics aside for a moment, and consider the state of the plumbing in your existing bathroom vanity. Is anything internally leaking, cracked, or just unusable? If you can answer yes to any of these, then you need to fix that item first before you move onto the cabinet portion of the vanity. If the answer is no, and you just don’t like the look of your bathroom vanity, then check out the pros and cons list below to help you decide on your next step.
Refinishing your bathroom vanity cabinet may seem like an easy process, but there are many steps involved for a quality repair or restoration of the cabinet. If you’re tackling the project yourself, keep in mind that if you choose not to use wood filler prior to painting, one coat of primer and two coats of paint are required on your project.
- Wash down cabinets with soap and water before starting any work. Make sure all traces of dirt have been removed so paint adheres properly. Allow time for cabinets to dry completely before continuing.
- Remove hardware from doors and drawers before beginning refinishing process. You can replace them later or leave them off altogether.
- Sand cabinets with fine-grit sandpaper to give surface area for paint adhesion. Pay close attention to grooves in wood and scrape off any loose particles using a chisel or wire brush.
- Use tack cloth to remove sawdust created by sanding step. Pick up any remaining globs of residue before beginning next step.
- Prime all surfaces of your bathroom vanity cabinet with primer, following directions on the can about drying times between coats. Allow time for primer to dry completely before continuing with refinishing process, per manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add two coats of paint following manufacturer’s drying times-primer/painting/priming are typically done in that order per project.. Wipe over entire surface of vanity with tack cloth after painting is complete. You can replace hardware once it’s completely dry, per manufacturer’s instructions. Refinishing your bathroom cabinet will give it a new look without spending money on replacing the entire vanity set. When you’re finished, your cabinets will look brand new again!
Tip: If you are new to painting cabinets, have multiple cabinets to paint, or just like having everything you need paint-wise in one handy kit, you might want to check out Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations painting system. It’s DIY friendly, comes in a variety of colors and helps simplify the process. I’ll admit it would be a little “spendy” if you’re working on only one tiny vanity cabinet. But for newbies and larger projects, I think it’s well worth the extra money.
Replace your bathroom vanity cabinet
Vanity replacement is done with the goal of giving your bathroom an entirely fresh appearance at all times, which makes this option more expensive but also much more rewarding in terms of results. However much like vanity cabinet refinishing, replacement does require careful planning and some knowledge about what items to search for that are similar to yours. Homeowners can use their own discretion when searching online or at home improvement stores for great quality replacement pieces.
A first step before starting the process of replacing your bathroom vanity cabinet is to measure the existing one and compare it with measurement of new pieces you’re planning on buying. Measurements can be taken from different angles, such as each cupboard separately and then both at once for an accurate size assessment. Make sure to check that all measurements add up to fit the piece of furniture correctly in the space available before making a purchase.
After figuring out what measurements you need (or if even necessary), consider what kind of design you want in your replacement cabinets. Refacing may be a good option because it means not having to drill completely new holes for fixtures like towel holders or soap dispensers, but costs slightly more than complete replacement..
- To replace your vanity cabinet, you’ll need to remove the old one and replace it with a new one. Keep in mind, you will also have to uninstall and reinstall all of the plumbing, as well. Depending on your DIY skill level, you may want to consider hiring someone to do this project for you. Watch this video on how to install a bathroom vanity to help you decide if you are up to the task. Plumbing is one of those home improvement projects that I warn people to only do if they’re confident in their DIY abilities and they can follow directions closely. I’m not trying to scare anyone, rather warn them that if it isn’t done correctly you could be creating a bigger problem for yourself – like a water leak or mold issue down the line.
- Bathroom vanities come in a wide range of colors and styles, so you should be able to find the right vanity for your home. Not to mention, a wide range of prices, starting at as little as $39 and going up in the thousands of dollars. Because of this, I recommend waiting to choose a new cabinet until you’ve had a chance to sit down and go over your budget. This way you’ll have enough money to get the entire project done and won’t spend it all on the new vanity. Another important tip to mention, is to make sure you measure your old vanity or the space you have for a new vanity before going shopping. There is nothing worse than falling in love with and purchasing something that won’t work in your space!
Replacing Pros: Choose a whole new style, get more storage and increased functionality.
Replacing Cons: There are many steps involved in the installation process, and it can be expensive to have someone do it for you.
And the winner is…replace your bathroom vanity cabinet
Replacing your bathroom vanity is a great way to upgrade your bathroom without the expense and hassle of refinishing. Replacing or adding one can make it much more functional, attractive, and convenient. We hope this article has given you some ideas about what type of vanity might work best in your space as well as how to go about replacing an old unit with a new one. Keep these tips in mind when shopping around.
The most popular sizes range from 30-inches deep up to 48 inches deep which is perfect for those who want plenty of storage room below their sink area. You will also need enough height clearance above the vanity to meet your needs. Generally, we recommend a minimum of 54 inches above the countertop for this purpose. Also, consider how you will want the sink and faucet installed and make sure that there is plenty of room on your wall or cabinet for placement.