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How to Paint a Bathroom Vanity with Chalk Paint

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The powder room I am making over is just about complete. I worked on the sink cabinet over the weekend and have a few details to show you.


These are my new favorite decorative detail for the room. I love white faced clocks with black numbers. I don’t collect many things, but clock faces – I can never have too many.


The cabinet knobs are from Anthropologie.  They are called Chronograph Knobs.  They sell for $8 a piece. A bit pricey for a knob, but I only needed 2 to make the sink cabinet makeover complete.

Before I put the knobs on I had to paint the cabinet first. It was navy blue. Many of you ask me how much should I sand before painting a piece of furniture. In this photo you can see that I sanded the surface just enough to scratch or rough up the surface. It took 5 minutes with a hand palm sander.

Before I put the knobs on I had to paint the cabinet first.  If you remember it was navy blue.

How to Paint Over an Existing Paint with DIY Chalk Paint

I removed the cabinet doors so I could replace the antique gold hinges with new white hinges.  It is easier to work on the doors when they are laying flat.

Many of you ask me how much should you should sand before painting a piece of furniture.

In the photo above you can see that I sanded the cabinet just enough to scratch or rough up the surface.  It took 5 minutes with a hand palm sander.  I then cleaned the surface well and let it dry. I sand everything I paint no matter what type of paint I use.  For a little effort you will be rewarded with great adhesion.


I then made a small batch of DIY chalk paint to paint the cabinet using the leftover off-white paint I used to add stripes on the walls in the room.

I used up every last bit of the quart of paint I bought – great on the budget.  I used Valspar paint and primer in one paint, and I knew I would have to use the Calcium Carbonate Powder DIY Chalk paint recipe with it since the paint/primer in one formula will bind up if you use Plaster or the non-sanded grout.

I only needed 1/2 cup of paint to make the chalk paint and paint the cabinet base  – both sides of the two doors.  It goes a long way.

When making your own chalk paint one of the most important factors is to add water to the powder first to dissolve it and then add the mix to the paint and stir well.  To read more about making, mixing, and painting with DIY chalk paint you will find all the tutorials about it here,  DIY Chalk Paint Recipes and DIY Chalk Paint Projects


Since I am using lots of pure white in the room, I used the off-white color for the cabinet so that the existing counter top and sink color would not stand out too much or look off.

How to paint a bathroom cabinet

Painting it the same color makes the cabinet, counter, and sink flow together while leaving the focus on the walls and decorative features that I will be adding.

Unique knobs for cabinet makeovers

To protect the chalk painted finish, I decided to try water based Polycrylic.


I get so many  questions about using it over chalk paint that I wanted to try it for myself (I have always used wax) and see how it looks.

Another FAQ I receive is from readers wondering why I used chalk paint instead of straight latex.  I love that when you use chalk paint, there is none of that tacky latex feel to the painted finish. I also like that the finish looks smoother and thinner – more like a finish right from the factory. Smooth, thin, and durable.

For now, I am not going to distress the finish, If I decide it needs it, I can always do it later.

Only 2 more items to add to the room now, but I am on the fence about one. Oh!…decisions…decisions….


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  1. Oh you had me with the colors, then the stripes….. but the beautiful clock knobs put me in heaven. I so love them. I too am a clock person. I am sure I inherited that gene from my Daddy. I have added yet again to my want to do list from your make overs. Also, I am sending you an email today also for help with voting for you.