I want to share with you all a few more pictures of the progress I am making on our upstairs boys’ bath DIY renovation.
A few days ago I walked through the process of installing the board and batten trim to the walls.
Now I want to show you the work we’ve done on the bathroom vanity cabinet and countertop.
Prepping the Bathroom Vanity
We started with your standard, honey-oak builder grade cabinets–they’re so lovely and all of the cabinets in my house look just like them. Despite being a gross color and generally out of date though, they were in good condition and worth keeping. Taking out the vanity cabinets would have opened up a whole can of renovation worms–new flooring, wall-repair, etc.–so working with the existing vanity cabinets was the way to go.
Because it cures up to be waterproof and highly durable Fusion is a great cabinet paint option. There are less prep steps too when using Fusion for cabinets than when using latex or oil-based paint, and the self-leveling properties of Fusion help leave a very smooth finish.
To prep the vanity for paint I gave it a very light sanding (like 5 minutes with some medium grit sandpaper), then wiped it down well with a degreaser.
And like I said in my last post, the most important prep step for any painted woodworking project is filling in your seams!
I took the extra 20 minutes of prep to fill in the cabinet seams on each side with wood filler. Once the filler dried, I sanded it smooth with a fine grit sandpaper, so now the paint finish will be seamless and the crack won’t show through.
With the minimal prep done, the first painting step was to apply Fusion Ultra Grip.
Why I Used Ultra Grip
Ultra Grip is 100% pure acrylic resin, and paints on milky white. It dries clear though and offers superb adhesion for your topcoats of paint. The Fusion would have stuck to the cabinets just fine without the Ultra Grip, but for the sake long-term durability I knew a coat of Ultra Grip surely wouldn’t hurt.
It’s best to allow the Ultra Grip to have it’s full dry time of 12 hours before recoating–the longer you let it dry the better it performs. So after letting the vanity base dry overnight, I painted on a coat of Fusion in Homestead Blue.
I tried applying the paint with both a brush and a foam roller, and honestly I think the finish was smoother with a brush. Just make sure to load up your paint brush with Fusion; the more paint you have to work with, the longer and smoother you can make your strokes.
Homestead Blue consistently has exceptional coverage. Here it is with just one coat:
And notice you can’t see the seam because of the step I took the wood filler.
After the first coat dried, I brushed one a second, light coat of paint, and here is the result:
The doors are still in process, but you can get the idea 🙂 The paint is gorgeous! So smooth to the touch and the paint has filled in all the wood grain as well, which gives the cabinets a much more modern look.
And the deep blue color is really going to look fantastic paired with the white board and batten and light green walls.
So now for the vanity top . . . well that part of the story is a little more complicated.
Cedar DIY Vanity Top
For renovation ease as well as for budget reasons, I purchased a simple, one-piece white vanity top at Home Depot about 2 months ago. I had measured the vanity, and found this perfect, standard white vanity top.
Except it wasn’t quite so perfect once we finally took it out of the box and hauled it upstairs to install–it was actually 1.5″ too wide for the space. My bad.
After considering some really non-professional ways we maybe could still install and use the top, we decided it would be better to just return it and start with a new plan. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that since our vanity cabinet is a non-standard size, our only other option for a stone vanity top would be to have one custom ordered . . . which meant a significant increase in what we would have to spend.
I’m sure if we had dug around Dallas for long enough we could have found a remnant piece of granite and had someone fabricate for us, but I just couldn’t get excited about going on a scavenger hunt. I’m ready to get this project done! So we decided a custom, stone vanity top was probably not the way to go.
That’s when my husband suggested we fabricate our own vanity top using some of the crazy amount of leftover cedar wood we have from replacing part of our fence back last fall. A quick Google search found inspiration from lots of other DIY’ers who have made their own vanity tops from cedar and other wood, so that became our new plan.
It really was simple enough–measure out a base piece of plywood for the vanity top, then top it with the leftover cedar pickets cut to size.
My husband glued down the cedar pickets to the plywood base and clamped each one overnight, so we wouldn’t have any nail or screw holes visible in the top. I used one of my leftover poplar boards from the board and batten to trim out the front and it basically was a perfect fit. I stained the top with three coats of Minwax Classic American and sealed in between the planks with clear caulk.
To seal the surface of the wood we’ve been applying a highly durable varnish and letting each coat set overnight.
To help balance the rustic quality of the wooden top I wanted to find a more angular sink, rather than a basic oval sink. We ended up purchasing the Kohler Cimmaron sink from an online bathroom supply site.
It’s the perfect size for the space and has just enough of a rectangular shape to help make the space feel more modern and less like a log cabin.
So, once the last coat of varnish finally finishes drying we can take the top upstairs, drop in the faucet, and finally have running water in the bathroom again! I know the Homestead Blue, cedar top, and white sink are all going to look fantastic together.
So that’s where I’m at so far in my DIY Bathroom renovation. I think I first started pulling off wallpaper in February, so that makes it, hmm . . . 4 months since I started? Maybe it will be finished before another 4 months passes by!
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. And best to you in your own current DIY projects!
See the final renovation “after” photos here.
If you’re interested in using Fusion Mineral Paint to transform your own cabinets, Ultra Grip and all paint colors are available to order right on this site!