As much as I can sometimes be a sucker for high design, deep down in my heart of hearts, I’m a little bit of a scavenger. I love old furniture and fixtures, both the great antique finds and the fixer uppers (and the process of breathing new life into them!). In that vein, today I want to talk a little bit about the power of paint. Yesterday I speculated on its power to amp up the antique factor, but this I’m I’m thinking something a little more colorful. A fresh coat of bright, bold paint can breathe new life into any piece of furniture, and hand painted bathroom vanities are no exception.
One Color Wow
There are two things that keep people from slapping a new coat of paint on anything from a wall to a washbasin. The first is what I like to call the Bob Ross factor – you’re not sure how it’ll look when it’s done, you’re not sure you believe it’s going to be any good, and for a good portion of the project you’re convinced you’ve ruined everything. The other reason is, you simply think you lack the skill. But a paint-revitalization project doesn’t have to involve much more than a can of paint and a brush. Take this Turlington Sink Chest from Cole+Co – it’s painted in a single, simple color over a plain wood surface, but WOW! If you’re looking for a bold exclamation point for your bathroom, you can do worse than a coat of red paint.
Shop Bathroom Vanities by Cole+Co:
Whether you’ve really found it at a thrift shop or not, I love the look of reclaimed or repurposed bathroom vanities. If you have enough DIY know-how and a good set of tools, you can turn just about any piece of old furniture into a bathroom vanity, and adding a coat of bright, bold paint can breathe new life into a beat up piece (assuming you don’t like the weathered look). Dressers are especially good for the job, to the point that you can find pre-made vanities like this Seaside Vanity that are designed to look like dressers. Why? Because putting a dresser in a bathroom gives it a homey, comfortable feeling, uniting your bathroom and your bedroom. To do it yourself, mask off staggered stripes on the face of a whitewashed piece of furniture and paint in a few of your favorite colors. Voila – a recipe for simple, charming hand painted bathroom vanities that match any decor.
Custom For Your Kids
Hand painted bathroom vanities are also great for kids bathrooms, whether you do it yourself or opt for pre-made hand painted bathroom vanities like this Avery Vanity. A simple, stenciled design like this one is a great way to add bright pops of color to your bathroom. If you do it yourself, you can even choose your own stencils and colors (or even get your kid to help!) to make it totally custom to their color and style preferences. Admittedly, you might end up with a bathroom vanity you’ll want to replace once your kids are grown, but if you do opt for a salvage piece, it can help you save up for a more “grown up” vanity once they’re off to college.
The Advantage Of Aging
The land where hand painted bathroom vanities and reclaimed furniture meet is where paint reaches that perfected old weathered look. If you’re lucky enough to find a perfectly aged, delightfully derelict piece of furniture to use for your project, love it! If not, there are a lot of techniques – from crackle paint to strategic use of sand paper – to help make a coat of paint look like it’s been through its paces. That said, if you’re new to the painting scene, you might not get the pitch-perfect, weather worn retro look of this Chambers Sink Chest on your first try. Especially if you’ve never worked with crackle paint or other self-antiquing finishes, you probably want to practice and perfect your technique on something that’s NOT your finished project.
Why You Might NOT Want To DIY
The main disadvantage of DIY hand painted bathroom vanities is that you probably don’t have the sophisticated sealants and finishing processes that most bathroom vanity manufacturers do. That means that your hand painted bathroom vanities won’t last as long as theirs, and will be more susceptible to water damage, warping, cracking, and peeling (especially if you are working from salvaged non-bathroom furniture). Choosing the right paints and being careful with your sealants (all of which should dry and air out thoroughly before you put them in a closed, poorly ventilated bathroom!) can help, but professionally hand painted bathroom vanities like this Cheshire Vanity are probably going to last you longer.
And, finally, depending on your skill levels, it can sometimes just be prohibitively difficult to pull off the bright, colorful, or stylish design you want. A single coat of paint is easy, but something more intricate like this wild leopard print Madeleine Vanity takes a steadier hand and a more skillful eye to pull off. So if you like the idea of reclaimed or hand painted bathroom vanities but aren’t quite sure what you’d do with one, shop around to see what you can find, and if you figure your artistic abilities aren’t quite up to snuff, don’t feel bad about paying a professional to do the actual painting. After all, the goal is to get a wild, unexpected, and jazzy look that you’ll love, not create that one ugly little smudge or flaw that’ll irk you every time you see it!!
What has you interested in hand painted bathroom vanities? Are you looking to freshen up an existing vanity, start a furniture reclaiming project, or just add a little color and fresh design to your bathroom? Do you think you have it in you to do a whole paint project yourself, or are you more interested in pre-made hand painted bathroom vanities?