Vanity Project – One Week Too Many (but done!)

The Challenge

To paint our bathroom vanity.

Hey, it’s March isn’t it?

My goal was to finish this project by the end of January but here we are at the beginning of March and it’s finally done. I have many excuses for why it took me so long, but I’ll spare you.

The Podcast

I’ve been loving the podcast “Hidden Brain”. It also gets played on NPR on Sunday afternoons so I’ve been catching it in the car a lot too. The social science correspondent for NPR explores “the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships”. It is always super fascinating. I usually end up reciting all of the cool things I’ve learned to anyone who will listen.

What I Ended Up Needing

Original List: 

What I Also Needed:

  • An orbital sander, sandpaper alone was NOT going to cut it
  • Extra paint rollers
  • Paint tarps (I only used them to make a dust containing tent)
  • Adam drilled small square wooden blocks to the back of each drawer so I could still hold the drawers and paint the front and sides without smudging everything
  • Drawer bumper pads
  • Shop Vac
  • Eye protection
  • Ear Protection

Who Helped Me

I relied heavily on My Handy Hubby Adam. He helped me troubleshoot how to paint the fronts and the sides of the drawers without smudging everything. He also installed the hardware for me because if I would have done it, it would have been a disaster. Additionally, I use all of his tools and never put them back in the right place.

Who is NOT Helping Me

Life seemed so easy in the early days of this blog… let me tell you, things have changed! It’s just not as easy to do loud and intrusive construction projects any more! So LIFE… LIFE ISN’T HELPING ME!

How I Did It

Once I sanded and primed and then sanded what I primed, it was time to paint. When I primed the drawers, I had to do them in 2 phases because I didn’t know how to paint all sides of the drawer at once and not smudge everything. When it came to painting, MHH said he could drill a small 2x2inch block on the back of the drawer faces and I could hold onto that block while I paint all sides. It was brilliant! It gave my carpal tunnel a run for its money, but I was able to bang out the drawers super quickly with his rigs.

I never factored in that when I removed the drawer faces, I’d have to figure out drawer they were originally attached to. So, that took some time. Even though I matched them correctly, I still managed to put a few of them on quite crookedly. I spent a good hour using a level and reattaching the drawer faces in order to make them straight, but then I remembered what the drawers used to look like and I decided I’d rather them be a little crooked than majorly ugly and I gave up. If you look closely, you can spot that the upper left and bottom right drawers are pretty wonky!

MHH put the hardware on and I don’t love the hardware. Being the cheapskate that I am, I bought the hardware in 10 pack so I never got a good look at how the hardware attaches to the drawers until it was too late. The hardware is growing on me though and I don’t have the energy to replace it all, so I’m living with it.

Vanity Above.jpgVanity Front.jpg

Would I Do It Again?

Here’s the truth, I don’t LOVE this vanity. I worked really hard on it and its A LOT better than it was, but I decided I’m just not taking it on. My 2018 motto (which I stole from someone else on a comedy podcast I listen to) is : “I’m not taking it on”. This means I’m not gonna obsess about it and I’m not gonna worry about it anymore. It isn’t what I wanted, but I am not going to be someone who can’t live with a crooked, ugly hardware-d vanity. I’m not taking it on. I am not someone defined by their bathroom vanity. I need to let it go and move on to another project that I can do poorly and then not take that on as well.

I cannot promise that I will not point out every flaw of the vanity to anyone I ever show it to. I definitely have a tendency to do that. I somehow think that by pointing out the flaws and deprecating myself, I’m acknowledging that I see what they see and that I don’t think it’s awesome and they don’t have to judge me in their head… but maybe I shouldn’t take that on either.



  1. They look so good, especially the handles.
    Now, can you find a tool to clean the crevices of cabinets? This has as always perplexed me. I ordered a tool I saw on FB, but I am already doubting it’s worth.


    • I know! I thought about jamming something in the crevices to smooth them, but I worried I would just make it worse..


  2. Whatever you think, it’s a great improvement from where you started! And even though you invested a lot of time, it doesn’t look like the project was a huge financial drain. So you always have the freedom to replace the whole thing someday guilt-free, and knowing that you still made it look so much nicer in the meantime!


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