Lots of people who own a home would really like to upgrade their bathroom, but sometimes that kind of expenditure isn’t something they can afford right now. It is possible to update your bathroom without breaking the bank. Replacing the shower curtain, installing new accessories on the taps, and mounting fresh towel bars can significantly increase your contentment with your bathroom. Additionally, painting your cabinets can also make you feel better about your bathroom.
To begin painting your bathroom cabinets, you should ensure that you have the correct equipment and materials, take apart the cabinet sections, and ready the area for painting. Begin by sanding down the back of the cabinet doors, followed by priming and ultimately painting. Make sure to paint them on a flat surface.
Attempting to do home improvement projects yourself can seem like a challenge, however, you’ll be in good shape if you use this DIY tutorial. We’ll cover all the necessities for beginning the project, such as getting your area and closets ready, and which types of paints are recommended for bathrooms. Let’s jump right in!
How To Know When Your Bathroom Cabinets Need Repainting
Look at the state of your existing bathroom vanity before deciding whether or not to put money into paint and materials. The countertop should be in excellent condition, as this part will not be modified. It’s essential to be fond of the design of your countertop and sink since you’ll likely have to look at them for quite a few years after you’ve redone the cabinets.
Figure out if your vanity is stable in its construction. If water from your vanity sink escapes into the cupboard beneath, it could cause irreparable water damage. It is possible that there could be mold growth in this area, which would render the vanity unsuitable for painting.
If you’re redecorating some other part of the restroom, e.g. the shower, bathtub, or floor, you may consider getting a new vanity. It is advisable to make sure that your vanity coordinates with the rest of the room. If you have the room and the finances, it would be wise to upgrade your vanity cabinet if it cannot meet your storage needs. If you’re looking to sell your house, investing in a new vanity for the bathroom may raise its appraisal.
Different Types of Bathroom Cabinets
The supplies that are usually seen contained in bathroom cupboards are particleboard, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), plywood, and hardwood. The advantages and disadvantages of these construction materials are particularly apparent when painting them.
- Particleboard is usually sturdy to begin with and inexpensive to use for building cabinets. Bathroom cabinet manufacturers can cover particleboard with laminate, wood veneers, or melamine. Two of the most significant drawbacks of particleboard cabinets are they tend to warp or sag under the strain of heavy items, and they are not water or moisture-friendly. You can paint particleboard if you prime it first.
- MDF is denser and more substantial than particleboard. When exposed to moisture, this material can swell up. Although you can’t stain MDF as you can wood, you can paint it easily. Since MDF is a high-density composite of glue and real wood particles, it is incredibly challenging to penetrate with nails or screws.
- Plywood comes in sheets, which are multiple layers of wood veneers glued together. Plywood comes in different quality levels. High-quality plywood is strong and resembles real wood, while lower-quality plywood is softer and has a plastic woodgrain coating.
- Solid wood and solid hardwood both are 100% natural wood. Hardwood comes from oak, maple, or cherry trees, while regular solid wood is likely something softer, such as wood from pine trees. Because most wood expands and contracts based on the air’s humidity, it could cause the paint to split and crack. Staining is a much better option for wood than paint.
The success of your DIY home improvement project will hinge entirely on how thoroughly you have prepared. Gaining the necessary tools and materials is an excellent first step when painting your bathroom cabinets. It is not necessary to purchase certain items unless you are doing certain activities.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools and Supplies
- Bucket and a large sponge
- Industrial cleaner
- Rubber gloves
- Screwdriver (manual or electric)
- Wooden paint stirrers
- Paint tray
- Paint roller
- Drop Cloths
- Painter’s tape
- Wood putty and putty knife (For repairs or changing to new hardware)
- Sandpaper (For repairs or changing to new hardware)
- Tack cloth (For repairs or changing to new hardware)
- Marker or chalk (For changing to new hardware)
- New hardware (Handles, knobs, and hinges)
- Paint sprayer (If preferred over paint roller or brush)
Before You Begin
Painting a bathroom vanity is not a difficult endeavor and does not necessitate strength or an understanding of tools. That being said, prior to grabbing a paint brush, there are a lot of preparations and considerations that must be made. Figuring out what kind of primer and paint to use is one worry. It is essential to consider how you can safeguard yourself while completing this undertaking. Bathrooms are usually limited in size, making it vital to ensure they are properly ventilated when using paint, primer, and trisodium phosphate in order to avoid any intolerableness of odors. Be sure to use the exhaust fan and let air in through the windows while you are painting in the bathroom. It is advised to protect your body by securing appropriate protective gear such as goggles, clothing that covers all exposed skin, and a respirator.
Prep Your Space
Setting up your area includes readying both the bathroom and working area. It is possible that the dimensions of your bathroom could create a difference between it and another bathroom of a similar size. The doors may need to be painted in an alternate area, such as the living room, garage, or outside in the yard.
Clear out your bathroom by taking all things out of the bathroom vanity and cabinet. You can keep them secure by briefly placing them in a couple of laundry baskets. Take away all objects that are not attached to the vanity, such like potted plants, garbage cans, toilet scrubbers, containers, and storage racks for periodicals.
Clear your workspace by getting rid of anything that you don’t want to get paint on. If you are decorating your living room with paint, it is necessary to move the furniture aside and roll up the carpet. If you plan to do some painting in your garage, it may be wise to protect your car by draping it with a tarp.
Remove Knobs, Handles, and Drawer Pulls
Before beginning to paint your soon-to-be-repainted cabinet doors and drawers, it is necessary to take off any handles, knobs, or handles you may want to reuse. You could give your hardware a facelift by sprucing them up or painting them while they are removed. If you are in the process of updating any of the fixtures in your bathroom, it is a good idea to consider replacing your knobs, handles, and drawer pulls so that everything is in sync.
Remove Cabinet Doors and Hinges
Some individuals prefer to risk it by painting their cabinets while the doors are still attached, but it is a wiser choice to take the cabinet doors off and lay them horizontally to paint both sides. This method gives you a smoother paint job. Even if you can’t see the cabinet hinges when the cabinets are closed, you must still take them out of both the cabinet and the doors. By doing this, you will be able to cover those areas sufficiently and avoid getting paint on the hinges.
Protect Your Walls and Floors With Painter’s Tape
It may take more of your precious time, but it is beneficial to cover up parts of your bathroom when painting to avoid splatter. You should secure a tape line around all the edges that border your bathroom cabinet. The boundaries of this vanity encompass the connection between the countertop and the lower cabinet, the base of the floor, and the sides of the wall.
Sand the cabinets.
Check a part of the cabinet that is not easily noticeable with a knife to find out if it has been sealed. If the paint or protective covering starts to come off, you’ll need to take additional time for sanding. Check that you have your gloves, masks, and protective eyewear on before continuing.
Rub down the external and/or interior cupboard framework, the doorway and drawer surfaces, and, if desired, the back of the door with sandpaper.
- If you are sanding unfinished cabinets, make a single pass over the cabinet surfaces with 220-grit sandpaper.
- If you are sanding a cabinet that’s coated with paint or a clear protective sealer, make a first pass with a medium-grit (120- to 150-grit) sandpaper over the cabinet surfaces. This will remove the clear coat or any peeling paint. Then, do a light sanding using 220-grit sandpaper.
Clean up the sanding dust.
Clean the cabinet by using a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove the dust. Clean the areas that have been sanded using a cloth that has been moistened with water, and then do a final wiping of the cabinet using a tack cloth.
Prime the cabinet surfaces.
Apply a coat of shellac or oil-based primer to the inside of the cabinet by pouring a small amount into a paint tray. Latex primer is not as effective as shellac or oil-based primers in protecting bathroom cabinets from moisture. Although shellac primers do a better job of reducing brush strokes when compared to oil-based primers. Using a shellac-based primer will provide more options, as you can use either an oil or water-based paint on top of it.
Apply a layer of primer to the paint roller cover then run the roller in the same direction of the wood grain over both the inner and outer parts of the cabinet frame. Move on to the surfaces of the door and drawer faces that are even. Using a natural-bristle paint brush, spread primer into the grooves and crevices on the front of your doors and drawers to get into all the tight spaces.
Wait for the first layer of primer to dry as directed by the company’s specifications.
Paint the cabinet.
To coat the bathroom cupboard, empty a small amount of oil-based paint or mold- and mildew-resistant latex paint into a paint holder. When selecting paint for wood furnishings in bathrooms and kitchens, oil-based is the optimal option; however, one can replace it with an interior latex paint that dries more quickly and produces fewer harmful vapors if desired. Keep in mind that semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes are more efficient at repelling moisture as compared to flat and eggshell finishes, and dark shades conceal any dirt better than the lighter hues.
For a professional-looking finish, work with the tools best suited for the type of paint you’ve selected:
- If you are using an oil-based paint, opt for a natural fiber, polyester blend, or wool roller cover.
- If you’re applying latex paint, use a synthetic roller cover.
Put paint onto the roller cover, then spread a first coat of paint on the interior and/or exterior cabinet frame. Apply the paint to the horizontal surfaces of the cabinets (such as the doors and drawers) in line with the grain of the wood. Don’t forget to paint the nooks and crannies!
- If you are using oil-based paint, use a natural-bristle brush to paint grooves in the door and drawer fronts.
- If you’re using latex-based paint, use a synthetic-bristle paint brush.
Apply another coat (or two) of paint.
Apply additional layers of paint to your bathroom cabinets over the base color until you get the desired hue. Wait until each layer of paint is dried completely before putting on the next coat, and then let the outer layer fully dry.
Clean up and reattach the cabinet doors.
Gather the drop cloths and roll them up, then take off the painter’s tape from the cabinet. Get the screws (or clips) for the hinges in order to put the door hinges back on the cabinet. Put the cabinet doors and drawers back in the same way you took them out, then attach the hardware for the doors and drawers.