A DIY update of your bathroom vanity

Bathroom Vanity Makeover

by Dollar Stretcher Readers

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My bathroom vanity is orange. It is so outdated. How can I update my bathroom vanity frugally?

Look for Extreme Sales

Shop some of the plumbing stores for your bathroom vanity top on extreme sale or a display model they are discontinuing. Ask a renovator or a scrapper if they have access to used vanities that are still usable from their projects. The base of the vanity will lend itself to new hardware and paint. Be sure to clean the bottom of it with a disinfectant that kills mold before you proceed so you are not exposed to it while updating the vanity.

Cover with Shelf Paper

There are a couple of options to updating an outdated bathroom vanity frugally. Check at your local Habitat for Humanity Re-store. The downside of this is that what they are selling has been removed from someone's home and is probably also outdated.

Check with local plumbers, contractors, hardware stores or any store that sells this type of item, especially check with stores that allow special order of these types of items. A lot of time you can find vanities that someone special ordered but then changed their mind about. These stores will then sell those vanities at a reduced cost because they are a one of a kind item that they will lose money on if they don't sell it. They will also sell the last one of a design at a major discount to allow room for the new designs coming in.

The most frugal way to update a bathroom vanity is with high quality sticky shelf paper. Pick out the design and color shelf paper and then apply to the vanity. Make sure that the seams are tight together with no overlaps or gaps. I have used a marble look shelf paper and recovered counter tops. No one knew it was shelf paper. They just commented on how nice my new counters looked. There are several advantages to using shelf paper. If it gets damaged, all you have to do is remove the damaged area and replace it. It's very low in cost, and when you want to update it again, all you have to do is peel off the old, pick a new color, and apply.

Paint It!

You can paint it! Just wash very thoroughly with TSP from the hardware store (use gloves). When clean, you can paint it with Melamine paint, even on the countertop! I painted my kitchen counters once, and it lasted for about two years before it started to show wear. It's not a permanent solution, but it will buy you some time to save up for the vanity you really want.
Rachel D.

For an Updated and Fresh Bath

As a home stager, I see a lot of tired baths that get a new inexpensive "Space Lift" through paint. You can paint the vanity an espresso color (very popular today!) or a white or cream color. Add a few colorful towels and accessories (I love to use seashells or even a few small polished rocks to bring the 'outdoors in') and your bath will look updated and fresh!

Change Mindset

The simplest and most frugal thing you can do is to stop thinking of it as "outdated." Either you like orange or you don't. If you like it, then just leave it alone! The cost to you: free.

Force the Orange into the Background

If I were in their place, I would try on these approaches:

  1. Look for a shower curtain with orange poppies on it, and either place an arrangement of silk poppies on the counter, or hang a picture of orange poppies in a dark brown frame on the wall. A few dark brown towels for accent, and it'll look like it belongs.
  2. Depending on the shade of orange, you could do the same thing with a glass bowl of oranges on the counter and a citrus-looking shower curtain, with green or white towels.

This depends on what you have and what you like. We lived with a bright yellow (think neon) counter top in one bathroom for 21 years by just decorating that bath with sunflowers. If you can't afford to replace it, you can definitely force it into the background with decorating.

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