Staining Bathroom Vanity

Yey Friday! Hope you’re excited for the weekend, I know I am. No particular reason other than it’s the weekend and I always look forward to it. Maybe getting some more housework done? Who knows. At least that’s one thing I did do last weekend.

How to Stain Bathroom Vanity

While Ryan was gone, I decided to tackle the bathroom vanity. It had this pretty bad faded color on it and I wanted it to be darker, so I put my little hands to work. This is the ‘before’ picture…

bathroom before l

It really wasn’t a hard project, but it did take some time and determination. I got bored with it form time to time so I had to keep reminding myself of how happy I would be with the finished product. I definitely am excited about!

vanity before

The first step is the worst step: sanding. For this, I used three different grits of sanding paper (coarse, medium and fine), a rag to clean up the dust and a face mask. Whenever you’re sanding or striping paint, you want to make sure to cover your mouth and nose, to minimize the risk of inhaling lead if present. Plus, sanding creates a ton of dust, a ton.

sanding sheets

Sand the sides, the doors and everything you can before taking everything apart. Keep a vacuum handy to clean up all the dust. Remember to sand with the grain. In this picture you can see the difference between the sanded and non-sanded wood.

sanding canibet

Next up, I took all the doors off to be able to sand the sides of the doors and the wood behind the doors. This time I just worked on the façade of the cabinet, I’ll probably just paint the inside some other time. To prevent the dust from messing up everything, I also covered the insides with plastic.

cover up dust

Another important reason to take all the doors and hardware off? To reveal all the wood and even it out. that’s how bad the stain had faded on this cabinet.

old stain

Once it’s all sanded, Tape up all the edges and place plastic to protect other surfaces from the stain.

protect with plactic

Clean up the wood from any dust particles and treat with a wood conditioner, such as Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Minwax Pre Stain

This helps the wood absorb the stain more evenly. Also, gloves are your friend.

after pre stain

Once the pre-stain is set, it’s time for the actual staining. All you need is a pair of gloves, some cheesecloth for staining, a rag and stain of choice. I wanted the vanity to be dark, so I went with Rust-oleum’s Kona Wood Stain.

Rustoleum Wood Stain

First coat in. Once you wipe off the excess, it wasn’t as dark as I wanted. I actually ended up staining it two more times.

stain one

After the last coat of satin, let dry completely before continuing.  I let it dry overnight to be safe.

stain two

The final step is the sealing the wood. I used Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane. The first coat I did with a sponge applicator which I found took some of the stain put.

Minwax Poly

After sanding a little, for the second coat I used a brush and it worked a lot better than the sponge applicator.

dry time

If you’re wondering about the doors, I just worked on them in another room.

stained doors

Once the poly is completely dry, you can proceed to reattach the doors and any hardware.


finished vanity

I absolutely love how it turned out. I feel better about having a cleaner vanity and I’m in love with the color. Before and after views…

bathroom before pbathroom after p

Slowly but surely, the bathroom is coming together. Future projects: tile floor, frame mirror, artwork, vanity basket and coordinating decorations.

bahtroom after l

Remember to do something that makes you happy this weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *